Xenith disputes findings of helmet study


We noted this week that one helmet maker, Riddell, was urging football players to switch helmets after researchers at Virginia Tech gave one Riddell model a one-star rating and another Riddell model a five-star rating in a study of the effectiveness of football helmets. But another helmet maker, Xenith, has a very different view of the Virginia Tech research.

In a statement provided to PFT, Xenith called into question the methodology of the Virginia Tech researchers and suggested that the use of star ratings for helmets is silly.

“Do not believe any overly simplistic claims, any short story, and do not rely on anyone’s granting of stars,” the statement said. “Stars are for kindergartners.”

The tone of Xenith’s statement is dismissive, and the company clearly questions whether the Virginia Tech researchers were really able to replicate how well helmets protect football players’ brains. Xenith has long questioned the effectiveness of the kind of helmet research that was done by Virginia Tech.

Xenith said its feelings on the research had nothing to do with how Xenith helmets have fared in the testing done at Virginia Tech.

“Although Xenith’s X1 Football Helmet was rated quite ‘well’ (four stars) according to this concept, we’re actually opposed to this process, unmoved by this information, and feel it is most important to provide you with the truth,” the statement said.

So when Xenith doesn’t believe in the research methodology, it’s not surprise that Xenith doesn’t buy into the research results.

22 responses to “Xenith disputes findings of helmet study

  1. So, by telling PFT not to believe overly simplistic claims or short stories, Xenith has proved to PFT a short story with overly simplistic claims to back itself up?

  2. “In a statement provided to PFT, Xenith called into question the methodology of the Virginia Tech researchers and suggested that the use of star ratings for helmets is silly.”


    Methodology is the study of method.

  3. I would have to agree with Xenith, how does one truly simulate brain injury in a dummy.

  4. What truth? Did Xenith provide any actual “truth” while being so dismissive of the research and condescending about stars. Symbolic and numeric rating systems are easy ways for consumers to quickly get a sense of the effectiveness of a product or service. And they’re used by so many industries because they’re popular with the public.

  5. Everyone knows the best way to properly test a helmet it to put it on, and run full speed into a tree.

    Anyone who didn’t do that the first time they got a helmet probably ended up being a placekicker.

    Even the special kids did that when they got their first helmet…..and every day after.

  6. Feel free to tell me I’m doing it the wrong way, but you better show me how to do it the right way. Otherwise who’s to say I’m doing it the wrong way. Sounds like a politician. You are doing it wrong, but I have no idea what I would do.

  7. I have been associated with camps and all-star games the past two years that feature and promote Xenith helmets. One of the main men behind Xenith is a former Ivy League QB who, himself, was a victim of concussions. Later went to med school and then designed this helmet. Helmets are heavier than any other hat I ever have held or worn in over 42 years and more expensive, too. Chin strap is specifically designed for that helmet, and cannot be used on any other helmet. They claim that the shell is good for life and the guts can be adjusted as a head grows, not like Barry Bonds, though, but I do know that some parents have had issues. Don’t know if the helmets have been on the market long enough (2 years) and tested enough to merit serious comparisons to other helmet companies which have been on the market for decades.

  8. Riddell dominates the football equipment and appearel market and this is no more than an attempt to get more NFLer’s to promote their gear.

    Smaller, more adaptive competition is trying hard to take a piece of the huge pie Riddell has gorged on for many years. This is simply an attempt to maintain their market share.

    As an equipment buyer I can say there are alternatives to Riddell which are just as safe and not as costly (Xenith being on of them).

  9. leftcoastnative: Does the extra weight transfer into greater power on collision contact? Do all the players on the field wear them?

  10. Football is hazardous to the brain as it is currently played. The evidence is overwhelming at this point that a substantial portion of players, if not an outright majority, suffer from extreme trauma to the brain after they have been playing for a period of years.

    Xenith is like Big Tobacco in the 60’s. They’re in total denial mode and hoping that they can whistle by the graveyard on the issue despite the emerging consensus that football as it is currently played is unsafe.

  11. As an equipment buyer I can say there are alternatives to Riddell which are just as safe and not as costly (Xenith being on of them).
    As an athletic director at a high school I have priced the cost difference between Riddell and Xenith and I can buy 2 of Riddells speed helmets to one Xenith. Xenith is crazy expensive. Know what your talking about.

  12. @leftcoastnative …

    According to the article, Xenith’s helmet scored well in the studies. One of Riddell’s helmets scored a 5, Xenith’s a 4, and another of Riddell’s got the lowest score. Xenith is complaining about being ranked at all. That’s probably because the company is billing its product as the safest new helmet when others are as good or better.

  13. iplay4keeps:

    You should probably spend time bringing yourself up to date on the new Xenith offerings as well as other manufacturer’s helmets.

    I’m sure the “free” lunches you’re enjoying with your Riddell Rep are a great perk but do some research so YOU know what you’re talking about. (btw, if you are an AD, try dropping in on an english class on campus).

  14. BeastofEden – Where did you go to college?

    You fixated on three individuals…Two of whom came from the same family/upbringing and one of whom suffered from immense mental illness.

    Good call. You’ve somehow brilliantly proven that a professor at Virginia Tech who has a PhD from the University of Virginia, an MS from UConn, and his BS from Tennessee can’t possibly be intelligent enough to lead this study.

    FYI – VT is ranked in the TOP 70 OF US INSTITUTIONS…Top 30 for public schools…A top 15 Engineering school (where the professor in question works). A top 50 business school.

    If you really think your quip made sense, then I’m sure your mother was very proud of you when you got your degree from Devry in the mail.

  15. iplayforkeeps – check your prices again.

    I believe Riddell Revo Speeds are selling for between $225 and $250. The Xenith X1 is selling for $299 for teams.

    The new Xenith X2 is selling for $199 for teams.

  16. We are paying 325 to 350 for 2 Speed helmets(depending on how many we purchase), and 300 for the x1. The x2 is not comparable to the Speed.

    I personally have never gotten anything free due to the fact it is illegal for an AD to take anything over $5.
    I’m not sure what you mean by stopping by an English class. Is this an essay being graded on a forum. Stay classy

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