How to buy a snowboard helmet

By Published On: August 12th, 20101 Comment

With tricks getting more and more intense by the season, protecting yourself is becoming a number one priority. I’ve heard a couple people ask some questions about what they need to know about buying a helmet. Really there isn’t much to know. The most important factor is just making sure that it fits right, but if you are still wanting more info than that I pulled an article from our archives that will give you a detailed run down. So be safe out there this up coming season, and remember the best way to prevent injuries is to use that thing sitting inside your shiny new brain bucket wisely.

Terje protects his noggin even in the backcountry

Terje protects his noggin even in the backcountry

The best way to avoid serious injuries snowboarding is to wear a helmet. Helmets are a great piece of equipment to have, especially for freestyle riders or beginners. Some of the most common injuries in snowboarding are to the wrists and head. There can be some variations between helmets so it is important to know what you’re getting when buying a helmet.

The most important area to look at when buying a helmet is its certification. To be certified a helmet needs to meet at least one of three standards. CE 1077 is the European standard which is the most basic and easiest to get certified in. ASTM: F 2040 is the American standard and is almost as good as the Snell RS-98, which is the best and most rigid certification. To get these certifications, the design requirements are broken down to impact testing, penetration testing, chin strap, and head coverage.

Sizing a helmet can be quite tricky. Most will only come in small, medium or large. Sizing charts are available that are measured inches from around the forehead. But the best possible way to size a helmet would be to try it on. The better a helmet fits the more protection it will provide. It shouldn’t be squeezing your head, but it shouldn’t be flopping all over the place.

Another thing you will always want to check before making a purchase is how the helmet is going to fit with your goggles. There are different forms and makes between the brands so try on your goggles and helmet together in the store. You will want to check for a gap on your forehead between the top of the goggles and the brim of the helmet. If they aren’t fitting together nicely go with a different style because cold air will be getting into that gap making your time on the snow a little more uncomfortable.

Helmets will also vary in their ventilation. What kind of ventilation you want will depend on where you ride and what type of riding you do. Freestyle riders will usually want more venting because they will be riding more vigorously and working up more of a sweat. More ventilation will also be necessary for riding in warmer temperatures. Helmets designed for riding in cold climates will have passive venting instead of regular. This will allow the air to circulate underneath the plastic shell, but won’t let in cold air.

The ear pads are for insulation and warmth. Some will have fur on the inside for snowboarders that will be riding in colder temperatures. Other helmets will have head phones in the ear pads that will attach to an ipod or any other music accessory. The cord on these head phones will generally have a mute switch on them to quickly and easily turn the music off or on. There can also be volume control to adjust between riding and sitting on the chair lift.

How much the helmet weighs is also a factor to pay attention to. Wearing a heavy helmet is going to make you uncomfortable. Most of the people that don’t wear helmets chose not to because they say they are too heavy. Thus, to ensure the protection from a helmet, the helmet has to be light enough for you to feel comfortable.

Everybody has a different taste in style and luckily helmets are now being made in a wide variety of styles, colors and looks. It is up to the buyer to choose the most lovable one. Usually people like to match their helmet the rest of their outerwear, or they might choose one to fashion after a pro. Either way, as long as it protects your noggin while making you look good.

Wearing a helmet is beneficial in many ways. It will keep your head warmer than a beanie and with built in headphones you won’t have to be messing with ear buds the whole time. Not to mention wearing a helmet could save you from a concussion, a hospital trip, or even save your life.

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One Comment

  1. […] This should be obvious with all the research out there about safety and sports, however, helmets will give you some protection against concussions by lessening the blow and ultimately protect the rider from the potential of skull fractures.  Protect your noggin (head) every day on the slopes by throwing on a helmet. Before picking up just any old helmet, be sure to brush up on our helmet buying guide and how to pick out a snowboarding helmet. […]

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