Safely down the slope with the right ski and snowboard helmet
Not all heads are the same, so of course not all helmets are the same. Just as you choose ski poles orski goggles to fit your size, shape or personal ambitions, there are also a number of features to take into consideration when picking a ski helmet, to get the most out of it.
Keep reading for tips on choosing the right ski helmet and some general features of ski helmets.
Properties of ski and snowboard helmets
There are hard shell helmets, in-mold ski helmets as well as hybrid constructions. What does that all mean?
Basically, the most important function of a helmet is to protect and in order to do that, it has to fit well. But there are also different designs of ski helmet for different uses. For example, most kids' helmets are in-mold helmets. These have a hard exterior which is fused to a soft foam core. Hard shell helmets are more common. They have a rugged exterior and a lining made of mesh or another form of padding. Hybrid helmets are a combination of the two and are used by professionals because of their light weight.
Good, sufficient padding is important for any ski helmet. You have to make sure that it doesn't press or constrict anywhere, especially if you like wearing a beanie or balaclava underneath. Many ski helmets come with removable padding for the ear for warmth.
There are vents on the top, which aren't big enough for snow to get in, but large enough to keep the head cool and goggles fog-free. Depending on the model of ski helmet, there may also be an adjustable chin strap with padding and sometimes also an adjuster at the back. These are usually adjusted with dials to ensure an optimal fit. When trying a helmet, once you have made all the necessary adjustments you should vigorously shake your head and test whether the helmet stays in position or if it moves to the side. It should only wiggle slightly, otherwise you can't be sure that it will stay where it belongs if you fall!
If you prefer not having to wear a separate pair of goggles, there are also helmets with integrated visors. So you can kill two birds with one stone. But make sure that you look at the properties of both the visor lens and the helmet!
There are also special helmets for kids and women. These are not just smaller, but they also have more padding, are easier to adjust and of course have great designs!
Make sure you also try your goggles when trying on a helmet. This allows you to see straight away if something gets in the way and can test if the goggles strap fits into the ski goggle attachment on the ski helmet. So you can avoid unpleasant surprises...