If you are new to the sport of wrestling, or simply updating your equipment, finding the perfect headgear can be overwhelming. There are several options on the market, which makes it possible to personalize your set for optimal comfort, fit, and safety.
It is pretty easy to narrow down your search for the perfect headgear. The first elimination factor is the easiest; picking youth or adult sizes. After that you can make just about any set fit correctly with the use of adjustable straps.
Straps run across the top and back of the head. Gear comes with a varying numbers of straps, usually 3 to 5. The more straps you have the more secure your headgear will be and the easier it is to make the fit perfect for you. It is important to fit your headgear to be tight and secure, loose gear will increase the chances of developing cauliflower ear or sustaining other ear injuries.
The next decision you will need to make is what type of ear “shell” you would like. There are two basic types to pick from, soft or hard. Each serves a different purpose. The soft shell is usually a polymer hybrid material. This would be the best choice for a child wrestler because it is more comfortable. Also, the soft shells are friendlier to the wrestler’s opponents while everyone is learning the sport.
Hard shell gear is a good choice for older wrestlers who are not participating in international freestyle or Greco-Roman competitions, as they are generally prohibited in these styles. The hard shell is more durable and can withstand the rougher competition. The holes in this headgear generally allow better hearing, which is important for coaches at the more advanced skill levels.
Don't let purchasing new headgear intimidate you. After you decide what style is best for you and you get it perfectly adjusted, there will be nothing to worry about other than beating your opponent.