The helmet has become very popular in a short time. If you compare the image on the slopes today with ten years ago, one thing immediately stands out. You used to stand out with a helmet and now you stand out without one. There are now countries where it is compulsory for children to wear a helmet (Italy and Austria) and many ski schools only teach when children are wearing a helmet. More and more people are calling for it to be made compulsory for adults too, but this is still a big debate. In addition, the pistes are getting busier and busier and many more accidents involving head injuries occur. It is therefore important to consider the differences between helmets.
WHICH TYPE OF HELMET IS RIGHT FOR ME?
When is a helmet suitable for me? Below you can read about the differences between helmets and the resulting significant price differences.
TYPES OF SHELLS
The outer shell is the most important part of a helmet and the part that has to absorb the impact. There are 2 different types of shells.
- Inmold: this type consists of the inner and outer shells in one fused unit. An important advantage is that these helmets are lighter and often have better ventilation possibilities. A disadvantage is that the outer shell is less strong and hard and therefore more sensitive to pointed objects.
- Shell: this type of helmet has a loose and hard outer shell over the inner shell. These helmets are somewhat harder and more resistant to impact by a pointed object. The disadvantage is the sometimes slightly inferior ventilation and the higher weight.
Another advantage of a helmet is that it is wonderfully warm and keeps the forehead and ears nice and warm. A hat is no longer necessary. For really cold conditions you can consider a thin bivouac-style hat. For example, the Barts Helmaclava or Odlo Facemask.
The downside of this warmth is that on sunny days it can get too hot. Therefore, all helmets have ventilation options. In the more expensive helmets this ventilation is often adjustable with a slide, from completely open to completely closed.
SKI OR SNOWBOARD HELMET
Many people wonder whether there is a difference between ski helmets and snowboard helmets. The only difference is that snowboard helmets have a slightly 'trendier' look, but this is of course a personal choice. There are no functional differences. Snowboard helmets and some freestyle ski helmets do have the option to remove the inner lining and wear the helmet over a hat.
HOW DO I FIT A HELMET?
Wearing a helmet is very important when skiing, because this piece of equipment protects the most important part of the body: the head. It is therefore very important to choose a helmet that fits perfectly. In this article we will show you what to look for when trying on a helmet.
THE SIZE OF THE HELMET
First of all, you need to know what size you need. We make a distinction between centimetre and letter sizes. It is best to measure your centimetre size first. You can do this simply by measuring the circumference of your head with a tape measure. Wrap the tape around your head at about 2 centimetres above the eyebrows. The circumference is your centimetre measurement. If you want to wear a hat under the helmet, you will need to add one to two centimetres to your head circumference.
Many brands use letter sizes (S, M, L and XL) to indicate the size of their helmets. These letter sizes correspond with centimetre sizes, but be aware that each brand has its own size specifications. If your centimetre measurement falls within a size M for one brand, this does not mean that a size M will fit you for another brand. The sizing therefore varies per brand. Often there are several centimetre measurements in a letter size and you can use an adjustment system to adjust the size exactly to your head circumference.
FITTING THE HELMET
Put on the helmet without fastening the strap. Can the helmet easily move sideways and forwards or backwards on your head? Then the helmet is too big and does not offer the protection you are looking for. Do you have trouble putting the helmet on or do you feel pinch points? Then it is too small. The helmet should feel comfortable and should enclose your head well on all sides, but not compress it. Often you can adjust the fit to the size and shape of your head by using a rotary knob.
When fastening the chinstrap, make sure that it is not too tight, but also not too loose around your neck. The chinstrap should fit well but be easy to loosen.
COMBINING GOGGLES WITH YOUR HELMET
If you wear snow goggles in combination with your helmet, it is important to find out if they fit well on your helmet. Many helmets are designed in such a way that they can be easily combined with goggles: they have a slot where the goggle strap fits and they have a kind of clip at the back that you can use to secure the strap. But not every goggle fits perfectly with every helmet. Therefore, try them on together! Note that the helmet should not push the goggles down and the helmet should not slide backwards because of the goggles.
WHAT IS THE RIGHT FIT HELMET FOR ME?
The best helmet is not necessarily the most expensive helmet. The fit of the helmet is very important. How does it fit to your head? It is important that your head falls completely into the helmet and that the helmet does not "stick". The helmet should have as little play as possible on the head, both on top and all around. After all, if you fall with considerable speed and force, the helmet should stay in place and be able to fulfil its protective function.
Ski helmets must be CE-certified, you can certainly not use just any helmet for winter sports. A bicycle helmet, for example, is not suitable. All helmets that we sell online and in our shops are certified and suitable for winter sports.
The helmet must have an optimal fit for maximum protection. To achieve this, many brands in the slightly higher price range have integrated a size adjustment in the neck. This can be done with a kind of band that can be tightened, but with Salomon and Anon it is even done with an air cushion that can be inflated.
The idea behind this is simple. Optimal protection is only possible with an optimal fit. It is also ideal for children who are still growing. The head grows the slowest of all the body, which means that children can sometimes use this type of helmet for a very long time.