NFL Grant Helps Design Patented Skull Cap, Advancing Player Safety with the New 2nd Skull® Pro Cap

PITTSBURGH, PA, June 20192nd Skull, a protective headgear company with patented technologies, has designed a new protective skull cap with a grant from the National Football League (NFL). This new patented skull cap, known as the ‘2nd Skull® Pro Cap’ significantly reduces impact under helmets. The breathable 2mm 2nd Skull® Pro Cap easily fits on a player’s head and under the helmet. A grant from the NFL enabled the 2nd Skull® Pro Cap to be in the exact same heat category as a standard skull cap that offers no protection benefit. This is a must for any player using a helmet who wants to maximize both safety and performance. 

"As a company, 2nd Skull is all about making players safer and helping to maintain participation levels in contact and non-contact sports for all athletes," said Greg Czerpak, President & Chief Operating Officer of 2nd Skull.   

2nd Skull successfully completed the milestones for the grant it received as part of the NFL’s HeadHealth Tech Challenge II. “The TECH Challenge series is designed to identify promising innovations that advance player safety,” said Czerpak. The 2nd Skull® Pro Cap is a protective skull cap for use under football helmets that provides additional linear and rotational impact protection. Additional linear protection is delivered through impact absorption material. The rotational protection is delivered through the independent layer between the head and helmet, which creates a slip plane, upon rotational impact, reducing the amount of energy transferred to the head.

The NFL grant project focused on making improvements to the original 2nd Skull® Cap with support from a technical team from Duke University and an assigned project manager from the NFL. The first step was to conduct heat exchange testing to evaluate breathability and comfort.  The team identified breathable fabrics and airflow improvements to the protective material, resulting in a lighter and more comfortable 2nd Skull® Pro Cap, which earned the same breathable rating as non-protective skull caps during testing.

The second step was to further evaluate its protective benefits, adhering to the most stringent requirements. The team tested both, the original 2nd Skull® Cap and the 2nd Skull® Pro Cap, and both were held to the rigorous testing from the NFL in biomechanics labs. 2nd Skull improved all helmets tested, including three major brands as well as the #1 rated helmet by the NFL and the NFL Players Association.

The final step was to ensure it was game ready. The 2nd Skull® Pro Cap was field tested for months and made its debut in an NFL game in November 2018. “I love the look and added protection, which should be a primary focus for all NFL players,” said Brian Quick, wide receiver for the Washington Redskins.

The 2nd Skull® Pro Cap provides an affordable protective solution for all levels of play. Players from youth, high school, college and the NFL already wear skull caps. Now they have an opportunity to instantly improve their helmet performance, and most importantly, their safety with the 2nd Skull® Pro Cap.