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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
Those of you who like the Giro fit may also wish to look at the Carrera Nerve series.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
rob@rar.org.uk, well done! You got there first. Compulsory Helmets.
Why does discussion on whether helmets are a good or bad idea always eventually get round to "compulsion" with the clear suggestion that those who think helmets are a good idea (as I do) must therefore want helmets to be compulsory ( as I do not). I wonder if most people actually (but reluctantly) realise helmet wearing is a sensible thing to do, so rather than argue against helmets (an argument they know to be false) they switch the argument to compulsory helmets, an argument they think they can win. Just a thought.....
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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 wrote:
... I wonder if most people actually (but reluctantly) realise helmet wearing is a sensible thing to do....


Well, I haven't dragged up the "compulsory" flag, but I do fell puzzled .

According to British medical opinion, theremay be a risk of increased brain damage. OTOH, I can see the case that one might save oneself relatively minor discomforts such as being clouted by tree branches. That might sway it for me actually. Not sure, yet. It's been an interesting thread.
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If nothing else this thread seems to have got a few more people answering the poll Smile
Quote:

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.

According to the Neilsons brochure the wearing of helmets is compulsory for children in their Italian resorts, I do not know if this is due to legislature or insurance. I am somewhat concerned it may be the thin end of the wedge.

austin7's Point about freedom of choice succcinctly expresses my opinion on why I do not like legislature interfering with my skiing or motorbiking.

I do want to make a couple of other points though. In the reviews cited above one study found that you were more likely to suffer an accident if wearing a helmet.

This may be for a number of reasons, the most likely one is clearly that people who engage in risky activities are more likely to wear a helmet. The problem is that if it is irresponsible not to wear a helmet it is clearly even more irresposible to engage in the kind of 'risky' activities that lead to wearing a helmet. I would not like to see racers, offpiste skiers jumpers etc. labelled as irresponsible or attempts made to curtail their activities.

A second possibility concerns me more and that is that is that the wearing of a helmet leads to increased risk taking, this is particularly pertinent if the benefits of wearing a helmet are small. If people do not consider this likely try riding a motorbike with and without a helmet believe me you ride a lot more carefully without. Both the possibility of people skiing more out of control and endangering other people on the piste and the possibility of children wrapping themselves aroud trees believing they are safe inside lids does concern me.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

According to the Neilsons brochure the wearing of helmets is compulsory for children in their Italian resorts, I do not know if this is due to legislature or insurance.


Legislation.
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T Bar wrote:


A second possibility concerns me more and that is that is that the wearing of a helmet leads to increased risk taking, this is particularly pertinent if the benefits of wearing a helmet are small.


Errrr, No!!
I do wear a helmet, however it doesn't suddenly make me feel invinsible, there are plenty of other bits of body to break, the prospect of not skiing for the rest of the season (or worse!) really doesn't thrill me.
Having seem someone crack their head (after being wiped out through no fault of their own) and seen how it ruined at least several days of skiing, I can see the upside (my helmet purchase followed shortly after). Also skiing in the trees you realise the benefit - I've not cracked my head on anything major (yet, fortunately!) but have deflected a few unexpected branches. Another member of the group did stop a tree with his head - the following day he turned up with a helmet.
To single out helmets as a cause of dangerous skiing seems to me to be a rather tenuous one. The one-peice-wonders in France tanked up on half a bottle of wine with a few beer chasers don't seem to wear helmets - point made?

By the way, I do not think it should be compulsory (except maybe for children who may not make their own decisions), if you choose not to wear one and break a fall with your head, well that's your choice. Maybe it has little real benefit but I think I'll carry on wearing mine thanks.
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Quote:

To single out helmets as a cause of dangerous skiing seems to me to be a rather tenuous one. The one-peice-wonders in France tanked up on half a bottle of wine with a few beer chasers don't seem to wear helmets - point made?

I agree there are ,any other causes of skiing dangerously and I doubt wearing a helmet is one of the leading ones I was just saying it was possible from the evidence provided.
Quote:

Maybe it has little real benefit but I think I'll carry on wearing mine thanks.


I don't want to stop you, I suspect there are rational reasons for wearing a helmet albeit that it does not seem very effective. My rather longwinded points were to attempt to demonstrate that:

a) Legislation is ridiculous

b) The decision not to wear a helmet and not to give my children helmets can be sensibly given the extremlylow absolute risk in day to day skiing and does not imply irresponsiblilty on my part.

c) The decision to wear a helmet does not necessarily lead to increased safety on the slopes and if it leads to increased risk taking may paradoxically decrease safety.
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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 think the point I'm making is that the non-helmet wearing ones seem to always imply that the helmet wearing ones are greater risk takers, and are a hazard to everyone on the slopes.
Personally I see no connection between the two. If no-one had ever invented a ski helmet I'd still ski as fast, down double blacks and through the trees, but since someone did give me the oportunity of protecting (even slightly) my most valuable asset (arguably! Madeye-Smiley ) , I'll take it.
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T Bar, as you must know by now, this is an interest of mine, and I do like to have the information sorted. There is a lot, so I may have missed something here, so which article presents "evidence" that wearing a helmet results in increased risk taking?
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Quote:

I think the point I'm making is that the non-helmet wearing ones seem to always imply that the helmet wearing ones are greater risk takers, and are a hazard to everyone on the slopes.
Personally I see no connection between the two.


Eveyone is different and you may well take no increased risk but as the accident rate is higher in helmet wearers it suggests that as a group thay take increased risks. I am not saying this is due to the helmet but that for some people it is a possibility. I believe I am probably one of those persons from previous experience with motorbike lids, I definately ride more cautiously without one Laughing
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Jonpim,
I don't think I said that one article presents evidence that wearing a helmet leads to increased risk taking. What I tried to say was that the evidence from one article is that helmet wearers are increased risk takers.

I also said that the likely reason is that the increased risk taking is what leads tham to use a helmet, but that it is possible that wearing a helmet could lead to the increased risk taking I cited my experience with motorbikes more pertinent to skiing may be the fact that when I have fewer tactile clues as to how fast I am going I tended to ski faster I have noted this when wearing goggles rather than sun glasses.

One can also note that downhill racers wear helmets whereas I would agree that this is may be a sensible precaution with the speeds that they travel if it is interpreted by your average skier that it is the helmet that allows them to travel at this speed in comparative safety this would result in the skier increasing his risk by wearing a helmet.

I am afraid I have not got the hang of links but the evidence I was using was this:

In the 1998/99 part of the study, Shealy and colleagues followed the deaths as they happened and found that, where the information was available, 35% of individuals who died were wearing a helmet. This is much higher than the rate of helmet use amongst the general population on the piste.
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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 like to ski around the trees. Trees have branches. Branches hurt my head.
I wear a helmet.
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May I ask those who always ski with a helmet if they do so because they, (or someone they know,) has had a nastly accident and they realise what a good idea it probably is. Mrs Chris B and I exercise double standards by insisting our children wear a helmet while we don't. Which is probably stupid as though I rearly fall over while skiing if and when I do its likely to be the Mother of all Accidents.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

A second possibility concerns me more and that is that is that the wearing of a helmet leads to increased risk taking


This is like saying that driving a Volvo leads to more irresponsible driving!

(Yeah, I'm a Volvo driver too).
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
If I had a choice between a good guide or a good helmet, off-piste, I know which one I would take. Greater risk taking whilst skiing with a guide-yes; greater risk taking whilst wearing a helmet-probably not.

There is a mother-of-all-helmets resource here containing an interesting report which supports the argument for the wearing of helmets in preventing or reducing the severity of head injuries. One of the findings is that sowboarders are 3 times more likely to experience head injuries than skiers- maybe boarders are greater risk takers?

Would I wear one? I'm considering it.
I'll have to get used to a dripping head(sweat not blood Very Happy ), and of course, helmet hair
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Chris B, I bought mine in Whistler. I'd had no major accidents in the previous couple of seasons, nor have I had any since (apart from one on a chairlift, where the helmet prevented me from being knocked out)
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Chris B, I started wearing a helmet because Mr Snowy has warn a helmet for a few years now and has been pestering me to get one for some time. Skiing trees made my mind up for me though. Skullie Madeye-Smiley

Mr Snowy has made good use of his helmet. He is a more 'enthusiastic' skier than me and has on a few occasions done some spectacular tumbles, although admittedly they were in deep snow so he probably wouldn't have hurt his head too badly had he not been wearing a helmet.

Saying that though, I could say that I was put off wearing a helmet by the lack of people in previous years wearing helmets but in Whistler last season, there were certainly more helmets than not in my ski lessons so we all looked as silly and safety-consious as each other. Shocked snowHead

One downside is that your goggles may not fit so well with your helmet if they don't already have the right kind of straps. I had to buy some new ones... Sad
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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?
Quote:
In the 1998/99 part of the study, Shealy and colleagues followed the deaths as they happened and found that, where the information was available, 35% of individuals who died were wearing a helmet. This is much higher than the rate of helmet use amongst the general population on the piste.


That might be the case, but it doesn't mean there is a cause and effect relationship between helmet-wearing and take more risks. That statistic could simply mean that skiers who knowingly take a lot of risks choose to wear helmets more frequently than skiers who ski more conservatively.
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I started to wear a helmet, Giro 9.9 like so many, as an alternative to a hat - bald, must wear something on top or I get sunburn. I find it little different to a hat for comfort. Encouraged to try a helmet as I have this daft habit of going over on hard pack at slow speed and giving myself headaches.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
There is some seriously expressed concern about the safety aspect of motorcycle helmets. A full face helmet reduces visibility considerably, also neck rotation to see a wider field. There has been some research, Canada I think, which appears to verify that a helmetted rider is more likely to be in an accident than a non-helmetted rider due to this visibility problem. Then someone has to weigh up the balance of more likely to have a crash against greater probability of serious injury in a crash. Fatality is often a broken neck and a helmet does not help there. The original research findings that a helmet is safer on a motor bike were seriously flawed anyway; difficult thing to research if you think about it.
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Chris B wrote:
May I ask those who always ski with a helmet if they do so because they, (or someone they know,) has had a nastly accident and they realise what a good idea it probably is.


The first time that i saw helmets as something for the general skiing populace, rather than just for the seriously gnarly or the seriously inexperienced, was when a friend of mine, a pretty good boarder, set off down a bit of hardpacked red run that we had used umpteen times that morning in order to get to our favourite bit of between-piste bumps and kickers. She lost concentration, caught an edge while going pretty fast, tumbled so that the end of her board dug into the snow, the board then catapulted her upwards, she landed on the other end of the board and the same happened again. She ended up some way down the piste in a dazed state with a sequence of chunks taken out of the hardpack by the alternate tip and tail of her board. My recollection tells me that these gouges were about 25' apart.

She headed down and bought a helmet that afternoon. She was fine but as a keen (and fearless) mountain biker it amazed her that she would never dream of going that fast on a bike without a helmet and yet always did so on her board.

The following season, i got my own.
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Chris B, in the 02/03 season a good friend went over on a hard piste and banged his head. He was not quite himself for the rest of the day. The next day he turned up with a helmet.
The evidence for benefit in children is convincing (many argue against helmets for adults; few argue against helmets for children), but my 12 year old was getting increasingly vocal in his resistance, and he thought it unfair he had to wear one when I didn't. In January this year I decided to learn to board with Tom. When researching about snowboarding it became clear that helmets were a good idea for beginners (American Academy of Family Physicians , snowinjury.com ). Getting a helmet would protect my soggy brain and counter Tom's argument. I was very glad I did get one. More than once I went hard over backwards hitting the piste with the back of my helmet.
I then debated about taking the helmet to Belle Plagne for the Gassers Do. I was sure helmets were a good idea, but I was concerned about my fellow-skiers response (pathetic, I know). Of course, I need not have worried. A number had helmets of their own, and the rest wondered if they should get one too. More than once my helmet stopped me knocking myself out getting onto a chairlift.
Helmets rule OK
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
john wells, if goggles are on, why isn't visibility the same with or without a helmet?
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A full face helmet frames your vision more than goggles. Vision is especially limited to the side so that you can miss movement laterally of the bike, for example an overtaking vehicle. The lifesaver, looking over your shoulder, should cover this in theory.

The restriction of twisting your head around probably comes into this as well. When I am doing a lifesaver with a full face helmet on, the combination of restricted movement and corner vision being blocked means that I cannot see potential problems behind me very clearly.
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Jonpim wrote:
More than once my helmet stopped me knocking myself out getting onto a chairlift.


Although, to be fair, the chances are that if you were not wearing the helmet, your inate spacial awareness would have meant that you would not have been hit on the head by the bar coming down anyway. I have also often forgotten that I'm wearing a helmet and have not ducked quite enough as the bar came down - just like the fact that whenever I'm climbing in a helmet i will occasionally knock my head against overhangs etc, whereas if I'm climbing without a helmet, I generally don't.
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Jonpim wrote:
More than once my helmet stopped me knocking myself out getting onto a chairlift.


That's a very good point. When getting on a chairlift someone on the chair usually grabs the safety bar and pulls it down quickly towards their knees.

When wearing a rucksack while skiing, you get on the chairlift and sit that little bit further forward than you would ordinarily. This means you get tw**ted on the head by the bar.

That's why helmets are good. Very Happy
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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.
and/or rucksacks on chairlifts are bad (see other thread) - I shall now reform my rucksack wearing ways!!
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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
stuarth wrote:
I shall now reform my rucksack wearing ways!!


...and how are you going to do that?!! Wear it on your front? Madeye-Smiley Laughing
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
A quick note to apolgise that I have not got time to reply to the above posts, giving them the time they deserve as I am off on holiday tomorrow Very Happy

I wish you all injury free skiing for the coming skiing whether or not you are wearing helmets Wink
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Snowy wrote:
stuarth wrote:
I shall now reform my rucksack wearing ways!!


...and how are you going to do that?!! Wear it on your front? Madeye-Smiley Laughing

Could make a sort of alternative helmet.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
T Bar, bon voyage!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Where's T Bar going?
He's not going skiing is he? Shocked
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Jonpim, jealousy is a terrible thing... Wink
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Jonpim,
Got my days wrong it's actually tomrrow but not much time to post,, going sailing .
Bet they try and make me wear a life jacket Wink
Quote:

T Bar, bon voyage!

Ian Hopkinson,
Thanks
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T Bar, going sailing? Shocked Today?! . But it's horrible out there !!
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Cool graphics Jonpim, How do you do that?
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Snowy wrote:
stuarth wrote:
I shall now reform my rucksack wearing ways!!


...and how are you going to do that?!! Wear it on your front? Madeye-Smiley Laughing
Yes, thats what I do on lifts: take it off my arms, leaving the waist-strap done up, and swing it round to in front.
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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 pretty late joining this debate. It's been a fascinating read - thanks to all contributors for making me think and laugh in equal measure.

Before reading the thread, I'd planned to buy a helmet this year. I still do, so that's a small victory to the helmet mob. But I've a few questions:

- Buy in the resort (N America) or in the UK?
- What's it like to wear one? Does it make temperature regulation and hearing difficult, or does that depend on the style?
- How do I choose? Is there any reason to believe that some offer more effective protection than others? Or is it just a style and comfort thing?
- Is it ever necessary to wear a hat / balaclava / etc under the helmet to stave off the cold?

I need your expert advice.
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Chris B, Graphics? Nothing clever really. I just use the Internet Library.
[url=http://www.annen.ch/lenny/music/In_The_Summertime_(Mungo_Jerry).mp3] Altogether now![/url] (2.03MB)
"In the autumn-time,
when its raining hard outside
I just google all the day
Just to see what I can find....
In the autumn-time
I've got skiing, I've got sking on my mind."

So if you Google for Images with "smiley" or "angry smiley" or any sort or smiley you can think of, you will get lots of lovely smilies. Sometimes you will also find a site full of smileys: grab them. I've now got quite a collection. Have fun.
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Acacia said
Quote:

This is like saying that driving a Volvo leads to more irresponsible driving!


As an ex-motorcyclist, I would certainly agree with that statement!! Built like a tank, driven like one too. If ever a Volvo driver realised that they had a rear-view mirror, they would spot a lot of carnage, left in their wake.



An old guy in his Volvo is driving home from work when his wife rings him on his carphone.
"Honey", she says in a worried voice, "Be careful! There was a bit on the news just now, some lunatic is driving the wrong way down the freeway".

"It's worse than that!", he replies, "There are hundreds of them!"
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