This month CCM Hockey launches the Resistance helmet, one of the most innovative ice hockey helmets on the market today. The Resistance was years in development, but it’s more than just another product launch. It’s a product that speaks to a growing issue facing the sport and the obligation we have as a brand to help lead the sport forward.
Safety, particularly in the area of head injuries, is a hot topic in sports today as concussion awareness is at an all-time high across all levels of play. Lawsuits, injuries to high-profile athletes and an increasing appetite for public awareness has pushed this topic into the spot light.
Hockey is arguably one of the fastest games on earth and player safety is a major concern for all stakeholders in the game. Parents want their kids to be protected. Coaches, trainers and team owners want to prevent injuries. The player’s themselves don’t want to miss any games but don’t want to feel restricted in their gear. The challenge in developing new equipment is to continuously improve the safety aspect of the product without sacrificing any of the performance.
Safety concerns as a boost for innovation
In Montreal, Canada, the research and development team for CCM-Reebok Hockey is challenged to innovate and bring new technologies to solve these issues. The engineering group feels that the best way to improve equipment is to better understand the mechanisms that cause injury. Published medical journals and partnerships with research universities has provided the development team with insights that go beyond traditional engineering and material testing.
A published study on injuries in the NHL follows 197 documented medical concussions over a 3.5 year period. This study used video to look at every incident to determine the cause of injury. The helmet development team then used this information to pin point areas in the helmet that needed improvement.
The Neurotrauma Impact laboratory at the University of Ottawa, Canada, specializes in recreating game situations in the lab to model the stress and strain that occurs on the brain when a head is impacted. Access to this facility has proven groundbreaking in the development of an engineered liner that will better manage both the linear and rotational accelerations that occur upon impact.
The advanced testing system at the Neurotrauma Impact laboratory also allows the protective team to measure how different material configurations can better protect. Rate sensitive foams and new processes are improving how energy is absorbed upon impact. Better educating ourselves will lead to the development of materials that focus on protecting both the player giving a hit and the player receiving a hit.
The helmet at the center of innovation
Since our partnership with the Neurotrauma Impact laboratory at the University of Ottawa began in 2011, one of the key priorities for our team was to create a more protective helmet. The new CCM Resistance helmet is the perfect example of a product that combines the all learnings we’ve acquired to date, and is truly a game changing product for CCM-Reebok Hockey and the sport.
The shell of the Resistance was designed to build on the pro success of the former CCM helmet. Although “passing the mirror test” is important, the true innovation lies in the unique wrapping adjustment system that allowed the engineers to create greater offset at the side of the head – improving protection at a more sensitive location.
Upon impact, a head will have a linear and a rotational component to its movement. The Resistance helmet is designed to manage both the linear and rotational accelerations that could occur in the game of hockey.
The Resistance helmet features a revolutionary new liner made up of the R.E.D. (Rotational Energy Dampening) system and new impact pods. The R.E.D. system is a series of liquid filled bladders that help manage the rotational aspects of hockey hits. It’s unique in the way it manages rotational accelerations by creating a decoupling between the shell and the liner. The bladders help “resist” the spin action of the shell. The impact pods are an engineered structure that combines EPP molded foams and plastic shock absorbers to help manage the linear aspects of a hockey hit. When combining two technologies, this revolutionary liner was engineered to put technology to the service of player safety.
The Resistance face mask has “dampening” zones at the top clips and the J-Clips. These “zones” help absorb some of the energy when receiving a hit in the face.
http://ccmhockey.com/ features videos and insights into the development of the new RESISTANCE helmet.
At CCM-Reebok Hockey, our ultimate goal is to provide athletes with the best performing gear, and player protection and safety is a big part of that. Improving player protection keeps hockey players enrolled in the game and safe on the ice.