Research key when buying a hockey helmet
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.