JOFA Helmets | Halos of Hockey

Gretzky, Lemieux, Jagr, Selanne, Savard, Sundin, Forsberg, Fleury, Kurri, Housley, Palffy, Salming and Stastny are some of the NHL greats who have worn the JOFA emblem proudly upon their foreheads during some of the highest scoring and most important seasons and careers in NHL history. This blog discusses the JOFA helmet, the different models, who men who wore them, their significance, where to buy and sell them, how to fix and modify them, and why they are icons of hockey excellence.

May 2, 2011

The History of JOFA

It all began in the fall of 1926. Niss-Oskar wandered out to the shed on his family farm in Jonsson's Hole in Malung, a locality and the seat of Malung-Sälen Municipality, Dalarna County, Sweden, to produce skate straps of waste materials from Malung's many leather industries. What Niss-Oskar could not imagine then was that 76 years later, his start-up business would become the world's leading manufacturer of hockey protection equipment. The young company was Jonsson Factories, JOFA. Over the last several decades, JOFA has provided hockey protection to the world's best players. Peter Forsberg, Mats Sundin, Wayne Gretzky, Jaromir Jagr, Mario Lemieux and Teemu Selanne have all played with protection manufactured at the plant in Malung.

JOFA was founded in 1926 under a different name but one should perhaps say that JOFA started "for real" in 1933 when they bought the first factory, a former tannery, which went bankrupt. In 1963, Jonsson recieved the world patent for his hockey helmet. It was the first hockey product JOFA made. Ever since, helmets have been JOFA's signature product in ice hockey, as well as skiing, horseback riding, and bandy.

Niss-Oskar Jonsson died in 2002 at the age of 92. Since 2004, Jofa is a part of Reebok. Reebok has phased out the use of the Jofa brand on its hockey equipment, in favour of its core, CCM and Rbk brands.

Note: I think it's a shame that Reebok would phase out JOFA, as it has been one of the most innovative and inspirational hockey equipment companies ever. I bet you can't find a piece of good equipment that can't be traced back to humble roots in Malung, Sweden. R.I.P. Niss-Oskar Jonsson and your great company, JOFA.

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  1. Hey,
    Great blog. Love your passion for JOFA-helmets.
    I was wondering if you have any informatiion about the VM-helmets and when they were made. I have a few but can not find any info about them.
    Thank you,

  2. I haven't done an indepth history of VM helmets yet; but that's a great suggestion for a blog post! I do know that there are at least 3 generations of VM helmets; the Gretzky-style VM/JOFA being the last. The picture of the helmet in this post is the first. There is one in between that I know of that has really odd plastic padding (browse ebay for an example). Glad you enjoy the blog!

    1. HEllo,

      i have a blue "VM" helmet i was wearing some years ago to play "inline Hockey... (but i have a 290 with visor if the official did not accept my VM :-) )
      i think mine is the second generation. the ventilation holes are triangulars.

      my first Jofa helmet was the 280...

      these helmets are really nice!

      thanks for your job!