By Dan Guttenplan, FNF Coaches Managing Editor
Riddell has consistently attempted to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to player safety. By 2020, the company plans to have position-specific helmets, and by 2022, instrumented fully personalized head gear.
A Helmet Built for Performance and Protection
Riddell introduced its most innovative helmet to date in 2014, the Riddell SpeedFlex helmet. It was the first helmet designed with flexible shell technology.
The goal of Riddell’s design team was to create a helmet with fully integrated components and innovations for peak athlete performance and state-of-the-art protection. The SpeedFlex was created with the wants and needs of players, coaches, equipment managers and athletic trainers in mind.
Notably, the Flex System is engineered into the helmet’s shell, face mask and face mask attachment with hinge clips that help reduce the impact force transfer to the athlete. The Tru-Curve Liner System allows the helmet to conform to the contours of a player’s head, while the Composite Energy Management System absorbs impact energy. The All-Points Quick Release enables trainers to disengage the face mask with the simple press of a button. The Ratchet-Loc Retention System designs the chin strap to help players secure proper fit each time they strap up.
“We collected data and used it to improve the way we make helmets,” said Thad Ide, Riddell’s Senior Vice President of Research and Product Development. “The SpeedFlex is a culmination of a lot of design work and features that take into account all of the constituents that would come into contact with a helmet – from the player and coach to parents, athletic trainers and medical staff.”
Train to Identify Concussions
New in 2018, Riddell is offering a training tool for coaches who are looking for more information on identifying concussions.
Riddell InSite Training Tool (ITT) uses a sabermetric approach to athlete protection. ITT is a web-based data center that is simple to use and rich with information the coach may use to identify opportunities to proactively influence player behavior through training techniques and practice plans and move their program and athletes forward.
Incorporate your practice plan to gain a greater understanding of when your athletes may be subject to head impact exposure. InSite Training Tool is a web-based tool that can be accessed by sideline staff at home or on the road.
How InSite Alerting Works
Impact: An impact occurs, and the Player Unit five-zone sensor pad quantifies the impact.
Analyze: The instrumented helmet evaluates whether the hit is above the threshold levels.
Transmit: If an impact or sequence of impacts exceeds a predetermined threshold, an alert is transmitted wirelessly from the Player Unit to the Alert Monitor.
Alert: The Alert Monitor notifies sideline staff of the impact by player name and number.
Act: Utilize actionable information during practices and games.
A Customized Helmet Fitting Process
Riddell Precision-Fit is a process that utilizes 3D scanning techniques to build a completely custom-fitting helmet for the individual player. The technology has resulted in improved sight lines, personalized comfort, and contoured padding.
By going through a detailed fitting process, Riddell strives to create a personal relationship between the player and helmet.
The Precision-Fit process has seven steps:
Step 1: The athlete chooses a Riddell helmet platform – either Riddell Speed or Riddell Speedflex.
Step 2: Using a state-of-the-art scanning process, Riddell captures the detailed size and surface of the athlete’s head.
Step 3: 3D files are imported, analyzed, refined and precisely oriented to the athlete’s specifications by Riddell’s engineering team.
Step 4: Player specific liners are generated.
Step 5: The player’s helmet liner system is precision-crafted using the individual’s personalized molds, complete with player name and signature.
Step 6: Once completed, the liner system is used to complete the player’s helmet – further customized with his choice of face mask, accessories and team decoration.
Step 7: The complete helmet is certified and shipped to the athlete and is ready for competition.