Helmets are a lifesaver. Literally. Why risk a head injury when you can be proactive in preventing possible damage to your noggin. Helmets are not mandatory for ski hills at this time, but the increase in skiers and snowboarders wearing them has been dramatic since 2008/09. These days you may feel like the odd-one-out on the mountain without having a helmet on. All indoor snowdomes and parks require a helmet at this time. Helmets are getting lighter, more comfortable, and for the fashion conscious, pretty darn stylish.
Before we get onto looks, let's make sure you buy a helmet that fits you best. First measure the size of your head. Take a tape measure and wrap it around the circumference of your head, an inch above your eyebrows. Measure in centimetres and add 1 to your number - that's your measurement!
Helmet SizesHelmet sizes are organized within a range; so for example a small Salomon helmet (link: Salomon helmets) would be 55-56 cm. Each brand has a slight variation on what they consider a small or medium so just refer back to your head measurements for the right fit.
Once you've received your helmet try it on for size:
Does it fit nice and snug?
Does it fit all the way around your head?
If yes, your helmet fits!
Put the helmet on and shake your head- does the helmet move?
Does the helmet put pressure on your head anywhere?
Sounds like a poor fit, try a different size or different brand.
If you are willing to spend a bit more hard earned cash on your helmet, you can purchase one that has an adjustable setting. All of the helmets that have an adjustable feature are to create that snugness and comfort. A few options for an adjustable fit are:
Dials: Wheel or ratchets can be tweaked to make sure of that best fit. These are usually plastic and located at the rear of the helmet. (right top and middle)
Air: The small air pump at the back of the helmet can be pressed to increase or decrease air for the perfect fit. (Right bottom)
Foam padding: Strips of foam padding are included with the helmet which can be added or taken out to create the best fit.
No doubt you will be working hard on the hill, and you may need a bit of venting. These vents at the top of a helmet will let out that hot, humid air that you've created and give you that mountain fresh feeling. Vents are located in different areas on each style of helmet, with some vents staying open all the time, and others that you can adjust yourself.
Goggle companies are also designing their products to be helmet compatible and it can be a good idea to buy goggles from the same brand that your helmet is made by or vice versa. This ensures the gap between the goggles and helmet is very minimal stopping that annoying head freeze you can experience. All helmets also have a strap, clip or bungee at the back to hold onto your goggles.
We've spoken about the basics of buying a helmet, but now let's take a look at additional features.
Style: With a quick glance at our helmet pages you will realize there are a few different types of styles: rounded fit, oval streamlined fit, helmets with small or large brims. Helmets come in many different colours, finishes and patterns.
Weight: Helmets are being constructed with lighter materials creating comfort to wear all day, but keep in mind sometimes the lighter helmets do cost more.
Audio: Many helmets are audio compatible such as Red, where you can purchase headphones to fit into the ear pads. Salomon also makes an audio helmet with the headphones wired into the helmet.
Ear pads: All helmets are fitted with cushioned ear pads, shielding ears from those cold windy days. Some ear pads are thicker than others, and certain brands have removable ear pads when the weather warms up.
All of our helmets are rated Class B, which is specified for snow sports, but not for racing. Though helmets are designed for an impact, if you do crack or damage your helmet in a fall it is time to replace it as it's no longer safe.