Our Visit to the 2023 AFCA Convention
For the first time in a long time, we left the GG HQ and went to a trade show! The American Football Coaches Association convention is for coaches and players, and all things football. Check out our video and see how our visit went!
We settled in on Saturday and got ready to meet and chat with lots of awesome people from Sunday, January 8th through Tuesday, January 10th. This show focuses on the development and education of American football coaches needed for certification upkeep. The companies that attend are focused on the needs and protection of a player. Here, the newest and latest technology is presented and connections are made. We talked with pros from great companies and learned a lot about what’s to come for football.
Schutt F7 2.0
We talked with Cord, a design engineer at Schutt about the new technology found in the Schutt F7 2.0 Helmet. This helmet is similar to the existing Schutt F7 Helmet in weight and look, but includes updated interior padding and an inflation point in the rear bumper. The rear air bladder inflates the entire perimeter of the helmet for full protection.
The interior padding still includes tectonic plates but has an updated reflex structure. This interior structure is similar to the Vicis Zero2 Helmet to achieve flexibility through the use of collapsible columns. The Schutt F7 2.0 also includes more adjustability and customization in fit with the use of a stackable pod system. We can’t wait for this helmet to come out to give players the best of the best in technology and protection!
Syzmik Soft Shell Helmets
Steve at Syzmik told us about the benefits of wearing an X7 soft shell helmet or an X7C headband for practice. More and more leagues and teams are requiring coverage during practices, 7-on-7s, and flag football games. These helmets have grown in popularity and become a necessity. Soft shell helmets are being mandated in several leagues and are expected to be mandated nationwide. They are being seen on the field more and more and are keeping athletes safer with up to 78% reduction in brain strain.
Syzmik Soft Shell Helmets are lightweight, molded helmets, available in an assortment of colors. They include an adjustable chin strap for a secure fit. The strap can be attached on the left or right side to accommodate the dominant hand of each player. The inside includes removable pads that are adjustable in size. There is a large opening in the back of the helmet for airflow and can be used by female players to wear a ponytail.
You can check out their website here.
Nick was very enthusiastic to share the technology and benefits of Light Helmets. You can check them out here. The team at Light Helmets loves the game of football and cares about keeping players safe. They design products for the field, not for the lab. These helmets are rated 5 stars on the Virginia Tech safety rating. The excess weight of heavier helmets has contributed to concussions experienced in games. Light Helmets weigh up to 40% less than traditional helmets.
Similar to military combat helmets, Light Helmets consist of a composite shell with a foam liner. The interior foam is closed cell, so it does not absorb heat, sweat, or stench. They are designed to take repeated hits and the liner is intended to rebound. Facemasks for Light Helmets are made of steel or titanium to keep the weight as light as possible.
You might’ve seen players at the Detroit Lions wearing guardian caps on The Hard Knocks! Tony introduced Guardian Caps to us. You can find them on their website here. They are a one-size-fits-all exterior cover that goes over the helmet to reduce about 30% of the impact that occurs during practice. Guardian caps have been mandated by the NFL for positions that take repeated hits, such as linemen and tight ends. Caps for the NFL have an additional 5 ounces of weight for additional protection, but still feel lightweight. They can also be seen in several D1 college football teams and youth programs.
Guardian caps are lightweight and improve the safety of athletes that take hard hits by reducing that impact. They are available in several colors and attach to the helmet easily. It takes just 30 seconds to attach 4 straps around the helmet. Your safety is more important than passing the mirror test. Wearing a Guardian cap significantly increases safety during practice.
Thank you to everyone who came to visit our booth and for keeping up with all things GG! Let us know what we should ask these companies next time or what you want to see.