Types of Headgear
Headgear is available in different types depending on the sport and your preferences. Before buying one, you should consider the type that works well for you and is generally accepted in the sport. In any case, all headgear is designed to cover at least 75 percent of your head. The difference is in the amount of padding used and how it covers the head. AWMA has designed three types of head guards in our Lightning line: ProForce® Lightning Sparring Head Guard/Headgear, ProForce® Lightning Face Cage, and ProForce® Lightning Helmet with Face Guard.
Fit and Comfort
When buying headgear, consider comfort and whether the headgear fits your head properly as you don't want uncomfortable headgear that distracts you from training or your fight. Some headgear can squeeze at the back of your head, forehead, or sides while others move around too much. However, a fitting and comfortable headgear makes you feel confident when in action.
The inside lining is also worth considering because a smooth lining allows the gear to slide around your head when sparring. Alternatively, you may prefer a faux fur lining, which offers an additional layer of padding. Additionally, check the chin strap to ensure that it fits well.
To find the best size with accuracy, use a tailor's tape to measure around your head, approximately an inch above your eyebrows. The most common sizes of headgear are:
• Child: 19 inches
• Youth: 20 inches
• Small: 19.5 inches to 20.5 inches
• Medium: 21 inches to 22 inches
• Large: 22.5 inches to 23 inches
• XLarge: 23.5 inches to 24 inches
• XXLarge: 24.5 inches to 25.5 inches
While the ultimate punch protection technique is total evasion, it is hard to defend against punches that you don't see coming. It is important to see the punch even if you are receiving blows to give yourself the opportunity to roll off the shot. Visibility is established by the forehead area, cheek protectors, and the padding thickness around the front of the face. Various brands and models differ in the shape and padding of the cheek protectors. Good cheek protectors are bent slightly outward to avoid infringing on too much of your vision.
Quality is determined by how the headgear is designed and what it is made of, especially the padding and chin straps, as these parts get soft and thin after some time. Most less-expensive headgear has poorly made chin straps that disintegrate after a few months. Quality headgear lasts for as long as you need it.
Area of Coverage and Weight
The primary areas of coverage on headgear are the cheeks, forehead, sides, back of the head, and chin. When you are hit hard in the forehead and cheeks—typically the areas where most head strikes will land—your vision tends to blur and you become disoriented.