Since its founding in 1957, the Snell Memorial Foundation has independently tested manufacturer's helmets. Its first safety standards for protective headgear were issued for auto racing in 1959. Subsequently, other specific helmet standards for motorcycling, equestrian sports, bicycling, rollerblading and skateboarding, snowboarding and skiing, and karting have been issued. These standards address performance, not specific materials or design. Periodically, utilizing specially designed test equipment, the Foundation upgrades its specifications on performance characteristics of helmets to keep pace with advances in materials, helmet technology and design.