Dallas’ G8RTech Launches G8RSkin Ice To Protect Hockey Players

The recent death of hockey player Adam Johnson after an incident on the ice in England raised awareness of the sport's dangers. Now a Dallas startup led by a 20-year-old college athlete has launched a solution made from Kevlar and other proprietary materials. Its goal: reducing concussions and lacerations on the ice.

Last summer, we told you about a Dallas-based startup that created a “balaclava”-like shell used under helmets to reduce concussions in contact sports by more than 60%. Now G8RTech has announced it’s hitting the ice with a new solution to prevent injuries in hockey.

The specialized protective equipment company is rolling out its initial product for ice hockey players, called G8RSkin Ice. Invented by G8RTech Founder and CEO Carter Hogg, a 20-year-old college athlete,  G8RSkin Ice is “engineered to significantly decrease the risk of injury to hockey players, especially with regard to concussions and lacerations,” the company said.

Carter Hogg

The product is made from Kevlar and other proprietary materials, along with with “patent-pending design elements.” It consists of a lightweight, cut-resistant collar and a balaclava-like shell. As a modular platform, G8RSkin Ice works seamlessly with all other hockey equipment, G8RTech says, forming an integrated system “that uses applied science and data to create a paradigm shift in the protection of the head, shoulders, neck, and chest.”

The product’s proprietary design encompasses 17 engineering elements, designed to disperse energy from impacts while stabilizing the neck, G8RTech added.

The company’s founder and CEO says the purpose of G8RSkin Ice “is to once and for all protect hockey players from lacerations to the neck and to prevent those unfortunate tragedies such as the incident involving Adam Johnson,” who died during a hockey game in England after being cut on the neck by an opponent’s skate blade. 

“It has become increasingly apparent how important it is to bolster the protective equipment for all players,” Hogg added. “Rather than something ‘strapped’ around the neck, we knew it had to be more comfortable and agile while adding the extra benefits for which G8RSkin is already known. We’d like to see it adopted—if not required—by hockey leagues around the nation.”

Report: Hockey has highest rate of concussion among major sports

G8RTech cited a recent Springer study of high school boys’ collision sports, which showed that ice hockey had the highest rate of concussion (15.8/100 participants/year), followed by lacrosse, rugby, and football. The most common site of injury in all collision sports was the head and face. Fractures were reported as the most common injury type in ice hockey, at 27%.

Dr. Charles Popkin, a G8RTech medical committee member and team physician for USA Hockey, lauded the new solution’s potential.

“If you have a product like G8RSkin Ice, with its Virginia Tech-tested concussion reduction and the added benefit of Kevlar for neck protection, it’s a win-win for everyone,” Popkin said in a statement. “USA Hockey’s recommendation is to wear a neck laceration protector that covers as much of the neck as possible. A lot of earlier standard issue neck laceration protectors leave vulnerable areas, but with the G8RSkin Ice, the neck is covered. With that, I’m proud to support this product.”

Dr. Andrew Saleh, a G8RTech medical committee member and the head medical team physician for the American Hockey League’s San Diego Gulls, is experienced at providing medical care to hockey players.

“I have seen a dire need for improvement in protective equipment,” Saleh said of the sport in a statement. “G8RSkin Ice is leading the fight to substantially reduce the risk of hockey-related injuries, including concussions and lacerations. I’m honored to play a role in its development.”

Follows earlier launch of G8RSkin

The G8RSkin PPE “balaclava” seen from multiple angles. [Image: G8RTech]

G8RTech’s first product, G8RSkin, is a specialized balaclava-like shell worn under sports helmets. Following testing at the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab, G8RSkin has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of concussion through its proprietary design, the company said. Testing at Virginia Tech demonstrated that G8RSkin caused a relative concussion risk reduction up to 83.33%; peak linear acceleration values to drop by up to 35.61% for hockey; and peak rotational acceleration values to drop by up to 42.26% for hockey, the startup added. G8RSkin is now being utilized across multiple sports, including football, hockey, skiing, and lacrosse.

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