New Louisiana Startup Pioneers Safer Football Helmets
Football and injuries go hand in hand. Sure, there a quite a few that come from butting heads during the game or practice - but the ones that are caused by the heat are especially tricky. Heat-related injuries aren't as obvious as a sprained hamstring or a torn Achille's tendon, and that's where the danger lies. If it goes unnoticed, this type of injury can be deadly.
A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that football players suffer from this type of injury more than 10 times the amount of the rest of the high school sports they studied! An estimated 9,237 student-athletes every year have to miss one or more days of athletic activity due to a heat injury every year.
How can heat-related injuries be avoided?
Let's face it: Football is a hot sport. Practice (whether you're on a high school, college, or pro team) starts in the hottest part of the year. When you add in the relentless physical strain of shaping yourself in to a formidable weapon on the gridiron - it only makes it hotter. That's why so many football programs focus on hydration and knowing your body's limits. Even the head coach has to be aware of when it's time to push the team to excellence and when to give them a break. Even with policies and procedures put in place to "keep it cool," it's hard to escape the heat - especially in a helmet.
The coolest helmet in football
The helmet is exactly where new Louisiana startup Tigeraire focused their energies. Armed with the knowledge that the heat that builds up in the helmet is a major contributing factor when it comes to these types of injuries, they set out to make a head protector that would excel at keeping heads cool in the heat of practice or competition. Their innovative solution is so impressive, the Baton Rouge Business Report is reporting that they have received funding from the same venture capital group that brought us Venmo, Stripe, Airbnb, and TikTok - General Catalyst.
How does it work?
What you're looking at above is the Tigeraire Cyclone V2. It's a set of 2, miniaturized, rechargeable-battery powered air circulation units designed to replace the hot atmosphere inside the helmet with cooler air from outside. This simple, yet powerful device allows players to stay cool even when the heat is on. Studies show that circulating air across the skin reduces the overall body temperature which, in turn, reduces the chances of heat injuries and concussion. According to the company, not only will it reduce heat-related injuries - it will help increase a player's focus and even eliminate visor fog!
But, does it really work?
This product was developed by Tigeraire founder Jack Karavich in conjunction with Louisiana State University, and is reportedly so effective it's already being used by Texas A&M and the University of Alabama to protect their athletes. Although the $99 units are currently on back order and subsequently out of stock, the new injection of cash should help this innovative Louisiana company upgrade their manufacturing abilities to keep up with demand. That's good, because these guys aren't stopping at football.
The next step for Tigeraire
The folks at Tigeraire have identified their next target: Industrial workers and the military. With the confidence that their concept will fit into just about any hard head covering, and the knowledge that those same heat issues could be holding folks back in other important jobs - Jack and his super-smart team are working on prototypes for heat-intensive industrial situations that affect oil-field & construction workers, welders, and more. They are also working on a device that will provide the same protection for the proud men and women that serve our country under a helmet for the U.S. military.