|Ski helmets are an optional protection measure in skiing that are built and designed for multiple impacts. Similar to snowboard helmets, ski helmets are also insulated for cold weather. This protective gear comes in different styles and types - full shell, short shell, and full face models. It dramatically reduces head trauma when experiencing a fall and can be a life saver especially when venturing off-piste on rocky or woody terrains. A ski helmet must be properly fitted to provide maximum protection, performance and comfort.|
In addition to providing protection, some newer helmets come with built-in earpad speakers for listening to portable music devices.
While all snow sports helmets are impact tested and safe, better helmets tend to be more comfortable and have cool features like adjustable vents to allow airflow to make spring skiing more comfortable.
There are three main types of helmets available.
One of the most common types of helmets, a half shell protects roughly half of your head. The ear protection
is soft, and they don't extend very far behind the head.
A full shell helmet extends behind the user's head, and has hard protection
over the ears.
If you are looking to get in a fight with a tree or a rail, this is a good helmet to have. This helmet extends protection
to your mouth and jawbone, as well as having full coverage on the back of your head and your ears.
Helmets undergo tests of multiple impacts and velocity forces against various sections of the helmet to determine performance in skiing accidents. Comprehensive certification standards include ASTM, CEN 1077, Snell RS-98 and S-98. ASTM standards have been determined by a battery of tests on helmet models, including testing the strength of a helmet's retention system under simulated hot, cold and wet conditions. While ASTM and Snell's ski
helmet standards are similar, Snell tests helmets obtained by purchase from randomly chosen retailers, testing the characteristics of the helmet as manufactured.
A helmet has to fit right to do its job properly. A couple easy methods a buyer can use to determine if a helmet fits properly are:
- Measuring Tape- Manufactures post the size of each helmet, usually in centimeters, so by measuring the circumference of your head you can get a good idea which size would fit you.
- Putting it On- Your helmet should fit well without the chinstrap, so if you can shake your head and feel the helmet wiggling on your head, then it probably doesn't fit well.
- Goggle Compatibility- While this isn't the final word in whether or not a helmet fits, it is nice to have a helmet that's compatible with goggles that you already have. Your goggles should make a nice seal at the top without much extra room.
Some of the features that make new helmets so cool are:
- Vents- Many helmets have vents incorporated in them to make them suitable for both warm weather and cold weather. Some helmets use plugs, which are very effective, but are easy to loose. Some of the better helmets have switches that close off vents.
- Audio Upgrades- Look out for cool features like speakers that hook up to MP3 players. Some helmets are even Bluetooth compatible now, so you can broadcast music over them, but also answer phone calls.
- Padded Chinstraps- It sounds stupid simple, but a nice padded chinstrap can make wearing a helmet a lot easier.
- Adjustability- Many helmets come with an adjustable liner that you can fine tune to fit your head.