Choosing your Helmet
When choosing a helmet it is often tempting to get distracted by the wide variety of designs available but ultimately, your helmet needs to offer the best protection you can get so that you can get on with skating or riding without worry!
Fitting your new helmet
All helmet brands vary in size so it is important to measure your head before purchasing, it only takes a few minutes but will ensure that your helmet fits correctly.
- Using a soft tape, measure around the forehead just above the eyebrows and ears. The helmet should sit low on the forehead and ideally the front of the helmet should be further forward than the tip of the nose.
- If you don’t have a soft tape measure, you can mark a piece of string and then measure that with a ruler. If the helmet is intended as a gift then you could always measure an existing hat or helmet as a guide.
To check the fit of a helmet, adjust the straps so that the ear loops sit just below the ear lobe, the chin strap should be tight but not overly restricting. The helmet should not move if moderate pressure is applied to its base or the front. The helmet should not wobble or move when worn and the front of the helmet will normally protrude over the tip of the nose.
How safe is my helmet?
There are 3 common standards you will find on helmets:
All helmets sold in the EU must conform to EN1078- this covers bike, skateboard and roller skate helmets.
Some helmets are covered by CPSC Standards which is the American equivalent of the EU standards
ASTM is an American standard- ASTM F1492 is the certification required for multi impact Skateboard helmets
There are two main types of helmet:
A single impact helmet has been certified to be safe for use up to receiving one significant hit. After this point, the helmet is no longer considered suitable for use as the protective inner foam will have compressed to absorb the impact. Most Bike helmets are single impact certified.
A multi impact helmet has been certified to receive multiple significant impacts or one serious impact. The foam in these helmets absorbs impact but does not compress in the same way that a single impact does- it returns to its original shape therefore providing longer lasting protection. Multi Impact helmets meet the ASTM F-1492 Skateboard Standard. Good examples are the S1 'Lifer' and the Pro-Tec 'Ace' Range. Most snow and Wake helmets are Multi Impact
Hockey Helmets offer the most comprehensive protection as they are designed to sit lower on the head and are subject to higher safety requirements. Hockey helmets feature adjustable features that allow for a secure fit, they can also be fitted with visors or cages for those that want to protect their face against impacts and concussion. When fitting a hockey helmet, measure the head first and then adjust the size so that it fits snuggly- a hockey helmet should be tight enough that if you were tip upside down it wont fall of the head even if it the straps are not done up
When should I replace my helmet?
All helmets should be replaced after a serious impact, sweat can break down helmet padding over time so if it feels thin or shows sign of wear it should be replaced. As children grow, it is important to check that their safety helmet still fits as per the guidelines above.