The Boston Globe this week wrote about the invention of the Xenith helmet. It’s the brainchild of Vin Ferrera, who came up with the idea after watching hockey star Eric Lindros receive too many of the concussions he was famous for sustaining.
The result is Xenith LLC, a company Ferrara started to make high-tech helmets to minimize the possibility of concussions in football players. Conventional helmets rely on foam padding, but Ferrara came up with the idea of packing the inside of the helmet with air-filled disc-shaped pads that act as shock absorbers. When the helmet is struck, the shock absorbers compress and release air, and then quickly reinflate. This has the effect of deflecting energy away from a player’s skull.
Ferrera already has one convert: New England Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty.
“In this helmet, I haven’t even had a headache or anything from a couple of big hits that I had during the season,” said New England Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty, one of some two dozen NFL players who wear the Xeniths.
– Bill Bradley, contributing editor