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) 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
- Have adequate, good quality padding (not excessively spongy or soft)
- Be light and have low drag (no fixed projections 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
Oh, regarding the skull cap, I wouldn't bother with it. Get the best lid you can find for the substantial demands of kiteboarding instead. You need something that WORKS as opposed to something that just looks good. If you have seen someone before and after a serious head trauma, the possible change in reactions, voice, mental acuity, impaired motor function, and more, you wouldn't ask why. All considerations of what is "cool" die and may or may not return to the victim and his loved ones that are left to care for him. This is serious stuff and fashion considerations should take a back seat to critical performance considerations.
Shit happens, work to avoid it but plan to try improve your chances with basic safety gear should be hurled into a bad situation, despite your best efforts.