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Advice on helmets

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
OK After tumbling and bouncing 150m down a couloir in Cham at the weekend I've decided that its time for a lid. It was a surpise to me that I only wrenched my shoulder, next time I may not be so lucky. I'm very used to climbing and cycling helmets but don't know anyhting about skiing helmets.

So what should I be looking for and where is the best place to buy in the UK, in terms of expert advice, choice and price. Is it cheaper to buy out in France - I will be back in Meribel at beginning of March.

How much should I expect to pay?

Are there different types of helmet?

How often should they be replaced with normal wear and tear? What is the minimal traumatic event that would mean that the helmet should be replaced?

Any brands/styles/materials to avoid?

What types are better for dealing with sunglasses and goggles?

What types of chinstraps are best?

What are the problems that could be encountered with fit - I have quite a lot of hair!


Hope that there are some experts out there.......

cheers
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
snowcat wrote:
How much should I expect to pay?
Around £75-100

snowcat wrote:
Are there different types of helmet?
Yes - slalom helmets may have a chin guard.

snowcat wrote:
How often should they be replaced with normal wear and tear? What is the minimal traumatic event that would mean that the helmet should be replaced?

Replace it if it gets a crack, or if you cracked your skull in it.

snowcat wrote:
Any brands/styles/materials to avoid?
Choose the one that fits you best - but go for one with good ventilation options

snowcat wrote:
What types are better for dealing with sunglasses and goggles?
Most are designed to take goggles, and will have a strap for them. Some goggle manufacturers, such as Oakley, do replacement straps which are better for going over a helmet than the standard ones. I don't wear glasses with my helmet, so can't comment on that one.

snowcat wrote:
What types of chinstraps are best?
See my comment above about fit.

snowcat wrote:
What are the problems that could be encountered with fit - I have quite a lot of hair!
Sorry, this won't be much help, as I am folically challenged, but just try different ones and see.


I wear a Giro G9.9. It was the best fit for me, and has good ventilation
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
finding one that fits is the most important point. compared to climbing helmets, and even some cycling helmets, you will find that a ski helmet will encase the head a lot more and so it really is important that it fits well. I tried on quite few different makes, and even different models of the same make, and it was amazing how different they felt. I ended up buying a Red Remix but one of Red's other helmets had an obvious pressure point right at the back of my head which ruled it out straight away.

as for where to buy, you will find more choice in resorts. I was in Tignes a few weeks ago and 3 people from our party bought helmets - the choice was staggering and there were makes available that I haven't seen in London. that said, if you find one over here that fits well, you may as well get that. I think they were a bit cheaper in Tignes but not massively so.

vents are good for keeping your head cool and i also think that it is important to have ear flaps that are not so thick that they restrict your hearing. the ear flaps on my helmet are the perfect compromise of being enough to keep out the wind without making me feel cut off from my surroundings. I actually think that i can hear better than with a beanie.

i always wear goggles with mine and there are very few helmets that look good with glasses. some goggles fit better than others and it helps if the strap connects to the outside of the goggle frame rather than the inside (for an example, compare the Adidas Robins with the Adidas Yodai - the Yodai fit very well with goggles but the Robins tend to be held away from your face by the helmet because the strap connects with the inner edge of the goggle frame)

as for replacing it, i doubt that helmets suffer very many regular knocks - they are really there for when you clatter a tree branch, hit a hidden rock while falling in powder, etc. i don't think that the odd wipe out on piste will shorten its life noticeably.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
There are threads on this topic. I also use a Giro 9.9, which is very light and comfortable. I wear it with goggs and sunglases (not at the same time, obviously, otherwise I wouldn't be able to see a thing). You need to make sure that glasses are not pushed uncomfortably into the side of your head by the helmet. (A helmet won't stop you from wrenching your shoulder, BTW).
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
If you have not already inferred this from above ... as well as the £70-100 for a helmet you may find that none of your current range of goggles actually fit the chosen helmet. In which case ensure that the dog wags the tail and not the other way round. Do not be tempted to try another helmet until you find one that your goggles fit. The most important thing is the helmet.

So what do I mean by goggles fitting the helmet? Well, the place where the front of the helmet runs across your forehead will differ depending upon the helmet and your particular shape of head. The goggles position will differ depending on the goggle shape, your nose size and shape and the position of your ears in relationto your forehead (it's different for everyone).

Thus, some goggles will end up being positioned snugly under the forehead part of the helmet and others will have a large gap between top of goggle and bottom of "helmet forehead".

What you are looking for is a small gap - large enough that condensation doesn't build up because the goggles can't breath and small enough that snow doesn't land on the top of the goggles.

If everything fits - buy it!
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I skied this year in a helmet for the 1st time. It's a Boeri Steez, from Face West. It took me a couple of days to get used to the feeling of it, and I fiddled with the internal fit options for the 1st week. My goggles Oakley L frame fit ok, but if I take out the detachable ear pieces, they fit even better. My ears stayed warm on a really windy day even with this thin mesh cover. I got hit on the head by a chair lift bar a couple of times (well I heard it) but it did not hurt! There are plenty of mesh ventilation panels in the top and my head did not feel overheated, and it does not make your hair look grungy when you take it off (unlike a hat).B00thy, I agree about the ventilation gap, it is most important if you wear specs under your goggles. In all I'm quite happy with the purchase, the range of moveable internal"fit" bits meant I could achieve comfort and a close fit. Cost £79. snowHead Snowcat-ideally your forehead should "stretch and wrinkle" slightly when you move the top of the helmet back/forwards.
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