The football season is fast approaching, and especially in the last few weeks we have seen a plethora of contemplative plays about the future of the game and head injuries and whether we can truly make football ‘safe’ for them. players. These plays will go on for decades to come, and really, they’ve been happening for decades already. Football is a violent game by nature, so there are always some dangerous elements and injuries that make strangers think.
The question is not whether we can make football “safe”, but whether we can make it safer. On this front, helmets play a crucial role. A few weeks ago we reviewed the Riddell 360, and this week we will be looking at competition from Schutt, who sent the Schutt Vengeance DCT.
Notice: “No helmet is concussion resistant” is a warning you will find next to almost every football helmet on the market, and it is true. But the Schutt model and its competitors will try anyway, and Vengeance technology helps protect football players on different levels.
- The Venegeance DCT is designed to thrive in all temperatures. When you think about it, especially among college and NFL players, football spans between the two most extreme seasons of the year – from training camps in July and August to frozen fields in December and January. The change in temperature means that you will likely see some variation in the performance of the equipment. Schutt’s goal was to keep that variation as low as possible, and at least according to an independent study done at the ICS Labs in Brunswick, Ohio, it appears to have been successful – Schutt helmets have outperformed all helmets on the market in the world. temperature tests. ranging from 32 to 120 degrees, with the Vengeance DCT in the lead.
- There’s also dual-compression TPU, Schutt’s trademark cushioning system, which A) helps absorb high-speed blows B) absorbs low-speed collisions that occur with every game, and C) helps with manage the heat inside the helmet. Padding on all sides also helps keep players’ heads stable.
- The mask is designed to help better absorb the force of frontal impacts, and also maximizes the vision, allowing players to see (and avoid) shots blind.
But obviously the bigger question is whether it all works. And on that front, the Schutt Vengeance is well tested and, like the Riddell 360, has earned the highest possible 5-star rating from an independent lab using Virginia Tech’s controversial algorithms for helmet safety ratings.
Additionally, where the Virginia Tech algorithm primarily focuses on low-speed impacts, the Vengeance tests better than the two top-rated helmets in the Virginia Tech study for high-speed impacts. (Where the two helmets tested at Virginia Tech have an average impact force of 210g in the front of the head, the Vengeance averages only 83). Whichever measures you choose, the Schutt Vengeance looks like one of the safest football helmets out there.
The bigger picture? Schutt researched SB Nation after reading our Riddell review because they claim their helmet is safer, for most of the reasons listed above. But no matter who you think, Schutt’s Vengeance DCT model ranks first among all available metrics. It’s still true, of course: no helmet can prevent concussions. But that doesn’t mean that technology will stop evolving and improving.
And if it’s the future of football that worries us all this fall (and it does this fall and every fall), then competition and testing controversy can only be a good thing.
Whether the discussion favors Riddell or Schutt depends on who is speaking, but we have the conversation and strangers are listening more than ever. These advances are just as important as the Vengeance Schutt and its ability to reduce the impact of high-speed blows, and both are a step in the right direction for football.