Buying and sizing a ski or snowboard helmet.
More and more people are wearing helmets when skiing and boarding, and indeed the majority of Ski Club staff and Leaders choose to wear a helmet. However we still believe that it’s ultimately up to the individual to decide whether or not to don a helmet. 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 specified areas of the mountain such as advanced terrain parks. Please ensure you check and adhere to the regulations of your chosen area. It’s important to remember that the most effective way to ensure your safety, and the safety of others, is to ski within your ability. For all mountain users, the International Ski Federation (FIS) has ten Rules of Conduct for skiers snowboarders.
Headway, the brain injury association, has a useful info sheet which we want to share too. It's really worth reading before you go skiing so that if you're concerned about someone having a impact involving their head then you know what to look our for regarding concussion - Concussion in sports fact sheet.
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:
- 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% effective, 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 is the measurement of 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.
A correctly fitted helmet should have no gaps between the lining of the helmet and your head. The back of the helmet should 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 should 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.
5. Is it compulsory for children to wear a helmet?
In some resorts it is compulsory for children to wear a helmet - usually under the age of 16. Most ski schools will insist that children wear helmets. Check the individual resort's website for details.
6. If I don't wear a helmet, will my insurance still be valid?
Some travel insurance policies now insist that you wear a helmet - please check your policy details carefully and if in doubt, contact your insurer. Ski Club Travel Insurance does not insist on the wearing of helmets.