Advances in Helmet Tech

Were you sickened to see Sidney Crosby suffer yet another concussion in the playoffs on Monday night? Are you among the growing voices wondering how many more times Sid the Kid can come back?

Hockey isn’t the only sport with athletes being affected by concussions, other extreme and high impact sports stars are suffering career ending injuries or serious lifelong health effects from concussions.

We still know relatively little about the brain but increasingly research is showing the long-term health impacts of concussions and brain trauma, especially repeated brain injuries.

More than skull protection

If you’re like me you can still remember the hockey helmet from your childhood. A hard plastic shell with 1/2″ of hard foam that didn’t fit very well. As uncomfortable as that helmet was it did exactly the job it was designed to do: keep your head inside when you wonked it on the ice.

Today’s helmets are doing much more than keeping your head safely inside, helmet manufacturers are taking different approaches to reduce the force of the impact sent through the helmet to your brain.

3 Approaches to Energy Management

Research has shown that most impacts aren’t straight on, they happen at angles and result in rotation of your head and extreme acceleration of your brain during these direction changes. If you’re shopping for helmets you may come across one of these three energy management technologies in helmets:

  • ODS – Omni Directional Suspension
  • MIPS – Multi-Directional Impact Protection System
  • Progressive Layering System

ODS -Omni Directional Suspension

Exclusive to 6D Helmets, ODS has two layers of EPS foam interconnected with isolation dampeners that allows the helmet to absorb and disperse impacts through a wide range of angles and speeds. Find out more about the 6D ODS.

MIPS – Multi-Directional Impact Protection System

Developed by a Swedish scientific/medical research company, MIPS is licensed for use in a number of top helmet brands including: Ansr, Bell, Fly, Fox, Oneal and Troy Lee Designs. MIPS is a low friction layer between the helmet and your head, allowing the helmet to move and disperse rotational forces. Read more about MIPS.

Progressive Layering System

Bell’s approach to energy management is done through a series of layers, each that has its own job. The progressive layers of the helmet are designed to handle the forces of Low, Mid and High speed impacts to disperse energy in an impact to reduce brain trauma. See how PLS works.

Research and development continues with the ultimate goal being a helmet that is able to absorb and disperse the energy from an impact to prevent damage to your brain from G forces and sudden deceleration.