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Is this helmet toast?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I was getting on a lift tonight and a little girl in the middle lost her balance trying to hurry to catch the chair coming around and pushed me to the outside of the lift. My helmet caught the bar of the chair and did the damage you see. I'm pretty ticked because this helmet is nearly new(5 days skiing with it). The impact was really light, enough I didn't feel it, I just heard it. For $140 I'm not too happy that's it messed up over something so stupid. Scott has a replacement plan, but when you read the details, it's just 30% off msrp of a new helmet. You can find deals online that are just as good or better than that. Obviously the point of the helmet is to protect thy noggin, not look pretty, so do you think this one will still serve that purpose?
post #2 of 20

It's fine!  The damage will buff right out.  Just make sure you never strike that same spot again.  ;-)


I'ld be getting a headache just thinking about that impact. 

post #3 of 20

If the damage is limited to only the flimsy plastic on the outside of the helmet you might be okay.


These styrofoam padded helmets are not designed to take multiple impacts. Often the damage done to the structure of the main shell is not going to be visible, and yet will compromise the integrity of the helmet in a real crash. Most manufacturers say you need to replace a standard foam helmet after just one fall/hit, and they will not stand by the product after that.


It may seem surface level, but you probably have done enough to the helmet that a manufacturer would not stand by the product anymore. It stinks, and that is why I won't spend money on anything above a basic helmet.

post #4 of 20
Why don't you send that picture to Scott and ask them? Looking at that picture I'd say it's done.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by H2OnSnow View Post

Why don't you send that picture to Scott and ask them? Looking at that picture I'd say it's done.
That's a good call, I never thought of that.
post #6 of 20
Originally Posted by H2OnSnow View Post
 Looking at that picture I'd say it's done.


Yeah, especially since the impact area is surrounded by deformation -  the internal foam could easily have cracks bigger than a hand extending out of that area, and we really don't know how much of the shell is still solidly bonded.

It's not about impacts just in the dead area- impacts in the other areas of the helmet (temple area frex) can use the existing weak spot as a hinging pivot and smash down into the head underneath without crushing the foam directly under the impact area first.

post #7 of 20



Do you wear your helmet for comfort or protection?  It is only good for the first of those two options now, and maybe not even that if the vents are damaged...

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by FatChance View Post


Do you wear your helmet for comfort or protection?  It is only good for the first of those two options now, and maybe not even that if the vents are damaged...

Protection first and foremost, but I was actually really surprised by how warm it kept my head. I figured I would have to wear a hat under it on cold days, but the first day I wore it, it was about 5 degrees and I was toasty.

I sent a picture and description to Smith to see what they say. I'm sure they will say it's a goner, even just for the simple fact of protecting themselves from a lawsuit, and tell me to get a new one. $140 down the drain.
post #9 of 20

did you buy the helmet in the last 90days (this season?).   If so you could have purchase protection through your credit card to get money back.

post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

did you buy the helmet in the last 90days (this season?).   If so you could have purchase protection through your credit card to get money back.

I didn't. It was last March out in SLC during my last trip of the season. I wore it 2 days there, 3 days in December in Colorado, and for about 10 minutes last night.
post #11 of 20

Giro introduced their Combyn "soft-shell" helmet a few years ago because of this very danger. It does not use styrofoam type protection, so they claim it can take multiple lickings and keep on ticking. The helmet is marketed towards the park & pipe crowd who are more likely to run into problems with compromised helmets from repeated falls.


It will be sad if the new helmet dies like this.

post #12 of 20

Agree you should reach out and ask them.


Even though the website says 30% off msrp, perhaps once you get in touch with them they may offer you a different deal.  

Don't beg or try to lead them with the question, just tell that the you'll look at different helmets because the replacement deal isn't good enough to lock you to Scott, and you're going to look elsewhere, which is the truth.


No harm in asking.

post #13 of 20

What would your ER co-pay have been to sew up your head, plus the cost of replacing your blood soaked jacket? Be glad your helmet spared you all that. You also might want to take hockey lessons if you let a little girl shove you off a chair.:)

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
That's why I always wear red jackets 😋
post #15 of 20
I'm going to buck the trend here and say you are probably ok with this helmet. Here's why:

I come from a generation where nobody wore helmets except racers - back in the days of straight skis when off-balance aerial acrobatics in the mogul field left you screaming down a steep in the back seat, not sitting on your butt at the bottom of a manufactured trick ramp, asking your buddy if he got it on the go-pro.

Anyway, we all survived without helmets. I can't remember a single "serious" velocity head strike from actual skiing. And I've seen buddies ski into boulders that cracked their skis in half, had 5 year old kids in my lesson land in the trees (they are so light they just bounce off), and raced division I in college where guys regularly trained without helmets - I can't even find a pic of the face guards that were popular at the time in slalom - some guys were still just wearing football type teeth guards-- but helmets were only mandatory for GS + events. So it probably won't surprise you that I scoffed at everybody who wears helmets now, and didn't get one myself for recreational skiing until very recently

You see, there's more to my story, though. Two incidents of with people in my family demonstrated to me when a helmet can save the day (if your a park skier and spend a lot of time inverted, or bouncing around metal rails, none of this applies to you - you need a helmet to ski). The first was when my mother was hit in the head by a snowboarder trying to catch air of some bumps. Now my mother likes to stop and catch her breath frequently during runs, so I figure she might have easily avoided the crash if she had been skiing and not standing in the middle of the run. Still the other guys fault but whatever. That kind of crap isn't likely to happen if you pick and choose your resort, your runs, and your line to avoid yahoos (thankfully the invention of the trick park keeps a lot of these guys off my runs today anyway - not back then). But even so, she wasn't concussed. She was able to ski down the hill. Had to get some stitches, and the only casualty was her love of skiing because she pretty much stopped skiing after that. But because of this reason my kids always skied with helmets from day one.

The second incident, the one that made me go out and buy a helmet, was a couple years ago at a small mid-west hill where it's probably not possible to hit any (trails just go straight down) obstacle going fast enough to actually concuss youself. They installed some stupid CYA jockey gates at the lifts that open and close for a few seconds when it's your turn to skate up to the load point. Well the stupid thing caught the back of my wife's ski as she was bringing up the rear behind our kids, knocker her off balance, and she landed right in the path of the chair as it makes the turn. She ducked and the 90 degree corner of the chair passed about 1 cm from her temple going at full speed (I guess with all that first class automation, the lift operator didn't think he needed to pay attention). She, as you might also guess, wears a helmet anyway, so she would have probably survived OK had the lift clocked her in the head. But as I watched the near miss, I thought that if it was me I would have really f**ked me up.

So here's the point - despite what the "you need protection to ski" nannies tell you, you're very unlikely to experience one of those crashes where because of your skiing you actually bash your helmet into a tree and have a pic worth posting on the internet. Nope. The value of the helmet is the protection you get from the kind of stupid shit you actually experienced... falls in the lift line. Dip sh*ts running into you. Etc.

I would write a thank you letter to Scott. Mention the 30% thing and tell them you're afraid you still can't swing a replacement and will have to go with something cheaper. They might appreciate your goodwill and give you a break on the identical $150 helmet that saved you from stitches. If they don't, I think the helmet is probably still good to protect you from the kind of head impact your actually likely to encounter skiing. I wouldn't be afraid to ski with it personally, but ultimately if your someone who is looking for someone else to take responsibility for whether its "safe", you need to listen to the nanny state and get a new helmet every time you have any kind of head impact. Even dropping your helmet in the parking lot. And, again, if your a trick / park skier, none of this applies to your - get a new helmet.

Also, I would write an angry letter to the ski slope. If the lift operator failed to slow down / stop the lift when you fell, I would actually demand that they replace your helmet. That kind of crap is negligence. Good lift operators see a kid coming up to load that looks unsteady and they automatically slow down the lift as a precaution. On the other hand, if the kid just floored you and there was no time for the lift operator to stop the lift so be it - that's part of the risk, and that's why I now where a helmet too.
post #16 of 20
You kbow afrer rereading the story even though its a weird accident that dent could've been your head. Accidents always happen at the weirdest times. my worst fall is in the parking lot.

So count your blessings.
On what gdeangel said,
I would not write an angry letter to the lift operator. You then fall into the entitled why didnt someone save me group (see controversy in other thread). If you want to have any pride at all that you are an accomplished skier and not a child beginner, you take some personal responsibility that you can use a chair lift and escape even chairlift mishaps without help from a minimum wage employee scrapping by to have a skibum season. And if something bad happens, you take it as a learning experience to improve your chair lift skills instead of pointing the finger. You need to be the guy that provides help to speed things up not the guy that slows things down and needs help.
There are extra techniques people do on lifts to ensure they dont fall no matter what happens. If you see some folks look back, reach back with 1 arm and grab the chair back versus just assuming the lift is going to be perfect each time and doing a dainty sit with both hands useless wrapped around poles and eyes just looking forward at nothing. (They likely learned on slow detached quads and not old fixed grip)
The techniques also including knowing when to stay down or escaping if you get shoved off to escape or if a 5th person joins your quad.
Yes its too late now, but the question is where do you go from here.

So if you write such a letter that means you are choosing not to learn any extra chair safety tricks and improving personal responsibility. You instead want the mtn to watch out for you like a beginner. I hope they put a reflective vest on you for that mtn, slow the lift for you every time and announce loudly to everyone in the lift line 3 times that we have a person with special needs everyone watch out for him.
Edited by raytseng - 1/27/16 at 2:46pm
post #17 of 20

Geez guys. All he asked was whether the helmet was still good. Not whether he needs a helmet. Not whether he should get the lift op fired. Not whether he should have the little girl thrown in juvy for attempted murder. I don't know what it is lately but people seem to work themselve into a frenzy over nothing. Must be Trump. (Or Bernie, choose your choice.)


Mr Angel in Ohio--your rant leads me to think that maybe you should have been wearing a helmet all this time. If you feel the need to comment further on whether people should wear helmets--and I sure hope you don't--at least do it with some respect for the many fine skiers who disagree with you.

post #18 of 20
The lift operators job is what?

Talk about entitled attitude!

So guess what, when he gets replaced with an automated "cattle gate" and then we hear about how big bad business is laying of workers, maybe the reason is because what's the point of having a human without a brain, situational awareness, and responsibility do the job. The machine can do all that for less cost and more reliability.

And Old Goat, you can keep your ad homenim insults to yourself. The discussion is about helmet. I give the facts that underly my opinion. None of it is made up. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Although ironically there is one more thing: at the hill today my kids were riding the lifts on their own, the littler one without her poles. They were told to ask the operator to slow down the lift for them (don't like that - too bad. If you can't accommodate kids on your hill, don't expect much future for skiing at the bread and butter family hills. ) The guy didn't slow it down, and I watched from across the flats as the lift hit my daughter as she tried to skate up to the load line without any poles, and was thrown about 10 feet.

And the lift operator had the gall to try to defend himself. He said something to the effect, "Why don't you take her to the beginner run." LOL, I bet she skis better than 85% of the teens / adults there tonight. Management did not take such a dismissive attitude, and you can be damn sure the guy attitude changed the next time we rode the lift. The rest of the night every one of her coaches was telling me they couldn't believe the lift operator.

So sorry, I stand by the opinion that you wear a helmet because of 180 lb pieces of cable driven steel being supervised by brain dead slackers with no skin in the game (if my daughter had been seriously hurt, you can be damn sure there would have been litigation against this hill, that employee negligence is not one of the assumed risks of skiing, and the owners of the hill would be handing this guy the pink slip.)
Edited by gdeangel - 1/28/16 at 9:39am
post #19 of 20
Jesus. You had a bad parents experience but we are not all your daughter. Some of us are fully grown humans and are able take care of ourselves and dont need help from dad anymore.
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Wow, I'm gone for 24 hours and the thread goes off the deep end. Let's put some things to bed...

1. This is not a "should I wear a helmet?" thread. There are plenty of threads on that already. That decision has been made up, which is why I have and wear a helmet already.

2. I don't need lift help. I have never had any lift issues, including falling in any phase of the lift process. It was a freak accident, she tipped as she turned to check on the chair coming up, pushing me over to the edge. We all made it on the chair and it wasn't slowed or stopped. Wasn't pretty but it worked. Helmet hit the side bar as I was pushed over as I was going down to the bench.

3. Not the lift operators fault or problem.

4. Not blaming anyone, helmet did its job, I'm just butt-hurt over it getting trashed so soon.

Back to your normally scheduled program...

The response from Scott was "you need to replace it, that dent is pretty big". I asked if they had any sort of replacement program for something so new, "We do offer a crash replacement which ends up being about half of retail. You would need to go through a shop for this!"
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