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Helmets: Open or Full Face?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Ok, so if you've made the decision to wear a helmet whilst sliding then surely the sensible decision would be to go for a maximum protection full face design rather than an open design.

I've personally seen more facial injuries whilst skiing than any other type (with lbt loosing both his front teeth being the worst), none of which would have happened with a full face design.

So why aren't we wearing full face helmets?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Wearing a helmet is not always the most comfortable option, but it is a weigh up between risk / comfort. Facial injuries, whilst unpleasant, are unlikely to be fatal, whereas head injuries may be. Therefore I choose to wear a freeride style helmet with soft ear pads and open face to get the benefit of head protection, without losing too much comfort.
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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?
spyderjon, Yes, I've seen a couple this year as well. I just assumed that open-face were 'right' and that only racers had the full-monty. I'd have no problem with the derision , as I don't even realize my open-face one is there.

Should we wear full-face?
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Some seriously unhinged &/or highly skilled skiers and boarders I see do wear full face. This sould seem to me to go hand in hand wth cliff drops and fast agressive tree lines when the chances of putting your knee through your chin or taking a branch full in the face increase. Incidently I think a lot of the big huckers you see in the ski porn wear mouthguards also.

I suspect at the moment you might say its a bit like mountain biking - for general skiing open face will generally suffice , for serious downhill or freeride action you'd want full face.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
fatbob, But a lot of us DO get face injuries ( at least 2 come to mind at this year's Bashes) ... and neither are involoved in 'full-on' skiing as it were .. so the question remains , why not? Puzzled
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Agenterre, presumably because at least half the fun of skiing is being out in the open air and if you enclose your entire face you might as well be indoors. I think beanie1 got hit the main reason on the nail
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Agenterre wrote:
fatbob, But a lot of us DO get face injuries ( at least 2 come to mind at this year's Bashes) ... and neither are involoved in 'full-on' skiing as it were .. so the question remains , why not? Puzzled


This links in to personal risk/severity calculations and incidentally has a lot of x relevance to the McCann & child safety threads elsewhere I think. My personal approach is like beanie's I would think - priotise safety kit by things that might buy me/my companions a chance in worst case scenarios i.e. helmet, spine protector, tranny, shovel, probe, practice; not things that will reduce my chances of non life threatening injuries: wristguard, impact shorts, faceguard, mouthguard etc. I would think that an ABS pack is a more likely priority for me than a full face helmet.

People will differ. Beginner snowboarders for example may be better advised to go down the latter route initially. Maybe learning how to tuck-fall is a better investment than faceguards for some, maybe not.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
beanie1 Isn't a facial injury still a head injury, especially if the impact is hard enough?

I personally don't find my 'normal' helmet any more uncomfortable than a hat but being a sweaty booger I've a well ventilated open face design. I've yet to see a well ventilated full face design. Is there one on the market?

Image could be a problem with full face designs. I'd look a real pro taking off a full face helmet at a mountain restaurant but if anyone saw me skiing in one they'd think I'm a right to$$er Embarassed

Interestingly the WC downhill racer's don't wear full face.
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For God's sake you lot - you'll be investigating the possibilities of full kevlar body armour and bubblewrap next. Get a grip.
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Lizzard, You're 'well hard' you aren't you .. wink
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Lizzard, but we've nothing better to do until at least December wink
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Lizzard,

Have you ever slid over a rock band or hit a frozen branch with your head? wink and like Jon says we're just ski geeks killing time rolling eyes
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I ride a motorcycle with a good quality full face helmet as a pillion. Even when we are going quickly it does still fog - this is often connected to poor weather. I have a cheapish, but fairly comfy open face ski helmet, as I'm not going to ski near any trees or similar for quite a while yet. In this respect it is similar to a riding helmet. In some riding helmets I have worn there has however, been a chin guard which can be useful if the horse throws its head up - do some ski helmets have a chin guard/ are there situations in skiing where a chin guard might be useful on an open face helmet.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
i heard from a racer that you shouldnt wear a helmet with chin guard (like you see slolam racers wear) when free skiing because if you fall and the face guard digs into the snow it can twist your neck and cause worse injury.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
fatbob, no, because I am primarily a recreational on-piste skier, just like the vast majority of the people on here! Now, will you please all stop obsessing about the vague possibility of absurd freak accidents - you're beginning to look like a bunch of serious mental cases.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The potential problem with full face is that the chin guard can be caught by something in a fall and wrench the neck. Potentially, at the speed people ski now, a killer. The other aspect I think is the freedom. A full face helmet feels very closed in when you first wear one, a bit, you know, too serious.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Lizzard, Sorry I'm surprised, I thought that as a reasonably long-term alpine resident you might be more into the off-piste side of things. In which case you are right - total overkill. However in the past 3 years I have had both of my "absurd freak accidents" and was glad of what I was wearing at the time.

Incidentally my highest medical bill arose from a simple stumble in the car park causing me to swing my freshly sharpened skis through the bridge of my nose where simply wearing my googles would have prevented any damage. rolling eyes


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Sun 20-05-07 19:26; edited 1 time in total
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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?
Lizzard wrote:
fatbob, no, because I am primarily a recreational on-piste skier, just like the vast majority of the people on here! Now, will you please all stop obsessing about the vague possibility of absurd freak accidents - you're beginning to look like a bunch of serious mental cases.

Apart from a small number of pros you're right to say that the vast majority of people here are recreational skiers. But don't a fair number of snowHeads ski in the trees, on steeps including serious exposure to rock outcrops, fast on and off piste, etc? A discussion on whether certain safety precautions are warranted or not seems a fairly innocuous discussion, at least in my book.
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I wear a helmet most of the time, but not always. Although I don't find it too much of a hindrance I do feel a little bit isolated from the environment I'm in: slightly restricted hearing and slightly restricted vision are the two things that I 'm aware of. I think that this would probably be even more noticeable in a full-face helmet so although it might offer a little bit more protection I don't think it would be something that I'm comfortable with. The one exception would be if I'm skiing slalom, in which case I'd want a chin guard.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
rob@rar wrote:
Lizzard wrote:
fatbob, no, because I am primarily a recreational on-piste skier, just like the vast majority of the people on here! Now, will you please all stop obsessing about the vague possibility of absurd freak accidents - you're beginning to look like a bunch of serious mental cases.

Apart from a small number of pros you're right to say that the vast majority of people here are recreational skiers. But don't a fair number of snowHeads ski in the trees, on steeps including serious exposure to rock outcrops, fast on and off piste, etc? A discussion on whether certain safety precautions are warranted or not seems a fairly innocuous discussion, at least in my book.


right on...

I ski a fair amount in the trees, near rocks and doing steep stuff near both. This isn't about a bunch of blokes being macho, it is a serious question. I can see the logic of full-face, but perhaps less for my skiing than my biking (where I had a facial injury 6 months ago) At least some of the time skiing I can get my hands up to get branches away in trees, and goggles and rest of lid protect much of my face.

Lizzard - Cannot see what your problem is. If you don't like the discussion - don't post in it. Twisted Evil
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I wear my full face if I'm doing skiercross, or somewhere *extremely* gnarly, like full on cliffs and rocks.

Everywhere else is my normal lid.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Lizzard,
Quote:

vague possibility of absurd freak accidents


I'm not quite certain of the credentials of that statement - I've been on here just less than 6 months and in that time there have been several reports of accidents on and off piste, not to mention the odd and somewhat lengthy threads dedicated to people listing just the injuries and accidents they have sustained skiing in all sorts of environments. Very Vague Puzzled Puzzled

I must admit I chose a full face motorcycle helmet for the added protection to the front of the face that I think they offer. I think that if I ever got to stage of significantly faster and steeper on skis than I do now that I would also consider something offering better protection.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Megamum, I have a Shoei lid which has a pinlock visor insert - making it a double visor. For other lids try a fog city one. They really do work a treat at preventing fogging.
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Scarpa, Shoei and others must have been thinking more about visor design - that sounds as though it could work - rather like the double lenses in the ski googles, even my pair of Birdz claim to have that - although even those still fogged somewhat when the air was damp - I might try the old motorcycle visor trick of polishing the insides with washing up liq. to break the surface tension of the water droplets next year.

Folks here are talking full face helmets for skiing - are you thinking about ones without visors rather than with - I rather assume you are.
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Nickski wrote:
Potentially, at the speed people ski now, a killer
Just go a bit slower then! Wink
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Jerry, He only wears his full face helmet so folks can't see that he is laughing at them in the lift wink
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Well, I am nowhere near a "gnarly" skier but I did once have a fall, on piste, where I cut my chin badly. The amount of blood down my jacket and on the snow looked like a horror movie. But I saw it as a one off. And like spyderjon said, if I wore a full face helmet, or even one with chin guard, I would look (and feel) a right tosser.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I promise this isn't intended as a troll - though it might cause a little debate..........So if someone said that you can't do both, is it more more important to be safe or to look good?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Megamum, Look good!!! Otherwise I'd wear a suit of armour Laughing .
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
As skimottaret and Nickski said full face helmets are quite dangerous because of the risk of whiplash. If you are skiing a freeride face with a significant risk of stacking it onto rocks then you could possibly make a case for one, but I personally would rather sustain an injury to the lower part of my face than risk a fractured neck should the chin guard get stuck in the snow in the event of a fall
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
BGA, it's cost of the dentist's bills to re-fix me teeth that I'm worried about Shocked. Do ya do mates rates? wink
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

it's cost of the dentist's bills to re-fix me teeth that I'm worried about

Yep, another vote to look good! Laughing
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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?
Seems like we have all been back here several times. For my part I use a helmet with chinguard for skiing poles on the dry slope and I use it for snow skiing without taking the guard off. I don't notice it while skiing, don't care if I look a prat (which I undoubtedly do), I do believe it could kill me, it does keep my head warm, I do believe it helps protect my face from minor knocks and cuts, I do believe everyone should make up their own mind (if they have one) and get on with stuff.
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Should we skiers take a leaf out of the 'older' snowboarder's book and wear some of this Kevlar body armour that I belive is now available in the French shop's. Toofy Grin
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
spyderjon, naturally! Some Moonflex files and we'll call it quits..
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As I now have the protective gear for dry slope racing, I also mostly wear it for free skiing. Due to the whiplash problems mentioned above though I remove the chipguard when snow skiing; but as it's a racing helmet it comes down over the sides of the jaw, so gives quite a bit more protection from side impact. It definitely reduces your awareness of what's going on behind you though.

This last season I was also mostly wearing the body armour I now have (decided it was advisable after a few big stacks at speed on the dry slope - which hurts bigtime) - hips, coccyx, elbows, shoulders and a bit of chest - on the basis that it doesn't really inconvenience me, but may possibly save me from breaking something, and will certainly save a lot of pain - so far it's paid of when slipping onto my ar$e on ice outside a lift station.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I ski with a couple of dentists and they all wear mouthguards, does seem a bit overkill to me and very annoying when you try talking to them... Must say i am thinking of getting some body armour cause every time i go down i seem to hurt my tailbone (coxys?)
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
skimottaret, time to stop sitting back then? Wink

More seriously, I felt a bit of a fraud when I first started wearing it, but I'm getting used to the feel now. Never really intended to have coccyx protection, as I almost never fall backwards, but was very pleased to have it then (and also when recently I went ice-skating for the first time in many years Embarassed )
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I have two helmets. Both with visors one full face and one open face. I've not worn the full face on the slopes yet due to being too shy to wear it (it was a trade show freebie) I think full face helmets are where open face helmets were about 5 years ago. Loads of people would wear them for the extra protection but don't want peeps thinking they're posers.


These are the babies. Very nice helmets. http://www.streetgadgets.com/subcat/257/Hammer_Helmets.htm
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Quote:

skimottaret, time to stop sitting back then?


sorry off topic as i have moved from heads to bottoms.

I have been trying for years to stop but alas it always seems to get me when the going gets tough. Embarassed the falls i have tend be lazy and tired ones and involve a slide on the backside and always seem to get me in the coccyx. what make of protection do you use.
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