Originally Posted by sjjohnston
The fact that a handful of Britons did various Alpine things (including inventing ski racing) has nothing to do with anything.
I agree except L7 was suggesting because I come from Great Britain I can't be an expert skier or hold an opinion on skiing related subjects. I was merely pointing out the absurdity of the suggestion that just because we don't have real mountains or real skiing in the country that we don't produce real skier or alpinists.
Regardles of where the parent companies are based it is the US divisions of those companies that are resposible for the proliferation of ski helmets, they simply don't have that market in europe where their core products are cycling and climbing related. Helmets have been sold on the back of marketing campaigns where all of these companies get "extreme" sking stars to wear them in their movies. Suddenly everyone wants to look lke their extreme heroes, The North Face did the same and it made the company, remember all those yellow and black jackets and suits after Scott Shmidt in The Bizzard of AHHHs. Helmets are the marketing success of the last 10 years.
I agree for racing, I even have a slalom helmet and face guard (haven't worn it for years since I gave up racing) for exactly the reasons you said. I have leg guards and hand protectors and I don't wear them for free skiing either!
Helmets do affect hearing I've tried them. Built in headphones and cell phones are just plain crazy.
Goggles do affect your visual field, even the best ones, which is why I only wear them when absolutely necessary same goes for hats & hoods (I hate hats but since my hair's thinning I have to wear one more often these days). Hemets almost mandate that you wear goggles, I have seen very few wearers without goggles.
As an aside I am always suprised by the number of skiers in the US (and I genuinely love skiing in the US) who wear goggles all of the time (without helmets) even the bluebird days when they are just cruising groomers. What's wrong with sunglasses?
I think I've stirred things up enough now, with my unresearched ranting but it's fun to get things warmed up a little.
The big thing is it's personal choice and that is what skiing is about; the freedom to enjoy the mountains in your own way without imposing petty restriction on others or endangering others. I pay my insurance and I take responsibility for myself I don't want other people trying to take responsibility for how I enjoy the great outdoors.