I really want to get a new helmet. I would like saomthing like the Rock Hedz or Prymegear models, but I really do not know if those helmets are doing what they are supposed to do.
What types of stamps of approval am I as a kiteboarder looking for when getting a helmet? I have absolutely no clue, but I really do not want to end up with somthing that is closer to cardboard than actual protection?
Anybody have some nice insights here?
There is NO kiteboarding helmet standard in use at this time. ASTM may develop one in the future.
So, you need to select a helmet designed for another activity in these early days. Helmets certified for water activities may hold an EN 1385 designation.
A helmet certified for alpine activities may hold an EN 1077 designation.
Of the two, the EN 1077 seems to be the more rigorous standard. Then again, you can get away with more bulk and drag characteristics with a snowboarding or skiing helmet than one used for kiteboarding. So, IF you can find an EN 1077 certified helmet that ALSO satisfies good performance attributes for kiteboarding, some ideas appear below, great. If not, try to find something that is EN 1385 certified that ALSO has good performance attributes for kiteboarding.
So, what do you do?
You need to do your homework and select the best helmet that suits your needs as a kiteboarder. These have been repeated many times in the past but here goes again ...
Some ideas about things to look for in a good helmet for kiteboarding. He good helmet needs to offer the best protection feasible against an impact at speed against a hard object, this means an adequate thickness of high quality padding. At the same time, the helmet can't have too much weight, drag (be too big or have projections such as fixed sunvisors) or collect water which could cause neck injury with frequent high speed impact against water. So, you want a helmet with padding, just not too much, catch 22 these days.
In general a good helmet for kiteboarding should:
- Be comfortable and fit well
- Have a good, secure non-corrosible fastening system. The fastening should not release easily and in time may need to be replaced.
- Have adequate, good quality padding (not excessively spongy or soft)
- Be light and have low drag (no fixed projections, visors or excessive size)
- Have a good shell, kevlar would be better than ABS plastic in some imacts.
- Not collect water or have poor draining characteristics that contribute to "bucketing."
- 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.
- Be readily visible as opposed to blending in with the water
- A recognized certifications such as CE-EN and ASTM should be a plus
- 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 because of appearence "enhancements."
- Have some sort of good track record among kiteboarders. In these early days not a lot of helmets seem to have been used by a lot of kiteboarders, yet. So this may be more elusive at this time.
People with preexisting neck injuries or sensitive necks may not react all that well to the frequent whiplash environment of kiteboarding, particularly the learning part. A helmet can add ounces and minute drag to perhaps aggravate this preexisting sensitivity. If these considerations apply, perhaps kiteboarding isn't a particularly good sport for you much less with a helmet.
More about helmet considerations at:
http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopi ... =bucketing