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Helmets

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Lionfish
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Postby Lionfish » Fri Jun 24, 2005 8:14 pm

My girlfriend wouldn,t let me buy new kit unlessI got a helmet, now I don't KS without a helmet and an impact vest!!
Had a friend laugh at me calling me a 'big girls blouse', any way he's now selling all his kit. A pier dock jumped up and hit him, out of now where. Nice hair line fracture in his skull and broke both his legs.
Karma dude!!

:thumb:

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Postby Sea Kiss » Sun Sep 18, 2005 2:58 am

It's true. I think only one out of ten kiters wear helmets. I personally have used a Protec for a few months and now use a Gath w/fixed visor. It shields the sun from my forehead and totally covers my ears. It weighs next to nothing. I fine it to be working fine for me in my short time of using it. Anyone out there with personal experience with a Gath and is there something better?

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Postby Klaus (c:E » Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:11 pm

Hai,

half year of trying out different helmets finally lead me to a Gath Convertible.
At first of all, i was afraid to increase the risc of neck injuries - this has been discussed here before. I didn´t want to wear a helmet and felt a little clumsy during my first session. Would i hear everything properly? Would it fit properly? What about the first crashes into the water?
The reason for why i wanted to try it with a helmet was protection of my eardrums.
First sessions tought me, that most of my fears were not reasonable.
Hearing is still great with my helmet - even with closed audio vents for optimum protection of my eardrums.
However, a helmet will not provide efficiant protection from spinal injuries while hitting the water. The mechanics of an impact into the water are much different to those of an impact of solid obstacles.
There is no use in recommendating specifc helmets, because Your helmet will have to fit Your individual shape of the scull (the one recommended by SeaKiss doesn´t fit my head at all). However, the smallest shape with a reasonably good energy absorption in the thin interior will do a good job while hitting hard objects and will not put You at an unreasonable risc while hitting the water.
Use an impact vest for protection of Your ribs and inner organs so You can freely use Your arms to protect Your head and neck, no difference wheater Your wear a helmet or not!

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Postby tristonjah » Sun Apr 22, 2007 1:29 am

I wear a capix wake cap mostly for the ear protection flap because a friend blew out his ear when he smacked the water and he is now deaf in that ear.

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Postby RickI » Sun Apr 22, 2007 5:20 am

We put together a recent article in The Kiteboarder on helmets for kiting. A copy of it appears at HERE

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Re: Helmets

Postby RickI » Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:25 pm

That is a serious paradox in kiting. The risk of high speed impacts vs. the risk of high speed impacts. Usually on land, when you have risk of high speed impacts, well designed helmets are as substantial as feasible to address those impacts. This means multiple foam components, usually a thick polystyrene (EPS) or styrofoam foam layer that "self destroy" or crush on a single impact conveying impact protection through energy conversion and a substantial shell. Styrofoam works very well for this. There is a problem though.

EPS is for single impacts, it was thought water users would have more frequent impacts. This would mean discarding helmets after impact even lesser ones. For this and other reasons "multiple impact" foams have been developed for water activities for sometime. Many think EPS excels multiple impact foams in impact related energy management. At the same time, the water helmet market appears to be focused on multiple impact foam.

How does a helmet work? This is what they Snell Institute has to say about it.

"How do helmets work?
Helmets are normally comprised of four elements; a rigid outer shell, a crushable liner, chin straps or a retaining system and fit or comfort padding. The rigid outer shell when present adds a load-spreading capability, and prevents objects from penetrating the helmet. It's kind of like an additional skull. The liner, usually made of EPS (expanded polystyrene) or similar types of materials absorbs the energy of an impact by crushing. The chin strap when properly buckled and adjusted along with the fit padding helps the helmet remain in position during a crash.
Helmets work kind of like a brake or shock absorber. During a fall or crash a head is traveling at a certain speed. Since the head has weight, and is moving there is a certain amount of energy associated with the moving head. When the helmet along with the accompanying head impact an unyielding object; a rock, a wall, a curb or the ground the hard shell starts by taking the energy generated by the falling helmet (head) and spreads it over a larger portion of the helmet, specifically the internal foam liner. The foam liner then starts to crush and break which uses up a lot of the energy, keeping it from reaching the head inside. Depending on how fast the head is traveling, and how big, heavy and immovable the object is the faster the head slows down, and the more energy is present. In short everything slows down really quickly. A helmet will effectively reduce the speed of the head by breaking and crushing which reduces the amount of energy transferred to the brain. The whole process take only milliseconds to turn a potentially lethal blow into a survivable one."


Still more with focus on water helmets as opposed to EPS foam models at:
http://www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=131&t=2313506&p=202276#p202276

There are lots of good (read: bad) reasons for wearing a helmet in the posts on this forum. One in particular worth looking over is AJ's story:
http://www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=2312791

A helmet article from The Kiteboarder
HERE

A SBC Kiteboard article on helmets
http://www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=131&t=2303394

A fairly low speed but tragically fatal impact involving an advanced kiter
http://www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=131&t=2316234

Might as well throw mine in there, got me started on this ten years back.
HERE


icebird wrote:I'm all for wearing helmets while kiting.

But to get the discussion into perspective the standards approved helmets are for kayakers rolling over and hitting a rock, not kiters flying through the air at 50km/t.

So helmets reduce injury, but they are not appropriate for the chosen activity. Bicycle and motorcycle helmets self-destroy on impact, water helmets do not.

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Re: Helmets

Postby Greg_R » Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:32 pm

RickL: Do you know of any manufacturer or source of helmets for people with ultra-large head sizes? My head is in the 66cm-68cm range (8.25 hat size). Most manufacturers XXXL size is in the 62cm-64cm range.

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Re: Helmets

Postby unlvkiting73 » Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:47 pm

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

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Re: Sweet helmets

Postby nicegrab » Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:04 pm

tallakt wrote: ... sweet helmets: Holy Diver and Rooster? http://www.sweet.no/main.html

I use a black strutter (originally for WW Kayaking). Excellent helmet, low profile, light, customizable, pretty much a baseball cap. I also threw a GoPro mount on the visor and she's GTG. You automatically use the helmet if you want that POV footage.


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Re: Helmets

Postby Davesurf76 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:51 am

The Protec helmet became my daily rider once I had my GoPro, since that is attached to it.


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