Do Football Helmets Expire? How Long Do They Last? –

    When you play a contact sport like soccer, your safety gear is vital. It is extremely important that your equipment, especially your helmet, is fully functional. Since soccer can involve intense physical contact, the helmet is put under a lot of stress. In this article, we are going to explore whether football helmets expire.

    Football helmets have an expiration date. however, some helmets can be recertified and refurbished. they can be recertified for up to 10 years, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.

    Reading: How long are football helmets good for

    Recertification and reconditioning must be performed at least every two years or as directed by the manufacturer. To find out if your helmet can be recertified or not, look for a helmet with a Nocsae label. this label will tell you whether or not it can be recertified and has an expiration date.

    Now that you know football helmets expire, read on to learn more about recertifying and refurbishing your helmets. We’ll also talk more about the reconditioning process, whether you should risk buying a used football helmet, and more.

    A white football helmet on the field, Do Football Helmets Expire? How Long Do They Last?

    what is the difference between recertification and reconditioning?

    Many people use these words interchangeably. however, they are two different things that are usually done together. reconditioning consists of disassembling the hull and reassembling it. recertification, on the other hand, involves testing the helmet through a series of tests to ensure it meets safety standards.

    A red football helmet next to a football left on the field

    After reconditioning a helmet, the helmet will be recertified and a label will be placed on it that marks the date it was recertified. Do not remove these labels as they are important to help you remember when to re-certify and test the validity of your helmet if you need to use your helmet warranty.

    how often should you recondition a football helmet? what does reconditioning entail?

    Before a football helmet can be re-certified, it must be reconditioned. annual reconditioning is recommended to better maintain the equipment. however, you should only recondition it once every two years, or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

    The reconditioning process is extensive and requires disassembling the hull, cleaning it, checking its parts for defects and reassembling it. the facemask, any decals on the helmet, and hardware are removed from the helmet. then the internal parts are removed, inspected and cleaned.

    In some places, the helmet shell is x-rayed to check for weakness or damage. any defective parts will be replaced when the helmet is reassembled.

    After that, the hull is cleaned, polished and reassembled. any decal or paint that needs to be added is applied. once reassembled and painted, it goes to the laboratory to undergo certification tests.

    how often should a football helmet be recertified?

    After your helmet has been inspected and reconditioned, it will be re-certified. Like reconditioning, it must be recertified at least every two years. any helmet that is more than 10 years old may not be accepted for reconditioning or recertification.

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    Before a helmet is reconditioned, it will be tested for a performance benchmark. once reconditioned, it will undergo these same tests to ensure that the reconditioning improved the hull. the nts blog goes into more detail about what safety standards the helmets meet, as well as the rigorous testing that goes into them.

    The main test is a drop test, which is designed to simulate helmet-to-helmet impacts. During this test, the helmet is carried to a height of 60 inches and dropped onto a steel anvil with a rubber pad. they test different speeds, locations and temperatures.

    Each helmet is tested with a total of 29 different impacts before moving on to the next test. After the drop test, the pneumatic ram test is performed. A pneumatic impactor, which is an air-powered ram designed by NFL researchers, is used to test the helmet with impacts at nearly 65 feet per second. it is used to test impacts that the drop test cannot, such as those from the front and top of the helmet.

    After passing the test, a new recertification tag is affixed indicating when the helmet was recertified and the company that performed the recertification.

    can i recertify and refurbish my own hull?

    No, you must have your helmet recertified and refurbished by a company authorized by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Sports Equipment. you want to find a company that is a member of naera (national association of sports equipment refurbishers) because they are licensed by nocsae.

    The naera website has a map that allows users to search for the closest company that can recertify their helmets. you can also send your helmet to some manufacturers for inspection. the process costs between $30 and $40 per helmet.

    how long does reconditioning and recertification take?

    It may take up to a month for the recertification company to retrieve the helmet. so make sure you have another helmet to wear during games or do it between seasons.

    why should I recondition and recertify my helmet?

    Two football players tackling each other on the ball

    many manufacturing companies require you to re-certify your helmet to maintain the helmet warranty. This is because it is essential that your helmet is properly cared for.

    The constant physical contact and helmet-to-helmet action that occurs during a soccer game requires your gear to be in excellent condition. it also means that your helmet takes a lot of wear and tear throughout the season. impacts can weaken the frame or damage critical parts, possibly leading to injury.

    For this reason, it is extremely important that you recondition and recertify your helmet. In addition, if you are injured while wearing your helmet, your helmet warranty will be in effect as long as you meet all of the warranty requirements. recertification is usually one of these requirements.

    how long do riddell helmets last?

    riddell is one of the best known manufacturers of football helmets. Riddell helmets have a 10-year shelf life and must be reconditioned every two years to keep the warranty intact.

    once a helmet reaches the 10 year mark, the refurbisher has to destroy the helmet and return the shell to prove it was destroyed. this ensures that all of your hooves remain strong.

    how long does a schutt sports helmet last?

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    unlike riddell, schutt sports doesn’t put a time limit on their helmets. instead, they base the service life on the condition of the hull. the helmet is good if the shell is intact, without damage and all parts are working. In general, with proper care and depending on the model, Schutt helmets can last from 12 to 16 years.

    Should I buy a used football helmet?

    A cracked and used football helmet inside the locker room

    When shopping for a football helmet, it might seem like a good idea to buy a used one because you’ll save money. however, you should be careful when purchasing a helmet that has been used. if it’s old or hasn’t been reconditioned, it can fail and cause injury.

    It is better to buy a new helmet than an old one because the new ones will be up to standard and have a guarantee. used helmets may be damaged or out of warranty. When purchasing a used helmet, check the recertification label to see how long it has been since it was reconditioned. if it’s been more than 2 years, you probably want to give up that helmet.

    If the helmet was used carefully and is fairly new, it might be okay to wear it. just be aware that used helmets do not promise safety in the same way as new ones.

    why isn’t it useful to add more padding to football helmets?

    Many people think that more padding equals more security. however, with football helmets, that is not the case. Many people wonder why football helmets don’t have padding on the outside of the shell.

    The answer is that putting padding on the outside of helmets would be dangerous. the padding would grab the other helmet on contact. As a result, players would receive more rotational injuries, especially to the spine and neck.

    how often are nfl helmets replaced?

    nfl helmets are replaced as needed. every week, the helmets are sent to be x-rayed and checked for damage. if a helmet becomes unsafe, it is replaced.

    since 2013, the nfl had a one helmet per season rule. this caused helmets to break and minimized the risks of ill-fitting helmets. however, in 2022, teams will be able to add a second helmet if they wish. cbs sports has an interesting article that talks more about this policy change.

    final thoughts

    Football helmets have an expiration date. however, by keeping them recertified and refurbished, you can extend their use. each manufacturer has its own recertification requirements, but generally, you must recertify every two years.

    Because different manufacturers have different shelf lives, make sure you know what your helmet manufacturer requires. If you found this article informative, please refer to the following links to explore this blog:

    Does painting a football helmet void the warranty?

    How often should a football helmet be reconditioned?

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