Top level football helmet used by a small number of players

NEW YORK >> The best performing helmet in NFL testing this year is used by 50 players across only half of the NFL teams.

However, its developer is “delighted” with the number, while expecting the VICIS Zero1 to cling to Larry Fitzgerald’s passage.

Yes, it seems strange that equipment that some have called revolutionary and most have admitted to be a clear step towards safer equipment is not being used on a larger scale. The new product has passed the independent tests of 33 helmets conducted in Canada by the league and the NFLPA.

The results, which included impact tests at three speeds and eight locations on each helmet, were sent to each team and players.

The Zero 1 is the first to take into account rotational and linear impact. Scientific studies have indicated that the impact of rotation has more correlation with concussions.

David Marver, who created the helmet, was prepared for a slow adoption of the Zero1.

“Players are traditional and superstitious and need to be persuaded to try new helmets,” he says. “There is a group of NFL players who are very concerned about their health and very interested (in the helmet). There are many who care about style; they want him to pass the eye test. It’s a mindset about new innovations.

This mindset apparently does not exist among doctors and scientists involved in testing methods or in research into the efficacy and protective qualities of equipment.

When the VICIS helmet, which lasted nearly five years, was tested, it produced the lowest average linear and rotational measurements of head movement at all impact speeds.

A new helmet design consisting of a more conforming outer shell and an inner layer of buckling columns to absorb energy led to the top rating.

“The results of the VICIS helmets demonstrate that further reductions in impact severity beyond those of current helmets can be achieved by re-examining the components and function of football helmets,” said Dr Jeff Crandall, director of the Center for Applied Biomechanics at the University of Virginia.

“The (NFL) Head Health Tech and other sponsored challenges are intended to stimulate the consideration of new design ideas and the development of new materials and concepts for impact mitigation.

“Although we have seen a new level of protection offered by the VICIS helmet during our laboratory tests, we believe that further gains in protection can be achieved through extensive data, innovative test methodologies, advanced engineering tools and incentives. “

Marver points out that his Zero1 is not only innovative in design, but takes it to the next level by using Oakley’s Edge Shield visor.

When Seahawks star receiver Doug Baldwin saw that visor, he wanted to know how quickly he could get one. Several teammates were quick to respond to similar queries, although only six players currently wear the Edge Shield.

“The Zero1 is compatible with all visors, but to get the wide field of view that players want, many current visors don’t reach all the way around to do it,” says Marver. “We went to Oakley and they offered it.

“The idea is to offer the best possible equipment in terms of performance, protection and comfort.

Oakley has indeed launched its own helmets for snow sports and is in the process of doing so for cycling. This is how the company learned about VICIS. That Oakley can design a visor with improved field of view and contrast for a quick marriage.

Historically, however, there have been too many underperforming visors, especially for football and hockey.

How often do fans see NHL players using towels to wipe moisture or condensation – or just fog – from their visors?

Although NHL rules have limited the number of professional hockey players who do not wear a visor, there is no doubt that a puck or stick in the face can be much more damaging than what normally occurs on a face shield. football field.

“Vision is a key factor in your performance and I think there is a lack of recognition of the effect that poor optics can have on your performance,” says Ryan Saylor, vice president of advanced product development at Oakley.

“Our larger goal as a brand is to promote safety and performance. My personal belief is really based on conversations we’ve had before, through athletes recognizing that they can have a level of production associated with a level of comfort and performance. So they wouldn’t want to go out into the field without that kind of protection.

While the Edge Shield visor is only available with the Zero1 helmet, its retail price is between $ 90 and $ 125. The cost of the VICIS headset, however, is $ 1,500.

It shouldn’t make an NFL player think twice, but it may limit his appeal to certain colleges and, in particular, youth sports.

But Marver says his company has started taking reservations from parents and grandparents of high school players for smaller, lighter helmets that cost less next year.

“We took the more difficult path, starting with the elite athletes,” admits Marver. “We had to establish our credibility, and the test results helped us do that. We started off with a blank sheet of paper, with a mix of experts involved.

“We spent three years working with the NFL and the NFLPA and the teams. We had to ask a lot of questions and do a lot of listening. The most valuable contribution was made by those responsible for the equipment. They do this every day.

“We see ourselves as a catalyst in the industry. We hope to raise the level of discourse in the industry.

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