Last season saw a record number of ski and snowboard helmet sales. We sold down to the bare bones because people came in wanting a helmet before going on their spring break trip last year. This end of season splurge came right after the publicized death of Natasha Richardson who received a head injury when she fell during a lesson on a beginner slope. She continued to ski a few runs but wasn’t feeling well. About 8 hours later, she died of a head trauma. She was not wearing a helmet.
Many of us think helmets are for advanced skiers and boarders who go into the trees or take hard falls. But in reality, head injuries happen to beginners and intermediates just as often as we saw with Natasha. You don’t fall you say! Many who receive head injuries get them in a collision caused by someone else. The truth is, you don’t plan on to fall or have a collision, but when it happens, you want protection!
The ski and board industry anticipate another large increase in helmet sales. Alpine Accessories has ordered more helmets and models for this season with anticipation of an increase in sales. But what should you look for in a helmet?
Sizing– Helmets come in different shapes and sizes. Some are designed for round shaped heads, some for oval shaped heads. It’s best to try one on. But some helmets have adjustable internal headbands so the hard shell doesn’t have to fit your head exactly. Either way, a helmet should fit snug. When you wear your helmet, the front should be just above your eyebrows. Also keep in mind you may be wearing a headliner.
Audio– Not real important but nice to have. Some helmets have audio standard and some can have it added afterwards. It will cost a little less when it’s included.
Vents– Important to some, very important to others. Either way, you should have some vents to let out heat and moisture. Vents tend to be the biggest cost factor. The more elaborate the vent system, the more expensive the helmet. Some helmets have passive vents (NO adjustments), some have pull out plugs, some have a slide control and some have dual slide controls. Either way, adjustable vents are very nice to have.
Protection– When helmets first came out around 10-15 years ago, some were not certified for impacts. But almost all helmets above $30.00 are certified. Keep in mind, if you take a hit to the head, inspect your helmet carefully. If you see a crack, it means your helmet did its job but won’t be able to do it again so it would need to be replaced.
Helmet Sizing Chart