IF ONLY MY CHILD HAD A SECOND SKULL
by The Athlete's Parent Staff
Interview with Federico Olivares, Founder & CEO of 2nd Skull®, LLC
We’ve all been there before. That moment when you’re on the sideline watching your child play sports, and you cringe when contact is made. In our competitive environment of youth sports, we’re always encouraging our children to give their best effort, and leave it all on the field. In that same breath, the most important topic on all of our minds with our young athletes is their safety. There are those times when we may even wish our child had a second skull, or in other words, another layer of protection to absorb the hit.
Federico Olivares, had that same thought in 2010 when his kids were riding electric four wheelers and bicycles. “I saw my son fall down and hit his head hard on the concrete. While he was wearing a bicycle helmet, the helmet did not do enough to protect him. I felt so helpless and knew at that moment that I had to do something about this, for me and for other parents. How could I ultimately achieve peace of mind? If there was one product that could add protection that could work in any sport or activity, what would it look like?” he shared.
Federico had spent his marketing career driving innovation platforms for Fortune 250 companies in consumer packaged goods and consumer healthcare industries. “I always had an entrepreneurial mindset; which helped me drive meaningful and differentiated innovations in the corporate world,” he said. After witnessing his son’s fall, he decided to put those skills to use in finding that product that would add protection.
A few months after his son’s fall he was watching college and NFL football over the weekend. “I realized that many of the players were wearing skull caps under their helmets. That’s when the light bulb went off. If I could add a thin layer of impact absorbing protection to these skull caps, then I would have a protective layer for any helmet based activity. My personal experience seeing my son hit his head drove me to do something about this, and I did,” he remarked.
2nd Skull® products were born, and six years later they are now shipping to the largest Sporting Goods retailer in the country and expanding distribution to other retailers in the next months. The products are scientifically engineered to reduce impact. They absorb impact force and add protection to the head while playing sports. The protective layer features a soft urethane that hardens upon sudden impact and provides shock absorption qualities that are demonstrable and have been validated by independent third party laboratory testing. “We were also featured on The Science Channel in January and the testing they conducted also validated the protective benefits of 2nd Skull®,” shared Federico. He also shared a video with us that speaks louder than words. You can find that at the conclusion of the article.
Their 2nd Skull® Cap is a protective skull cap for helmet based sports such as: football, hockey, baseball, softball, lacrosse, BMX, skateboarding, skiing, etc. They also have a headband for the non-helmet sports or activities that can be used in soccer, basketball, women’s lacrosse, cheerleading, etc. The products even come in both youth and adult sizes to provide an option for everyone
For those who have children playing sports that already require a helmet, we asked Federico what 2nd Skull products offer that helmets aren’t already achieving. He went on to explain that, “Their protective material outperforms standard protective foams, so they basically add more protection to any helmet. In the case of football helmets that have air pads - these loose air throughout the season. Many of these helmets are not checked properly once the season starts so the air pads are no longer providing proper protection. Having a layer of impact absorbing material all the time is a benefit.”
“In the case of bicycle helmets, many of these use hard materials that don’t withstand multiple impacts. The problem is that many parents, just like I did, have to find out the hard way that even though the helmets look good on the outside, the protective benefits might not be there as other hard impacts have already taken a toll on the helmet. The addition of our cap adds another layer of protection while also keeping sweat out of riders’ eyes through our moisture wicking fabrics,” he added.
Being parents themselves, Federico and his wife realized that many children play multiple sports, and the numerous pieces of equipment required can already be financially burdensome for parents. Keeping this in mind, the products were designed to be suitable for multiple sports. The products have a simple design that resembles regular headgear; such as skull caps and headbands that work under any sport helmet. They provide continued protection throughout the year in the different sports and seasons.
Not only are parents relieved to find additional protection for their young athletes, but professional athletes have also taken note of the benefits that 2nd Skull® products offer. Brian Quick, a Pro Football Wide Receiver from Los Angeles, Meghan Klingenberg, a Pro Soccer Defender and World Champion, as well as Francisco Cervelli, a Pro Baseball Catcher from Pittsburgh, have all joined the team to represent 2nd Skull®.
Federico Olivares takes great pride in the fact that his products are Made in the USA, enabling them to deliver the best quality. He also takes great pride as a dad that he can help other parents find that extra protection for their kids when they find themselves in that moment thinking, “If only they had a second skull!”