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jimmyc
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Helmet Recommendations

Postby jimmyc » Fri Feb 18, 2005 6:12 pm

I'm starting to look at helmets and wanted some recommendations- what's good and what should I stay away from. Also, I'm interested in something small, like a skull cap, is there anything out there like that? A list of manufacturers with websites would be nice too, does that exist?

Thanks. :superfly: :pirate: :hut:

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murdoc
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Postby murdoc » Fri Feb 18, 2005 6:29 pm

best is to check a shop that sells whitewater-kayaking stuff.
these guys have it all: water splashing over you all the time, periods of being under water and banging against rocks with their helmets all the time.

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Postby kitesurf73 » Fri Feb 18, 2005 6:51 pm

It has to be comfortable otherwise you kind of get tired of using it.....Espacially comfy around ears or they might turn read....... :oops: The old gaths relly scratched my ears...... :evil:

Im thinking of getting a regular skate helmet ....... :thumb:

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Postby RickI » Fri Feb 18, 2005 6:58 pm

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.

etc.


IMPORTANT POINT

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.
Last edited by RickI on Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:05 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Postby mx5alan » Fri Feb 18, 2005 7:42 pm

Im thinking of getting a regular skate helmet ....... :thumb:


Would be better with a helmet rated to EN-1385 or its equivalent - the safety standard rating for Watersports. (Wakeboarding, kayaking etc...)

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Postby RickI » Fri Feb 18, 2005 7:52 pm

kitesurf73 wrote:It has to be comfortable otherwise you kind of get tired of using it.....Espacially comfy around ears or they might turn read....... :oops: The old gaths relly scratched my ears...... :evil:

Im thinking of getting a regular skate helmet ....... :thumb:


Don't. I've already tested a skateboarding helmet in a severe lofting, it saved my life but left me with an extended recovery. There was no guarantee of recovery either, it was something of a fluke.

When I started hang gliding, guys would wear whatever brain bucket that came by. Today, the normal lid starting price for newbies costs over $300. and is a high tech faired kevlar wonder.

Why?

Because people figured out, the hard way, that their brain is the most valuable asset they will ever have. Injuries taught people to use the BEST product available.

Don't cheap out on a $60. helmet vs. a $30. helmet or something even more expensive IF it is a good, proven design for kiteboard. It isn't worth it.

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Postby jimmyc » Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:12 pm

Thanks for the info. So, any recommendations...? Manufacturers and models?

Thanks.

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Postby rubberbanman » Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:15 pm

Rick I,
as always I appreciate all of your input and your strong safety minded attitude. It seems like you have done your helmet research. Please tell us what helmet[s] you use and why.
-thanks

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Postby RickI » Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:21 pm

I can't and won't endorse any particular helmet. There is too much riding on your decision on what to use.

Do your homework, carefully examine the options and pick the best helmet that you can for the special demands of kiteboarding.

There are few purpose built helmets for kiteboarding these days so we often need to use something designed for another activity. This is not a perfect situation, the good news is that some helmets are in development I understand so this should change over time.

I have been using Protec Darrin Ace Wake Helmets for the last few years. I haven't had serious problems with it, it seems to perform reasonably well but there is room for improvement. I haven't been hit anything particularly hard with it on either other than quite a few high speed water impacts. I have seen stars on impact with it after screwing up accidental kiteloops at height without other apparent problems. Quite a few Pro riders use this model for what that might be worth. I would prefer something with a kevlar shell and single impact foam, as is used in most helmets away from the water. That is you wack it a good one once and you have to throw it away. I have been on the lookout for better helmets for quite a while. Some of the kevlar kayaking helmets, without fixed projections, look interesting. Unfortunately, they don't stock them around here so it is hard to see them first person.

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Postby tautologies » Fri Feb 18, 2005 9:07 pm

most places I have checked only have one model, which I think is problem. Further more that I have no idea what a good helemt is, what standards it is supposed to adehere to, and stamps of approval. They could put a picture of a pig on it and say god has approved it....and I would be just as smart. I am trying to do some research on it, but it is hard...as most shops carry one helmet (different type from shop to shop) which is "the best helmet on the market"..


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