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How many SnowHeads wear a helmet when skiing or boarding?


How many SnowHeads wear a helmet when skiing or boarding?
Skier: Never
62%
 62%  [ 80 ]
Skier: Sometimes
14%
 14%  [ 19 ]
Skier: Always
13%
 13%  [ 18 ]
Boarder: Never
0%
 0%  [ 1 ]
Boarder: Sometimes
0%
 0%  [ 1 ]
Boarder:Always
7%
 7%  [ 10 ]
Voted : 127
Total Votes : 129

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Helmets. Dontcha love 'em! Bound to get the pulse going every time.
If you search the snowHeads archive for "helmet*" you get 317 posts in 102 threads. Helmets have also featured on ifyouski and the ski club forum.
Over at the ski club there are 120 threads that contain the word "helmet". of which 26 have "helmet" (or brain bucket) in the thread title.
Here 4 threads have helmet in the title:
Helmets Started Feb 12, 145 posts.[url=http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=772&highlight=helmet]
What makes a good helmet? [/url] Started March 16, 24 posts.
Helmets? Started April 14, 21 posts.
Is this a good colour for ski helmets . Started June 24, 23 posts.

In Skiing/boarding injuries masque tells now he probably owes his life to his helmet.

However it is this dogged fixation on lives saved rather than serious injury prevented that distorts the whole debate. Just look at the sneaky wording in the first sentence under COST-EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS in comprex's long quote:"For every death due to a head injury in skiing roughly a thousand times as many Alpine winter sports participants (20 to 25,000 per year) will suffer a devastating knee injury (ACL)" (my italics). The implication is that helmets only save lives - death is obviously a mere trifle - but the real problem is unjuring your knee which is a fate worse than death. Balderdash! Read the story of Little Dave . He didn't need a helmet to save his life: he needed a helmet to save is brain.
Now cheer yourself up with the story of Ashley Evdokimo who was wearing a helmet, clearly suffered severe concusion, but is not brain damaged.
So, what are U going to do?
Still undecided? Try these 2 quotes for size:
"So, to helmet or not to helmet, that is the question. The answer is - whatever your brain thinks is right." Jamie Goodman 2002
and
“You wouldn’t drop your laptop from 6 feet up, would you?” Aspen Times 2004


P.S. comprex, I had a dig at Nick Zotov because those 2 articles he linked to had been supplied by me on skiclub when trying to give a balanced view of the literature. He then craftily removed one of the three when he passed them on here. That's naughty.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Jonpim wrote:
.... He then craftily removed one of the three when he passed them on here. That's naughty.


Not intended, Jonpim, see here.
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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?
Jonpim,
Quote:

T Bar, as a member of the medical profession, just what were you referring to when you wrote:"the medical profession seem to be urging it in many other fields"?

I apologise if I have given offence none was intended to members of the medical profession as individuals many of whom I have the greatest of respect for.
(Silly rant edited)

What I was actually referring to was the tendency of people to ban something because it is bad for us or mandate by law for us to do something for the good of our own health

Having read all the articles cited above I regret the American Medical Association whom I am sure are a very august body seem to suffer from this tendency as they argue that the reason for not making helmets compulsory is because they 1) Probably don't work very well 2)If they do work are not cost effective 3) Would not be politically popular.
Personally I would argue that if these three reasons were all false, helmets should still not be made compulsory as it is my life and my brain and really none of their buisness.

NB :
Please note that when posting on skiing matters and in general on other matters I am a sane and rational person, but seem to be out on a loop when it comes to state interference. Wink


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Sun 10-10-04 22:20; edited 2 times in total
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Nick Zotov, you know I am not really mad at you


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Sun 10-10-04 23:03; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Definatley buying a helmet for the first time this season. Last year in Andorra a Spanish skiier died skiing a black run. It was announced on Andorran TV News he hit his head off a tree, and a helmet may have saved his life.
Its amazing how many French and Spanish wear them and not the Birts!! are we too aware of how we look on the slopes?
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You'll need to Register first of course.
T Bar, no offence at all. I was just interested in exactly what you were referring to. The medical profession has indeed urged the government to make a number of things compulsory (seat belts?). It has also tried to ban other things (boxing). It is a tricky area. I understand the "as it is my life and my brain" argument, but there is a big flaw in it. The NHS is funded by taxes. The NHS is seriously underfunded. If you are a complete idiot and fail to wear a seatbelt causing much more injury than if you had been wearing your belt, I still treat you to the best of my ability, even though you are costing the service a small fortune due to your stubborn insistence on personal freedom. Now, if you had to pay for all that medical care, then I can accept your argument. But you don't . You pay the same rate as the next responsible citizen. In the present system it is sensible practice to reduce demands if at all possible. Then when your son falls ill with meningitis I can treat him with all the latest drugs and equipment. But if some idiot or two insists on bleeding the health service dry, then we may not have the resources after all, and your son may not get the treatment he deserves.

Now T Bar, I have made these scenarios very personal to ram the point home. In no way do I think you an irresponsible citizen. But these are real problems I have to deal with every day.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Jonpim wrote:
Nick Zotov, you know I am not really mad at you


Excellent!
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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!
I've been wondering if I should buy one but haven't yet decided. I've only skied with one skier who wore one and he was younger than the rest of us. I've noticed its mostly younger skiers wear them.
I wore one at Milton Keynes when ordered to because I was doing jumps. But I didn't like having my ears muffled (do helmets all cover the ears?)

Why don't I? I know it's sensible, but I'm reluctant. I don't know, is it a free-spirit wind-in-the-hair thing or a macho pig-headed thing, or just inertia?
But sometimes.. Its not so much trees, but when I imagine some of the narrow 40º couloirs I've skied down with rock walls and what might happen if I fell and couldn't stop myself in time...


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Mon 11-10-04 13:47; edited 2 times in total
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Another reason for not voting is the options given - I've been trying to find a helmet for the last two season, but haven;t found one that fitted in a style I liked. I'm not willing to buy a helmet mail order, so I can only buy what's in the shops when I visit Shock(
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
snowball wrote:

I wore one at Milton Keynes when ordered to because I was doing jumps. But I didn't like having my ears muffled (do they all?)


Giro Helmets do have ear bits, but you can take them off if you like - personally I never have, even in really hot weather, apparently you can even swap them for headphone or mobile hands free ones if you want!! Shocked
I think you'll find a Giro Fuse (or 9.9 which I wear), considerably better than the one you had at the snowdome.
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I got a Giro one in Canada, not sure of model.

If you ski off-piste you don't know what's in the snow and on-piste you've got other skiers to worry about. I'm thinking of getting back protection too. As I understand it the two things you need to protect most are your head and back.

Apart from that they are much better for keeping your head warm and they don't fly off when you go fast.

And once you've got one you get used to it very quickly.
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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.
I noticed last season that more people in Whistler were wearing helmets than not (skiers and snowboarders alike). Whistler seems a little more safety-oriented than some of the French resorts we've skied in.

As a skier I've started wearing a helmet because I've started doing alot of tree runs. As a snowboarder I wore a helmet right from the beginning after one of our group hit the back of his head on the snow and saw "red" as he described it, for a second. It's so much easier to hit your head as a snowboarder.

If I had to go out on some easy runs with people who weren't as good as me, I would probably leave my helmet behind...and I don't wear a bike helmet either...
Confused

Has anyone ever noticed how the snow sounds different when wearing a helmet?? Smile
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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
Just to second what Snowy said. I hadnt ever considered a helmet until last year in Whistler I noticed so many people wearing them. So now I have considered it and decided to take what is a small extra risk for my small extra comfort and conveniance. Unless I take to more tree skiing!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I'm another Giro Nine.9 user - thoroughly recommended.

As other users have said - you don't notice it when going down the slope.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I started wearing a helmet last season, in Canada (at least you don't look out of place there as an adult wearing one. I'm tall and heavy, and on the (thankfully rare) occasions when I head plant it bloody hurts;and I feel shitty. My wife also wears one after a heavy head plant last season (stable doors etc). Our 10 year old kids and all our mates' kids wear them quite happily, and in Canada it's almost unusual to see anyone under about 20 not wearing one.

We both have Giro 9.9s, light, with bits you can remove for ventilation. Comfortable enough. The kids rent them.

I don't see why they should be compulsory for adults.
snow conditions     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
stuarth, thanks, I'll have to take a look.
Certainly I know objectively I'd get used to it. When I started skiing with a backpack with shovel, probe, extra clothes etc it felt strange, but it just feels normal now.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Interesting that, at this point, all the boarders who have voted (myslef included) are wearing helmets.

Most of the people I ride with regulary have, over the last 5 years or so, started wearing helmets. Partly its probably due to having attained a less irresponsible age, but mostly I think its because we have all taken knocks on the head - I am not talking life threatening crashes, just headache inducing bangs - and we appreciate the 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?
I've has one for the last two seasons, but I don't always use it. eg, I probably won't use it in Madonna at Xmas (fairly easy runs, not crowded) but I certainly will use it in Les Arc during February 1/2 term, and I used it in Whistler - all those tree runs!
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playdreamer, that's what I see around the slopes - a much higher proportion of boarders wearing helmets than skiers. I'm sure there's a range of reasons for this - boarders more likely to want to get airborne; helmet-wearing becoming more fasionable, etc. I banged my head quite heavily twice last season, on one occasion losing nearly two days skiing because of a splitting headache and nausea. I'd like to avoid that situation happening again if I can.

Regards

Rob
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
rob@rar.org.uk, me too, I cracked my head a couple of times and bought a "lid" for boarding, I'm looking at getting a Giro 9.9 for an update for me and Mrs Ise as well.
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I got a lid a few seasons back - a Red Remix (no longer make that particular model)

I got mine so that i could be less concerned about taking a tumble in powder and hitting something hard under the surface, and so that i could be safer when nipping through the trees. It also gives me a little more comfort when carving fast on the hard pack - I have seen even good boarders have freak wipe outs when going fast and a snowboard can make a tumble worse because it is fixed to your feet and can flip you up, whereas a skier is likely to stay on the floor and slide. Even if I intend to stay on piste I wear the helmet since I may as well do so now i have one. I don't consider there to be any downsides to wearing it.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
It does seem like it's the fact boarders actually do quite normally hit their heads that makes the difference between them and skiers.
I must have skied about 60 weeks as an adult and I've never hit my head (though I've torn a knee ligament and a shoulder, and been in an avalanche).
I suppose I expect to fall about 3 or 4 times in a week of skiing almost entirely off piste (that includes one or two I might try to claim weren't really falls, such as a ski pre-release).

Something that is absolutely necessary if you tree-ski is goggles. I regularly get flicked by twigs from low branches or weaving between close bushes (especially as the milder winters are allowing lots of brush to grow up in gulleys lower down where there used to be little or none. I don't know if anyone else has noticed that - several guides I ski with say its a problem)


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Mon 11-10-04 20:56; edited 1 time in total
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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!
Jonpim, wrote
Quote:

Now T Bar, I have made these scenarios very personal to ram the point home. In no way do I think you an irresponsible citizen. But these are real problems I have to deal with every day.

Probably true but other people are allowed to smoke and drink to much so why can't I go for a short ride on a motorbike without a lid on? I don't actually have any desire to not wear a seat belt.

Actually on reading most of the article quoted above I am considering banning my children from wearing helmets as they do not seem to work and possibly encourage people to take increased risks!

On a slightly more serious note I looked up the UK statistics website ( I am incapable of doing links) and saw that the rate of fatal road traffic accidents is approx 3 per billion Km travelled.

The French fatality per head of population is slightly over twice the UK's if we assume the French rate is 6 per billion kilometers and to get to and from a ski resort we travel approx 2000km. Then the mortality from driving to and from the resort which people are increasingly doing is 12 per million visits, the mortality from skiing is said to be 0.47 per million visits. Even if a visit represents only one days skiing it makes more sense to wear the helmet in the car to and from the resort than when skiing it.

I am not entirely serious about the above but I do not think I have any particular reason to wear a helmet. Even if I were to be Snowball skiing terrifying sounding couloirs, I would have to reflect that if wearing the helmet made me feel even slightly safer and take greater risks the overall effect may be to make the helmet more dangerous to me as it does not seem to prevent deaths.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
T Bar, I'm not advocating the compulsory use of helmets while skiing or boarding, but to answer your rhetorical question about why you can't go for a short ride on a motorcycle without a helmet you could look at things from the point of view of cost to the NHS if you had a non-fatal accident. Riding on the roads without a crash helment would seem to be inherently more dangerous than with a helmet (although I'm happy to be corrected if this is not true). Wearing a helmet could lead to less serious injuries and therefore lower costs to the NHS for treating you. Would you be prepared to pay for additional insurance against which the NHS could claim if it were found that not wearing a helmet contributed to more serious (and therefore expensive) injuries? This might be one way of balancing individual preference with the wider needs of society.

Regards


Rob
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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T Bar, I liked your last post a lot: it made me smile and chortle. And you are quite right: driving a car is dangerous. 10-13 people die on British roads every day, but you hardly ever hear of this in the press. Worldwide that is 4-5 jumbo jets crashing every day.
Your mention of being allowed to smoke and drink is most pertinent. There is a lot of discussion on whether we should be penalised for unhealthy lifestyles and rewarded for healthy ones. In essence, our tax donation towards the NHS is an insurance premium. In the insurance market I get a premium reduction for not smoking, for not being over-wieght, and so on. In the NHS, why should the responsible and healthy subsidise the irresponsible and unhealthy?
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Have only ever worn one when told to do so at MK.
Quite happy i had when falling off the 1/2pipe....
Blush

Can see the benefits, but firmly believe it should be purely optional. My head, my choice.

jonpim, your 'subsidise' argument is valid - and presumably you'll be happy to have the ENTIRE cost of subsidising london transport infrastructure put on to your rates, thereby removing the burden from me. Seems fair, I hardly ever use it. Shouldn't cost you (and all the other londoners) more than, say, a 2 or 3 grand each, nett, per year..... Why should those out of London subsidise those within it ?
(nothing against you or Londoners, just 'devil's advocate' to the 'subsidies' argument)


Not wearing a helmet does not harm society.
Not wearing a helmet is freedom of choice.
Freedom of choice costs, but it's worth paying for.
Freedom of choice is why I'll never suport compulsory helmet wearing..
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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.
austin7, just realised you posed a real googly with your last post. I do not propose compulsory helmet wearing, but if helmet wearing was made compulsory would I support it or complain? Tricky..... I'll have to think about that one.
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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 find the cost to NHS arguments in favour of compulsion quite convincing although as austin7 points out there can be some questions of logical consistency if we extend the principle.

In the UK many lives have been saved by the compulsory wearing of seatbelts and crash helmets. How many of those 'potentially' killed would have said 'I wish I'd been forced to wear a seatbelt/helmet' as they drifted up to the Pearly Gates?? I've worn a seatbelt all my life (I'm 34, so this predates compulsion), my dad forced us to wear them and we never liked it, but it has saved my life 'just' once.

I've considered wearing a helmet for ski-ing, but currently my ski-ing - gently between cafes doesn't seem to demand it!
snow conditions     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
We had a young girl training with us several years ago who had a fall on a pathway whilst skiing down toward a race piste. she had a helmet on but was still sustained a very bad head injury. She recovered fully, but I have little doubt that had she not had the helmet on, she would not be here today.
I have started wearing one recently (Giro Fuse), driven by a couple of reasons. the first is that I run a club training kids to race and, as a club, we have made helmets compulsory for all our trainees, whether training or free skiing. The second, is that I would not now ride my mountainbike without a helmet and I achieve speeds fargreater on my skis than on my bike, so therefore, it follows that in the event of a crash the risk of injury is greater (also the risk of a collision on the piste is greater with people skiing beyond their limits or skill level, but that's another subject).
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
philbski1 wrote:
...I would not now ride my mountainbike without a helmet and I achieve speeds fargreater on my skis than on my bike, so therefore, it follows that in the event of a crash the risk of injury is greater..

Not sure that is correct, almost certainly part of the risk is how you are likely to fall - whether ther e is a high risk that you be pitched with a trjectory that would damage your head.

Even if you do think that likely, the following quote (from this article) does not suggest a successful outcome of a direct head impact at high skiing speed:
Quote:
..... biomechanics have demonstrated that in order to protect the head against a direct impact blow at 30 mph, with currently available materials, a helmet would need to be at least 18cm thick, 50cm wide and weigh 5kg+. Hhhmm….stylish. Radar data collected from ski areas suggests most intermediate skiers regularly travel at between 24-38 mph.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Helmets are great! 1) No one can see how old you are. and 2) No more cold heads/hat after you've repeatedly stopped with you face in powder.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Skiing speeds of 24-38mph are probably only attained as a maximum, where slopes are open and easy, and not where people are turning and most likely to fall or hit each other. Also a particular skiing speed does not mean that that is the same as the impact speed of a head hitting, for example, the head of another skier (a softer impact zone would, in any case be less dangerous. I assume the measurement is of a head hitting an unyielding and solidly fixed surface full-on - ie not a glancing blow). One example that might fit would be tree impact, but people don't ski so fast off piste and dodging between trees, and I might point out that Graham Berry who died from hitting a tree broke his neck. My own close call at Alagna (previous thread) wouldn't have been helped by anything short of (perhaps) a parachute.
Actually the two times I have been hurt it happens I was skiing very slowly.
None of this is an argument against helmets, just that helmets don't have to take the sort of impact those speeds quoted assumed.
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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?
Does anyone know if helmet wearing for children is likely to be obligatory in Alpine resorts this coming season? I had heard it was likely.
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The comparson with seatbelts and m/c helmets is interesting, but potentially flawed.

The problem with this comparison is that the risk of injury in ANY accident is MASSIVELY increased if m/c helmets/seatbelts are not worn, therefore it makes sense to make the wearing of such compulsory.

This is not the case with skiing, therefore the need to make the wearing of helmets when skiing compulsory is massively smaller than that for use of helmets on m/c's or seatbelts in cars.

If helmets were essential safety equipment for skiing, this would have been more than sufficiently demonstrated by incredibly large numbers of people ending up with serious head injuries resulting from even the most simple or minor of impacts. This is not the case, ergo, helmets are not nescessary.

A relatively small impact in a car or on a m/c is highly likely to result in serious/fatal injury, this is why the use of helmets/seatbelts was made compulsory.

To compare the two, you should take into account both head injury rate and severity per accident. If you do so, you'll find that this is significantly (massively) lower for skiing than car & m/c use. You don't need hard stats to confirm this, simply watch the antics on the beginner slope !

If skiing were as dangerous as car & m/c accidents when minus compulsory safety equipment, there are only very few of us here who would have avoided serious head injury and resultant prolonged stay in hospital.


You also have to look at the nature of the accident. Most car & m/c accidents involve severe sudden decelleration eg head vs road, face vs steering wheel, resulting in acute injury. Most skiing accidents involve a gradual slide to a stop - the damaging high decelleration rate is absent in most skiing falls (unless you hit a tree !).
This is the same principle as which explains why m/c racers can fall at 180mph+, slide to a halt and walk away, whereas anyone doing so on a road would hit something solid and die. It also explains the logic/function of airbags in cars.

As this sudden severe decelleration is absent in most (not all) skiing falls, then again, the need for compusory (or, indeed, any) helmet use is again further reduced.


The last point in snowballs post - injury at slow speeds, is due to you being more likely to fall sharply at slow speeds than fast ones, as at faster speeds you're more likely to 'carry' the fall - ie you fall sideways, not directly down, thus the angle of approach (to the ground) is less acute.

Sorry for going on a bit, but it does help explain why there is a need for compulsory safety measures in some instances eg m/c use, but not in others eg. skiing.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Excuse my ignorance on this, but is there any call for compulsory wearing of helmets when skiing or boarding? I've not heard of any legislative body discussing this.

Regards

Rob
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rob@rar.org.uk, I don't think so - i guess that we've entered a hypothetical world in this thread
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Looks like the Giro9.9's are really popular: I have one also. I answered "sometimes" in the poll, since I only got the helmet last year, and I haven't worn it "always". ("Mostly" would be the most accurate description).

I got mine after being piled into by a boarder who wasn't looking where he was going, which separated my shoulder. - Could easily have banged my head badly, but didn't. Even so, that was enough of a wake-up call: after all, I've only got one brain, and I'd like to keep it safe.

davehk,
You can get run into on "easy" pistes just as much as on difficult ones - I was when I was totalled, and Mrs Acacia was run into by an (unapologetic) Italian at Madonna a few years back which left her with a black eye and a scar above here eyebrow.
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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!
austin7, I guess I was responsible for drifting off the point there - I don't think wearing helmets for ski-ing should be compulsory...

I think we maybe "doing a Gerry" and all violently agreeing with each other!
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
When I go to the US I have every intention of purchasing myself a helmet. Why the US. I think it is cheaper than buying in Europe!!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Annehillskiing, it's even cheaper in Canada, and you might actually find a top model. (I won't even mention the VAT refund).

(I am not really put out over having paid premium rate for a 3-rd tier helmet (Leedom) locally. Much. So, having kept my cool head snowHead I ordered the next one from Montreal. (Salomon Mach 2- the Boeri is just too big for airlines) ).
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