what do you think about helmets
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December 26, 2001
Member since 10/4/2001 🔗
259 posts
How does everyone feel about the use of helmets?
Should they be mandatory?
Should it be mandatory to have them available at resorts.
Is it a safety item that gives people a false sense of safety and actually make them less safe skiers.
Is it just a plot by the fashion industry to sell us more cool items.
December 26, 2001
Member since 04/1/2000 🔗
198 posts
>>How does everyone feel about the use of helmets? <<

In favor. I haven't used one yet for snow activities, but I have one waiting in the wings this year.

>>Should they be mandatory? <<


>>Should it be mandatory to have them available at resorts.<<

I think at Liberty, when you rent, the helmet is included in the rental. Am I mistaken?

>>Is it a safety item that gives people a false sense of safety and actually make them less safe skiers.<<


>>Is it just a plot by the fashion industry to sell us more cool items.<<


johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
December 26, 2001
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,991 posts
I have worn a helmet now for three years.


2. It has protected my head in two rather nasty, head first, 40+ mph, tumbling falls. I am not a physician but I suspect it saved me from a concussion in at least one case. In any event, I skied away from both accidents.

3. I bought my helmet (a black Boeri) not because it looks good (it doesn't), but because it received the highest safety ratings of the helmets considered and it fit extremely well. At first, I was a little self-conscious wearing the darn thing but as I noticed more and more skiers with them, I forgot about it. The key issue with a helmet is fit. Go to Ski Chalet, try a few on, and then shop for an hour with the one that feels the most comfortable on your silly head. That should give you a good idea if you will be able to stomach skiing the entire day with your new plastic hat.

3. On cold days, it keeps me a bit warmer than a standard Polartec cap.

4. It protects me from others. Last weekend, I was standing on Cant Hook (a very basic green slope) at Snowshoe taking a shot for DCSki when out of nowhere, a kid struck me from the back side. I didn't hit the ground but I was certainly glad I had a helmet.

December 27, 2001
Member since 12/27/2001 🔗
13 posts
I use helmets for all my other sports (cycling, blading) so I now wear one for skiing. I don't feel as confident without wearing it anymore. They are very warm. Now I have all these hats that I don't wear anymore.
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December 28, 2001
Member since 11/9/2001 🔗
221 posts
on the issue of safety....helmets are good...on my bicycle, im sure i have saved myself from a few concussions. but i've had a concussion. Good old wrestling practice gave it to me. its not too big a deal, but it would ruin a day of skiing. my advice is to not ski out of your skill level and do what you think is best- wear or not to wear. i feel that in steep terrain, such as shay's revenge, a helmet would be beneficial, but isnt necessary
December 28, 2001
Member since 01/11/2000 🔗
609 posts
I disagree ski guy. You don't get better unless you challenge yourself to ski out of your ski level (however, don't jump from green to double-diamonds!). Well not really out of your ski level but out of your comfort zone. However, the helmet can give a false sense of comfort.

I've really pushed myself the last 3 years to become a better skier. I have friends that were racer's and ski patrol that I've skied with for 14 years. Only when we started going out west, did I learn to ski out of the comfort zone.

However a helmet would not have made me feel more comfortable. By always skiing under control, I felt safe that my abilities would get me through. Have I fallen? Do Chickens scratch? Yes, but I fell just like I learned 14 years ago when I was a bunny sloper. It's better to fall than to hit a tree.

I don't knock anyone for having helmets. To each his own. I don't think I'll ever wear one. Not for recretional skiing.

December 28, 2001
Member since 11/9/2001 🔗
221 posts
i agree roy, you said what i was trying to say, but quicker and much simpler. i started skiing six years ago, this march will only be my fourth time because i live so far away, but i plan to be on shay's revenge at snowshoe before i leave. Ya gotta push yourself to get better, but like you said, dont go from greens to diamonds or double diamonds. Heck the first day i went skiing, i spent almost the whole day on the short bunny slope at timberline, but i worked on form and technique and stuff, and the next day i was on blues. then the next year i went, i was on diamonds. so i guess it is to each their own, i'm not gonna be the one to say "you should wear a helmet" or "you shouldn't wear a helmet". But as for me, i dont think i will ever wear a helmet again.

perhaps the only time i would have thought of wearing a helmet, i was on a patch of ice about 150 feet long ssking down the main slope at sugar mtn. sideways. See ya!

December 28, 2001
Member since 12/28/2001 🔗
5 posts
I joined the rock hard head club 3 years ago. Started with a skateboard type 1/2 helmet with many vents. Now ski in a 8 ball like Bori (?). As a bald guy I love it! Nice and warm. Keeps the ears warm too.

To wear or not to wear....Really is not a question. Look under about age 15 every kid wears a helmet. They will always wear them. The same thing happened with bike helmets 10 years ago. Now no one bikes w/o one. Kids who grew up wearing them will always wear them. As for us old folks we will be irrelevent in 10 years.

Further ski companys have found something more to sell us so they will market it more. Hats cost 20 bucks - helmets 120 bucks. I think the industry will push the brian buckets!!

December 28, 2001
Member since 10/4/2001 🔗
259 posts
Like driving, skiing accidents are not prevented just by ones own ability and repsonsibility. You never know when a drunk or out of control skier will come flying into you. So I do not agree with the premise that skiing within one's abilities eliminates the need for a helmet. All accidents come from the unexpected. A helmet is a good way to be perpared for the unexpected.
December 29, 2001
Member since 01/12/2003 🔗
15 posts
I am an aggressive senior skier (age 60+). I started wearing a helmet a couple of years ago and now would not be with out one. It keeps my head warm, and with vents is even comfortable when the weather is a bit warmer. While I fortunately have not needed the helmet in a crash, it is reassuring to know it is there should I need it. I have had a couple of head bumps, such as a swinging chair catching me while loading, and while not life threatening, these bumps would have hurt were it not for the helmet. Frankly, I think not wearing a helmet is akin to those who smoke...plain stupid, but nothing is going to change their minds.
Word of warning, whatever you do, get a helmet with adjustable ventilation. Make sure it is fitted to you correctly - it is no good if it is too loose. And buy a thin cloth liner with attached mask or neck gator for when it is really cold. A regular fleece hat will not fit inside a helmet.
Hardheads do it right!!
December 30, 2001
Member since 11/22/1999 🔗
317 posts
Hey Colonel:

Gotta disagree with your analogy. Not wearing a helmet can not be compared to smoking. The dangers of smoking are well studied and documented - if you smoke, you will 100% guaranteed ruin your health (period). Skiing without a helmet, however, does not carry the same guarantee of harm. Yes, the RISK is certainly higher, but it is by no means as definitive as with smoking.

With regards to the core question - helmets are definitely a good idea. However, I do not think the use of helmets needs to be mandated by law. Those who ski are in the best position to decide for themselves whether they wish to ski helmeted or not. I respect decisions made by both sides of the debate. Perhaps this issue should best be treated like bicycle helmet laws in many states - required for minors, but up to adults to decide for themselves.

[This message has been edited by Jim (edited 12-30-2001).]

January 1, 2002
Helmets are without a doubt a better approach to being properly equipped for a potentially rough sport. Anyone who finds it difficult to afford a helmet will most likely find a reason or excuse to poo-poo helmets, but they are the smart way to ski. The only problem I have is that they are too warm when the temp gets above 30, but they are wonderfully warm when it is otherwise way cold.
January 7, 2002
Member since 04/1/2000 🔗
198 posts
I consider myself lucky I didnt do some serious damage that day, but it's not something I want to trust to luck again.

That's pretty much the situation in a nutshell. One of these days, one's luck could run out. And when it does, it won't be pretty.

January 7, 2002
Member since 11/30/2000 🔗
194 posts
Ski patroller said I was damn lucky I had the helmet. This weekend at Hunter I was on K-27 (double-black steep, bumps, and icy). I have a PSIA Cert. and was with a level 3 Instructor to gave me the push I needed to get out of skiing just what I was "comfortable" with...what one needs if you plan to advance. Bottom sides were glared, caught a tip on the first bump and flew up and over landing face first into the next one. That was the semi-broken nose and bit tongue on both sides. Then slid the rest of the way bouncing my head on every hard bump....bam, bam, bam. I would have had a concussion way before the bottom. A bit battered, bruised, frustrated, but in one piece he insisted we spend most of the day going back over it again & again for experience & confidence. Simple formula: no helmet would have been no more skiing if not worse. An aside: a bud averted injury while just standing as an out-of-control idiot ran into HIM!
January 8, 2002
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
This year will probably be my first year wearing a helmet since I started snowboarding 6 years ago. Obviously in that time I have progressed to what I would consider is a reasonable degree of competency on the slopes. I dont wreck half as often as I used to and I'm far more comfortable at speed than I used to be. Now, while I don't wreck often these days, when I do it can often be reasonably dramatic especially in the terrain park. Last year I had a pretty bad crash at Snowshoe where I ended up crashing headlong into the barriers around one of the lift towers. I consider myself lucky I didnt do some serious damage that day, but it's not something I want to trust to luck again. As I see there is only so much punishment my body will take before something gives. If wearing a helmet or other protective equipment helps me stay alive and snowboarding longer then great. I'm not saying you have to wear a helmet, thats completely up to each individual but I do think its definitely woth consideration.
January 16, 2002
Well said, myrto. My decision to start wearing a helmet (last season) had nothing to do w/ my own ability. I wear a helmet b/c I'm constantly amazed at how many people ski/board out of control and generally don't pay attention to where they-and others-are on the mountain.
January 16, 2002
Member since 04/1/2000 🔗
198 posts
The endodontist who performed my last root canal, whose office walls are covered with pictures of his trips to Colorado, would probably recommend a mouth guard too. They're only 99 cents at Wal*Mart.

99 cents wouldn't even pay for the grease in your meal at any local resort.

lbotta - DCSki Supporter 
January 20, 2002
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,535 posts
Have to agree with TeleMike. I have now worn a helmet for two seasons. The main reason is not because I believe that I will get myself in a bad fall, but it is because of the virtual disappearance of civility in ski areas and the lack of any enforcement on the part of either courtesy or ski patrols. And although it hurts me to say this, Snowshoe is notoriously lax in this area. So I keep the helmet in the condo and would not go skiing without it.

Yes, they're expensive, but they are a life support item. It would be nice if they had some more colors and shapes, but that's secondary.


January 24, 2002
Member since 01/24/2002 🔗
14 posts
Ok, Ok Ok, so I've decided to listen and get a helmet. But I don't want to spend an arm and a leg. Can I get one at a ski swap or is that a stupid idea? Does anyone have any innovative ideas or know of any good websites so I can get one for an affordable price?
January 24, 2002
Member since 10/4/2001 🔗
259 posts
Yes, you can get a great deal on one at the LL bean Outlet in potomac mills. About $30 I think for a Giro.
January 25, 2002
Member since 01/25/2002 🔗
10 posts
helmets are cool.. they look stupid, but allow you to get a bit more aggressive.. I have been snowboarding for 11yrs. and am 26 now, and just started wearing a helmet.. I like it.. feel safer now, and stupid for not wearing one in the past.. especially w/ all the jumping I do
January 26, 2002
2nd season boarding. Just bought a helmet 2 weeks ago. Has already come in usefull. Some of them may look silly but...The one I bought is comfortable and warm. After cathing an edge and landing on my head, it was worth it. It also saved me from a nasty head slap on the ice when I wrecked landing a jump. I will never go again without a helmet.
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