Why You Need a Skateboard Helmet and How to Choose One
Skateboarding is a fun and exciting sport that can challenge your skills, creativity, and fitness. However, skateboarding also comes with some risks, especially for your head. According to a study by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, skateboarding was the second leading cause of head injuries among children and adolescents in 2018, after cycling1. Head injuries can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage or even death. Therefore, wearing a skateboard helmet is not only a smart choice, but also a life-saving one.
In this blog post, we will explain why you need a skateboard helmet, what types of helmets are available, and how to choose the best one for your needs.
The Benefits of Wearing a Skateboard Helmet
A skateboard helmet is a protective device that covers your head and reduces the impact of a collision or a fall. A skateboard helmet can provide you with several benefits, such as:
- Preventing or minimizing head injuries. A skateboard helmet can absorb the shock and distribute the force of a hit, preventing or reducing the damage to your skull, brain, and other tissues. A study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found that wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 85%2.
- Boosting your confidence and performance. A skateboard helmet can also make you feel more secure and confident when you skate, especially when you try new tricks or skate on challenging terrains. Knowing that your head is protected can help you overcome your fears and push your limits. A helmet can also improve your aerodynamics and ventilation, making you more comfortable and efficient.
- Complying with the law and the rules. In some states and countries, wearing a helmet is mandatory for skateboarders, especially for minors. Failing to do so can result in fines or penalties. Moreover, some skateparks and other skating facilities require their users to wear helmets as a condition of entry. Wearing a helmet can help you avoid legal troubles and respect the regulations.
The Types of Skateboard Helmets
There are four main types of skateboard helmets, depending on their design, coverage, and certification. They are:
- Half-shell helmets. These are the most common and popular type of skateboard helmets. They cover the top, front, and back of your head, but leave your ears and face exposed. They usually have ear cutouts and ventilation holes to improve your hearing and cooling. They are lightweight, comfortable, and versatile, and can be used for various skateboarding styles and disciplines. Examples of half-shell helmets are the Triple 8 Sweatsaver Liner3 and the Pro-Tec Classic Skate4.
- Full-cut helmets. These are similar to half-shell helmets, but they also cover your ears and part of your jaw. They offer more protection and warmth, but also more weight and less ventilation. They are suitable for cold weather, high-speed, or aggressive skateboarding, such as vert or downhill. Examples of full-cut helmets are the Pro-Tec Full Cut Certified5 and the S-One Lifer6.
- Full-face helmets. These are the most protective and secure type of skateboard helmets. They cover your entire head, face, and chin, and usually have a visor or a shield to protect your eyes. They offer the best protection against impacts, wind, dust, and debris, but also the most weight, heat, and restriction. They are ideal for extreme or dangerous skateboarding, such as downhill or electric skateboarding. Examples of full-face helmets are the TSG Pass Full-Face Helmet7 and the Lumos Matrix Smart Helmet8.
- Aerolids. These are the most aerodynamic and futuristic type of skateboard helmets. They have a sleek and smooth shape that reduces air resistance and drag, and enhances your speed and performance. They are designed for competitive or professional skateboarding, such as racing or time trials. They are not very common or practical for casual or recreational skateboarding. An example of an aerolid is the Triple 8 The Certified Sweatsaver9.
How to Choose the Best Skateboard Helmet for You
When choosing a skateboard helmet, you should consider several factors, such as:
- Size and fit. The most important factor is to choose a helmet that fits your head snugly and comfortably. A helmet that is too big or too small can compromise your safety and comfort. To measure your head size, use a tape measure and wrap it around your head, just above your eyebrows and ears. Then, compare your measurement with the size chart of the helmet brand that you are interested in. Most helmets also have adjustable straps, buckles, or dials to fine-tune the fit. You should also try on the helmet before buying it, if possible, and make sure that it does not wobble, slide, or pinch your head.
- Certification and safety. Another important factor is to choose a helmet that meets the safety standards and requirements of your country or region. Different countries and regions have different certification agencies and criteria for testing and approving helmets. Some of the most common and reputable certification agencies are the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and the European Committee for Standardization (CE). A certified helmet will have a sticker or a label indicating the certification agency and the standard number. A certified helmet will ensure that the helmet has passed rigorous tests and inspections, and that it can protect your head effectively in case of a crash or a fall.
- Style and preference. The last factor is to choose a helmet that matches your style and preference. There are many colors, designs, and features that you can choose from, depending on your personality, taste, and budget. You can also customize your helmet with stickers, decals, or accessories, to make it more unique and personal. However, you should not compromise the safety and quality of the helmet for the sake of aesthetics. You should also avoid modifying or altering the helmet in any way that could affect its integrity or performance.
Helmets that have received positive reviews from various sources:
- Pro-Tec Classic Certified Skateboard Helmet. This helmet is a classic and durable design that features hardshell construction and EPS foam liner to absorb and distribute the impact of a collision or a fall. It also has 11 large vents to keep your head cool and a wicking liner to prevent sweat from dripping on your face. It meets all the safety standards of CPSC, NZ, and ASTM, and is suitable for aggressive and versatile skateboarding1.
- Triple Eight Helmet with Sweatsaver Liner. This helmet is a stylish and comfortable helmet that comes in two versions: EPS hard foam and multi-impact design. The EPS hard foam version is CPSC certified and can be used for bicycling as well. The multi-impact design version features a sweatsaver liner that wicks away sweat and prevents odor. Both versions have well-ventilated and snug-fitting shells that can protect your head from various impacts2.
- Retrospec CM-1 Classic Commuter Bike/Skate/Multi-Sport Helmet. This helmet is a sleek and simple helmet that offers outstanding ventilation and breathability. It has 10 rectangular vents that allow air to flow through and keep your head cool. It also has an ABS shell and EPS foam that can withstand high and low impacts. It is certified by CPSC and EN 1078, and can be used for skateboarding, biking, and other sports3.
- TSG Pass Full-Face Helmet. This helmet is the most protective and secure type of skateboard helmet. It covers your entire head, face, and chin, and has a visor or a shield to protect your eyes. It offers the best protection against impacts, wind, dust, and debris, but also the most weight, heat, and restriction. It is ideal for extreme or dangerous skateboarding, such as downhill or electric skateboarding. It is certified by ASTM F1952, ASTM F2032, and EN 10784.
Skateboarding is a fun and exciting sport, but it also involves some risks, especially for your head. Wearing a skateboard helmet can protect your head from injuries, boost your confidence and performance, and comply with the law and the rules. There are different types of skateboard helmets, such as half-shell, full-cut, full-face, and aerolids, and you should choose the one that suits your needs and preferences. You should also choose a helmet that fits your head well, meets the safety standards, and matches your style. By doing so, you can enjoy skateboarding safely and comfortably.