How Much Do Referees Make In The World Cup Cliff Keen Wrestling Headgear – Elite Protective Ear Guards

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Cliff Keen Wrestling Headgear – Elite Protective Ear Guards

Without headgear to protect the ears, wrestlers run the risk of permanently scarred and disfigured ears. A condition known as cauliflower ear is extremely common in wrestling from the constant pounding that the ears end up taking. In the standing position, wrestlers smash their forehead into their opponent’s ear and temple for an advantageous move. A good takedown is often achieved by driving across your opponent with your head and often landing with your ear against his thigh. The ears also take a beating being constantly crushed in the mat. With all this friction against the direct cartilage of the skin and ear, it doesn’t take long for an injury to occur. The most common injury involves the separation of the skin and cartilage creating a painful, swollen sac of fluid. This is an acute injury that requires minor surgery and definitely time off the mat. Without surgery, the acute swelling will go down but the space left from the separation will remain, eventually filling up again while leaving behind a scar each time. While some seem more prone to this problem than others, it is serious enough to wear protective ear guards literally every time you wrestle.

Despite the potential inconvenience, severe pain, possible surgery and even permanent disfigurement, most wrestlers are surprisingly negative about wearing headgear. During the season you will see almost every wrestler wearing a pair in tournaments. However, this is because the headgear is required in school sports. The real judgment will come out in the off-season. Unless the meet requires it, you will see few wrestlers wearing protective ear guards. You rarely train with them on and when you are asked why you see very few favorable responses. The fact is that wrestlers really hate headgear. The wrestler’s mothers and coaches like it and make them wear it. The other fact is that you can’t wrestle any tournaments that really matter without it, so it’s here to stay. Given this, it is wise to choose a brand that offers the best protection and performance while being the least intrusive. This is the reason why you will also see most wrestlers in tournaments wearing the same brand of wrestling headgear, Cliff Keen.

After a career as a legendary wrestling trainer, Cliff Keen had worked in the industry long enough to know what athletes needed to perform at their best. It started manufacturing and selling wrestling equipment in 1958 and has been going strong for over 50 years creating equipment that has been a staple in the sport since its inception. With innovative supplies seen being worn and used by referees and athletes in tournaments and training rooms around the world, Cliff Keen is perhaps best known as the father of wrestling headgear. As a true testament to his genius, the original design of the headgear he created has changed very little since its inception and is still widely used today in almost all levels of wrestling. Compared to the few brands that dare to offer competition, Cliff Keen headgear offers by far the lowest profile, safest and highest performance ear defenders in the business. As time progressed, only Cliff Keen has further developed wrestling ear protection by producing three different models, the Signature (Traditional), Twister and Tornado.

The Cliff Keen Signature headgear is also known as the ‘Traditional’ model and is perhaps the most commonly used in all of wrestling. It is made of a hard plastic round cup covered with firm, padded foam to fit over both ears. The foam is an important part of Cliff Keen’s original patent from over 50 years ago as it is sturdy enough to withstand tons of abuse rolling around on the mat and still form a comfortable padded contact over the skin / head around the ear. The hard cup inside offers total protection to the ear and the padded foam outside has a slick surface so it glides well against the mat during a fight. Four straps hold the Cliff Keen Signature headgear in place and give it a very sleek profile tight against the head. These ear protectors are very light and fully adjustable for the perfect fit. The adult-sized Signature head gear can also be adjusted to fit youth as well but you may have to shorten the straps by cutting them with a pair of scissors.

The Cliff Keen Signature advantages over traditional head gear are many and somewhat obvious as they are the best selling ear protectors of all time. They are extremely sturdy and can last many seasons if you take care of them. This includes wiping down the padding with antibacterial soapy cloths to keep it clean and moist. However, most wrestlers neglect their Signature headgear and toss it in their bag until the next tournament and this will eventually add to their wear and tear. When the Cliff Keen Traditional ear defenders start to wear out, the padding will develop cracks with tinned bacteria and lead to skin infections. Fortunately, Signature headgear is very affordable (under $35 at most stores) and many wrestlers pick up a new pair each season. Adjusting the Cliff Keen traditional head gear is a bit of a chore and is often done just before the first wear. Fit them tight and they will loosen slightly after training in them a few times for the perfect fit. A very worn set of Signature headgear that often needs to be adjusted is more trouble than it’s worth as the padding/cup will cause small grooves in the straps and make them almost impossible to change.

The tornado wrestling headgear is a later model from Cliff Keen that is definitely a step up from the traditional Signature style. These ear guards are a successful attempt to improve the few shortcomings of the traditional headgear. Based on a revolutionary design from research actually conducted by NASA, the Tornado headgear is 43% lighter and much cooler to wear. They also have an ear cup that helps amplify sound so you can hear your corner coaches better. The Cliff Keen Tornado headgear straps are made with material webbing and a Velcro / snap system that is much easier and faster to adjust compared to the classic Signature model. The padding on these wrestling ear guards is also much softer and more comfortable against the skin. While the Tornado may ultimately outperform the traditional in the short term, they don’t seem to have the longevity that the Signature headgear tends to have. If there are any downsides to the Tornado’s styling, it’s with the padding. Towards the end of their life, the ear padding starts to get too soft, lose its resilience and become flat. This is when it’s time to buy another pair but it should last a full year of training abuse.

The latest addition to the Cliff Keen family of wrestling headgear is called the Twister. Although this model is yet another attempt to improve something that needs very little, it is closer to the Tornado than the Signature. The Twister has the same basic setup as the Tornado headgear so it has the same great performance benefits; cool, comfortable, very light, easily adjusted and good sound quality. The main difference between the two is that the Cliff Keen Twister headgear only has two head straps instead of three. For some, this is an advantage for even faster/easier installation; for others, the 2-strap system doesn’t feel as secure. With the same type of head padding used on the ear guards as the Tornado, the Twister also has the same issues with the padding becoming flat over time. It should also be noted that strap systems with Velcro tend to show wear and tear given how often wrestling head gear is put on/taken off.

When shopping for wrestling headgear, the list of types is somewhat limited. Only a few other companies offer wrestling ear guards and most only offer their version of what Cliff Keen has already mastered. Although this article talks about the advantages and disadvantages of the different models available, it should be noted that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Wrestling is a tough sport and most gear (including boots, singlets, knee pads, bags, etc.) only lasts about one season no matter how well it is cared for. Despite listing wear and tear as one of the disadvantages associated with Cliff Keen headgear in this article, these ear defenders last longer or at least as long as any other. In addition to a color or style requirement set by your team, wrestling headgear is very personal. But the truth is, if you choose something different from Cliff Keen, you’re probably making a mistake.

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