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What Helmet protects against foilboards during races?

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evan
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What Helmet protects against foilboards during races?

Postby evan » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:18 pm

Oranizing races is Holland, we struggle to make a helmet mandatory. Bit most helmets on the market are designed to protect you from impacting a solid object but make high-speed impacts with water more dangerous to the helmet wearer.

So my question is: are there thin shelled helmets with no lining that only protect you from cuts and bruises impacting a foil board but minimizing the extra strain on your head from inpacting the water with speeds of 50-70km/h?

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Re: What Helmet protects against foilboards during races?

Postby Bletti » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:08 pm

Gath helmet is what I use foiling which fits your criteria.

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Re: What Helmet protects against foilboards during races?

Postby fogmeister » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:14 pm

gath helmets are very thin....pretty much the size of your head. The helmet strain thing has been argued the last 15 years......i first saw it in wakeboarding and now foilboarding. Personally i have wiped out many at time as hard as you can hit the water with a helmet and had no "strain" issues . That should be the least of anyones' worries.

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Re: What Helmet protects against foilboards during races?

Postby gmb13 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:04 pm

You have to ask yourself, what are you protecting against?

During a race you are not very likely to be hit by your own foil, but are more likely to have a high speed crash.

The Gath Helmet is pretty good, but it has one major safety problem in regards to foiling races. They cover your ears, even if you open the holes the wind rushing over the ear holes is enough to block out enough sound removing one of the most important senses to avoid collisions during a race, which is where your chance of being hit by another foil will be an issue.

Basically to remove all danger you would really need to make wearing full body armour and neck braces mandatory. I personally would say, the first priority is to make sure there are enough support boats on the course to make sure that people are rescued quickly in case of an accident. That has been lacking in quite a few race events, with only one or 2 safety boats in charge of keeping 30 racers of more safe at a time.

In regards to neck strain vs head trauma. So far in international races, there have been no serious injuries involving head trauma. ( as fas as I know), but there have been a few with helmets causing neck injuries, the most notable being Maxime Nocher 2 years ago, where he might have drowned if it was not for Nico reacting fast and ditching his kite and keeping and passed out Maxime afloat.



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Re: What Helmet protects against foilboards during races?

Postby BWD » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:26 pm

Not to doubt you but if he was unconscious that is concussion not just neck strain, right?
For the brain to decelerate enough for concussion, the head usually hits something.
Either way, helmet helps.
The fear of the helmet hurting you is from bigger helmets in power sports. More like motorcycle helmets. Kiter's do benefit from smaller helmets, like Gath and other kayak types. Kiters aren't going 60 kts all the time (yet) but can hit each other or obstacles, helmets help.

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Re: What Helmet protects against foilboards during races?

Postby Ulrik » Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:01 pm

gmb13 wrote:
Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:04 pm
The Gath Helmet is pretty good, but it has one major safety problem in regards to foiling races. They cover your ears, even if you open the holes the wind rushing over the ear holes is enough to block out enough sound removing one of the most important senses to avoid collisions during a race, which is where your chance of being hit by another foil will be an issue.
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On the Gath surf convertible ,you can remove the ear protectors :thumb:
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Re: What Helmet protects against foilboards during races?

Postby evan » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:08 am

gmb13 wrote:
Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:04 pm
You have to ask yourself, what are you protecting against?

During a race you are not very likely to be hit by your own foil, but are more likely to have a high speed crash.

The Gath Helmet is pretty good, but it has one major safety problem in regards to foiling races. They cover your ears, even if you open the holes the wind rushing over the ear holes is enough to block out enough sound removing one of the most important senses to avoid collisions during a race, which is where your chance of being hit by another foil will be an issue.

Basically to remove all danger you would really need to make wearing full body armour and neck braces mandatory. I personally would say, the first priority is to make sure there are enough support boats on the course to make sure that people are rescued quickly in case of an accident. That has been lacking in quite a few race events, with only one or 2 safety boats in charge of keeping 30 racers of more safe at a time.

In regards to neck strain vs head trauma. So far in international races, there have been no serious injuries involving head trauma. ( as fas as I know), but there have been a few with helmets causing neck injuries, the most notable being Maxime Nocher 2 years ago, where he might have drowned if it was not for Nico reacting fast and ditching his kite and keeping and passed out Maxime afloat.



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I am also more afraid of neck injuries than other kind of trauma, I think we will go with a mandatory imact/floatation vest and a strong advise on a helmet but let the rider choose what they feel is the safest for them. As the slower riders in the densly packed middle of the fleet are not risking the speed impact as much as de top riders that are much faster and have more room around them. Also advise the slower riders to start behind the faster ones and a port start is forbidden to avoid collisions at the start, we still only have a few true racers and the rest of the field of 15-20 riders is more recreational.

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Re: What Helmet protects against foilboards during races?

Postby TomW » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:08 pm

I have an old Gath with plastic over ears. Use it all the time. What I hate about it is the wind noise it makes. I've even glued neoprene patches on the inside.. Good thing is I don't get ear drum blowouts that I get with no ear flaps

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Re: What Helmet protects against foilboards during races?

Postby Dwight » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:54 pm

BWD wrote:
Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:26 pm
For the brain to decelerate enough for concussion, the head usually hits something.
Nope. Back in 1999 I was wearing life jacket (because kites sank a lot) and helmet. Using a foil kite, no leash, no depower. They taugh people to never let go, never let go, back then.

Flying like superman through the air, I slapped the water flat. With the weight of the helmet on my head, plus the life jacket creating too much floatation. I received a whiplash concussion. My neck swelled to twice its size.

I had a concussion that lingered all summer.

Disclaimer...I wear the lightest plastic helmet I can find while foiling. I'm betting the risk of whiplash injury is less than getting hit by foil.

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Re: What Helmet protects against foilboards during races?

Postby OzBungy » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:18 am

The Gath Surf Convertible is probably the "least worst" helmet available. You can remove the ear covers to reduce the wind noise and *****generally**** the bucket effect is small so there is less chance of neck injuries.

It has one fatal design flaw. The fit adjustment system is a set of adhesive strips that pad the helmet to your size. They just don't stick. They're fine while they do but when you have a crash and the strip dislodges then you have the same massive bucket effect you get with all other helmets.

I guess the strips are not much less reliable than the adjustable retention systems you find on other helmets. I guess you could use some kind of permanent glue to fix the strips in olace. I was not inclined to do that for what is already a very expensive helmet.


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