Better Safe than Sorry – Your Head Is Better with A Helmet!
No matter which sport you practise – safety is paramount! This also goes for snow sports, whether you are shredding in the park, taking the fiercest powder line or carving up the piste. A trend that has changed for the better in recent years on the ski and snowboard scene has definitely been wearing a ski / snowboard helmet. Gone are the days when it was cool to show off your skills on the mountains with just your beanie. All winter athletes with half a brain want to keep it protected when hitting those huge jumps and hard rails by wearing a helmet. There is also a wide variety of fits, colours and technologies to choose from. Blue Tomato is keen to ensure that your head is protected and that, at the same time, you don’t have to give up any style!
The pro’s did it first and now almost everybody has followed them. For many years it has been mandatory to wear head protection in competitions and in more and more ski resorts and fun parks you can no longer go without. Anyway, what is cool about hitting the deck with your head and no helmet after messing up a 5er off a twelve-meter kicker? Not very much. And when Sage Kotsenburg, Shaun White and co. are wearing them in the Olympics and X-Games, then you can also be sure to wear your snowboard helmet with confidence.
Every Head Has A Helmet That Fits
Of course, a nice soft beanie is very comfortable to wear, but today’s ski and snowboard helmets certainly give them a run for their money in terms of wearing comfort.
There are two main types of helmets: full-face helmets (class A) and half-shell helmets (class B). A full-face helmet covers your entire head, ensuring a firm fit at the same time as keeping you warm. A half-shell helmet covers only the upper part of your head, however it is more flexible, light weight and often has removable ear pads. Depending on your specialisation and skill level, you can opt for all-round, freeride or race –specific ski helmets or snowboard helmets. It is also important to note the differences in fit between models for men and women. Manufacturers such as TSG and Anon indicate them clearly.
A perfect fit is essential! If too loose, a helmet can slip and may not give your head optimal protection during a fall. Before ordering a new helmet from Blue Tomato, you should measure the circumference of your head using a tape measure. Please the tape measure a centimetre above your eye brows. If, for example, it measure 56 centimetres, then you require a size M (55 to 58 cm), which is available from almost all brands. Use the appropriate size conversion chart to find your helmet size. Ideally, you should also try a helmet on together with your goggles to ensure that they fit together.
Another important factor to consider when buying a helmet is a built-in ventilation system.
You can then decide whether you want to have the air vents open or closed, or how you’d like to utilize the air inlets, thus controlling air flow. When a helmet features an intelligent ventilation system, it is normally noticeable in the price. Take a tip from us, don’t make false savings!
Additional features that you can’t go wrong with are:
- Rear goggle clip
- Padded chin strap
- Audio compatible
- Recco® system
- Adjustable chin strap
- Removable pads for precise fit
Many brands now offer helmets that can be used both in the summer and winter. With a few simple steps the warm ear pads can be removed and you can be protected while riding your longboard or skateboard too.
Technology Doesn’t Stop at The Helmet!
Ski and snowboard helmets are basically made up of an outer and inner shell. The outer shell serves as direct protection and the inner shell as cushioning. The EPS-foam, which can be found inside most helmets, is covered by a shell, which is normally made from carbon, fibreglass or strong plastic (ABS or polycarbonate). A helmet can be manufactured using the ‘in-mold’ or ‘hard shell’ method.
In-molding involves the two shells being firmly welded together in one single step, resulting in a helmet that is extremely impact-resistant and lightweight.
The hard shell method involves the outer shell being adhered to the inner shell. This technique offers the same impact protection and makes the helmet slightly stronger, yet also slightly heavier. Hybrid-technology combines the best of both manufacturing methods. The upper part of the helmet is made using the sturdy hard shell method and the lower part with the in-mold method. The result leaves plenty of space for air vents and ensures good breathability for your head. Helmet manufacturers are constantly developing new technologies to pack into their helmets. Here are a few of examples, along with their benefits.
- POC – Aramid Bridges: Bridges made of Aramid material distribute the force of an impact over a wider area and ensure the helmet increased stability.
- TSG - Fidlock Magnetic Snap Buckle: A buckle that can be opened one-handed, even whilst wearing gloves. Features an integrated magnet for increased speed and security.
- Ride - Zoneflex ABS Hard shell Construction: ZoneFlex technology features independently flexible zones, which adapt to your head’s individual shape.
- Pro-Tec – BOA® Fit System: a sophisticated cog adjustment system that helps to perfectly adjust the helmet to your head.
- Scott - MIPS® Technology: This technology absorbs and minimizes the transmission of force onto your brain, especially in the case of oblique impact.
- K2 – Active Matrix Venting™: A ventilation system that is controlled using just one finger. Small effort, big effect.
All of these great technologies ensure effective protection and safety. You can also feel even more confident knowing that there is a safety standard that all helmets, and indeed other safety equipment, must meet. The European standard for helmets is called EN 1077. In the USA, it is the ASTM F 2040 label. Both certify that a helmet fulfils safety requirements, ensuring effective shock absorption and puncture resistance.
Depending on the manufacturer, it is recommendable to replace your helmet every three to five years. Even when it does not look damaged from the outside, weather and time cause inevitable wear.
Along with your head, your back also appreciates effective protection. Invest in a back protector. Severe injuries can be prevented with this indispensable piece of gear.
But that’s enough theory for you – the perfect ski or snowboard helmet is waiting for you at Blue Tomato! Snap it up and then snap it on!