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More helmet facts
Skiing and snowboarding can be dangerous, and it is not only in the are of racing that rough crashes lead to injuries, they can also happen on flat slopes. Be it due to overestimating yourself or the carelessness of others. To prevent injuries to your head as good as possible, you should ALWAYS wear a ski helmet.
Be it in deep powder, the steepest runs, in the park or on the beginners’ lift. In all areas of winter sport: on-piste skiing, snowboard, freeride ski, freestyle ski, touring ski or when going sledding. Today, ski helmets have become the standard. Very rarely, you see people without helmets and certainly, this is no longer viewed as cool. Because ski helmets do not only guard your head, they are also comfortable, good looking and offer a bunch of additional features!
The ski helmet is not just a simple shell around your head
On the market, there are two different kinds of ski helmet constructions: in-mold and hardshell. Both have their pros and cons.
In-mold system ski helmet: Here, the outer and inner shell are formed in one step. The outer shell is very thin, which is why this helmet weighs a little less. Furthermore, the ventilation is easier, because as with bike helmets, you have large openings which are easily opened and closed using sliders.
Hardshell helmet: The thicker outer shell made of hard plastic or carbon is clogged with the inner shell. The helmets weigh a bit more, but also offer a bit more protection. These can also be ventilated, although it is a little more complicated: The airstream basically flows through the two shells, removing heat. As these helmets offer some additional protection, they are commonly used in racing.
What they both have in common: the structure of the helmet and its layers can get hairline cracks or other damages in case of a crash, even when not visible. This is why you should always replace your helmet after a hard fall.
Some helmets have the addition MIPS in their name. This stands for “multi-directional impact protection system”. This system reduced rotational motion, absorbs and redirects rotational energies and forces. This forces occur when hits happen not in a 90 degree angle, but in a different angle. This system makes the helmet a bit heavier and more expensive, but certainly safer as the chance of having a concussion is decreased.
The form and size of your ski helmet need to fit
To make the helmet actually work properly, it needs to fit well and stable. But be careful: The size indications of the various brands differ. As of this, a helmet of size M can be smaller or larger by one brand than by another. Best is, to measure your head circumference und compare it to the different sizes. If you can, try several helmets to find the best fitting. Many brands also give you the possibility of fine adjusting using a small cog. To test whether the helmet really fits, put it on open, do not close the chinstraps. Then, shake it properly. The helmet should stay where it is, not move too much and certainly not hinder your view.
There are also different helmet forms available, depending on what you like and want and where you intend to use it. Most commonly seen is the half bowl helmet. With this, the shell does not cover your ears. Instead, these are covered by softer pads which are most of the time removable. Full-shell helmets on the other hand also cover your ears entirely. These helmets offer some additional protection which is why they are mostly used in racing.
What more can a ski helmet do
Next to form, size and type of construction, there are some addional features. The fastening of your goggles is important, as you do not want your goggles to slide down the helmet. Other helmets have goggles integrated in form of fullface construction. Here, a visor is part of the helmet.
Other features include pre-installed screw threads for your camera or built-in speakers. Very handy for all tourers are head lamp set ups and built-in RECCO reflectors. Also, it is good to have interior that can be removed, it being anti-allergenic and having well working ventilation. In racing, you need ski helmets that offer removable chin protection.