Football Helmet

Case Study



Create a groundbreaking split-shell design consisting of an exterior upper and lower shell and an inner shell suspension system while still keeping the overall size, weight and aesthetics of the helmet competitive to existing helmets in the marketplace.


The NFL & Duke University recognized the HitGard split-shell helmet technology as "an innovation which has the potential to improve sports safety".  HitGard brand was awarded 178k funding and support for continued design advancements from the NFL Head Health Tech Challenge II program

How It Works

The exterior upper and lower shells are connected by high-impact absorbing struts. Upon impact, the upper shell can move independently of the head, thus absorbing/dispersing direct impact forces before the energy is transmitted to the head.


The inner shell suspension system is anchored to the exterior lower shell with high-impact absorbing materials. The player's head is fitted inside the inner shell which is surrounded by an air void and thus is independent from direct impact energy to the upper shell.

Upper shell withstands and absorbs both linear and oblique impacts


absorbing struts move independently

Lower shell anchored to inner shell with high impact absorbing material.

Inner shell suspended inside air void


The Hitgard brand was in need of a total redesign. This new re-imagined helmet has redefined the helmet

from "odd looking" to technically advanced.  The brand was elevated from invention to a competitive player in the helmet marketplace that was remarkable enough to catch the attention of the NFL.



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