Ski and snowboard helmets are designed to increase safety, and to be comfortable and warm. While following the Alpine Responsibility Code and staying in control is the golden rule of safety, wearing a properly fitted and industry standard certified helmet can decrease your risk of serious injury (or death) in an accident.
- Choose a helmet designed specifically for Skiing/Snowboarding: Bicycle and hockey helmets are designed with different areas of protection and impact characteristics. This means that in the event of a fall/accident, these helmets won’t protect you and can actually cause more harm. Skiing and snowboarding helmets are also designed for warmth and use with goggles. Therefore, choosing a sport-specific helmet is key for your safety and comfort.
- Make sure the helmet fits you properly: Never buy a helmet that can be “grown into”. Your/your child’s helmet must fit properly to provide any protection. Be sure that the helmet is comfortable. You know you have a properly fitted helmet when: A) The front part of the helmet sits two fingers’ width above your eyebrows. If the front part of the helmet sits too low, it will reduce your field of vision. If the front of your helmet sits high on your forehead, it won’t protect you as well. B) Your helmet sits snugly on your head, with no gaps between the padding and your skin/hair. You can test this by shaking your head with the helmet securely fastened (like a Rockstar!) to make sure the helmet doesn’t shift or move around.
- Ensure your helmet meets the industry standards: There are various helmet standards in Canada ranging from CEN (least rigorous standard) to RS-98 (most rigorous standard for certification). Current helmet certifications include ASTM F2040, CEN 1077, and Snell RS-98. Be sure to review product literature and look for the certification stickers (under the padding) on the inside of the helmet.
- As an adult – be a role model: If you expect your children to wear a helmet, model this behaviour for them. Any adult who wears a helmet is helping to encourage safe riding practices in the younger generation. Show the kids that safety is cool!
- Update and inspect your helmet regularly: It’s recommended that you replace your ski or snowboard helmet every 3 years. That being said, we all know how expensive helmets can be. Every manufacturer has a way of calculating when the helmet “expires” (generally 10 years after manufacturing) – you can find this information on the inside of the helmet (where the certification stickers are!). You should also always replace your helmet if it has been in an accident resulting in substantial impact. Always examine both the inside and outside of your helmet for dents, cracks, splits, or tears that could compromise the integrity of the helmet. Regularly inspecting your helmet can help keep you safe!
Where to buy a properly fitted helmet:
Chicopee Retail Store - 396 Morrison Road, Kitchener ON
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