How to Pump a Riddell Football Helmet

By Michele M. Howard

Your football helmet, a mandatory piece of equipment required by the rules of the sport, must fit properly to help reduce impact force, which can cause serious head and neck injuries. To provide optimal protection, Riddell designs and produces state-of-the-art helmets with inflatable liners or pads located in strategic locations inside the helmet. Depending on the helmet model, you can pump air into as many as five locations or valves for a custom fit.to keep your head from moving.

Inflation Device

To pump air into the inner pads, Riddell provides a handheld inflation bulb equipped with a 5/8-inch needle. Lubricate the needle with glycerin before inserting it into the inflation points on the helmet.

Adjustment Options

With the helmet on your head, the front opening edge should be about 1 inch above your eyebrows. If it sits too low, insert the pump into the top inflation point and pump more air into the crown pad. For snug fits front to back, side to side and over the occipital cradle -- protecting the back of the head -- insert the pump in the rear valve and pump air into the back, neck and side liners. Some models have an additional inflation valve halfway down the back of the helmet. Pumping air into this valve inflates additional pads around the back and sides of your head. To snug the jaw or cheek pads against your face, insert and pump air into the valves located outside of the jaw flaps.

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