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Besides adding comfort and boosting performance on the slopes, ski helmets provide an all-important safety element. Here are the basics to help you choose the styles best suited to your activity and the prevailing weather conditions.
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Full shell – Full shell models provide complete coverage and seal out wind, precipitation and other elements normally encountered on the slopes. Some also have venting to help regulate temperature. These are recommended if you are planning to do a lot of tricks or some faster skiing.
Short shell – Short shell models offer comparable protection to full shell styles, but give less coverage and have a less armoured and constrictive feel. Many include venting and removable liners. Buy this type of helmet if you are uncomfortable with the full helmet.
Competition – Competition helmets feature densely padded liners, structured open ear zones inside the shell, and add-on jaw pieces for speed and slalom events. This may be too much if you are a strictly recreational skier, but is highly recommended if you plan on participating in some serious downhill competition.
Youth – Youth helmets are simply proportioned to smaller heads. Look for the same safety standards as adult helmets. Most have pads that can be inserted or taken out to adjust to a child’s head size.
|Putting Your Helmet On – Align the front rim of the helmet above your eyebrows. Hold the straps on both sides and roll the helmet over the back of your head. It sits squarely on the head with the front of the helmet low on the brow to protect the forehead|
|Check For Gaps – Pads should be flush against your cheeks and forehead. The back of your helmet should not touch the nape of your neck. The padding exerts firm, uniform pressure all around the head so that the skin on the forehead moves as the helmet is rotated from left to right and from front to back. If the harness isn’t correctly adjusted, it’s possible for the helmet to be knocked off or out of place.|
|Roll Test – With the chin strap fastened your helmet should be snug and comfortable. Try to roll your helmet off your head. If the skin on your forehead moves, you have a good fit. Buckle the chin strap securely at the throat. Connect the buckle according to the instructions provided with your helmet, and pull on the strap until it is snug against your throat. This ensures that your helmet will not come off at high-impact.|
|Proper Use – Be sure your helmet is fitting above your eyebrows and that your goggles fit your face while wearing the helmet as shown.|
Helmet sizing is very simple. Take a tape measure and measure the circumference of your head just above your eyebrows. That’s your helmet size.
It is VERY important to keep in mind that not all helmets fit the same. Head shape is a factor in your helmet selection as well. In most cases, your helmet will fit if you get the right size, but there are circumstances where the helmet will not fit due to the shape of the helmet and the shape of your head. In cases like this, you may have to try on a few different models to find the right one.
For kids it is very important to not add too much room to allow for growth. A helmet that is too loose is not going to be safe and can actually be dangerous. Kids’ heads grow relatively slowly so get one that fits. The only time you may want to bump up a size is if their head is right in-between sizes. Then you can select the larger size.
Always follow the manufacturers instruction manual for cleaning your ski helmet.
Here are some generic suggestions : we recommend cleaning your helmet shell with mild soap and water only. The helmet may be damaged and rendered ineffective by petroleum products, cleaning agents, paint, adhesives and the like, without the damage being visible to the user.
To clean the padding inside we recommend using a very mild soap and a sponge and doing a “spot” cleaning.
Do not try to remove the liner to clean it and never put your helmet in the dishwasher, washing machine or any other mass cleaning appliance. Do not use ANY harsh chemicals!
Don’t buy a helmet that’s too big and think that your child will grow into it.
Do make sure the helmet fits properly. It should be level and rest solidly on the head, snug enough that when you rock it back and forth it doesn’t fall over a childs eyes or off the back of their head.
Dont use an adult’s helmet for children.
Do fit goggles or eye wear comfortably inside the face opening, with ear wells aligned over the ears for the best sound reception.
Dont use a helmet that pinches, creates hotspots, or pressure points. Remember, childrens’ heads are still growing!
Do check to be sure the helmet isn’t so tight that it’s causing headaches or yanking on your childs hair when they turn their head.
Dont let kids re-use their helmet after a ski crash without having it examined by a professional at a ski shop! Ski helmets are designed to be single impact helmets and their styrofoam core may become compressed in an accident.
Do upgrade helmets every few years since plastics and composites break down over time, especially when exposed to the sun at high altitudes.
Do not wear a helmet tipped back on the head. Even if you can form the “Y” around the ears and eliminate slack, helmets worn on the back of the head are more likely to pop off and do not protect the forehead.
If you plan to ski in warm spring conditions or in temperate locales, or if you tend to work up a sweat, consider a helmet with good ventilation that will provide airflow and thus add to your overall comfort.
Non-ventilated snow board helmets restrict airflow and are generally preferable for wet, snowy, or extremely cold conditions.
The main current norms regarding alpine helmets are CE-EN 1077 and ASTM F-2040. Only helmets answering to these norms ensure a real protection. In Europe, to conform to the EPI guideline (individual protection equipment), alpine helmets must be validated according to the CE-EN 1077 by an accredited European laboratory
CE-EN 1077: European certification standard for “protective helmets”. This European norm specifies the minimum performance requirements and the test methods concerning the helmets, which should be worn by alpine skiers, including kids and competitors. These corresponding prescriptions and test methods cover the following topics: construction, including field of view; impact energy absorption capacities; penetration resistance; retention system features; branding and information.
TV: It is a certification organisation that is accredited in Europe to test and certify products to the European standard.
ASTM m – F 2040: ASTM is American Society for Testing and Materials. This North American Society recommendation defines performance requirements for helmets used by non-motorised recreational snow sports (i.e. skiing, snow boarding, and other alpine sports).
This specification is a performance recommendation and is not intended to restrict design. This recommendation from the ASTM committee differs from the CE standard in that it uses different impact energy and requirements, applies a hemispherical anvil and an edge anvil and does not apply a penetration test