Shark Skwal Review

Shark Skwal crash helmet. A polycarb full face helmet with in-built LED lights

The Skwal is Shark‘s middle of the range, do anything at a reasonable price, helmet. Only this time it’s got some added bling in the form of built-in LED lights front and rear. But is it just a novelty or does the helmet really deliver?

Overall/Summary

The Shark Skwal is a nice helmet. It’s feature-packed, comfortable and has decent build quality. It’s not the quietest helmet around (actually it’s quite noisy) but the visor systems work well and, as long as you don’t mind having yet another thing to charge up after a ride (or can deal with the frustration of putting your helmet on to find the lights don’t work!) then it should be a good helmet. It’s also been safety tested by SHARP and scored a very respectable 4/5 stars. Well worth a look.

  • SHARP 4 star safety rated (out of 5)
  • 3.25lbs/1.47Kg (about average)
  • Rechargeable LED lighting strips
  • Injected thermoplastic shell (polycarb)
  • Pinlock anti-fog insert included
  • Integral sun visor
  • Sizes XS – XL
  • Prices from around $160-$200
  • Note: Shark Skwal has now been updated to the Shark Skwal 2 – so there are now great deals to be found. Check store links below.

Looking to buy this Shark?

This Shark helmet isn't yet available in the US and isn't DOT certified for use in mandatory helmet law states.

But if you still want to buy one (and take advantage of the great $-£ exchange rate), these stores are based in Europe and will ship to the USA. SportsBikeShop (UK) and GetGeared (UK) have competitive prices and 365 day returns backed by outstanding reviews. Or if you'd prefer pay in Euros, Motoin are a quality German operation with decent prices and great review scores. Please see here for more info on these recommended stores or click the links to go straight to their Shark helmets pages.

Shark-skwal-Ellipse-black-white-helmet
Shark Skwal in Ellipse design

Safety

The Shark Skwal hasn’t been Snell tested (Shark don’t seem to submit any helmets to Snell for testing). However, as of Sept 2015, it was SHARP safety tested and scored four stars out of five, which means it’s a safe lid which should give you good protection in an accident.

Shark have one of the best reputations for crash helmet safety around – with all but one of their thermoplastic helmets having scored four stars or above – and also being our joint 3rd safest helmet brand. So we’re pretty confident you’ll be well protected if you go for a Shark.

We understand that the Skwal is manufactured in two shell sizes (with five fitment sizes) which is about par for the course for a middle of the range thermoplastic lid.

Shark skwal blank black helmet
You can just about see the rear green LED strips on this Skwal Blank black

Other things that contribute to safety are anti-fog and a drop down sun visor and the Skwal has both (see shield section below).

And of course it also has its LED lighting system – which you’ll probably either think looks kinda cool and contributes to safety or are a complete waste of time and a gimmick. Jury’s out of course as they’re not massively bright though they do have both a continuously-on and a flashing mode which is probably going to catch other driver’s attention the most. Shark reckon you’ll get 5-8 hours between charges (remove the battery and charge with a USB cable) though I guess that’ll be affected by temperature and will drop with battery age.

We struggled to get a good photo showing how bright the strips are at night – and in fact Shark’s own videos and pics are enhanced so I guess they did too! But if you go to around 45 seconds into the, frankly, bonkers helmet launch video in the videos section below, you might get an idea (after that they seem intent on turning into a Tron video).

You can spot the green lighting strips around the bottom of the front vents and above the rear exhaust vent.

Helmet Noise

The Skwal has what Shark call their Autoseal system, where the visor adheres to the gasket slightly to help suppress more noise as well as stop wind/rain better. It also comes with a chin guard to stop noise from below. But it’s only partially successful with owners saying it’s anywhere from about average to quite noisy. Of course, if you use ear plugs (which you should) you’ll be fine, just don’t expect the Skwal to be the quietest because it’s not.

Ventilation

Shark skwal blank white helmet front view
Skwal ‘Blank’ white showing front vents & LEDs

On the ventilation front, the Skwal doesn’t have anything fancy or innovative going on – and consequently, ventilation is about average. There’s a single chin vent (easy to operate) and a single forehead vent (slightly less so via a small slider on the top) which takes air into the helmet, through the air channels around the scalp and out of the exhaust vent below the spoiler to the rear. Owners reckon it’s adequate and, coupled with the Pinlock, has enough ventilation to keep your shield mist-free.

If good ventilation is important to you, then check out our page of helmets with great ventilation.

Shield/sun visor

There’s a clear main shield plus an integral anti-scratch and anti-UV sun visor on the Skwal.

Useful features on the main shield are that the seal is particularly good, the aperture is slightly wider than most; there’s an easy to find shield opening tab to the left hand side and it comes Pinlock-ready and with a Max Vision Pinlock in the box. The Max Visions are larger than the standard Pinlocks so they obscure your shield less so are well worth going for and work really well in keeping the shield fog-free.

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Drop down visor is clearly visible on this Shark Skwal Instinct

Also worth noting is Shark’s quick release visor system which is simplicity itself and really quick to operate (tilt the visor and pull). So all good on the main visor.

Owners reckon the sun visor works well too (even the ones who don’t really like sun visors!). It’s operated by a slider on the left hand side and there are no problems reported.

Comfort

Like all helmets, to get a comfortable helmet, you need to ensure you get the right size for your head. That done, the Skwal’s a comfortable helmet and owners love em. The liner is removable, washable and breathable – like most helmets these days – and many owners reckon it’s as comfortable – if not more – than their previous expensive Shoei’s or up-market Sharks. High praise indeed.

Looks & Graphics

At the time of reviewing, Shark produce a range of six designs (including plain) with multiple color combinations in each. Their plain colors (Blank) come in plain white and matt/gloss black and silver. We’ve dotted pictures of the Ellipse, Sticking, Spinax, Instinct and Matador designs around the page – but click the retailer links to see the latest designs and color variants.

Best places to buy a Shark crash helmet?

This Shark helmet isn't yet available in the US and isn't DOT certified for use in mandatory helmet law states. But if you still want to buy one (and take advantage of the great $-£ exchange rate at the same time), we've chosen three of the best European online stores to buy from - whether it's a Shark or any other helmet/gear - and they'll all happily ship to the USA.

First off, check out SportsBikeShop. They're based in the UK, offer 365 day refunds, have really competitive prices (they'll price match too) and offer outstanding service (9.8/10 on Trustpilot at the time of writing).

GetGeared are another recommended UK store, with a no-quibble 365 day returns policy and scoring 4.8/5 on eKomi.

Motoin are based in Germany, have decent Euro prices and get great feedback (4.7 out of 5 on eTrustedshops at the time of writing).

Please click any picture/link to drop onto their Shark helmets pages. And if you buy from them, we get a small sum from the sale at no extra cost to you - a massive THANKS! (it's how we finance the site). Click here for more info on our recommended stores.

Buy Shark from Sportsbikeshop Buy from Get Geared UK

Click above to drop onto their Shark helmets pages or *quick view store T&Cs here.

Video

Bit of info about the helmet from Visordown.

And here’s Shark’s own video. Skip to about 45s to see them switch on the lights.

Shark-skwal-Sticking-black-red-helmet
Shark Skwal Sticking in black/white/red

Other stuff – fasteners, audio, glasses, warranty

The Skwal comes with a micrometric fastener (quick and easy to use and safe as they come). It also comes Sharktooth communicator-ready with spaces for earphones set into the side of the helmet which, of course, can be used by 3rd party communicators too. Also set into the side of the helmet is Shark’s usual glasses-groove – indents for the arms of glasses or shades that allow you to insert/remove glasses easily and means that the arms don’t press into the side of your head when riding; always a great feature to see.

Finally, you get Shark’s 5 year warranty which has gotta be good for peace of mind.

Crash Helmet Buying Guides

For (hopefully!) other useful information to help you when buying your next helmet, check our various guides - or have a look at our top helmet lists where we've got the top 10 rated helmets overall and best budget/safest/full face/flip-up helmets.

Alternatives

Shark-skwal-Matador-black-red-helmet
Shark Skwal Matador (click to enlarge)

If you want another mid-priced helmet with LEDs, you’ll not find one (yet). However, there are other great helmets around for similar money or less.

Slightly more expensive is the X-Lite X-702 GT, a composite fiber shelled helmet that’s about the same weight and SHARP 5 star tested that’s well rated for noise and comfort. It’s got a sun visor too.

If you’re after something slightly sportier (but without a sun visor) the SHARP 4 star rated HJC FG17 is about the same price and weight as the Shark and a solid performer all round.

Looking to buy this Shark?

This Shark helmet isn't yet available in the US and isn't DOT certified for use in mandatory helmet law states.

But if you still want to buy one (and take advantage of the great $-£ exchange rate), these stores are based in Europe and will ship to the USA. SportsBikeShop (UK) and GetGeared (UK) have competitive prices and 365 day returns backed by outstanding reviews. Or if you'd prefer pay in Euros, Motoin are a quality German operation with decent prices and great review scores. Please see here for more info on these recommended stores or click the links to go straight to their Shark helmets pages.

Definitely want a Shark?

Here you'll find all our Shark crash helmet reviews and previews including full face, flip-up and open face helmets.

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