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 Post subject: Re: Never too cool for a helmet
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:49 am 
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I always wear my helmet whether freeriding of surfing. It has a small lip on it to help keep the sun off my face and have had no issues with the lip catching when crashing.
Mine is a White Water Kayak helmet (I also kayak)
Look at the Kayak shops. The helmets usually come with extra high density foam for a custom fit and last for years.


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 Post subject: Re: Never too cool for a helmet
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:17 am 
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Concussions are common* in wakeboarding, helmet use is not among most of the victims. Neck fractures are also fairly common in wakeboarding, again without helmets, but that is another subject. They are doing face plants at speed and getting concussed by simply hitting water, without a helmet.

If you do a high speed face plant while kiting, slam in a high speed for a height, do a high speed rotating entry into the water, you could get concussed as well. I have come close myself years back after bad high speed kiting jump landings from height (seeing explosion of stars, disorientation, head pain, etc.), just from hitting water.

Some symptoms of concussion are listed below. How many on here have experienced some of these symptoms from impact with water while kiting particularly after bad trick or jump landings?

Signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:

Dizziness or "seeing stars"
Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
Appearing dazed
Fatigue
Delayed response to questions
Ringing in the ears
Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
Temporary loss of consciousness
Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
Slurred speech
Nausea
Vomiting
From: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/concussion/basics/symptoms/con-20019272


* Wakeboarding & concussion on google.com https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=wakeboarding+concussion&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8#q=wakeboarding+concussion&rls=en&start=0

"Characteristics of water skiing-related and wakeboarding-related injuries treated in emergency departments in the United States, 2001-2003" This article considers helmet use to try to reduce the frequency of traumatic brain injury in wakeboarding.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15888722

One particularly notable wakeboarding accident/fatality involving concussion without a helmet with facts on traumatic brain injury and SIS, which ultimately killed the man at: http://tinyurl.com/lxfny59

How common are head impacts against hard objects in kiting? In 16 years I've had quite a few myself both minor and major ones. Helmets don't guarantee lack of injury or even survival in accidents but they can help, if you are wearing a good well fitted and secured one for the demands of kiting.


FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi
.


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 Post subject: Re: Never too cool for a helmet
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:42 pm 
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tautologies wrote:
dyyylan wrote:
the general consensus was that the increased surface area and the increased buoyancy makes your chances of getting a concussion higher


Consensus of whom? This is a really good opportunity to qualify who the consensus came from.


I thought the consensus went the other way, that helmets are good? :)

I guess there is no consensus then, but the counter argument based on known physics of solid objects impacting the water surface is:
Differences in Volume and surface area dont matter. Projected area is what makes a difference.

Buoyant force is proportional to submerged volume and does not change with speed so volume and buoyancy can be left out completely. The buoyant force is negligible compared to the slamming force of your head hitting the surface.

So projected area is slightly greater on the helmet, yes, but the helmet is designed to absorb impact energy. I dont have any data to back this part up, but i definitely think that whatever marginal increase caused by the helmets increased size will be more than made up for by the helmets absorption of impact energy.


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 Post subject: Re: Never too cool for a helmet
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:28 pm 
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I tried searching, but couldn't find a study comparing the G-forces on the skull hitting water versus the G-forces on the skull inside a helmet hitting water.
I think it is possible that under some circumstances the G-forces would be higher with a helmet.

Its going to depend partially on the design, size, weight and absorption material of the helmet, plus the angle the head or helmet hits the water and the turbulence of the water.

It would still be a good study to do even if only a few angles were tried with one of the most suitable helmets and flat water.
Wakeboarding is on average much more risky for head trauma from impacts than kitesurfing. The wake guys did suggest the helmet/no helmet 'myth' to Mythbusters but it didn't get accepted. They could have done a reasonable study, but it would still probably only be able to draw a few limited conclusions.

Meanwhile, I'm gonna keep wearing a helmet. It does protect my eardrums from getting burst in the impacts I am likely to get.


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 Post subject: Re: Never too cool for a helmet
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:24 pm 
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I have put together an illustrated article related to some of the topics in this thread at:
http://www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=131&t=2385544

...

One of the things a helmet does to reduce traumatic brain injury is to increase the time by fractions of a second it takes for the brain to decelerate before slamming into your skull. It does this through the crushing of the foam. The brain impact force is related to the acceleration/deceleration. Helmets may actually reduce the severity of concussion on high speed water impact as a result. I haven't seen much in the way of data involving helmets and water impacts. It is obvious that lots of wakeboarders are getting concussed without any helmet being present. Kiting involves a higher risk of head impacts against a variety of objects from our collective experience.

Image Image

.
Images from http://www.wakeboard.com.sg/ and http://www.kitesurfeur.be/


Last edited by RickI on Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Never too cool for a helmet
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:27 pm 
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plummet wrote:
dyyylan wrote:
i dont wear a helmet when kiting because i don't have a board that can hit me in the head,


Hahahaha.... do you kite barefoot? if not then you have a board that can it you in the head! even if it is strapped to your legs in boots!...


If i'm in bindings and my boards hitting my head then i've got bigger issues to worry about than wether i'm wearing a helmet or not haha!


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 Post subject: Re: Never too cool for a helmet
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:08 pm 
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Quote:
If i'm in bindings and my boards hitting my head then i've got bigger issues to worry about than wether i'm wearing a helmet or not haha!

Some of the risks are death, paralysis, memory loss, permanent cognitive impairment and early dementia, plus potential minor bonuses like chronic headache and mood swings that will make it hard for others to get along with you.
Your relationships may suffer or end.
You won't be able to tolerate alcohol so well either, your partying will probably end too, if that's something you're into.
Get a little more experience and you will meet people who have been though these things.

Even if you ride a nice slow 10-15 knots loading for the next wakestyle trick, all you have to do is accidentally loop the kite, miss a pass, tangle on a bar end, impact a feature, etc, and you can be hitting the water (or something harder) near or even above windspeed. Or get a bit more air than you bargained for, over-rotate etc. Catch an edge or tip and your head can hit first.
Not a huge worry in 12 knots I guess, but 18? 20? 30? Not so good.
How will you manage to set up your trick wrong, miss the grab, and then go in head first at once?
How could you accidentally loop a slow kite set up for wakestyle?
Will a gust hit while you are hitting a feature in water just a little too shallow?
Will the tide or wind take away that extra depth of water you need to carve a transition or land a jump?
Will someone else lose their kite and have it hit yours?
Maybe, and you can't always do anything to prevent it.
Accidents are a series of small mistakes or random events that happen in sequence.
Maybe your only mistake is not trying to protect yourself, it doesn't matter, the result will be the same. Not everything is under your control.

Conventional wisdom is right about helmets.
Wear them, at least when you are throwing tricks, riding in crowds, or when the wind is strong.

The G-force comes from decelerating your head in a short distance.
The helmet adds an inch or so of distance and bit of time.
It adds some area, but not that much.
I guess an alternative would be to shrink your head to a smaller diameter.
I think the helmet is a better option.


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 Post subject: Re: Never too cool for a helmet
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:03 pm 
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tautologies wrote:
dyyylan wrote:
the general consensus was that the increased surface area and the increased buoyancy makes your chances of getting a concussion higher


Consensus of whom? This is a really good opportunity to qualify who the consensus came from.

If the consensus came from people who have not actual expertise about the subject matter, then it counts for just about nothing.

yes, exactly, consensus of whom? I don't accept any "consensus" opinion on safety issues not based on scientific experiment


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 Post subject: Re: Never too cool for a helmet
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:27 pm 
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eree wrote:
yes, exactly, consensus of whom? I don't accept any "consensus" opinion on safety issues not based on scientific experiment


absolutely true eree. we just dont have the studies that prove one way or another if a helmet helps in a hard water impact.

My suspicion is that a helmet helps if you land flat on your back because the added surface area prevents whiplash doesn't do anything if you land feet first and doesn't help if you land head first. But I could be wrong. Someone is going to have to mythbusters it and home brew some experiments because there doesn't seem to be any indication that the helmet industry cares about this issue.

We know of course it definitely helps if you impact on land or hit your head on a slider.


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 Post subject: Re: Never too cool for a helmet
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:02 pm 
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This is the original article I was referring to:
http://www.wakeworld.com/news/feature/c ... -1447.html

Obviously head injuries are easy to get in kiting because of how hard you hit the water doing tricks. I think for 99% of kiters though, this is a non-issue and you have a higher chance of a concussion getting hit by a car on your way to the beach, than you do actually kiting.


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