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Hockey Helmet Fitting
By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing
In recent years, it has become increasingly evident how devastating head injuries can be in hockey or any sport. Most players and parents are more aware than ever of the dangers of concussions in the game of hockey. The first thing to know is that there is no such thing as a perfect or totally injury-proof helmet - they unfortunately do not exist.
Hockey is a contact sport and the risk is always present. In the past few years however, hockey helmet technology has drastically improved and players are more protected than ever before. Although, like any other item of protective equipment, there is a hierarchy of models. This is why our employees and all of us at Pure Hockey will always work with our customers to find the best helmet for each individual player.??Helmet manufacturers work tirelessly and dedicate an astounding amount of money in research & development to eliminate weight, increase protection, and add comfort to new hockey helmets.
There are a lot of things that need to be kept in mind when shopping for a helmet. The top priority needs to be fit. No matter how expensive, technologically advanced or protective the helmet model is, if the one on you head doesn’t fit correctly, it wont be protective. This is why our employees and all of us at Pure Hockey will always work with our customers to find the best helmet for each individual player.
Continuing on fit, it’s not just the helmet that requires proper fitting. You also need to make sure the cage properly fits and the chin cup needs to be securely and snuggly strapped against your chin. This ensures that the helmet stays in place. If the cage won’t close all the way to your chin and you get hit, it forces the helmet to displace. So you always want to double check that the cage, as well as the helmet, fits properly. Note that when purchasing a helmet and cage, a player who is a medium helmet is not always guaranteed to be in a medium cage. This can be true even when buying a combo helmet, so always be sure to have both the cage and helmet properly fit.
The next thing to think about is the level and frequency of play. You always want to be aware of how often, and at what level of competition you or your child plays. A Mite does not have the same protection and performance needs as a college or pro player (Trust us, a $200 hockey helmet isn’t going to be the difference between a 6 year-old making it to the NHL or not). That being said, non-checking levels still carry a level of risk for head injury, falling down, hitting the boards or simply accidentally bumping into other players.
A major thing to think about is price. As mentioned earlier, the most expensive helmet does not always translate to the best helmet for a particular individual. Now that I’ve said that, consider how much sense it makes to spend $200-$250 on a stick and $600-$800 on skates and then try to save some money by only spending $60 on a helmet? The helmet is the thing that protects your head, your most important and fragile body part. Where do your legs and your arms get their neural messages about what to do - from your head. If your head isn’t protected or functioning optimally, what good is the most expensive skates and stick? Get the helmet that fits, is comfortable and provides adequate protection for the level of hockey you are playing.
Another tip is to be sure you always wear (and not chew the side of) a properly fitted and molded mouthguard. These will help keep you safer during the game and help reduce the risk of injury.
Getting The Right Fit...
Unlike most other pieces of equipment, for the most part, helmets have a single run of sizes. For example, hockey helmets have Small, Medium, Large or Extra Large. Almost all hockey helmets on the market today have some form of size adjustment. Generally speaking, most helmet sizes run right into the next. So a Small helmet, expanded to its biggest adjustment, will be very similar in size to a Medium helmet (of the same model), closed down to its smallest adjustment.?The simplest way to fit a helmet is to first estimate the correct size, expand it as large as it will adjust to, and place it on your head. Slowly adjustment the helmet smaller until it is snug on your head. The helmet should be snug and should not move around, but not too tight to make it uncomfortable. Be sure the helmet does not move around when you move your head. You will also want to wear the helmet for a few minutes to be sure there are no pains or pressure points on your head. Once you have the helmet snug, secure and comfortable, you’re ready to skate.
The next step is to go over some of the helmet models, and some of their features and benefits.
This helmet is a technological marvel as far as hockey helmets go. It is designed with rotational force management in mind. The SUSPEND-TECH liner is a free-floating liner which enhances protection and comfort. The central, tool-free adjustment system makes it simple, quick and easy to adjust on the fly. Memory foam pads in the temple provide a snug and comfortable fit. The Vertex foam from Bauer is lighter and more impact absorbent than traditional EPP foam. PORON XRD foam added in strategic places, adds comfort, by molding to your head, and adds a layer of excellent impact protection. It was also designed with looks in mind, resulting in a much sleeker, lower profile look than most comparable top-end helmets. This has been one of our most popular helmets in 2012-13.
One of the more popular upper-echelon helmets on the market. With a unique composite subshell, it is their lightest fully-adjustable helmet. The Micro-Dial II system creates a TRUE 360° fit by wrapping around the head and locking your head in, ensuring minimal movement on impact and maximum protection. The fit clips make it easy to adjust and fit the helmet with no tools needed.
Warrior Krown 360
The Krown 360 offers a comfortable fit that is also arguably the most customized on the market. Warrior’s 4-Play fit system allows the helmet to adjust not only front to back, as most helmets do, but side-to-side as well. This creates a secure, custom fit for even the most oddly shaped heads out there. It is adjusted by a single dial in the back of the helmet to keep fitting easy. The padding of the helmet is layered, EPP foam for lightweight protection from high-energy impacts, IMPAX molded foam for protection against low energy impacts and comfort foam pads add stability and cushioning.
The E700 is an extremely lightweight, one-piece shell helmet. Easton (which owns Bell, Giro, and Riddell) took technologies from their other sports endeavors and applied them to the E700. Full coverage EPP foam provides elite protection while the outer PC shell provides impact durability. The fit system, inspired by Giro, is an elasticized stabilizer piece in the back of the helmet. The stabilizer wraps around the back of your head, creating a snug but pressure-less fit which keeps the helmet from moving on impact. It requires no adjustment, you simply find your size, put it on and it will tighten to your head. The E700 is an extremely comfortable and protective helmet, but it is slightly higher profile in comparison to similar models.
Bauer IMS 9.0
This is an extremely interesting helmet. It combines traditional VN foam comfort, EPP protection and pro-approved styling. The IMS 9.0 shares the same shell design as the Re-Akt, as well as a Vertex foam base, lighter and better impact management than traditional EPP foam. In place of the SUSPEND-TECH liner, there is a thin layer of VN (softer foam, similar to that of the 4500). It has the same tool free, central adjustment, but the occipital lock, which is the piece that locks the helmet down on the back of your head. The IMS 9.0 is also spring loaded instead of self-adjusted and has the memory foam temple pads, as well as PORON XRD for maximum comfort and great impact protection.
The 7K has an aerodynamic shell with ventilation designed for maximum airflow to keep you cool. Plastic insert subshell allows for team color customizations. Fit Clips make the helmet easy to fit, and adjust with no tools on the fly. The base is a flexible, floating EPP floating liner with comfort cushions for great protection and a snug comfortable fit.
A great helmet in terms of protection, the 7500 features triple-density foam layering. A layer of EPP foam for impact absorption keeps the helmet lightweight and the PORON inserts add a layer of protection as well as a more custom fit. In addition, slow memory comfort foam molds to your head and creates a snug fit. The helmet adjusts easily with two tool-free clips on either side of the helmet and the interior of the helmet is treated with MICROBAN antimicrobial protection to resist odor and mildew.
The E600 features many of the features of its sibling, the E700. It has a full coverage EPP foam, and a High Density PE subshell, and a PC shell for impact durability. The E600 features a Giro inspired fit system that wraps around your head, holding the helmet down and giving a comfortable, snug fit. The plush padding inside gives one of the most cushioned, comfortable fits available.
A true classic, the 4500 has been around forever, remaining mostly unchanged. It features a dual density foam setup and a thin layer of slightly denser VN foam, covered by a thicker layer of softer, VN foam. The helmet is adjusted by four screws, two towards the front and two behind the ears. Its great comfort has made it arguably the most popular helmet ever, but the softer foam lacks the impact management of the more advanced EPP foams.
The V08 has an aerodynamic, well-ventilated shell, with smaller temple pillars for an extended field of vision. Dual Density VN foam manages all impact types and provides pro-approved comfort and performance. Easily adjusted with two tool-free clips on either side of the helmet. Another helmet with low-profile, pro-approved styling.
Reebok 3K (COMING SOON)
The Reebok 3K is a great value at the price. Simple tool-free adjustment via the Fit Clips on the sides of the helmets. It has a sleek, low profile design through an aerodynamic, well ventilated shell. The 3K also provides good comfort at a good value.
The 2100 helmet is a good entry-level helmet at a good price. This helmet is featured in our unique Learn-To-Play Package. Dual Density foams provide a comfortable fit and adequate protection for youngsters just learning the game. The helmet is adjusted with four screws, two towards the front and two behind the ears. Great adjustability allows the helmet to grow with your young player and its comfort keeps them happy as they learn the game.
The M104 is a one-size helmet, for those players just getting into the game, great for learn to skate programs, or in-house leagues. A one-piece shell with multiple vents for great airflow, the M104 also features comfort padding to provide a great fit and keeps young players happy as they learn to play.
Have a youngster with more winter interests then just hockey? Then this is a great option. The Bauer Lil’ Sport is very versatile. Lightweight with impact absorbing EPP foam, it is a great helmet for hockey, sledding, skiing, or just about any other activity that requires a helmet.