June 25, 2010, Newsletter Issue #304: How to Choose a Helmet

Tip of the Week

At the risk of overstating the obvious, the first step in selecting a ski helmet is to make sure that it actually is a ski helmet. A bicycling or motorcycling helmet just doesnít cut it for skiing. Your next decision will involve your ski helmetís construction. Letís say that you are a recreational skier. You usually avoid the trees, and you have no interest in playing in the terrain park or half pipe. An in mold helmet construction is sufficient for your needs. When in mold helmets are constructed, the shell and a shock-absorbing foam are molded together. These helmets are lighter than injection-molded helmets.

When injection-molded ski helmets are made, the foam is molded to a separate shell, which is composed of a high-impact plastic. Thus, you are getting and extra layer of protection, which would be needed in a high impact fall or collision. However, they are somewhat heavier than in-molded ski helmets.

Next, check the ski helmetís fit. While it should be snug, it should not be so tight as to cause a migraine headache! Shake your head from side to side. If the helmet rocks back and forth, it is too loose. Parents should resist the temptation to purchase kids helmets that are too big, with the hope that their child will grow into it. An ill-fitting ski helmet offers no protection. You will also want to make sure that there is no gap between the bottom of your helmet and the top of your goggles.

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