**UPDATE: The CCM Resistance is now shipping! Click here to get yours.
For the past few years, Bauer has been the market leader in high-end, highly advanced hockey helmets. The Re-Akt was released in 2012 and marked the first time a company designed a helmet to manage the variety of impacts that occur during the course of a hockey game. On June 27th, with the release of the CCM Resistance helmet, people in the market for these highly protective helmets will have a new option.
CCM spent the past several years researching hockey hits and impacts. By recreating and examining hits from NHL and other high-level games CCM was able to find out why certain types of hits caused injuries while others did not. These tests measured impact force, speed, direction and contact point to determine what areas needed the most protection.
The Most Protective Hockey Helmets
As recently as a few years ago if you asked people whether their helmet protects against rotational acceleration they would stare at you like you were speaking gibberish. “My Bauer 4500 is good enough,” or “I’m sure my CCM V08 has all the protection I need,” would probably have been common responses. Maybe depending on the level you are playing, that is true, but those helmets are slowly disappearing from rinks.
Rotational accelerations to a player’s head are one type of impact that can occur during a hockey game. They create a spinning effect similar to the way that whiplash does and can be extremely damaging to a player’s brain. Only a limited number of past helmets were capable of protecting against this type of impact. The CCM Resistance is the newest among them, as it features the all-new R.E.D. system.
The Resistance Helmet’s R.E.D. System
CCM designed the R.E.D. (Rotational Energy Dampening) System based on studies conducted in cooperation with Oblique Technology and the University of Ottawa’s Neurotrauma Impact Science Laboratory. The R.E.D. System is a series of liquid-filled bladders that sit between the the outer plastic helmet shell and the inner liner of the helmet that touches a player’s head.
These bladders work to reduce rotational acceleration when a player takes a hit to the side of the head or at an angle. When the head begins to spin, the liquid filled bladder resists and slows the acceleration.
Resistance Helmet Impact Pods and Engineered Liner
Linear acceleration is also extremely common in hockey. This type of acceleration occurs when a player is hit straight on. Almost all helmets are designed to manage this common type of impact, although some do a better job than others. To protect against linear acceleration the CCM Resistance helmet features new Impact Pods paired and an Engineered Liner.
The Impact Pods in the Resistance helmet combine a plastic shock-absorbing cup with EPP (Expanded Polypropelene) foam inside. EPP foam is found in many modern helmets, and is superb at managing and dispersing the energy from impacts. On the outside of the shock-absorber there is a soft pad to increase the comfort of the helmet. When impacts occur the Impact Pods compress and expand to absorb and disperse the energy efficiently, thereby reducing trauma. Each pod inside the Resistance Helmet varies in size to compensate for the needs of particular areas of the head to optimize overall protection.
The Engineered Liner, new from CCM, has significant protective advantages as it was designed specifically for protective needs. I know you’re asking “Aren’t all helmets engineered for protection needs?” The short answer is, sort of. Most helmet liners are a cut piece of soft VN foam – like you would find in the 4500 or V08 – or molded EPP foam – like the V10, IMS 9.0 or 11K. These liners are a single layer and usually are the same thickness throughout the entire helmet. By targeting specific areas and tailoring the liner protection CCM was able to minimize the total amount of foam, reducing weight and increasing airflow.
Wearing and Fitting The CCM Resistance Helmet
One of the most often overlooked protective aspects is the helmet adjustment system. To put it simply, unless the helmet fits properly, it will not be able to protect you. The CCM Resistance features a simple, one-step adjustment system at the back of the helmet. Moving the adjustment around to the back of the helmet allows for additional protection on the side of the head without adding bulk. This new tool-free adjustment system enables you to open or close your helmet to the proper size with ease, even while it is on your head. Don’t worry, the closure system is secure and will not open unexpectedly during play.
The CCM Resistance certainly has impressive safety features, but to a lot of people it has to look good in order for them to wear it. There are no worries about style here, as CCM streamlined the shape of the Resistance helmet to not only maximize the effectiveness of the R.E.D. System, but also to give you the pro-preferred look that will make these helmets fly off the shelves.
We can’t say which brand’s high end helmet will be the best with any certainty, but we can say that two companies pushing to create the best product available will only lead to more protective helmets and a safer sport. The CCM Resistance Helmet is now shipping!