Football Shoulder Pad System is 10% Lighter thanks to Carbon Fiber

4th June 2014

Russell Brands, LLC has launched ‘CarbonTek’, a shoulder pad system for American Football players which is 10% lighter than competitor products thanks to lightweight materials. At the core of the CarbonTek system is a 100% carbon fiber exoskeleton.

The CarbonTek with OS Technology shoulder pad system was imagined, designed and engineered by Russell Athletic in conjunction with collegiate and professional football equipment managers and training staffs as well as aerospace and automotive engineers – experts in designing strong, yet lightweight materials built to manage the effects of high speed impacts.

“Russell Athletic has a long tradition of manufacturing sporting goods that push the category forward, and we are very excited about the CarbonTek shoulder pad system,” said Robby Davis, Russell Athletic Sr. Vice President General Manager. “This is an important category for us and our industry. We believe there has been a particular void in innovation in the shoulder pad space. That’s where CarbonTek comes in—we can utilize Russell Athletic’s roots in football and dedication to quality and innovation to create what we believe is a product with superior impact management, a lower profile and a better fit for players.”


The CarbonTek system has a 100% carbon fiber exoskeleton to help make it 10% lighter than competitor products


Russell Athletic enlisted the help of industry experts to test CarbonTek including sports equipment specialists and elite football players. Sports equipment scientist, Dr. Richard Brandt, conducted a series of laboratory tests on impact forces and energy dispersion and in the process developed a new, innovative shoulder pad study.

“We subjected the CarbonTek shoulder pad and the best alternative pads to controlled rigorous impact tests in order to determine which pad was most effective in reducing the large impact forces experienced by football players,” Dr. Brandt, founder of Sports Science Inc. said. “To simulate the collisions experienced by these players, we impacted a pad-protected human torso model, appropriately modified and instrumented, with solid loads chosen to reproduce the large forces encountered in player collisions. In these tests, CarbonTek outperformed the other shoulder pads tested in all assessed aspects of impact dispersion, with the most notable finding being a more than 63% reduction in the average force felt through the CarbonTek shoulder pad system in a 600 pound impact test.”