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The Newsletter of the Snell Memorial Foundation

September 10, 2014

This is the sixty-third of the Foundation's newsletters to the helmet manufacturing industry. The sixty-second went out in May of this year. Comments and items for inclusion in subsequent issues are invited.

PDF version

In This Issue

Manufacturers’ Meeting

The next Snell Manufacturers meeting will take place on October 15, 2014, from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon at the Orlando Convention Center West Concourse in room W308A in conjunction with the AIMExpo in Orlando, Florida. Snell certified manufacturers and their guests are invited. Other interested parties may request an invitation by contacting Ed Becker,


Snell SA and 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.

The 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 must only meet the slightly narrower 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

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 a month from now.

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

As reported in the last newsletter, the revised License Agreement now includes sub licenses which apply to subcontracting manufacturers and to those distributors selling Snell certified helmet units under their own brand and model designations. The License Agreement is essentially a contract between Snell and the company who owns the design of the certified helmet. In the past, we referred to this company as the “Manufacturer” but, since some companies subcontract the actual manufacture of helmet units, we now refer to the Licensee as the “Helmet Owner”. The term “Manufacturer” applies to companies who subcontract to “Helmet Owners” to produce units of Snell certified helmets. Finally, we refer to distributors who purchase stocks of Snell certified helmets from “Helmet Owners” and sell them under their own, exclusive brand and model names as “Rebranders”.

The early going with this breakout has turned up some confusion. There have been more than a few cases in which companies identified as “Helmet Owner” and “Rebrander” might more properly be “Manufacturer” and “Helmet Owner”. But Snell’s attorney is satisfied so long as both companies are bound by licenses and/or sub licenses.

Snell License and Sub License documents have been sent out for signature. Please review them for errors. If all is in order, please return hard copies or scans of the signed documents to this office. The president of Snell’s board of directors will sign on behalf of Snell and either hard copies or scans, as appropriate, of the fully executed documents will be returned.


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.


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