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A new take on Helmet Use

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Most of the discussion about helmet use and statistics seem to be centred around the use of helmets for protection in falls and collisions with trees and other skiers/boarders etc.

I have hurt my arms, back, torso, and kneck in falls and collisions over the years but surprisingly have never struck my head. During a collision I am usually going fast enough that a helmet would not help anyways.

Even considering this I wear a helmet and here's why:

More than once I have been wacked upside the head by a pair of skis being swung around in the locker room or in the lodge.

A couple times while not paying attention or being distracted while loading the lift I have had the back of my head bashed against the horizintal segment of the lift bar as it approaches and I am stil standing.

Once a Kid threw a handfull of ice off the lift down onto skiers below and it hit the top of my head as I skied under.

One time I slipped and fell on the ice while coming out of the lodge and cracked the back of my head on a ski rack.

..and a lot of other annoying stuff.

Ironically not one of the scuff marks on my helmet have come from falls while actively skiing but I have plenty of marks from incidental contact with moving machinery,skis, concrete, or other people. I wear a helmet not so much for protection from serious injury but protection from all the other stuff incidental to actually skiing.
post #2 of 17
I consider helmet use to be another form of insurance. If I wear one, chances are I will end up in better shape than I would without one. In the most severe cases, you're probably right. A helmet isn't going to make you less dead.

But I have seen people fall and I'm positive that the helmet has prevented a more serious head injury.

And you are right, stuff happens out there that you have no control over.
post #3 of 17
I agree with you guys. In addition, I personally think they're warmer than a ski hat and just as comfortable. I can't imagine skiing anymore without it.
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrizzlyMike
Ironically not one of the scuff marks on my helmet have come from falls while actively skiing but I have plenty of marks from incidental contact with moving machinery,skis, concrete, or other people. I wear a helmet not so much for protection from serious injury but protection from all the other stuff incidental to actually skiing.
I actually wear my helmet every day now. I do take it off to go to bed, but otherwise it stays on 24x7. I'm somewhat terrified of the golf course and getting thwacked in the head by a ball. It was a little cumbersome at the beach the other day, but I could have gotten hit by a frisbee.

On a more serious note, I saw a pretty good example of this late in the season. Outside our office is a plaza with bricks instead of concrete to walk on. Whenever it snows the bricks turn into a skating rink. To make things more interesting, the easiest way to get from the parking lot to the lifts is to cross the plaza. In April, a girl about 16 years old struggled to carry her poles, skis, makeup bag, and a load of other junk. We were watching from the window when she fell and saw her head bounce off the pavement. It was a good thing she had already put her helmet on. It probably would have been even better if she'd made two trips back the car.

BTW, what moving machinery has contacted your helmet?!?!
post #5 of 17

Helmet use

In mid February at Silver Star we witnessed a senior advanced skier catch an edge and launch between two trees ....approximately 2-3 feet apart.

The ski that remained on caught on a horizontal log projecting him downward and preventing him from hitting another log head on. His head ricocheted off the bottom of the second log, splitting the helmet from side to side.

He remained awake and was taken off the hill. Hospital tests showed that he had a significant concussion but no permanent damage.

Without the helmet he probably would have been an obituary.
post #6 of 17
I'm convinced, TKS!!!!!!!!!!!
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinn
I actually wear my helmet every day now. I do take it off to go to bed, but otherwise it stays on 24x7. I'm somewhat terrified of the golf course and getting thwacked in the head by a ball.
During high school cross country practice, we were running a trail in the park next to school and out of NOWHERE -- this was not even a golf course -- a golf ball whacked our tallest, fastest runner in the head. He dropped like he was shot. We never even saw the golfer -- who must have disappeared when he saw what had happened.

I was safely back with the short slow guys. We all thought it was pretty funny.
post #8 of 17
Oops, I yelled fore!...
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrizzlyMike
. During a collision I am usually going fast enough that a helmet would not help anyways.
while I agree whole heartedly with the rest of your post, this attitude is nonsensical.
If you hit a tree going 40 ( ala Kennedy in Aspen) your helmet likely wont save you.
but considering most impacts are glancing, no matter your speed, helmets save lives.
whether it be contact with a tree post fall, cartwheeling over rocky areas, or tumbling over exposed rocks or a cliff, a helmet greatly enhances survivability.
post #10 of 17
I spoke to a friend today, who had been in hospital . I hadnt seen him for a few weeks but I had heard he had been rushed in for an emergency operation. He and I are late 40s, with families and keen skiers.

Turns out he was skiing in Austria when he took a tumble, nothing major but a worse fall than you would want. No bones broken and no need out there for hospitals or whatever. He came back and started getting headaches. It was thought to be sinus trouble (!!) so that was treated, to no effect, then his balance went, so off to hospital for what was billed as more tests. They found a blood clot in his brain, took him and operated the next day.....wholly successfully it seems.

So far the skiing tumble is being cited as the likely cause, he must have banged his head as part of that. He didnt have a helmet.

I think he will next year......and I think I will as well. I cant imagine he would be worse off for wearing one. Thus far I havent got one out of inertia more than anything else but there is nothing like an horror story near to home to get your rear into gear !
post #11 of 17
And they make a great place to park your goggles while you're wearing sunglasses, or just sitting on the lift. (Except for the ones with Visors.)
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Dunn
I personally think they're warmer than a ski hat and just as comfortable. I can't imagine skiing anymore without it.
Me too! Those of us who are follically challenged (read: bald) can really feel the wind and cold through a hat, but a helmet makes me "bullet proof" on those nasty days of high winds and driving snow/ice. Warm and toasty. My Giro 9.9 also can convert to be cooler than wearing a ball cap for spring conditions after taking out the vents and ear flaps.

Actually, come to think about it, my helmet is more comfortable than a ski hat. I used to have to adjust the hat because of goggle creep. No more.
post #13 of 17
My post from "the other" current helmet thred:

Quote:
Originally Posted by oboe
Wifey [Dr. Bigfoot on this site] suffered a concussion when struck by a lift chair due to the obvious mistake of a lifty. For two weeks, she was not able to work. I believe that a helmet would have reduced the severity of that injury. That said, "personal choice" is still my pick on this issue, because it is a question of the degree of risk a person chooses to accept, and wearing or not wearing a helmet does not impact others in a material degree.

I have no problem at all with people who choose, for any reason at all, not to wear helmets.

I also have no problem with people who, for any reason at all, choose to wear helmets. I wear one because (a) it feels good, (b) it's warmer in cold windy conditions than a hat, (c) it's adjustable for very cold and very warm conditions, (d) it holds my goggles the way I like, whether I'm using them or not, and (e) it doesn't bother me at all that it might provide some margin of protection in situations when my head is impacted. I honestly don't know if it's made any difference in ski traumas I've incurred.

I'll admit, I feel WAY more strongly about wearing a helmet when rollerblading on pavement, and that DID save my head (but not my left wrist, which smashed even though I was wearing wrist guards).
post #14 of 17
I wouldn't think of skiing without my helmet -- mainly, it is way more comfortable than any hat that I have evr worn. And (being a basic klutz) I too have saved myself from concussion while getting on lifts and getting in the way of others skiers carrying their gear too close to my noggin. I do believe that my helmet will help me in a low speed collision, but I think I'll be a goner if I collide at a high speed with anything. My only complaint with helmets is having another bulky thing to carry in the lodge and to pack whne I am flying.
post #15 of 17
99% of the dings in my helmet are from just the kind of thing mentioned, safety bars being lowered unexpectedly, skis and poles being carried, etc. but I like wearing a helmet because of the warmth. In winter mountaineering conditions I wear either a down hood and shell or fleece hat and shell hood, in either case with goggles, and I'd feel much warmer though in my ski helmet. Unfortunately it weighs too much and takes up too much room in my pack to bring along (unless the trip involves some skiing). Helmets are getting better and better and I'm thinking of updating- using an early Boeri. Any advice on what's the best currently?
post #16 of 17
I have been wearing a Boeri Rage for a few years and I recently picked up a Giro Fuse. It is lighter then my Boeri and fits my head shape pretty well. My wife has a Giro nine.9 and loves it.

It all depends on what fits your head.
post #17 of 17
My Giro 9.9 fits my fat and long head well and is so light I don't notice it. I looked around a lot before I found a helmet to fit, even at XXL.
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