A comprehensive guide to buying and sizing a ski or snowboard helmet including FAQ's and top tips.
As the UK's leading independent organisation in snowsports, we have closely followed the ski helmet debate. We have given careful consideration to the opinions of Ski Club members, the ski industry, ski resorts and perhaps most importantly the latest helmet safety research.
At the Ski Club we will continue to monitor the helmet debate very closely, but at present with no clear research results, we do not feel it is appropriate to issue a statement recommending that all skiers and snowboarders of all ages wear a helmet. We know that more and more people are wearing helmets. Indeed many Ski Club staff and reps wear helmets but we still believe that is up to the individual whether a ski helmet is worn or not. We do however recommend that all children under 14yrs wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding.
1. When buying a helmet for skiing or snowboarding are there any standards I should be aware of?
- Ski helmets need to comply with one of three standard systems.
- The first is the Common European Norm (CEN) and this is the European ski helmet standard. CEN 1077 was issued in 1996.
- The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), all helmets must show that they have reached standard F2040.
- Snell Memorial Foundation, Snell RS-98 and this is arguably the most stringent helmet safety standard.
2. Will wearing a helmet give me 100% protection in a ski or snowboard accident?
- Helmets are not 100% efficient, especially at high speeds or in a head on clash.
- To increase their effectiveness it is essential that the helmet fits properly at the time of purchase.
- When buying a ski helmet for a child it should not be seen as an investment for the child to grow into.
- Skiers or snowboarders wearing helmets must not consider themselves to be invincible and also adhere to the Ten FIS Rules of Conduct.
- Some research also suggests that wearing a helmet can increase the chance of whiplash.
3. How do I fit a ski helmet?
- Helmet size: this is the circumference of your head just above your eyebrows.
- When putting the helmet on to your head align the front of the helmet with your eyebrows and pull down on both straps until it is comfortable.
- Helmet fit: No gaps between the lining of the helmet and your head and that the back of the helmet does not touch the back of your neck.
- Goggles: should fit comfortably over the helmet.
4. How much will I expect to pay for a ski helmet?
Adult helmets start at around £50 and go up to £150. The difference in price relates to the type of material used to make the helmet, or the helmet may have the added benefit of allowing you to listen to your personal stereo or mp3 player when wearing it. Ski helmets for children are slightly cheaper and range from £30 - £70.
featured articles from this category
- Off piste preparation
- Before you head off piste, as well as getting kitted out, you need to consider some other factors: