Roller derby and Hockey . . . if you break it down they are really quite similar in movement and impact. Why hasn’t the question come up before? One word: Ugly. Hockey Helmets just aren’t cute, they look funny on heads with hair, the Roller derby helmet covers don’t fit on them properly. They just don’t look good! Now that the pink elephant is out and no longer being stared at in the room but not mentioned, this is why despite the look, a hockey Helmet is just plain better.
The types of helmets recommended for Roller derby by Paris kills will always be a Multi impact helmet. The following link is a chart of helmet recommendations for various sports.
The one that this author thought was the best one out there, and has recommended the most was the Triple 8 Brain saver helmet. It has a multi impact liner and after a few major head hits without concussions was definitely derby approved. However, the end of June brought the East Coast Extravaganza (ECDX) to Feasterville, PA where not only do you get 21 games of derby plus various challenge bouts with athletes from across the nation, you get to see all the new derby products out there as well. During this ECDX the product in abundance were Hockey Helmets and pro tech mouthguards (my next topic) . They were on display at the various vendors and on many of the players from the Windy City Roller girls. This got the discussion going and the wheels turning. Hockey helmets just weren’t on the recommendation list because #1 they were more expensive between 39-69 dollars for one where as a good triple 8 helmet can sell for around 29.99. That 10 bucks or more is vital to a derby girl these days. Of course, #2 was the ugly factor. Research was done by yours truly though, because an ugly helmet shouldn’t prevent a recommendation especially if it was indeed better, which they are.
Hockey Helmets have a hard plastic shell and an EPP liner affixed with glue. Hockey helmets pass HECC standards and are not tested by the CPSC. The protective liner is made of EPP or expanded poly-propylene. This type of foam is more responsive and bounces back to it’s original condition unlike the multi impact helmets currently used in derby.
Hockey helmets are designed and tested for multiple impacts over time. These helmets are tested by dropping them 3 different times in the same location, and repeating this test in several locations. Hockey helmets should be replaced when they are showing signs of wear, i.e. cracked shell, padding becoming unglued or upon their expiration date which is usually 6 1/2 years after testing. WIth Triple 8 brain savers, they should be replaced when they show signs of wear and after about 1 major impact or several minor. The main replacement on a Triple 8 brain saver helmet however, is usually just the insertation of a new liner unless the actual shell is compromised.
Hockey helmets are held to the ASTM F1045 rating which is a more rigorous standard than F1492. The testing used on Hockey Helmets is described at this site: http://www.hecc.net/prodtest.html
The plates in the helmet adjust for a more accurate fit which just adds to the protection it gives you.
The next helmet for the head of Paris kills will be a hockey helmet, though it will probably be this type of helmet: the Nutcase Helmet.
Nutcase helmets are multiple impact helmets with the same EPP liner as a Hockey Helmet. The Nutcase helmet comes with an injection-molded ABS shell, Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) protective inner foam for high impact and multiple impact protection, three sets of removable low-density polyurethane foam insert liners for comfort and for refining fit, an anti-pinch, Magnetic Buckle for one-hand operation, 360 degree reflectivity in front, back and side Nutcase logos and it comes in two sizes: S/M (48 cm-54 cm) and L/XL (55 cm to 61 cm). For more information on Nutcase helmets go here: http://store.nutcasestore.com/crossover.html
Nutcase helmets look like traditional triple 8/roller derby helmets with all the benefits of a hockey helmet. This helmet sounds like a win win,especially for those swayed by the ugly factor.
Local places to buy a Hockey helmet are the following for all those Richmond VA Readers:
http://www.sportsgearva.com/ which is in association with the Shooters Indoor sportsplex in Midlothian VA