To Buy or Not to Buy?

We frequently encounter folks seeking advice because they are considering buying a "concussion helmet".  First, we take a minor issue with the term "concussion helmet". This term appears to have been promoted by vendors who seek to gain sales. By using this term, their implication is that the new "concussion helmet" is infallible and any other helmet cannot be trusted.  It must be understood that every helmet ever made was designed to protect the player's head from injury, including concussions. It follows then that any helmet, from 1893 onward, could be called a "concussion helmet" making the term meaningless. So, perhaps it would be more appropriate to use the term "new generation helmet". And if a salesman tries to sell you a "concussion helmet", understand that it is a sales tactic calculated to play on your fears.

Football equipment manufacturers are much like any others- every couple of years they market a new design that is supposed to be radically better than their competitors, as well as their own previous designs, and makes everything else obsolete! The same trend can be observed with golf and baseball equipment manufacturers. The manufacturers will often support their claims with statistical evidence that may or may not be independently verified.  That is not to say that claims of better performance/comfort/durability, etc., are necessarily false. Simply put, we think it is best to research for yourself the merits of any helmet you might purchase.

Practicality Matters

Our team inventory of helmets consists primarily of Schutt and Riddell models. In practical terms, this means we are able to support Schutt and Riddell helmets with spare parts.  This is important because players occasionally need replacement jaw pads, buckles, and chinstraps if for no other reason than they simply lose them!

That last point is of particular importance with the advent of the Xenith helmet.  The Xenith helmet first starting gaining prominence in 2009.  Their technology is very different and interesting, and of course they have their research touting performance! A complicating factor, however, is that Xenith is the only helmet sold locally in Santa Rosa. (If you only sell ONE helmet, which helmet do you think is best?!) To be fair, a couple of our players wore a Xenith in 2009 and said they liked them.  But to also be fair, a member of our varsity team broke 3 Xenith chinstraps (1 within a week of use) in 2009. The whole Xenith technology hinges upon their chinstrap design.  It is integrated with the cushioning system and the helmet cannot function without their specially designed (expensive) chinstrap.  We DO NOT stock them in our program and our varsity player was surprised to find that there was no local supply either!  As a preventative measure, he bought 3 when he finally found some and it's good he did because he was down to 1 when the season ended. We don't necessarily wish to criticize Xenith, but we feel that full disclosure is the best policy when it comes to the significant expense of their helmet and the potential problems that can arise.

Below you will find links that will allow you to explore a variety of helmets that we feel comfortable at least showing you. You will also find links to vendors that carry these helmets since they are not available from our local vendors.