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Ski helmet for racing

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

hey guys

I'm looking for a new helmet 

i've got a budget of 150 $ and i found some good looking helmets

1) poc sinuse sl : looks goos for freeride and slalom but for gs....

2) poc skull: i saw many models looking pretty good but pretty expensive and with the full shell i don't know how its gonna be once its getting warm or in off-piste

 

Thx for ur help

post #2 of 29
Thread Starter 

what would you recommend me??

post #3 of 29

What level of racing? 

post #4 of 29
Typically you'll need a helmet with hard ears if you want to race GS or faster events. However it all depends if the races are sanctioned races or just beer drinking club races.
post #5 of 29

You should find the one that fits your head because some fit certain head shapes better than others and just feel better. As long as they are certified, they will do the job, the trick is finding the one that is comfortable. For example I didn't like Giro helmets, but fit well into a Uvex. My son couldn't stand POCs and races with Shreds.

post #6 of 29


If you are racing at any level of USSA, including Masters,  you will need a helmet with the FIS sticker and full ear coverage for GS.  the SL helmet does not cut it and you will not be allowed to start.  Dont know about Nastar

 

If you are not intending to race anything more than fun or beer league stuff where there are no rules you can find some great deals on previous generation, non FIS stickered race helmets.  For example a lot of POC Skull Comp 2.0 around, new, at under $100 - and this is a helmet that was previously $300+.  An excellent helmet (i prefer mine to my new Orbit Comp one ) if it fits your head shape.     Also similar deals on Non FIS stickers Uvex and Shred but fewer of them around

post #7 of 29

Depends on what fits your head.  My current helmet is a Uvex Race + that I bought this year.  It was a bit over your budget at $200, but was the one that fit the best and there were not a lot of choices for real race helmets with full hard sides.

post #8 of 29

To add, as posted already.  They are effectively all the same if they meet standards (standard is the standard) so basically just what fits your head the best.

 

Certainly have to try on, for example I wear a Giro free ski helmet, and the POC free ski helmets don't fit me well.  However as for racing goes, my POC fits beautifully. Oh and full race, hard ear helmets do suck when it's warm out.  Poor airflow = hot and sweaty, so don't even try to think they will perform like your free ski helmets do as far as comfort goes.

 

Another good point to the above is if you aren't racing USSA stuff then the older FIS helmets are a steal given they are not usable in current competitions anymore.  However if you might race some of those events you are better off getting the proper standard now so you are SOL down the road.

post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbear View Post
 

 Oh and full race, hard ear helmets do suck when it's warm out.  Poor airflow = hot and sweaty, so don't even try to think they will perform like your free ski helmets do as far as comfort goes.

Don't know about that.  They typically have vents at the ears and don't have all the fuzzy padding that the soft ear flap helmets have.  If anything your typical race helmet is pretty cold compared to the typical recreational helmet.

post #10 of 29

Disagree, mine is far from cold (no real air gaps around my face) and the slight " vent hole" near the ears is for sound and not venting airflow.

 

When I ski, the top of my head is where I need the venting, my race helmet has no such thing (there is no airflow at the top and through).  Similarly on a my free ski helmet the adjustable venting is located throughout the top of the head which channels air through the helmet over the top of the head cooling me down.

post #11 of 29
Race helmets are warmer.
My '16 Smith Vantage is freezing. My previous Smith Variant Brim wasn't exactly toasty either but way warmer than this. Rec helmets are obsessed by venting.
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbear View Post
 

Disagree, mine is far from cold (no real air gaps around my face) and the slight " vent hole" near the ears is for sound and not venting airflow.

 

When I ski, the top of my head is where I need the venting, my race helmet has no such thing (there is no airflow at the top and through).  Similarly on a my free ski helmet the adjustable venting is located throughout the top of the head which channels air through the helmet over the top of the head cooling me down.


My last race helmet had vents on top.  The Giro had panels that could be removed while my Uvex has a closable vents at the ears.

 

All depends on the particular helmet.

post #13 of 29
I'll agree with much of the above - you will not be allowed to start any race certified through a regional association or the USSA without a FIS helmet and yep they're warmer - but will add this: The FIS models add more protection. And keep in mind the certification changed this season; more padding in front where gates hit. Anyway at the end of the day it's about reducing your chance of waking up in an ER without knowing your name. If you're going to be hitting 50-60 mph in GS don't skimp. If you're talking Nastar or beer league, you may not need the sticker but you will want full (ear) coverage. Hot or not. Gates hurt.
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldjeep View Post


My last race helmet had vents on top.  The Giro had panels that could be removed while my Uvex has a closable vents at the ears.

All depends on the particular helmet.

Absolutely agree it depends on helmet, however I still haven't seen any FIS approved ski race helmets that have head vents. I don't count the ear vents as they do little to cool the head.

The giro with the removable panels was/is not FIS approved. (May or may not matter depending on what the OP is racing as for level).
post #15 of 29

Not sure how some of you guys get all worried about the helmet being too warm.  I wear my Poc Skull comp all season (130 days so far this year) without any issues about being too cold or too hot.   I must have the goldilocks one!  Personally I would not wear other than the full coverage one.   I also use another skull comp with chinguard for slalom.  I have tried a few of the more cutaway slalom specific ones and just didn't like them, including the POC version, which seems to fit differently to the skull comp.  The new FIS legal Orbit Comp feels a bit like a bowling ball as well ...


Edited by ScotsSkier - 5/4/16 at 5:12pm
post #16 of 29
My 13-year old girl in front of the mirror, trying the new Orbit on :

"I'll quit doing races if I have to wear this."
post #17 of 29
Yes new FIS ones feel/look very bulbous......you get used to it pretty quickly though.
post #18 of 29

and when everyone else around is wearing the same thing, it doesn't stick out as much too.

post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbear View Post
 

To add, as posted already.  They are effectively all the same if they meet standards (standard is the standard) so basically just what fits your head the best.

 

 

Actually, this isn't true. Meeting standard does not make all helmets the same. It means they meet the minimum requirements the regulatory body puts forward. It's like passing a test in school. Someone who gets a 100% and someone who gets a 65% may both pass the test, but it doesn't mean they both did as well. Helmet manufacturers must meet the standard, but they are also free to exceed it if they so choose. 

post #20 of 29

FIS helmets more like $250.  Mentally prepare yourself.  Good news is is prob a multi year item and (barring head banging crashes) will last for several years.  Everyone is wearing the same kind of helmet. Not ever an issue in my experience.  FIS sticker, cool color, and goggle combo are the main things!  You only get one head.  Reminder that concussion symptoms can mean weeks or months not competing.  (Not to mention crummy headaches, nausea, mental impairment etc)  Think about a mouth guard too for better alignment and even more head protection.  

 

Preaching again here - race / park comp kids should wear all appropriate safety and padding equipment EVERY time they are training - even when not in gates.  This is the difference between laughing off a spill and lamely nursing bruises, road rash, busted lips mental obstacles / confidence etc.  Amen

post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post

Actually, this isn't true. Meeting standard does not make all helmets the same. It means they meet the minimum requirements the regulatory body puts forward. It's like passing a test in school. Someone who gets a 100% and someone who gets a 65% may both pass the test, but it doesn't mean they both did as well. Helmet manufacturers must meet the standard, but they are also free to exceed it if they so choose. 

And in the case of race helmets the standard is quite high as it is. Yes one OEM is welcome to exceed the standard however the actual effectiveness of that helmet compared to one that meets the standard cannot be validated as being "safer".

Safe is safe, as far as FIS standard helmets, POC is no more safer than Briko which is no more safer than UVEX which is no more safer than Shred, Sweet or any other.

We aren't talking about 100% vs 65%....all are great. (More like 99% vs 98% if I were to put figures on it) What matters more how it fits ones head. An ill fitting POC will certainly be less "safe" than a properly fitting Atomic.

If you buy POC (or any other OEM) because you believe it's safer than you have simply validated that the marketing machine works.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post
 

The new FIS legal Orbit Comp feels a bit like a bowling ball as well ...

Yeah, really. Seems like a different fit, and not in a good way. Also agree, my head never feels overheated. In the rare occurrence that I'm hiking out west, have a different helmet for that. 

post #23 of 29

I bought my son a FIS POC Skull Orbic X for his last college race season last January. It cost $190.

post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbear View Post


And in the case of race helmets the standard is quite high as it is. Yes one OEM is welcome to exceed the standard however the actual effectiveness of that helmet compared to one that meets the standard cannot be validated as being "safer".

Safe is safe, as far as FIS standard helmets, POC is no more safer than Briko which is no more safer than UVEX which is no more safer than Shred, Sweet or any other.

We aren't talking about 100% vs 65%....all are great. (More like 99% vs 98% if I were to put figures on it) What matters more how it fits ones head. An ill fitting POC will certainly be less "safe" than a properly fitting Atomic.

If you buy POC (or any other OEM) because you believe it's safer than you have simply validated that the marketing machine works.


I'll have to disagree, just on logical grounds. First, an argumentum ad ignoratium problem; since we cannot know if one helmet is safer than another, that means they are all equally safe. Nope. Premise may/may not be true, but not knowing something doesn't prove the other side of the argument. Measuring "safer" is different than the argument on the table, which about being equally safe. Second, you propose that meeting some minimum threshold means "safe." Minimum doesn't mean safe. Or equal. Actually doubt FIS ever uses the word "safe," lawyers wouldn't like it. Third, you insert some extra definitional terms on the fly. You start by assuming meeting a threshold means "safe." Then your safe becomes equally safe. FIS doesn't say that one, for sure, nor do they imply it. 

 

It would be like saying all blood pressure at or below 120/80 is equally desirable or all cars with mandated airbags or a 5 star rating are equally safe.

 

All FIS is saying is that a stickered helmets meet some minimum standard for resisting damage in a static weight drop designed decades ago. I think as of 2016 they figured in gate impacts, but unclear about the methodology. Typically standards like this are overkill, meaning that they are designed to cover most of the user population, like RDA's. But the relationship between the test results and real slope impacts is even less well understood than vitamins. Which are a mess, when you figure in interactions and genetic factors and user age. Notice they seriously revamp them periodically; check out the Vitamin D requirements compared to a decade ago. So are the old requirements "healthy?" Are the new ones "healthier?" They're just best guesses. Is a 2016 helmet safer than a 2014? Probably. Maybe. How much better? Who knows?

 

It's likely very nonlinear, and not well predicted by the test. (Which doesn't really deal with concussions or angular blows, for instance.) The type of foam, materials used in the shell, basic design (MIPS vs. non-MIPS) all figure in to safety over time (some foam degrades after one impact, some doesn't, for instance). But like most sanctioning bodies, FIS does the best it can with pressure from all sides to come up with an arbitrary number. 

 

You're right about fit, I'd guess, although have never seen data on looseness. A loose helmet probably contributes more risk than a barely meets the threshold helmet. OTOH, a 6 year old EPS in-mold helmet that's taken some falls is probably just as bad as a loose 2016 version. The reason I'm hedging on looseness is that all the makers and every seller and every website and every coach advises a snug fit. Which makes sense, and we all buy into it, me included. But seriously, has anyone ever compared loose vs snug empirically? From a physical perspective, seems like a MIPS design absorbs angular momentum by rotation relative to the skull, which a loose helmet does also. What if a loose helmet were worse for absorbing direct penetrative blows but better for dispersing off-axis blows? 

 

"Marketing machine" is more about your personal politics. All good, but not really logically relevant to the argument. I could have the world's most powerful marketing machine and still make a superior helmet. Or the worst ever. Does not follow. 


Edited by beyond - 5/5/16 at 8:26pm
post #25 of 29
We aren't talking about genetic factors or user age. We are talking about race helmets and the standards set by FIS as to the requirements approved helmets must meet. We do not know which (if any) OEMs exceed this standard nor what tangible benefit they provide even if they did.

My error in using the term "safe" all my prior posts refer to standard (which does in fact meet a safety standard.....how effective and viable that standard is to real world of corse can be debated ad nausuem but the fact remains it is the standard used to measure). Meeting said standard requries the helmet to have a minimum level of safety, point being exceeding the standard (don't know if any do) does not necessary mean said helmet is any safer or more effective.
We all know dangers of racing and let's face it there are certain circumstances in which the real world impact to athlete is so great that it is possible having the latest and greatest helmet is no more beneficial than having no helmet at all.

Real world given (at least to my knowledge) every OEM had to redesign and retool their helmets to be FIS approved by the new standard does suggest improvements to design to combat repeat gate impacts to he helmet effectiveness and/or repeated head trauma linked to concussion (at least based on what is currently known) Linking to prior posts if a helmet meets standard it inherently meets some tangible level of safety. There is no (at least not to my knowledge) superior helmet when it comes down to relative safety. The standard is quite stringent (hence all the redesign required) and not some low bar (65%) threshold. We aren't talking about variability in blood pressure, or changes to standards over time. In all likelihood there wil continue to be changes to helmet standards as years go on. But for now unless you truly believe there are tangible differences in he relative safety between the different OEMs, anything that fits properly and meets standard shouldn't keep one up at night. Sweet protection has just come out with a FIS approved MIPS helmet, it is any more effective or safer who knows....but MIPS + all the carbon fibre used is certainly commanding quite a price premium.

As for fit, yes not many studies on (loose vs, tight fit) I can however cite a few cases (one as recent as this past year) in which an ill fitting helmet (not tight enough around head and ill fitting chin strap) popped off an athlete in a crash out of the race course resulting in death upon impact with a tree.
post #26 of 29

^^^^ Hmmm. I think health history (any past concessions, for instance?), age, skill set (what level of racing?), genetic factors (some folks get damaged easier than others) actually do figure in. But maybe not to the degree of helmet design. 

 

I was playing a bit about the logic. Do think it's useful to put clear arguments together. We have at least one presidential near-nominee who may prove I'm hopelessly out of date on that one. 

 

And yep, in the real world of impacts, unclear about a whole lot of things regarding helmets. I have hope that the new MIPS designs may actually be shown to reduce risk of concussion, but it'll take a lot of helmets sold and a lot of falls to gather a sample. As you know, there only thing we know helmets really protect against (penetrative trauma) is comparatively rare compared to concussion. And now folks are talking about sub-concussive impacts, like soccer heading or banging into each other across a football line. Which could mean that all those falls we pop up from still register in our noggins, and add up. Urk. 

 

Agree that helmets get better, and that changes in standards track this to some degree. But does a "stringent" standard mean no difference? Just unclear to me how any particular helmet is same as - or better than or worse than - any other. In the absence of comparative FIS data - which must exist but manufacturers would never allow released - I'll go with engineering arguments. Like EPP foam being superior to EPS because it returns to original shape. Or MIPS reducing angular momentum. Or carbon fiber distributing penetrative force better than ABS. I honestly don't think that the sticker means each helmet is "safe," or "equally safe," just that each helmet got through one narrowly focused final exam. Like doctors, who don't get grades, just passes. Not all doctors are equal, IME. And (tangent related back to second paragraph) did you know that the average Washington politician who went to law school finished in the bottom third of their class? The smart ones went to work for corporations. Explains a lot. 

 

Yeah, the loose fit thing is interesting. Not gonna start skiing with my chin strap undone for reasons you state. In fact (here's my level of paranoia), I worry some about vented helmets in the woods. Have had too many branches clip/scratch/brush over my ventless POC. Keep wondering what would happen if one of them caught in a vent. While I kept going. :eek 

post #27 of 29
If you actually think about all that regarding helmets then I'd suggest checkers;)
post #28 of 29

POC actually designs their vented Receptor freeski helmets in a way to address the "hole in the helmet = opportunity for penetrative impact" in a way where they state things like branches, rocks, sticks, etc. are not an issue because of the dual shell.

 

EPP vs EPS can be debated in term of effectiveness in single collision. EPS possibly able to distribute force loads better because it's designed to crush vs. bounce back, however which one is better in those multi contact collision where one is rag dolled down the hill, I'd rather not find out first hand.

 

Yes we can infer based on materials which "might" be better or worse based on properties of the base materials, however again this does not ensure improvement or one being superior.  The human brain/head is fairly fragile, there are points in which the differences between materials no longer has a tangible effect (e.g. a high enough load no material can reduce the force loads on the brain enough to make a difference...and at a smaller load they all can do the job equally well).

post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbear View Post

POC actually designs their vented Receptor freeski helmets in a way to address the "hole in the helmet = opportunity for penetrative impact" in a way where they state things like branches, rocks, sticks, etc. are not an issue because of the dual shell

Yep, nice design. I meant something different than penetration; I meant a branch hooking an open vent and holding on instead of sliding over it. Prolly less of an issue with the Receptor design than others, but if it's open (can be open or closed from a slide inside), still possible.

Oldjeep, I'm always like this. Helmets, cars, smartphones, once got really into why roller ball pens worked the way they did, required studying up on the physics of viscous fluids. Too far past my pay grade in math. But fun. Sigh. redface.gif
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