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Smith Variant Brim Helmet (Last model) Test X2

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I just got back from skiing Summit County and Vail/BC last week, I'll do a TR later, but this is about pounding my helmet and skull into the ground twice within 20 minutes.

 

The last day of my trip starts as the coolest temps of the week slipped into the Vail valley. We had heard that the cover at BC was the best around so we arrived at 11AM. I had a tune-up  the night before, so I'm ready for firmer conditions. It had been in the 50s the day before and then down to 26.

 

So I head to the lift and notice the ice in the corral as in head in. So I pull up and stop on the right side. That's when it happened. My buddy blows by me and hooks the tail of my left ski (189 obSETHeds) and instantly cranks my leg and hip inward, so I quickly begin to fall backward when my heel releases (I'm set at 9.5) and finishes launching me towards the frozen tundra, lower-back first with my head in pursuit. BLAM!!!

 

That smartzed!!! The small of my back was my first concern. Then I realized my head bounced beautifully in the Variant Brim Helmet. The BC liftees saw the whole thing and rushed over to me. I spent about 30 seconds doing a damage accessment. The sting goes away, but I know the lower-back will probably stiffen in a couple of days.

 

My bud and I exchanged a few words, kissed and made up. HACK!

 

If that wasn't enough, when we got to the top we headed over to some blue cruiser, the name is unknown to me. Well about the 5th or 6th turn and maybe going 30 mph, my left ski pops off and I drop onto my face, hyperextend my uphill knee. Yep, the classic racer crash.

 

Several skiers and riders, they must have seen me go down, stop and lend a hand. The visor of the Brim is returned to me. My emergency whistle as well. Someone notices a couple of drops of blood and a scrape on my nose. After several minutes of acccessing my knee, I ski the rest of the morning wondering about my Markers.....and the true condition of my knee.

 

As it turns out the bindings and my knee appear to be okay. Still haven't needed the knife in almost 40 years of skiing. YEAH!

 

This really is about the Smith Variant though. I've had several concussions in competitive sports from HS through to my skiing days, and this helmet saved me from two concussions in 20 minutes. It has been 32 years since I've had a skiing concussion, though I don't think a helmet would have helped in that mogul field crash.

 

I have checked the helmet and this is what I've found. The first fall onto the back right lower skull left a dent on the exterior shell, but the foam seems intact. The front of the helmet from the second fall loosened the visor to the point where I will need a new one, though it can be worn without it. The front foam appears to be intact as well. I should check my Smith goggles more thoroughly, but they never even came off....I didn't notice if the lens had cracked. My guess is it isn't. Good seamless fit between the helmet and goggles had to help my chances.

 

Funny thing about me and helmets, I usually  wear them only when it is sunny. This is probably about to change, though I did wear it 6 of 7 days. The only day being the first afternoon at Coppper.....my first turns of the season.

 

Have a great summer!

 

snokat Al

 

 

 

post #2 of 8

Great story and a true testament to the Variant. I have a Variant and a couple on Vantages, Smith makes a great helmet. Now, the reality from this point forward. Helmets (other than a few race ones from Poc & Shred) are a single impact device. Time to replace that Variant, it did it's job and now it is toast. 

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Philpug, I'm checking with Smith on their replacement policy, I recall something about some kind of warranty....may have been a dream.

 

I'm going to back off my din setting a 1/2 or so.

 

Also, would like to thank my yin yoga instructor Kata @ Kula Shala Yoga, Jupiter, FL, I think it is amazing how well I escaped injury, must be from all the flexibility you gain from the long poses. Not bad for 57!

 

 

post #4 of 8

Policy from Smith's website:

 


What is the warranty on Smith's Helmets?
Smith has a lifetime warranty and a crash replacement program on their helmets. We know what makes a great product and are proud to back it up. If you experience a problem that is a defect in materials or workmanship Smith Optics warrants your helmet for the lifetime of the product. We will repair or replace your helmet at no charge. Smith Optics has the sole discretion to determine manufacturer's defects. Consumers who damage their helmets in an accident within 3 years of purchase are eligible for a crash replacement of a new Smith helmet. See your local retailer or sales representative for details.

 

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post

Policy from Smith's website:

 


What is the warranty on Smith's Helmets?
Smith has a lifetime warranty and a crash replacement program on their helmets. We know what makes a great product and are proud to back it up. If you experience a problem that is a defect in materials or workmanship Smith Optics warrants your helmet for the lifetime of the product. We will repair or replace your helmet at no charge. Smith Optics has the sole discretion to determine manufacturer's defects. Consumers who damage their helmets in an accident within 3 years of purchase are eligible for a crash replacement of a new Smith helmet. See your local retailer or sales representative for details.

 

Not pertinent to the current issue, but I had a Variant brim that delaminated so that the vents wouldn't open and close. Smith refused to warranty it--claimed it must have been overheated.  Which suggests to me that they know that heat weakens the glue, but there's no warning about that problem in the product literature. I guess I should have claimed an accident.
 

 

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

I'm waiting to hear back from them. Wonder how long that takes? I saw a number as well, so a nice follow-up is due by weeks end if they go silent.

Love the Variant, wonder if I'll love the company

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by snokat View Post

I'm waiting to hear back from them. Wonder how long that takes? I saw a number as well, so a nice follow-up is due by weeks end if they go silent.

Love the Variant, wonder if I'll love the company

 

They are good at follow up, it is in between seasons for the, just be patient.

 

Quote:
What is the warranty on Smith's Helmets?
Smith has a lifetime warranty and a crash replacement program on their helmets. We know what makes a great product and are proud to back it up. If you experience a problem that is a defect in materials or workmanship Smith Optics (1)warrants your helmet for the lifetime of the product. We will repair or replace your helmet at no charge. Smith Optics has the sole discretion to determine manufacturer's defects. (2)Consumers who damage their helmets in an accident within 3 years of purchase are eligible for a crash replacement of a new Smith helmet. See your local retailer or sales representative for details.

 

1) THE lifetime of the product.A helmets life ends with a serious impact, a la an airbag in a car.

 

2) this is usually at a discount as a replacement direct from the manufacturer

 

 

 

 

 

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Heard from Smith, they sent me to the local distributor here in SoFLA.....Peter Glenn Sports.

Funny, they were out at Copper demoing skis and boots last week. Guess I'll stop by and see what the deal is.

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