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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2005 9:26 pm 
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RickI wrote:
Neck fracture isn't required for this to cause a problem. Neck inflammation can be enough of an annoying problem all by itself. The following is from the above report.


I agree that whiplash style injuries can be annoying. When I speak of neck injuries, I'm thinking more of factures, subluxations and cord impingement than of sprains and strains.

Maybe the way to look at things is to list all the qualities one would like to see in a kiteboarding helmet and then prioritize the list. If something were adopted as a standard it would give the manuacturers, magazines, end-users a way to compare helmets and find the one that suits their style. A lot like some of the kite mfgrs are doing with rating stability, upwind, turning speed, etc.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 4:13 am 
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spidermedic wrote:
Maybe the way to look at things is to list all the qualities one would like to see in a kiteboarding helmet and then prioritize the list. If something were adopted as a standard it would give the manuacturers, magazines, end-users a way to compare helmets and find the one that suits their style. A lot like some of the kite mfgrs are doing with rating stability, upwind, turning speed, etc.


OK, to kick things off here is one list of prioritized factors for a "good" helmet for kiteboarding. What other things should be included, excluded, change in priority?

- Be comfortable and fit well.

- Have a good, secure non-corrosible helmet retention system. The fastening should not allow excessive helmet displacement or accidental release.

- Have an adequate well secured thickness of good quality padding (not excessively spongy or soft). Favorable comparative laboratory impact test data would be a plus.

- Have a good resilent shell. Kevlar or other advanced composite materials may offer advantages over softer plastic shell materials. Comparative laboratory test data and user experiences would be helpful.

- Have adequate coverage including the forehead area. How far down should it cover in back over the neck? Good question?

- Not collect water through poor fit/retention system or have poor draining characteristics that contribute to "bucketing."

- Be light and have low drag (no to minimal fixed projections, visors or excessive size).

- A recognized certifications such as CE-EN and ASTM should be a plus.

- Decide whether you want ear cover or not. Uncovered ears have been perforated on impact with the water in the past. Some people don't like the loss of hearing and sound effects that can result from ear covering. Some helmets have removable ear covers.

- Be readily visible as opposed to blending in with the water

- Looking sporty is a plus but THIS SHOULDN'T BE your main consideration in a critical piece of safety gear that may save your noggin or perhaps mess up your neck someday.

- Have some sort of good track record among kiteboarders. In these early days not a lot of helmets seem to have been used by many kiteboarders, yet. So extensive comparative observations appear to be limited at present among kiteboarders.

Other ideas out there?

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:22 am 
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Looks like a pretty comprehensive list. I wouldn't discount sporty/stylish. Getting people to wear them is 90% of the battle. Price is also going to be an issue with some people.

Here's my personal priority list when I'm choosing a sports helmet:
-Lightweight with a High protection rating (I try to balance these two)
-Comfortable
-Looks good (I need all the help I can get in this area)

After that:
-I like removable earflaps
-I like vents

How you would quantify things like drag and scoop effect so that a consumer would understand what it means?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:21 am 
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spidermedic wrote:
Looks like a pretty comprehensive list. I wouldn't discount sporty/stylish. Getting people to wear them is 90% of the battle. Price is also going to be an issue with some people.

Here's my personal priority list when I'm choosing a sports helmet:
-Lightweight with a High protection rating (I try to balance these two)
-Comfortable
-Looks good (I need all the help I can get in this area)

After that:
-I like removable earflaps
-I like vents

How you would quantify things like drag and scoop effect so that a consumer would understand what it means?


Where do you find a high protection rating? I think it would be great if this was common place but to my knowledge it isn't. Helmets with minimal padding and thin plastic shells are held up against more substantial helmets of advanced higher strength composite shells and EPS padding. EPS proportedly protects against impact more effectively than the more common mulitiple impact foams in water helmets. Still, if you ding your EPS foam helmet a good one you should retire it permanently hence the number of multiple impact foam water helmets. Some helmets don't even have corrosion resistant hardware and yet many seem to claim simlar protective qualities.

I made a suggestion for impact drag testing to a lab but I suspect it is a bit too much too soon. If folks took a fraction of the high speed headers into water that I have over the years I suspect we wouldn't be spending quite so much time in debate about the importance of helmet low drag qualities. It really is obvious if you go through it a few times with varied impact forces. Absent fractures, chronic whiplash-like injuries induced by excessive helmet drag, weight or bucketing are no picnic and to be avoided for physical well being.

It is fairly easy, excepting slight variations in padding/helmet thicknesses, to visually class a helmet as low, moderate or high drag on a comparative subjective basis. This is not the same as clinical trials of course but again, a few trials in the ocean at high speed and this may simplify the perception of things a bit.

Other ideas and comments out there? How about from manufacturers?

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi


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