MXA PRODUCT TEST:
SHOCK DOCTOR HELMET EJECT
WHAT IS IT? It’s an inflatable device that limits neck and spine damage during emergency removal of a rider’s helmet.
WHAT’S IT COST? $59.99 (Helmet Eject), $24.99 (CO2 inflator), $79.99 (Helmet Eject with manual inflator bulb), $99.99 (First Responder with inflator bulb).
CONTACT? www.shockdoctor.com or (800) 233-6956.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Shock Doctor Helmet Eject.
(1) Bad scenario. Until they can determine the specific injuries a fallen rider has, it’s important that EMT personnel not move him. There is precedent to suggest that removing a rider’s helmet can exacerbate a neck or skull injury (especially with an unconscious rider). At the same time, removing the rider’s helmet is necessary to give proper medical attention. The Shock Doctor Helmet Eject seeks to solve this issue.
(2) Installation. The Helmet Eject, previously known as Hats Off, is a small plastic bag that sits inside the crown of the helmet. To install it, you simply remove the center helmet liner and use the adhesive to stick the Helmet Eject’s plastic air bag to the top of the helmet liner. An inflator tube is run down the left edge of the helmet to a spot where EMTs are trained to look for it (the inflator tube is part of the special EMT kit or can be bought separately). In case of an accident, the EMTs can use the inflator bulb to blow the plastic bag up, which pushes the helmet up and off the head (without any unnecessary prying).
(3) Fall back solution. The First Responder Helmet Eject is a kit that allows trained EMTs to install a Helmet Eject plastic bag into the helmet of a downed rider who doesn’t have the device already installed. It is a plastic air bag that is inserted via a long thin tool. Once in place above the skull, it works exactly like the regular Helmet Eject.
(4) Operation. The small plastic air bag inflates to the size of a melon and is mandatory at all AMA Nationals and Supercrosses.
(5) Comfort. Savvy riders can feel the Helmet Eject the first time they put on an equipped helmet, but that is nothing compared to the extreme discomfort of having the Helmet Eject inflated (when your head is in the helmet). We can promise you that inflating a Helmet Eject is not something you’ll do as a party trick. It is best left for emergency situations by trained personnel.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Two quibbles. (1) If your local EMTs or ambulance attendents aren’t aware of how Helmet Eject works or don’t have the proper inflation devices, it will do no good to put one in your helmet. And the truth is that very few EMTs are trained to use this device. For the average local racer, Helmet Eject isn’t common enough to help riders at any of the 600 local motocross tracks across America. (2) Perhaps the AMA should start looking into accepting the quick-release pad systems that come standard on helmets like the Arai Pro3. On helmets like this, the cheek pads can be removed by pulling on visible pull tabs (which means that local EMT’s could be taught how to use them in ten seconds…without any tools). These removable pads free the helmet up so that it can be lifted off with less struggle.
If you are an AMA National rider, the Helmet Eject can be a valuable tool in limiting further injury (and is required by the rules). If you are a local rider, the device will only work if your local EMT’s know how it works and have the inflatable bulb.