Re­search key when buy­ing a hockey hel­met

The Compass - - SPORTS - Ni­cholas Mercer Ni­cholas Mercer is a re­porter/pho­tog­ra­pher with The Com­pass. He lives in Bay Roberts and can be reached at nmercer@cbn­com­pass.ca.

Do hockey hel­mets pre­vent con­cus­sions?

In today’s age where we know more about the hu­man brain than ever be­fore, that is the mil­lion dol­lar ques­tion be­ing asked by many in this coun­try and around the world. We’ve seen that football hel­mets do very lit­tle from keep­ing a player’s brain from rat­tling around inside the skull.

In­evitably, that ques­tion gets ap­plied to hockey. The CSA sticker on the back of ev­ery hockey hel­met lets you know the piece of equip­ment has passed all of the tests. They’ve been given the rub­ber stamp of ap­proval. But, do they do any­thing? Ac­cord­ing to a 2015 study done by the bio­med­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing depart­ment at Vir­ginia Polytech­nic In­sti­tute and State Univer­sity — Vir­ginia Tech for short — most of the hockey hel­mets that are on the mar­ket do very lit­tle to pre­vent a head in­jury.

The univer­sity took 32 dif­fer­ent hel­mets from some of the big­gest names in the game and tested them. Hel­mets pro­duced by giants like Bauer, War­rior Sports, CCM, Ree­bok, Tour and Eas­ton were put through the wringer and some of them came out the other side look­ing worse than be­fore.

Of those 37 hel­mets, 13 of them re­ceived 0 stars on a fives­tar scale. That means they aren’t rec­om­mended for use.

That’s just un­der half of the hel­mets tested. An­other 17 re­ceived just one star, while six came away with a two-star rat­ing and just one hel­met, a prod­uct of War­rior, got three stars. You can see the brands and re­sults here — http://www.beam.vt.edu/hel­met/hel­met­s_hockey.php.

There were no hel­mets tested that got a four or a five-star rat­ing. The stars rep­re­sent the amount of force to the head the hel­met is able to re­duce. It could mean the dif­fer­ence be­tween an in­jury and a non-in­jury.

They’re re­mark­able and eye-open­ing re­ally.

Con­trary to what you might be­lieve, it’s not al­ways the most ex­pen­sive hel­met that can pre­vent con­cus­sions. Bauer’s Re-Akt 100 goes for some $270 and, ac­cord­ing to the study, re­ceived a one-star rat­ing. That’s lower than the com­pa­nies’ cheap­est hel­met

re­sults — the Bauer 2100 — that re­ceived two-stars. It’s cost is $34.99.

Above all else, hel­mets should be the para­mount piece of equip­ment for any player. Pro­tect­ing the brain is sec­ond to none re­ally, es­pe­cially in light of new re­search and such that links re­peated con­cus­sions to de­pres­sion and other men­tal ill­nesses later in life.

It just seems like com­pa­nies are putting too much stock in their own re­search when maybe they should be look­ing at some­one elses.

A com­pany has to look at the bot­tom­line first. I’m not say­ing these guys are play­ing with chil­dren’s health for the sake of sav­ing a dol­lar, but when com­pa­nies fol­low their own re­search, there are al­ways pos­si­ble com­pli­ca­tions.

Cor­ners get cut and what­not. Again, I’m not try­ing to in­di­cate this is the case here. It’s com­mon­sense re­ally.

Self-ac­count­abil­ity can be a hard thing for a per­son to han­dle.

Hockey is ex­pen­sive enough. We all know that. Reg­is­tra­tion and equip­ment can set a fam­ily back close to $800 a sea­son. That doesn’t count whether a fam­ily en­rolls more than one child in the game.

It’s only nat­u­ral to look for ways to cut costs where you can.

Player safety should be first and fore­most. Re­mem­ber, more ex­pen­sive doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean bet­ter or safer.

Do the re­search. Know what you’re buy­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.