Multidirectional Impact Protection System Helmets
For years a helmet's goal was to prevent skull fractures, but designers are now working on ways to fight concussions too.
The Giro Combyn helmet, worn by athletes including U.S. half-pipe-hopeful Gretchen Bleiler and already on the market for consumers, has a vinyl–nitrile liner and a flexible shell designed to withstand the multi-impact falls common in BMX, skateboard, and snowboard events. The materials remain pliable in the cold, transmitting less energy to the brain in the event of a wipeout.
Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal, the Super-G gold medalist in 2010, wears headgear featuring the Multi-directional Impact Protection System available in various brands. The shell has an inner membrane that slides during impact, dissipating the rotational forces unleashed on the head.
Aerial and mogul skiers will use technology designed by HIP-TEC, a company that creates sport-specific liners using data from rotational- and blunt-force crashes.
The tech should be available for consumers this spring.