The Truth About Skiing

Ski helmets – how to choose the right one

If you are going to ski or snowboard, read about protecting equipment, such as ski helmets. It’s an interesting fact that about 90% of skiers and snowboarders that suffer a serious head injury are either advanced or intermediate. These injuries are usually inflicted at high speeds on intermediate slopes (or red slopes). Wearing a ski helmet is a recognized and proven way to reduce the risk of a head injury, or to reduce the severity of an injury in the event of an impact. The fact is that head injuries don’t occur frequently, but anything that will reduce the risk of an injury can’t be dismissed.

There have been a considerable number of research studies, all of which have proven that wearing ski helmets will reduce the risk of sustaining a head injury by between 29 and 56% (depending on the year and the country where the study was conducted). These studies don’t take into account those people who weren’t injured after their fall because their ski helmets saved them, because there’s no reliable way of gathering such information for a certainty, so surely the actual figures are much higher than those published.

In days gone by, it was very uncommon to use ski helmets on ski slopes, and any individuals who dared to wear a helmet were often looked upon with ridicule. These days, fortunately, the situation has completely reversed, and the only people not to wear ski helmets are those who simply don’t own one or aren’t aware of the risks. Some who refuse to wear ski helmets probably do it because it doesn’t fit in with their style.

The price of ski helmets differs depending on the various labels and special features, such as breathability, etc. However, this doesn’t mean that a helmet of the same standard that is more expensive is necessarily better or safer. Apart from the safety standards, it’s also important that you’re able to hear through your ski helmets sufficiently well; that it suits you individually and is appropriate to your dimensions.

Apart from the regular helmet style, there are ski helmets on sale that are similar to motorcycle helmets that cover the entire face (a full faced helmet). Such ski helmets are mostly used in dangerous competitions such as boardercross or freeride, where there is a greater risk of injury.

There are also so-called audio ski helmets on the market that give you the option of listening to music while riding. Any music whilst skiing is extremely dangerous. Even if you listen to music on a low volume, your ability for hearing perception on the ski slopes is significantly impaired, which can often lead to catastrophe.

Conspiracy theorists who complain about the use of helmets mostly claim that your helmet won’t save you from collisions at high speeds, largely because it usually only protects the head at low speeds (up to 22.5 km/h). Advanced skiers ride at speeds between 40-60 km/h on the red slopes, and in the event of a serious collision, a helmet won’t necessarily save such a skier from sustaining a serious injury. This is partly true, although not completely. The fact is that helmets have been tested with a two-metre drop onto an anvil at a speed of 22.5 km/h. Motorcycle helmets are tested with a three-metre drop, at speed of 27.36 km/h, and we can all imagine instances whereby a helmet has saved lives at far higher speeds. It’s true that a helmet can’t always protect you. Most fatalities occur when impact forces exceed the protective power of such ski helmets.

If you find yourself in a perilous situation, ask yourself if you’d do the same thing were you not wearing a helmet. If the answer is ‘no’, then don’t do it, with or without your helmet.

It is very dangerous and stupid to ride down the slopes without skiing helmets.  In our skiing guide we will show you the way how to choose ski helmets, step-by step and how to figure out which one suits you the best. We will also show you some tricks how to pick ski helmets for your children and give you the information on how to choose between two almost suitable sizes.

 

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