Safer Helmets to debut in 2017
A new, redesigned football helmet will likely make its way into NFL games this upcoming season.
Vicis, producer of a helmet designed to soften impacts by yielding on contact, reports 25 NFL teams have stocked their shelves with the company’s new helmet and will begin introducing it at practices this spring, according to Kevin J. Ryan of Inc.
The new helmet, called the Zero1, has a softer exterior and an interior layer consisting of “crumple zones” like those found in vehicles. Those zones are intended to absorb energy during collisions.
“We’ve learned a lot about how we could make the helmet better and refine it,” said Dave Marver, CEO of Vicis.
He added, “I’m quite confident you’ll see this on several NFL players this season.”
Richard Sherman, Doug Baldwin, and Alex Smith are among the active players on Vicis’ advisory board.
In NFL lab tests evaluating helmets’ ability to reduce the severity of impacts to the head, the Zero1 performed best of the 33 helmets studied. The league released those results last week.
Riddell and Schutt Sports have long been the industry leaders in helmet sales, accounting for 90 percent of the market, according to Bloomberg’s Bryan Gruley and Peter Robison. Schutt produced five of the helmet models that tested in the NFL’s “top-performing group” of helmets, including Nos. 2 and 3, while Riddell models accounted for four helmets in the category.