A Rockingham man, along with a Rockingham business partnership, is revolutionizing the way athletes around the world take impact.
GelDefender is a soft-gel head safety pad engineered to reduce the effects of g-force impacts that are sustained in contact sports and recreational activities for which helmet use is recommended or required. Its design incorporates advanced, lightweight technology that multiple rounds of laboratory tests indicate substantially reduces g-force impacts and provides protection from extreme heats typical in sports environments, say its creators.
Developed by PSE Technology LLC, a Raleigh, N.C., company, GelDefender is eight ounces of safety equipment recommended to be worn on the head under any sports or recreation helmet. GelDefender fits youths and adults with four models in sizes 6 to 8. It covers the side of the head above the ears, as well as the temples, the forehead, and the rear and the crown of the head.
Bill Futterer, Managing Member of PSE Technology said, “It appears that our GelDefender product could provide the supplemental protection that Major League Baseball is seeking for its pitchers. We have shipped Commissioner Selig a GelDefender and advised him that we have tested our gel-based product inside a baseball cap and it appears that we address both the comfort and weight issues that concern the players, and we will be happy to work with MLB.”
Futterer is a Rockingham original, and keeps ties to the community through his family, who owns and operates WAYN Radio. Classic Apparel in Rockingham will be handling all of the fulfillment for the product, according to Futterer.
“That is, when the products’ construction is finished, they are all shipped and warehoused in Rockingham at Classic Apparel,” said Futterer. “When a purchase is made on our website or a sale is made by one of our national sales reps, David Wood’s company is advised of the purchase and they pull the correct size from the inventory at Classic and ship nationally or internationally to the purchaser.”
David Wood, owner of Classic Apparel and Rockingham native, is excited about the partnership with Futterer.
“Bill, along with others not from Rockingham, has developed (this), and it’s scientifically proven to reduce the impact force to the head when it’s worn under a helmet,” said Wood. “I’ve shown this to a few of my friends who have kids in high school football and they said, ‘Where can I get this?’ For the price, it’s worth the investment.”
Wood said a product like this is normally priced around $99, but the GelDefender is selling for $39.95.
In tests using popular helmets by major manufacturers, g-force impacts were reduced — in some cases up to 67 percent — when a GelDefender was used inside the helmet when compared to helmet-only data. Not only were results positive for GelDefender in sports and recreation helmets, but similar results were obtained when the product was tested with the military ACH helmet and with industrial hard hats, say the creators.
Cooling benefits were substantial for not only the first 15 minutes in a 115-degree oven, but thermal benefits extended over a full hour of high-temperature exposure. That means playing and working safer and cooler. Today’s sports and recreation athletes are bigger, stronger and faster, which leads to more violent collisions.
While these activities have become more exciting for fans and athletes, the frequency and severity of head injuries due to impacts have dramatically increased. These include concussions of varying degrees, second impacts, and the accumulation of impacts (dose effect) that neurologists are linking to long-term cognitive impairment and overheating. These scientific findings have focused attention on the long-term effects of head injuries and on new products that can aid in injury prevention.
GelDefender retails for $39.95 on the Internet, plus shipping and handling. Team discounts are available.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.