VICIS, a new-age football helmet startup backed by players like Aaron Rodgers, Jerry Rice, and Roger Staubach, has just raised another $28.5m, as concern mounts over the negative long-term effects of “going long.”
In tandem, the company has also launched the Zero1 Youth, adapted from their flagship adult helmet, the Zero1 and the first-ever football helmet made specifically for kids.
Wait… what have peewees been wearing this whole time?
Until now, kids’ football helmets have just been shrunken versions of adult dome knockers — and, if you’ve ever watched a 6-year-old in oversized football pads stumble downfield like a human bobblehead, you’ve probably wondered if those helmets are actually doing their job.
Now, with 2m kids playing youth football in the US, and new studies showing players who play tackle football before age 12 develop symptoms of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) far earlier in their sports careers, safety is a top concern for parents and health professionals alike.
Softer, better, faster, stronger?
VICIS’ helmets (or “head shields” as they describe them) use a softer outer shell, along with several protective layers to prevent concussions and other injuries.
How legit is it? Well, VICIS recently signed deals with the Army and Marine Corps for a combat-ready version of their tech. So, pretty legit.
But, the price of a safe noggin ain’t cheap: VICIS’ adult helmets retail at $950, and their youth helmet will set you back $495 — or 275 Lunchables.