Protecting your head on the slopes is really important – it’s actually necessary.
In order to do this you’ll want to know how to choose a ski helmet. There’s a few things to keep in mind when making your purchase and you’ll learn all about that in this article.
After, I’m sure you’ll have all the information you need to know to buy a helmet.
First let me tell you a story..
My Friend Was Knocked Out Cold
When I was younger my friend and I went skiing (he was snowboarding).
When I picked him up in the morning to go his mom told him “make sure you wear your helmet.” At the time helmets didn’t seem cool and I knew he wasn’t going to wear it.
We got to the slopes and had a really good day. It was getting towards the end of the day and we were racing; it was about our third or fourth race in row.
We were both getting tired and agreed it was going to be the last race of the day. He got out to a slight lead and then all of sudden he hit the ground hard and his head bounced off a patch of ice.
His body went limp and he started sliding down the trail lifeless (he was leaving patches of blood behind). I caught up to him and stuck my ski pole in the ground to stop him from continuing down the mountain.
I’ll never forget what happened next. He looked up with a bloody face and a dazed look on his face and asked “where am I?”
I got him on his feet and got him to the first aid area. They cleaned him up and we went home. We had to pull over a bunch of times because he was throwing up every few miles and eventually went to the hospital when he got home. He had a concussion.
He wore his helmet from then out.
Getting The Right Size Is Important
The first step in a successful decision making process is to find a helmet that fits snug, but isn’t too tight. You will want to first measure your head in circumference. A good guide for measurement is using a fitted cap as your gauge.
Most ski helmets with need to be bumped up ¼ on the fitted cap size chart to create for the ample fit. The helmet should stick with your head movements, meaning it should not slide in different directions on your scalp when you move it back and forth.
A second important component to consider investing in is the adjustable helmet. These helmets will come in both the forms of adjustable mechanisms and padding adjusters. The two adjustable mechanisms usually come in the form of a wheel or ratchet turned adjuster.
They attach to the inner lower-half of the helmet and look like a webbing feature. These are great add-ons for people looking for an extended timeline of usage from their helmet. It is also beneficial for those looking to wear a stocking cap underneath, creating adjustments when needed.
There are also Velcro adjusted padding packets. These additional pads can be added to any inner portion of the helmet. Their adjustability allows for easy removal and make for an easy-to-use protection measure.
Coverage concerns also fall into the sizing category. There are both models that cover your ears and models that do not. A good rule of thumb is to find one that features full ear coverage. This will help with staying concerns and will create an extra sense of coverage against the elements that skiing presents. Most ski helmets will come with a chin strap, much like a biking helmet.
This also increases the staying power of your helmet. A good addition to the chin strap would be a padded piece for your chin to rest in. This extra addition can help people who struggle between finding the right fit between two sizes as well.
Here’s a video that teaches you how to size a helmet:
Not too hard, right?
Mold Types And Shells
There are two different processes at work when producing ski helmets: in-mold and injection-mold. The in-mold ski helmet models are constructed in a single process, combining the inner foam with the shell. These helmets will be a bit lighter than injection-molds, and will be less bulky in overall size.
This mold is great for the experienced skier, as it offers more aerodynamics and provides more fluid head movements during a session. The injection-mold process is slightly more complex. These molds first fuse the foam to a special plated surrounding, with a following process that molds this plate to the shell. The molding is done in this fashion for protection measures.
The fusing of the extra plate to the shell creates a heavier helmet, but it also provides extra protection against contact from falls. It is the preferred model mold for the novice skier.
The makings of the shell are also important for consideration. Most shells will be comprised of a hard plastic known as ABS plastic. It is commonly used in piping systems, making it a durable substance for helmet construction. One other make-up to consider is a helmet made up of carbon fiber elements.
Once again, this will create a heavier helmet, but the additional protection benefits and measures will make up for the added weight. You can never be too cautious in protection measures of your helmet.
Separate Features And Add-Ons
The make-up of the helmet is the most important factor to consider when looking for a helmet. Extra features aren’t a necessity, but a few of them can provide additional benefits to the user. One of these important measures is a ventilation system.
These systems come in a variety of make-ups, so choosing one that works for you can be important for usage concerns. The most popular method is the use of drill holes spread out in a circular fashion at the top of the helmet. You may also find them in a lined fashion, spaced out to cover the helmet from front to back. Two or one lined spreading methods are the most common for this ventilation structure.
A third structure to consider is the use of adjustable ventilation systems. These systems can be opened/closed off with the use of a button, slide, or other small mechanism. This is a great feature for those who like to ski year-round. Some days can be hot and others bitterly cold, so having an adjustment feature can benefit the air flow for the user.
Other add-ons include visors, goggle attachments, and camera mounts. The visor or goggle attachment represent the most important of the three mentioned. Visors come in a clear or special SPF design. They often can be added to the helmet or are included as an extra feature.
They help with sun blocks and can prevent the elements from clouding the visual stream during your rides. Helmets also feature special holding mechanisms for goggles. The most common methods include extended slits, much like a pair of pants, or added holding points to prevent slippage during rides.
These are beneficial to users who like to rid the elements from their eye sight and for those who constantly struggle to keep their goggles in place. The camera mounts are included with some models and are most commonly used by those who have some experience under their belts. Camera mounts are not a necessity by any means and these models will run you a little more in average cost.
Protect Your Head This Year!
A helmet is a must have for all skiers, regardless of skill or talent. Your head is vulnerable and isn’t made to take impacts – that’s why concussions are rampant in all contact sports.
A head injury can be a small nuisance all the way to the worst possible scenario. There’s so many quality and stylish helmets available, at all prices, that you have no excuse to not wear one this season.
If you’d like to see my top picks for adults, click below:
My Top Picks For Ski And Snowboard Helmets
If you’d like to see my top picks for kids, click below:
My Top Picks For Youth Ski And Snowboard Helmets
If you have any questions about helmet selection, make sure to comment below and I’ll respond as quickly as possible. You can see more ski gear reviews up top in the ski section.
Do you feel like you’ll be safe this ski season?