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April 23, 2010

The Newsletter of the Snell Memorial Foundation

This is the fifty-third edition of the Foundation's newsletters to the helmet manufacturing industry.                            pdf  version 

In This Issue

  1. SA2010 Effective Date
  2. SAH2010 Addendum
  3. Snell Testing Services in Egland
  4. Customizing Helmet Fit
  5. CertificationSamples
  6. Certification Helmet Lists
  7. FIA Technical List No. 25
Comments and Suggestions

Who to Contact at Snell

SA2010 Effective Date

Certification testing to SA2010 is underway. SA2010 certification labels will be available to qualified manufacturers starting April 1, 2010. Helmets certified to SA2010 must not be available for sale until October 1, 2010.

SAH2010 Addendum

A draft addendum to SA2010 concerning frontal head restraint (FHR) systems will go out to interested parties for review shortly. The draft addendum follows procedures similar to those expected in FIA 8858-2010. But the SAH2010 Addendum will not be finalized until the FIA revision has been issued and any differences have been resolved.

Once the addendum is ready, all helmets submitted for SA2010 and equipped with appropriate tether mount hardware will be subjected to loading tests similar to those of the next revision of FIA 8858. Qualifying helmets will be eligible for a “SAH2010" certification assuring that the tether provisions have also been met. Helmets previously certified to SA2010 may be resubmitted for testing to the addendum.

Snell Testing Services in England

HPE in Farnham, Surrey, can perform certification testing to Snell Standards. Manufacturers are welcome to arrange for testing there. If the manufacturer requests it, HPE will forward certification test results to the Snell Office here in California so that Snell certification can be granted. HPE will bill separately for their services but the Foundation will complete the enrollment of the helmets into Snell programs at no additional expense.

Contact information for HPE is as follows:


4 Farnham Business Centre

Dogflud Way,

Farnham Surrey, GU9 7UP


Contact:  Paul Walker

Tel:  +44 (0) 1252 714920

Fax: +44 (0) 1252 7371367


Customizing Helmet Fit

There are many more head shapes than there are helmet configurations. For an optimum fit, riders may have to swap out cheek pads and crown pads and may even have to add thin layers of padding elsewhere inside a stock helmet configuration. Snell suggests the following to ensure that a customized helmet provides the best possible protection as well as the best possible fit.

Head circumference is important, not just to helmet fit but also to protective performance. Helmets certified for a particular range of head sizes are best suited to wearers whose head sizes are within that range. However, there’s more to fit than head circumference. The fit of the most appropriate helmet from a particular model line may be improved significantly by a careful custom fitting procedure to accommodate the helmet to a particular wearer’s head shape. Ideally, custom fitting will be a collaborative effort between a customer and a knowledgeable sales representative at the time of purchase. Snell favors any custom fit procedure which conforms to the following guidelines:

1. No tampering with the helmet structure including the shell and, especially, the impact managing liner.

2. First, select the smallest of the size configurations of the preferred model which will reasonably contain the user’s head.

3. Then, add thicknesses of comfort padding, as appropriate, to the brow area, crown, back of the head or the sides in order to improve wearer comfort and helmet stability.

4.Cheek pads, occipital pads and neck padding will have no effect on the helmet’s accommodation to head circumference and may be swapped out as necessary to improve helmet stability and the seal of the helmet about the neck.

The wearer’s head circumference ought not to be more than one centimeter smaller than the minimum circumference specified for the helmet. Otherwise, the particular model is probably inappropriate and another model should be considered.

The intent of these guidelines is to assure that the wearer gets the smallest standard fit configuration which can reasonably contain his head. Padding may then be added at the crown and about the brow, sides and back of the head to improve fit quality. Cheek pads and similar items which improve the fit for the lower portions of the face and neck may be swapped out as necessary.

Submissions for Certification

When submitting helmets for certification testing, please make sure that all the helmets are complete and in ready for use condition. All the samples should have all the necessary face shields, peaks (eye shades) and other accessories included with them. Lab managers may grant one-time exceptions to this policy but exceptions will be rare. If an exception is necessary, ask in advance, before sending samples.

Certified Helmets Lists

Please check the Snell certified products lists at periodically to be certain that all listings are current and correct. Spreadsheets detailing brand, model and size designations for each certified helmet are available to certified manufacturers on request. Let us know about misspellings, omissions and helmets which have gone out of production. We’ll make all the necessary corrections saving you, your customers and ourselves some unnecessary heartache.

FIA Technical List No. 25

Snell SA2010 and SAH2010 have been added to FIA Technical List No. 25, “Recognised Standards for Helmets”. Helmets meeting standards on this list are accepted for use in most FIA events.

Your Comments and Suggestions

If you have any comments, suggestions or complaints about any aspect of the Snell programs or services, please contact Ed Becker

Who to Contact at Snell

Snell Memorial Foundation, Inc.
3628 Madison Avenue, Suite 11
North Highlands, CA 95660
Phone: 1-888-SNELL99 (1-888-763-5599) or 916-331-5073
Fax: 916-331-0359

Editor: Hong Zhang, Director of Education

WebEditor:  Steve Johnson

copyright 2010, Snell Memorial Foundation, Inc. - HeadsUp Issue 53