Snowboarding Essentials
Main Equipment Helmets

Snowboard Helmets

While helmets may not look all that cool or feel comfortable, they are essential in preventing head injuries ranging from
headaches to serious concussions (or worse!).

Depending on your locality, the snow resorts you frequent may or may not have made helmets mandatory. However, even in places where they are optional, chances are you'll find most riders wearing one.

Do I Need to Wear a Helmet?

Some riders argue that wearing a helmet leads to a significant deterioration in their snowboarding experience. They say that this cuts right at the heart of the feelings of freedom which attract people to the sport in the first place.

As with most things, the freedom of choice is yours as long as your are aware of and are willing to accept the possible repercussions of your decision. Unless, of course, the snow resort has made helmets mandatory, in which case the decision to wear one would be a no-brainer.

If you are proficient in your snowboarding skills and are just planning on a slow and relaxing ride on the bunny hill or gentle blue runs with few obstacles, you could probably get away without a helmet. Keep in mind, though, that you would still be susceptible to being run into by another skier/rider.

If, however, you plan on indulging in some speed while carving sharp turns or doing terror-death jumps, spins and tricks, then it would probably be foolish and irresponsible if you choose to forsake the protection that a helmet provides. Make no mistake, the possibility of being knocked out cold or worse after a head collision is very real.

The Right Fit

Some general criteria to use when selecting a helmet include compactness and coverage over vulnerable areas. Most importantly,
Snowboarding
however, is that since helmets come in various shapes and sizes, the helmet you choose must fit your head snugly and comfortably.

Since you will be wearing it for six to eight hours a day on the slopes, a badly fitting helmet could end up giving you a headache at the end of the day. Or worse still, it might, in fact, cause more injury than it prevents in the event of a crash.

Goggles Compatibility

If you're going to a store to try on a helmet, it will be a good idea to try on the goggles you are planning to wear with it at the same time.

Some goggles are just not compatible with certain helmets which can lead to poor sealage while forcing you to work around the problem by wearing your helmet over the top of the goggle strap instead of strapping your goggles around the outside of the helmet the way it's supposed to be.

Warmth and Ventilation

Unless you wear a dual-purpose helmet (e.g. a helmet built for skateboarding or other sports too) you won't have to wear a beanie underneath your helmet. Helmets made specifically for snow sports are designed with inner linings and layers to keep your head warm. Some even come with removable ear-flaps in case it gets too warm for your liking.

Helmets may also have built in vents which can be open or closed. These are handy for keeping the warmth in on cold days or increasing the ventilation so that your head doesn't feel like a steamer on warm and sunny days.

Durability

If you ride the pipe and push the limits on a routine basis, you may like to get a helmet which can sustain multiple impacts and still provide adequate protection. Cheap helmets or helmets made for other sports may only be good for one hard collision before they must be disposed for another.

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