*


All times are UTC + 1 hour



Post new topic Reply to topic
 [ 20 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Helmets
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2003 12:03 am 
Offline
Rare Poster

Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 9:45 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Toronto
Research on bicycle helmets indicates that those with hard foam cell material were effective in reducing the energy from a blow experienced by the brain. Helmets with soft foam padding were not helpful in reducing brain injuries, only reducing abraisions.

All of the kiteboarding helmets I see use the soft foam material. Are not the same forces at play in kiteboarding?

Is there any reason that the hard foam padding is not used, such as exposure to salt water? Is it a reasonable trade off, safety vs durability or possibly comfort?

Is there any data on brain injuries experienced by kiteboarders vs type of helmet or lack thereof?

I know that other watersport helmets, e.g. kayak, use soft foam but there I don't think that the energy involved is comprable.

Is there any reason not to use a snowboarding helmet, some of which use the hard cell foam lining?

Dave Culliford


{ SHARE_ON_FACEBOOK } { SHARE_ON_TWITTER } { SHARE_ON_ORKUT } { SHARE_ON_DIGG } { SHARE_ON_MYSPACE } { SHARE_ON_DELICIOUS }
Top
Profile
 Post subject: Re: Helmets
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:34 pm 
Offline
Very Frequent Poster
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 8250
Location: Florida
culliford wrote:
Research on bicycle helmets indicates that those with hard foam cell material were effective in reducing the energy from a blow experienced by the brain. Helmets with soft foam padding were not helpful in reducing brain injuries, only reducing abraisions.

All of the kiteboarding helmets I see use the soft foam material. Are not the same forces at play in kiteboarding?

Is there any reason that the hard foam padding is not used, such as exposure to salt water? Is it a reasonable trade off, safety vs durability or possibly comfort?

Is there any data on brain injuries experienced by kiteboarders vs type of helmet or lack thereof?

I know that other watersport helmets, e.g. kayak, use soft foam but there I don't think that the energy involved is comprable.

Is there any reason not to use a snowboarding helmet, some of which use the hard cell foam lining?

Dave Culliford


Hello Dave,

I have looked into available helmet research a fair amount and have read similar conclusions to those that you mention in your post. A fair body of research and accident data relates to bicycle helmets. The vast majority of bicycle helmets have expanded polystyrene (EPS or styrofoam), liners. Apparently, this non-reuseable lining material has superior impact protection qualities. Of course once you use it to protect against an impact you need to replace the helmet. If it saves you from serious injury, so what and buy another helmet.

Image
Graph from:
http://www.grantadesign.com/resources/m ... helmet.htm

Most of the polystyrene helmets don't appear to be particularly suitable for kiteboarding because of weight, bulk, projected area/drag characteristics and water retention traits (i.e. "bucketing potential"). That is virtually ALL bicycling and motorcycle helmets and many kayaking helmets don't appear to be suitable for kiteboarding as the helmet itself could do cervical or spinal injury through routine impact related whiplash or added mass effects caused by water retention and/or drag. There are few other sports in which you accelerate to high speeds routinely and then deccelerate rapidly upon impact with water such as you do in kiteboarding. This special set of conditions places serious constraints on practical head impact protection.

Many watersports helmets use crushable foams that can sustain mulitple impacts without requiring replacement. These foams also appear to have lesser impact protection qualities than the EPS foam. More about various helmet foams appears at:

http://www.bhsi.org/foam.htm

For now, there are VERY FEW purpose designed and built kiteboarding helmets. We need to select a helmet originally designed for another activity and use it for kiteboarding. There are some impact tests and certifications in existance such as those performed by the Snell Memorial Foundation (http://www.smf.org/testing.html), ASTM, ECE, CPSC, CF, CSA, etc. There are some standards being evaluated for white water rafting but none to date for kiteboarding that I am aware of.

I have a skiing helmet that does a nice job of head protection and heat management while skiing. It appears to be unsuitable for kiteboarding however based upon its weight, potential drag and poor drainage potential. I would be careful in evaluating other helmet types for kiteboarding. Cervical injuries can last for a long time.

The performance envelope within which a kiteboarding helmet must function is fairly unique. It must remain in place and not induce neck injuries despite routine impacts against water on the order of 20 mph and perhaps much higher. It remain in place without displacement through these impacts against water and potentially against lower speed impacts against hard objects. It must drain water readily and not unduly retain excessive water weight through either absorption or simple collection. It must be comfortable and lightweight. It must have an impact resilent shell that isn't readily pierced. It must have highly shock absorbant lining that doesn't unduly add weight or bulk. This liner could be either used through mutiple impacts or discarded after a single impact after the liner has been compromised. The helmet and hardware must be corrosion resistant. It must have excellent fit and positive fastening. The helmet must not unduly obstruct vision and hearing, etc. etc. etc. Kiteboarding presents a demanding design and performance environment for helmets.

The KSI presents a fair number of reported kiteboarder impacts and related head injuries and resulting symptoms. It is very difficult to accurately compare accidents and resulting injuries give all the unique details of each case. It would appear to be fair to say that a good helmet should reduce resulting injuries from an impact as opposed to having no protection whatsoever. The data for bicycle helmets supports this conclusion as well.

Look in the KSR at - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kitesurf/ ... EFERENCES/

Some ideas on helmet comparision and selection appear in the KSR under: 1b. Safety Gear Ideas

The Protec Ace Wake helmet seems to be fairly popular with kiteboarders. Many riders were seen wearing this helmet at the recent Velocity Games competition in Texas, USA. It has stiffer crusable foam (not EPS), and in theory may have better impact absorption qualities than the Protec Water Helmet that uses softer crushable foam. There are other helmets in use out there. It would be good to hear about people's experiences with various helmets.


Last edited by RickI on Thu Jul 17, 2003 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
Profile
 Post subject: Sweet helmets
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 7:48 am 
Offline
Rare Poster
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 15, 2003 8:09 am
Posts: 47
Location: Kristiansand
Hi.

Any comments on the sweet helmets: Holy Diver and Rooster?

http://www.sweet.no/main.html


Top
Profile
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 12:08 pm 
Offline
Very Frequent Poster
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 8250
Location: Florida
It is hard to make comments without seeing the helmets up close. They seem to have a lot of design and development consideration in them. One thing that does come to mind in looking at the Holy Diver is that for kiteboarding it would probably be best to detach the sun visor. If left in place it could provide an additional lever arm for torquing your neck on impact with water. It is good that they designed it to be detachable as you need a low drag design for dealing with the high speed water impacts that are so frequent in kiteboarding.

I am not sure what type of padding and absorption characteristics are provided by the polypropylene material. They seem to have used multiple padding materials in both the top of the helmet and the sides showing a lot of design consideration again using crushable padding. It would be good to learn the exact type of materials that have been used to attempt to evaluate their impact absorption characteristics. The last thing that is uncertain from looking at the website content is the "bucketing" potential of the two helmets. The primary means of reducing this potential seem to be rapid drainage provisions, close fit and other provisions to minimize water weight retention. Without seeing and trying the helmets it is difficult to comment further.

The shell design sounds intriguing as the conventional ABS shells in common use can be readily pierced by board impacts. I am not sure what sort of shell design might resist this sort of thing, kevlar? Then again, the primary cause of such impacts is board leash use. There is nothing to assure you that your board will cooperate and hit your board impact resistant helmet. It could just as easily hit your bare neck, kidneys, torso, etc. Best for the vast majority of riders to ditch board leash use. There was an accident recently in the UK in which a rider's ABS helmet broke off the back of his head following impact with a house. He lived and is recovering fortunately from this unusual impact, then again, lofting impacts against other hard objects (sand, rocks, trees, pavement) are not so uncommon at all.

Thanks for posting the link to this helmet site. Have you experience using these helmet designs for extensive, powered up kiteboarding and routine high speed water impacts?
If so, what are your impressions?

Thanks,


Last edited by RickI on Thu Jul 17, 2003 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
Profile
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 1:27 pm 
Offline
Very Frequent Poster

Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2003 2:37 pm
Posts: 527
Location: Vermont, USA
I wear a helmet primarily to protect against impact with my gear. This is the same reason I wore one windsurfing. I don't want there to be a chance of having the lights go out, while in the water. Having said that, I don't need the same kind of protection as is required for a bike helmet. I am not worried about high speed crashes on pavement or with cars.

Secondarily, I like the warmth and ear protection, a helmet affords. I use a traditional Protec Kayaking helmet. It is lightweight and has a strong shell. I took a major baordhit with it once, and am sure it would have knocked me silly. I cover it with aluminized tape to cover the vent holes to keep in the warmth. It drains instantly when I get up out of the water.

I don't know how you can beat one of these simple helmets. I think the data being shown for impact resistance may not directly apply to the use I specify.

Gary


Top
Profile
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 2:41 pm 
Offline
Very Frequent Poster
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 8250
Location: Florida
kjelleren wrote:
I wear a helmet primarily to protect against impact with my gear. This is the same reason I wore one windsurfing. I don't want there to be a chance of having the lights go out, while in the water. Having said that, I don't need the same kind of protection as is required for a bike helmet. I am not worried about high speed crashes on pavement or with cars.

Secondarily, I like the warmth and ear protection, a helmet affords. I use a traditional Protec Kayaking helmet. It is lightweight and has a strong shell. I took a major baordhit with it once, and am sure it would have knocked me silly. I cover it with aluminized tape to cover the vent holes to keep in the warmth. It drains instantly when I get up out of the water.

I don't know how you can beat one of these simple helmets. I think the data being shown for impact resistance may not directly apply to the use I specify.

Gary



Hello Gary,

Your purposes for wearing a helmet make sense and congratulations on being one of the limited number of riders to routinely wear one in the USA, for now. Many riders don't even consider a material need to wear a helmet at all, even for more common, lesser impacts.

Most riders aren't worried about impacts against hard objects shoreside either. This is an obvious conclusion that can be drawn from the low numbers of riders that currently choose to wear helmets. Still, there is a growing list of accidents, many that have happened this year, in which even more serious injury and perhaps death would have resulted IF the rider had not been wearing a helmet. These cases involve lofting and/or dragging impacts that started with the rider on land or relatively near the shore. Virtually ALL of the accidents were unexpected, violent and sudden. If they hadn't the forethought to wear a helmet for just in case things would have likely been much worse. I am currently working on the KSI accounts for these accidents so you will have an opportunity to read over the circumstances and arrive at your own conclusions.

The upshot is obvious in my view (always wear a good helmet while riding), but that is merely my opinion backed up by personal and reported experiences of others. Helmets were never worn in MANY other sports in the early days, but are now worn routinely (football, batting, hockey, hang gliding, cave diving, sky diving, rock climbing, bicycle riding, etc.). It took time, accidents and design improvements but eventually helmet use became the norm. There are solid indications of expanded helmet use currently. I imagine the more regular appearence of helmets in the kiteboarding media and at competitions will only aid this growth trend further.


Top
Profile
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2003 8:35 am 
I am all so a kayaker so I just use my kayak helmet. It has a ajustable cradle in it and I have lined it with close cell foam as well. I have taken a number of hits to the head while up side down going down rapids and I know the helment has saved me a number of times. I think that by have a bit of play in it helps to slow down the blows, where as a helmet with no play in it would have twised my neck a lot more quicker. :?: But latey I have been looking for a helment for kiteing as I am worried about leaving it in the wrong bag. I am just a beginer so I am not having that many high speed crashes yet but I would say that you would be after a helmet with no drain holes in the top to help keep the heat in, but some holes in the back so if you were getting draged it would not full with too much water and pull off. Also I would say that you would want it to come down over your ears and top of your neck to help soften any blows. Having had water forced into my inner ear while kayaking I would not wish that on any one. It took about 2 weeks for me to get rid of it after seeing a doctor as having an ear acke 24 hours a day for 2 days became too much and not being able to have that ear up higher that the other one drove me crazy. I was told that the water gets in by force, like hitting the water ear first or getting hit in the ear under water like in my case. All so by having the ear covered it will help stop surfer ear which is when bone grows across your ear to try to stop cold water getting in. Where I am the water is always cold and I have started telling every one who is into water sports to watch out for it as most people don't know what cases it or anything about it.
Well thats my ideas about helmets I may be right, I may be wrong but it come down to what you fell most conftible with and fell safe with.


Top
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2003 2:30 pm 
Offline
Very Frequent Poster
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 8250
Location: Florida
I have posted this reply from the main site here:

phree wrote:
Rick, I'm expecting a call back from Jeff with Bump & Jump on this item. I'll ask him about the reinforcements. I doubt if it has anything more than washers as shell reinforcements, though. Still, I'd guess the helmet becomes more bomb proof with the faceguard.

Rick, do you know if the new Gath helmets are improved over the Gath helmets from a year or two ago? The pictures look like they haven't changed a thing.

By the way, This faceguard supposedly retrofits to most ANY HELMET that has ear covers.


I suspect that you are right about the face guard fastenings. If you are going to take a frontal impact that may cause the helmet to fail at the fastenings, at least the failure may slow the impact down a bit. With most other helmets you will simply take the full impact face on, ouch! Face protection is a common area that most helmets that can be used in kiteboarding just don't offer. Thanks for posting this image it is worth carefully considering.

Gath has introduced new art designs on the helmet exterior, jazzing up the appearance of the helmets effectively. I have heard rumors about a more heavily padded helmet coming online but these are only rumors.

Aa few years ago, there was some doubt about the quantity of and need to protect against, high speed impacts in kiteboarding. Having gone through one myself and seeing the obvious potential of this to happen to others, there was little doubt in my mind at the time about the need. The experience of the last few years has included quite a few high speed impacts with some resulting in fatalities. I suspect that there will be quite a few more high speed impacts this summer, unfortunately. I hope that the need for protection against higher speed impacts is more clearly in focus today.

It will certainly cost but I wonder about moving to kevlar helmet shells? They did this in hang gliding a while back and in many other sports. Many of the better kayak helmets use kevlar as well. Kevlar MAY aid in resistinhg penetration by a board and hopefully will be less prone to fracture and fall off in a survivable impact such as happened in the UK recently.


Top
Profile
 Post subject: Helmets
PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 3:28 pm 
Offline
Frequent Poster

Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 2:48 pm
Posts: 316
Try out some wakeboard helmets, they look and work well.
Some of them have visors to help block the sun.


Top
Profile
 Post subject: Re: Helmets
PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 3:48 pm 
Offline
Very Frequent Poster
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 8250
Location: Florida
hightimes wrote:
Try out some wakeboard helmets, they look and work well.
Some of them have visors to help block the sun.


Yes, there are a number of kayak helmets on the market at present. I would urge caution in using one with a permanent sunvisor in place or one that would not easily break away on impact with water FOR kiteboarding. Our necks are vulnerable to inflamation or worse upon impact if extra, excessive loading comes from helmet drag. The visors appear to add additional impact and drag loading area. Most kayakers will hit the water moving at speeds approaching that of the water and at a low angle. In theory these factors may minimize drag.

On the other hand, kiteboarders can slam into relatively motionless water from heights of 20 to 30 ft.+ at fairly high speed. Neck inflamation and even fractures are possible IF excess drag occurs upon impact. It would be best to stick with helmets that have as low drag, weight as possible. Choose carefully.


Top
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic
 [ 20 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC + 1 hour


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group