Skiing is one of the most popular sports in the world with 135 million people skiing year. Skiers and snowboarders travel at an average speed of 60km/h with experts often traveling well over 100km/h.
In a sport where participants travel as fast as a car and can fly up to ten meters in the air with only a helmet for protection there is no discourse around head injuries in the sport. While much smaller sports such as rugby with only 9 million players take steps to raise awareness and protect their players snow sports still turns a blind eye to the epidemic.
Helmets are hugely popular in snow sports with 85% of skiers and snowboarders wearing helmets, for a total of 114 million snow sport participants wearing helmets. Of this 114 million roughly 65 million will rent a helmet when they ski.
Helmet usage is so high, yet concussion is still the most common injury in skiing accounting for 35% of all injuries. Concussion is a functional brain injury; it changes the brain on a chemical level resulting in an inability for the brain operate as normal. Repeated concussions have been shown to cause lifelong detrimental effects changing how the sufferer’s brain will operate forever. Recent research has shown that the predominant injury mechanism for concussion is rotational force. Rotational forces are caused when the head twists resulting in the brain spinning, this spinning motion causes the brain to twist and tear compounding the effects of concussion.
While helmets are very effective at prevent skull fractures and reducing linear impacts, they have been shown to be completely ineffective at reducing rotational forces. The rigid design of standard helmets allows them to absorb large amounts of energy when impacted linearly but prevents them from absorbing any energy when impacted obliquely. New helmets have become available on the market with improved designs that reduce the rotational forces during oblique impacts. But these helmets are not available to the 65 million skiers and snowboarders that rent helmets every year. Rotational force mitigation helmets are expensive and are not available in the rental market leaving 65 million skiers with little protection from concussion
Halo changes this, Halo is a rotational force mitigation system that can be retrofitted to any helmet to instantly improve the helmet ability to prevent concussion. Halo is a 3mm thick low friction cap that can be stretched over a user’s helmet. Once attached Halo provides a protective low friction barrier to the helmet deflecting dangerous oblique impacts that would otherwise cause concussion.