The question was from a salesclerk in the shop where I had gone to drop off a bike. If I’d been on the ball I would have told him yes, that this was the new Shark Skwal Matador, the company’s first ever helmet with built-in LEDs. I could have then gone on to say that thanks to the rechargeable battery tucked away in the lining it was able to run for 10 hours in flash mode, or five when continuously lit.
I might have also pointed out that the Skwal Matador is Sharktooth compatible, so if you purchase Shark’s special audio system you can connect to your phone through Bluetooth or communicate via intercom with your ride buddies.
And I may have finished by demonstrating the Shark Skwal Matador autoseal system that keeps the visor sitting snug against the gasket, keeping the rain and cold out. Of course I would have added that you don’t have to worry about fogging up thanks to the Pinlock Max Vision film that comes with the helmet.
I could have said all of that, but the truth is I was feeling just a tad self-conscious with a flashing helmet in my hands, so I simply handed over the key then left.
I liked the lights. They’re easy to turn on and off, make you more visible on the road, and have been stylishly incorporated into the helmet for a sharp look. Well done. The built-in sun visor is easy to lower and on the move and is super effective. The padding also has a special channels so that four eyed riders can easily get their glasses on. And Shark is a well-known brand with top quality feel and finish. – dependability is a big factor.
Some will love the LEDs, others will find them a bit gimmicky and even distracting. While riding I often wondered if they were working or had run out of power. Of course you can always just leave them off. And though the air flow is excellent, the lower vent is easy to shut by accident.
Obviously the Shark Skwal Matador point of difference is its LEDs, which help you stay seen and safe on the road, but would you buy the helmet for that alone? For me it still comes down to quality and fit. Shark definitely delivers on the former; the latter is a call for the individual.