A comprehensive guide to buying and sizing a ski or snowboard helmet, including FAQs and top tips.
As the UK's leading independent organisation in snowsports, we have closely followed the ski helmet debate. We know that more and more people are wearing helmets. Indeed many Ski Club staff and Leaders wear helmets, but we still believe that it’s up to the individual to decide whether to wear a ski helmet or not. We do however recommend that all children under 14 years of age wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding. It is a legal requirement for children to wear a helmet in some resorts and countries, and in some cases it’s also compulsory for adults to wear a helmet in certain areas on the mountain i.e. terrain parks. Please ensure you check and adhere to the regulations of the area that you are skiing or snowboarding in. It’s important to remember that the most effective way of ensuring your safety, and the safety of others on the mountain, is to ski safely and within your means. For all mountain users, the International Ski Federation (FIS) has ten rules for skiers/snowboarders to help everyone stay safe on the slopes and they should be followed at all times. The ten FIS rules of conduct can be found here
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% efective, 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.
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. It is a good idea to take your goggles with you and try them on with the helmet to ensure they fit comfortably with your helmet choice
4. How much will I expect to pay for a ski helmet?
Adult helmets start at around £50 and can go up to more than £200. 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 music when wearing it. Ski helmets for children are slightly cheaper and typically range from £30 - £70
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