Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Buyer's Guide to Helmets

20100714_helmetLet's start with the difference between a bike helmet and a skate helmet. Bike helmets are lighter and focus more on the front of the head, and skate helmets are heavier and cover further down the back of the head. If you think about it, bicyclists tend not to fall backwards; but skaters do, sometimes.

That said, there are any number of good skate helmet brands including S-One, Triple Eight, Pro-Tec, and others that can be found at sporting goods stores, skateboard shops, skating rinks, and online; but it's not a bad idea to go into a shop and try helmets on: proper fit is your best insurance that your helmet will do its job.

Here are the guidelines from the WFTDA Safety Squad:

  • The helmet should fit snugly, not moving on the head.
  • The front edge of the helmet should be two finger widths above the eyebrows.
  • When you hold the straps on both sides, roll the helmet over the back of your head & check for gaps. The back of the helmet should not touch the nape of your neck.
  • With the chin strap fastened, your helmet should be snug & comfortable with light pressure. When you try to roll your helmet off your head, if the skin on your forehead moves, you have a good fit.
  • Front and back straps of the helmet should form a V just below the ear.
  • The chinstrap should be snug when you open your mouth (no more than 2 fingers should fit between the chin and chin strap when your mouth is closed).
  • Your helmet should not move around when you shake your head.
  • Do not wear a helmet tipped back on the head. Even if you can form the "Y" around the ears and eliminate slack, helmets worn on the back of the head are more likely to pop off and do not protect the forehead.
53cm - 54cm (20.9 inches - 21.3 inches) Small
55cm - 56cm (21.7 inches - 22.0 inches) Medium
57cm - 58cm (22.4 inches - 22.8 inches) Large
When measuring your size, wrap the measuring tape around your head just above your ears and no more than 2 fingers' width above your eyebrows.