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High-efficiency protector technology

Orikami* is the revolutionary new protector technology developed by Niviuk's R&D team.
It has been incorporated into to the back protector of our new Drifter 2 harness, and it is the thinnest and most efficient on the market.
At only 5.5 cm thick (for the Drifter 2).

Its development and technological inspiration is based on the Japanese art of origami, as its structure folds in on itself to absorb and disperse energy during an impact.
After the impact, the protector returns to its original shape. It is certified according to the EN and LTF standards,
which means that it can withstand several impacts, without having to replace it.

In contrast to other protectors, the incorporated Orikami does not rotate nor displace from the foam
matrix when an oblique or lateral impact occurs. 

* Patent pending.

Included in the Drifter 2, it is the thinnest and most efficient on the market: only 5.5 cm

EN and LTF certified: it can absorb various impacts

Always remains securely in place

Orikami is designed for pilots,
engineered for safety and
conceived for peace of mind.


  • Safety throughout a wide speed range: highly effective protector technology that safeguards the pilot from damaging impact exposure in a broad range of flight situations, from low-intensity crashes to high-impact ones.
  • Absorbs and disperses energy during an impact: the energy of the impact is absorbed thanks to the elastic buckling deformation of the structure, rather than by a complete plastic deformation. 
  • The rebound after the impact is lower compared to that of other, similar existing solutions that are already on the market.
  • Designed for multiple impacts, by recovering its shape and characteristics after each.

Unparalleled safety:
the a
lternative solution
to other existing protector materials


  • Orikami stays securely in place within the foam matrix, resisting rotation even when impacted from off-center directions.
  • EN and LTF certified - it can absorb various impacts.
  • Material - high-efficiency polymeric matrix.
  • Protection that is effective during the whole flight, from take off, through flying, to landing.
  • The thinnest protector - only 5.5 cm, in the Drifter 2. EN1651 & LTF09 certified protector technology that allows the high aerodynamic performance of the harness.
  • Lowers the packing volume compared to conventional foams.


The well-known energy-absorbing capability of foams is related to the special deformation mechanisms of the cell structure, for example cell wall buckling and collapse of the cell. 

The result of the combination of these capabilities with engineered cellular-architected lattice structures is a metamaterial with outstanding energy-absorbing capacity that provides pilots with innovative cutting-edge impact protection. Orikami is a promising example of this technology. 

As the following graphic illustrates, its capacity for energy dissipation is maximised compared to foams for the whole deformation range before reaching the densification stage, thus offering top-level protection performance to the pilot.

The graphic shows the Stress-Strain curves for different impact attenuators.

Best shock
absorption capacity

A true engineering folding process, which underlies the art and techniques of origami paper folding, can be applied to the design of sophisticated metamaterials with unique mechanical properties. In this case, Orikami offers outstanding shock absorption capacity in the event of an impact, ranging from low to high-energy impacts. 

Orikami’s remarkable protective performance is based on the physical phenomenon of elastic buckling that occurs on its walls to absorb impact energy. For this reason, Orikami has been designed using rigorous scientific research methods. Unlike other options already on the market, Orikami is designed to avoid the conventional high-stress peak of the linear elastic region of honeycomb or tubular cellular solutions when compressed. 

As shown in the graphic, similar options experience a high-stress peak when starting the compression. Conversely, the Orikami structure has a pre-defined folding point that is engineered to avoid the high stress peak. As a result, Orikami prevents the pilot from receiving a dangerous instantaneous energy shock at the beginning of the impact.

In addition, it is designed to be a reliable solution for multi-impact applications. This capability is achieved by inducing elastic buckling phenomena on the walls of Orikami as a physical energy dissipation mechanism, preventing permanent deformation of Orikami.

The graphic shows the Stress-Strain curve for Orikami under a compressive load.

Protection engineered
for paragliding

How has it been tested? An Orikami sample with a thickness of 7 cm is tested following the EN1651 standard test procedure with a 50 kg dummy. The protector technology is tested with a Drifter 2 harness at 40 cm, 80 cm, 100 cm and the EN Standard height of 165 cm at Air Turquoise Laboratory (Switzerland).

The table analyses the peak of maximum impacts (in multiples of Earth’s gravity, g) that occur during the test. On top of that, Orikami is more efficient than the competition when dissipating the energy during the drop impact testing: the maximum impact recorded by the dummy after the first impact and the following is lower than others on the market. 

Moreover, the time in-between rebounds is shorter when using Orikami, which proves that the mechanism of energy transfer between kinetic to potential elastic energy is more efficient than to other, similar existing protective equipment. 

In fact, the results of the tests with a wide range of impact speeds (a wide range of impact energies), prove that the scientifically engineered Orikami protector technology provides highly efficient protection performance to the pilot in a broad range of flight situations, from low-intensity impacts to high-intensity ones. 

Niviuk impact attenuation technologies

The impact attenuation technologies employed in Niviuk’s harness range are shown in the accompanying table. Niviuk currently utilises foams, airbags, and inflatable protectors for impact attenuation.

The classification in the table is based on thickness and the maximum peak of impact acceleration [g]. While an airbag protector offers the lowest maximum peak of impact acceleration, it is also the thickest solution.

Pilots who prioritise protective behaviour over thickness may opt for an airbag, whereas those seeking a thin protector for high-performance harnesses traditionally chose foams.

With Orikami, Niviuk now offers the thinnest protector certified in accordance with the EN and LTF standards; providing a similar level of protection as foams but at a mere 5.5 cm thickness. Orikami emerges as the preferred solution for performance-oriented pilots.

In conclusion

Orikami has been developed with the aim of offering the market an alternative solution to other existing protector materials,
and is specifically designed for high-performance harnesses: more compact, with a high degree of energy absorption for multiple impacts
and certified according to the EN and LTF standards.



ORIKAMI in detail

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