As we build up to the Uniball season it’s once again time to ensure ballers up and down the Britball Nation are taking care of their equipment – preparing off the field to ensure they’re in the best position to win once they’re on it!
To that end, the incredible team at EP Sports have put together a series of equipment guides to ensure you’re in the know about the best equipment for you – your position, your experience, and of course your budget.
Let’s start off with the most important one of all – your lid.
Helmets are the single most important piece of equipment in the game. Period.
The Virginia Tech Star rating system is generally known as the best way to rate concussion risk. However, the best helmet won’t necessarily protect you if it doesn’t fit correctly, as not all models fit all head shapes. Be aware that sizes can vary between brands and models.
Clubs usually purchase entry-level helmets and keep them for years so buying your own will give you up-to-date protection.
– Pro tip: It is vital that the helmet you wear is the correct size and fit. All the technology in the world won’t protect you if it doesn’t fit properly.
Check out EP Sport’s range of sizing videos on their website – most types of helmets come with their own guide, so ensure you watch the right one for the helmet you’re considering.
So what helmet is right for you? Well, we’ve broken all our equipment pieces into three categories: Rookie, Returner and Pro.
Rookie Kit will keep you safe, but at a more affordable price point – allowing you to start out in a sport you may not be 100% sure of, without breaking the bank.
Returner upgrades allow you to take the next step up with kit that’ll upgrade not only the protection offered, but the comfort and quality as well.
Finally, Pro gear is just that – the same equipment NFL stars step out onto the gridiron wearing – top-notch equipment, but luckily you don’t need to be earning an NFL salary to be able to afford it.
New member of the #BritballNation and not sure American Football’s your jam? Let’s start you out with a few great value options to cushion your noggin.
Schutt Vengeance Pro (£209.99):
A 5-star helmet on the Virginia Tech Star ratings system. The smaller, streamlined helmet shell is lighter and carries a lower profile. One of the lightest helmets on the market – only 1.68kg compared to 2kg for the Riddell Speedflex.
Rawlings Impulse (£144.99):
Most economical helmet currently available, if you’re just starting out in the sport and perhaps your student loan disappeared faster than you’d have liked? This lid’ll look after you ’til you scrape the pennies together for an upgrade!
You’ve gotten through that rookie year and been bitten by the Britball bug – or perhaps you knew this was the sport for you right from the outset? Either way, these upgrades step up the price a little, but also the quality and comfort of protection offered.
Schutt Air XP Pro VTD II (£239.99):
Best rated helmet on the Virginia Tech Star helmet ratings system. It delivers top-level protection with its TPU cushioning and the SUREFIT air liner, giving you dual density padding resulting in instant comfort and a great fit whilst still being lightweight. Compatible with traditional style faceguards.
Riddell Speed (£284.99):
One of the most popular helmets on the market. Great combo of protection, versatility and cost. The Speed comes at you with an aggressive new shell design, and a super comfortable anti-microbial overliner.
Schutt Air XP Pro Q10 (£269.99):
The Q10 features Schutt’s helmet stabilization system that provides a snug fit in the jaw area through the use of both internal and external stabilizers. This is only compatible with Titanium faceguards to keep the weight down, allowing you to keep your head up easily during play.
You’re set on #Britball4Life and want the best quality kit available. Protect your grey matter while making others ‘jelly’ at the same time as you swag it out in the same gear the pros are stepping out in on Sundays.
Schutt F7 VTD (£639.99):
Schutt’s top-rated helmet. The F7 features the new Tectonic Plate 3DM system to help improve the management of rotational energy and impact absorption. These moveable plates along with five other layers of protection create the ultimate energy management system.
Riddell Speedflex (£399.99):
Hugely popular in the NFL and NCAA, recognisable by its unique flex panel on the crown. The shell, facemask and facemask attachment system reduce impact force transfer to the athlete due to its flexibility. The interior lining conforms to the shape of your head making it extremely comfy. Also has a ratchet-style chinstrap attachment system as opposed to traditional clips.
Xenith Epic (£329.99):
Offers great protection with its own unique style. The easy chinstrap system improves fit and comfort. The EPIC shock system utilizes Multi-Staged Compression to attenuate impact energy. Stages 1, 2, & 3 offer increasing levels of resistance to adapt to low, medium, and high impacts.
– Pro tip: Check what size faceguard your helmet needs. Some Large helmets need an XL faceguard. If you’re unsure, just ask the team at EP Sports – their knowledge is second-to-none.
Your choice of faceguard is dependent upon the position you play – certainly positions inevitably require more facial protection than others – though if you’re not sure where you’ll end up playing, there are a number of very versatile options available. Certain models of helmet have their own type of faceguards, so check compatibility prior to purchasing.
EP Sports are a British American Football supplier that pride themselves in having the most knowledgeable staff in Europe when it comes to American Football equipment
EP are a company built by Ballers FOR Ballers, with their staff having a combined experience of having played and coached football for well over three decades at some of the highest levels in Europe. Joe and his team at EP Sports hold stakes in two Swedish National Championships, one European Champions League win, a Britbowl, a Norwegian National Championship and three UK Divisional Championships.
EP currently offer the largest range of American Football product in the UK and one of the largest in Europe, working with top brands including Nike, Under Armour, Schutt Sports, Rawlings, Adidas, Wilson, Douglas Pads, Cutters Gloves, Shock Doctor, Riddell, Xenith and many others.
Their combination of football experience and years working with top brands allows them to provide customers with the best advice and knowledge on football equipment in the UK. Their aim is to put players and coaches in the best position to win before they step onto the field.