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The Newsletter of the Snell Memorial Foundation

May 22, 2014

This is the sixty-second of the Foundation's newsletters to the helmet manufacturing industry. The sixtieth was sent out in November, 2013. Comments and items for inclusion in subsequent issues are invited.

PDF version

In This Issue

Manufacturers’ Meeting

The next manufacturers meeting is currently planned to take place in October, 2014 in conjunction with the AIMExpo in Orlando, Florida. Anyone interested should contact Ed Becker,, for details.


Snell SA/K2015 Standards

Snell SA2015 has been finalized. There are quite a few technical changes but the most significant is that helmets must now include hardware for the installation of frontal head restraint systems such as HANS®. Certification testing for SA2015 is under way. Manufacturers are invited to submit samples of current and new helmet configurations for consideration. SA2015 will take effect October 1, 2015 but units meeting requirements may be sold with SA2010 labeling in advance of that date.

T he K2015 requirements are essentially the same as those of M2015 except that the visual field requirements are more lenient. Instead of the more demanding peripheral vision demanded for M2015, K2015 helmets will be held to the slightly smaller SA2015 demands. Helmet configurations meeting M2015 or SA2015 will be included in the K2015 program upon the helmet maker’s request. Any modifications to the certified configurations must be reviewed before K2015 certification is granted. K2015 will take effect October 1, 2015, but units certified to K2015 may be sold with K2010 labeling in advance of that date.


Snell M2015 Standard

Snell M2015 has been final for some time now and quite a few models have already been accepted for the program. M2015 takes effect on October 1, 2014, less than six months from now. We have already begun shipping stocks of M2015 certification labels and I look forward to seeing M2015 helmets available for sale and use this October.

Through an oversight, the M2015 Standards booklet failed to include the impact site separation policy adopted back in 2010. In fact, the correct site separations will continue to be at least 130 mm for helmets tested on the A and C head forms, 140 mm for the E and J head forms and 150 mm for the M and O head forms.


New License Agreement

The License Agreement has been revised and now includes some additional clauses and sub licenses applying to subcontracting manufacturers as well as distributors who sell Snell certified helmet units under their own brand and model designations. This new Standard License Agreement will replace all those currently in effect. Copies will be prepared for all Snell certified helmet makers.

Although we had hoped to have the new License Agreement and Sub License documents executed before now, there have been a few complications which required resolution. Once we’re ready, License Agreement documents will be sent to each currently active licensee for signature along with any necessary Sub License documents for subcontracting manufacturers and/or distributors who market that licensee’s Snell certified helmets under their own brand names. These Sub License documents must be signed by both the current Licensee and the appropriate subcontracting manufacturer or rebrander and then returned to the Snell office. Once the documents have been signed by the President of Snell’s board of directors, signed copies will be returned for the licensees’ and sub licensees’ files.


Snell Helmet Model Names

The point of Snell certification is to identify helmets which meet Snell standards. For this reason, Snell demands that the brand/model names of certified helmets be distinctly different from the manufacturer’s non-Snell models. Although this had not been a problem until recently, we have been getting queries and complaints from riders in Europe. They have seen promotions and ads for Snell certified helmets posted by North American retailers on the internet but were disappointed when the helmets they purchased and took home turned out to be non-Snell configurations with the same name.

Snell is seeking a reasonable solution to this problem. Helmet makers with same named Snell and non-Snell configurations are encouraged to contact Ed Becker to discuss the scope of the problem and likely measures to resolve it.


Custom Fit Helmets

A new policy for certifying custom fit helmet configurations has been posted on the Snell web site. It differs from a previous custom fit policy proposal from late 2009. However, the point is, as always, to assure that these custom fit headgear will provide all the protection we demand of current, Snell certified helmets but with the minimum burden to the helmet maker.


In Memoriam

William "Gib" Brown passed away the evening of May 14, 2014 after a short illness. Gib had been involved with the Snell Memorial Foundation ever since being introduced to Dr. George Snively in 1968 by Dr. William Chilcott, currently a member of Snell’s board of directors. On meeting him, Gib had the temerity to ridicule Dr. Snively’s primitive test apparatus. But Snively got even by drafting Gib to make improvements. At first as a volunteer and, much more recently, as Snell’s Lab Manager, Gib continued to improve Snell test technology until his retirement in mid 2011. Since then, we continued to call on him whenever a problem arose and he always came through for us. He will be greatly missed.


Contacting Snell

Snell Memorial Foundation, Inc.
3628 Madison Avenue, Suite 11
North Highlands, CA 95660
Phone: 916-331-5073; Fax: 916-331-0359; Email:
Testing: Steve Johnson
Decals: Bonnie Adams
Education: Hong Zhang
All Other: Ed Becker

Editor: Hong Zhang, Senior Program director