This post is part of a series of interview questions we conducted with Bauer Hockey. Throughout the month of May, we’ll be adding new interviews related to newly released or upcoming Bauer Hockey gear.
Bauer Hockey is preparing for the release of their new helmet, the RE-AKT, on May 15th. Thus far, all signs point to another successful product launch for the kings of hockey gear. If you’ve been on the fence about the Bauer RE-AKT helmet – which has been worn by players such as Alexander Ovechkin, Claude Giroux, and Steven Stamkos – or have been looking to learn more about it, look no further. Below is a transcript of a few questions we had for Lauren Ostrom, Global Brand Manager at Bauer Hockey, along with the insightful responses.
Hockey World Blog: How long has the helmet been in development? What kind of research went into developing the BAUER RE-AKT helmet?
Bauer Hockey: The BAUER RE-AKT helmet has been in development for more than two years. Over that time, Bauer Hockey utilized the latest biomechanical and medical research to better understand the factors that contribute to head injuries. As the leader in helmet technology with more than 84-years of experience in developing hockey equipment, BAUER has been focused on developing a revolutionary helmet grounded in science to help protect those who play the sport.
HWB: What goals did you have in mind when you set out to develop the BAUER RE-AKT?
Bauer: Our goal was to create the first hockey helmet designed to manage rotational impact forces and provide protection against the multiple types of hits in hockey. The RE-AKT helmet features BAUER’s proprietary SUSPEND-TECH liner, which allows the helmet to move independently from the head during angular impacts to help better manage rotational forces. The SUSPEND-TECH liner as well as strategically placed foam pads in the RE-AKT helmet are made of exclusive PORON® XRD™ Extreme Impact Protection, a super-lightweight pliable material with the ability to dissipate extreme force impacts. The free-floating stretchable liner moves independently from the rest of the helmet, thereby better managing rotational forces. The RE-AKT helmet also features Vertex foam, a proprietary BAUER foam that provides enhanced impact management compare to traditional EPP foams found in most hockey helmets.
HWB: Did Bauer work with any doctors or industry experts to better understand what causes concussions to help them determine what types of protection needs to be included in the helmet to help prevent this type of injury?
Bauer: The Bauer Safety Panel allows us to connect with leaders of the medical community like Dr. Mark Lovell, founding director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Sports Medicine Concussion Program. Formed in 2010, the panel was initiated in an effort to strengthen communication surrounding safety issues such as concussion awareness and management, and injury prevention. The safety panel also includes representatives from Bauer Hockey, USA Hockey and Hockey Canada.
HWB: How does this new technology prevent concussions and head injuries better than older technology, or even compared to what other companies are currently doing with their helmets?
Bauer: No helmet will fully prevent concussions. That said, more and more research studies have indicated that rotational force impacts play a significant role in head injuries and the BAUER RE-AKT helmet is the first and only hockey helmet designed to specifically manage rotational forces, as well as the multiple types of hits normally sustained during the course of a hockey game.
HWB: How do you test a product like this (you can’t exactly put it on someone and run them head first into brick walls…)?
Bauer: Extensive lab testing was conducted both within Bauer Hockey and by third-party, independent labs. In addition, we leveraged our formal wear test team to conduct comprehensive on-ice testing.
HWB: Do you think helmet technology can eventually prevent concussions, or do you believe the game will have to be adjusted to limit the types of plays that cause them?
Bauer: The more we learn about concussions – as research is released by the medical community – the better we can manage head trauma on the ice through equipment innovation. The greater the awareness, the more data available, the more we’re able to do to address these issues. Adjusting the equipment only addresses one element in a combination of factors. It’s also about player behavior, awareness and education.
If you have additional questions that you think might be helpful to yourself or other readers, please post them in the comments. We’ll compile a list of the best and have our friends at Bauer follow up with some additional insight on the RE-AKT helmet.
For those interested in grabbing one, they’ll be available from Pure Hockey on May 15th. The helmet will set you back $199.99, or $229.99 with a cage. Keep in mind you’re protecting your brain though, which is priceless. Don’t forget to use the coupon code HOCKEYWORLD while you’re at Pure Hockey to save 10% on select products with your purchase.