PORON® Performer, SHIMA® Creates a New Ride Experience™
SHIMA®, founded in 2009 in Pulawy, Poland, designs and develops motorcycle gloves to provide the best protection, fit and comfort to enable riders to go beyond. Karol Kalinowski, co-founder and chief designer tells us how SHIMA gloves create a truly New Ride Experience.
Q: How is SHIMA different from other motorcycle glove brands?
First of all we are focused on gloves only – that’s extremely important because top-end gloves sometimes consist up to 100 elements (in one hand)! And it’s all stitched together by professionals mixing different materials of various hardness, density and type. And after all this, your hands need to feel free to precisely operate the bike and to be well protected for various types of possible injuries – since you cannot foresee why, when, where and how you might fall down your motorbike can you?
Q: How are SHIMA women’s gloves uniquely different from SHIMA men’s gloves?
Women first search for gloves by look, then by fit. I think SHIMA can pass these two easily as we care about the right design and the details that make gloves look and fit just great. And it’s proven by thousands of women who ride in SHIMA every day. What is quite extraordinary, in general, women do not often ask about protection features. A retail salesperson has to get ladies protective instinct back on track by explaining how SHIMA gloves can protect their hands from not only possible injuries, but also from cold and bad weather.
Q: Have you seen an increase in women riders over the last few years? Why do you think this is so?
Well, in all of Europe there is a visible trend that ladies are moving from the passenger to rider seat. Year-to-year we have huge increases in women who begin riding at an entry level. In Poland the trend has soared very rapidly. Even my wife, who has not been very interested in motorcycles, started a course and then passed the exam without any problem. I wouldn’t search for any deep sociological explanation – they just feel riding is great fun and it is relatively easy to start. And thanks to the recent ‘slim & fit’ weight loss program in motorcycle design, the machines can be operated by almost every lady. I know girls who can easily kick gents’ asses on a track while being very feminine after they take their helmets off. I am very curious how the society of the riders will change under the feminine influence in the next few years.
We started using PORON XRD in 2011, and from the start, customers love the performance it offers along with its flexibility. We use PORON XRD technology in our gloves’ most important protection panels, which include padding for the main knuckle protector, side-hand panels and front palm panels. We often use PORON materials combined with SuperFabric, a top-end, abrasion-resistant outer shell material that’s designed to be very durable during sliding on tarmac. This mix can really help the rider get out of trouble without injury. PORON XRD can “catch” and dissipate the first shock force while SuperFabric allows you to slide dispersing kinetic energy over the longest distance possible to make sure the least is coming your inside your body.
Q: What other materials/technologies are featured in SHIMA gloves?
As mentioned above, we use SuperFabric material in addition to KNOX sliders for high-performance supersport gloves. Of course, there are a lot of other things that make our product perform extraordinarily. We use Kevlar thread that is very strong and hard to burn, so if you are sliding on the tarmac for long time, you won’t break your stitches and expose your skin. Also glove lining with Kevlar is sometimes used. We also offer various types of leather (strong and thin at same time such as kangaroo leather, which lends a great tactile feel), textile materials and waterproof membranes like Teflon.
Q: What is your favorite motorcycle ride?
Recently, I just prefer to go on track, push to my own limits and still feel safe. But I also use my motorcycle for short- and long-distance trips as a fast way of commuting in a crowded city.
Q: If you could ride anywhere, where would you like to go?
To the end of the world to check if there is any…
Apart from riding, Karol likes to hike in the mountains with his wife and 4-year old daughter.
So, where is your favorite ride? Let us know below!