The inspiration for S.A.F.E. Clip came in 2014 from Justin Summerville. Justin, a football fan noticed that the front of the helmet, and the facemask in particular was very underdeveloped from an impact absorbing perspective. Justin wanted to design a product that would absorb damaging impact and be ready almost instantly for the next hit.
The “crumple zone” in automobiles, which allows for deforming of the car’s body panels while protecting the occupant, was the direct inspiration for the clip’s design. S.A.F.E. Clip deforms slightly, absorbing and deflecting the impact forces. The challenge was designing the S.A.F.E. Clip so it would return to the ready position to accept the next blow.
The design team from Mayfield Athletics reached out to Sorbothane, Inc. when searching for the perfect shock absorbing material to use in their new S.A.F.E. Clip facemask brackets. Engineers at Sorbothane, Inc. collaborated closely with Mayfield to produce the Sorbothane® center component used in the S.A.F.E. Clip design. The S.A.F.E. Clip deforms slightly with each impact – absorbing and deflecting potentially harmful forces. Returning almost instantly to its original state, the S.A.F.E. Clip is ready for the next impact. Testing has shown that the S.A.F.E. Clip is capable of reducing up to 35% of G-forces to the facemask. Mayfield Athletics’ S.A.F.E. Clip retrofits over 95% of existing football helmets.
Research / Product Development
Early research and design testing on the S.A.F.E. Clip was done at Wayne State University. Testing has showed that S.A.F.E. Clip is capable of reducing impact forces up to 35%. During development Mayfield Athletics went through several different design phases and material testing to optimize performance.
Real World Testing
In 2017, S.A.F.E. Clip received full utility patent protection (US9750298). S.A.F.E Clip has performed to standards through 5 rounds of NOCSAE testing.
Market Results / Reach
The market for S.A.F.E. Clip is over 4 million participants. The vast majority of those (4 million) are in the 6-18 age range.
Continued Product Refinement
S.A.F.E.Clip (Shock Absorbing Football Equipment) is an aftermarket football helmet clip that reduces the impact from a blow to the facemask. S.A.F.E.Clip can absorb up to 35% of the impact forces associated with a blow to the facemask. Further design variations and performance improvements are in development.