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Helmet really necessary? - Page 3

post #61 of 158
I like Commonlaw's comparison and think it has a lot of merit. It's also hard to argue Matt Davis's personal experience.

I own a helmet but don't wear it as much as I probably should. I may make an effort to wear it more this season especially for the early season single run nightmare. I also wear it for the early season, no base, high rock potential powder extavaganzas.

I always wear a seatbelt and that goes back to before it was law (driver ed hammered that in). I never saw it as much of a constraint and any seemed minimal compared to it's benefits. I never wore a helmet for many years and appreciate the cooling (as opposed to cool) aspect of putting a hat on or off according to internal temp, wind exposure, and chair ride length. The hat stuffs easily in a pocket, the helmet does not. Had I always worn the helmet like kids today I guess it would feel more like the seatbelt does.

I broke my neck some years back from hyperextending after apparently landing on my chin, (I couldn't really tell you if I did or not). Had I been wearing a helmet most of which came straight across at the back at the time the injury quite likely would have been much worse. As it was the concussion from landing on my chin and driving my teeth towards my brain would not have been helped by the helmet. I guess it's possible the extra weight could have made it worse.

I'm not down on people who wear helmets but I do get tired of the evangalists that insist not wearing one makes me an idiot.
post #62 of 158
my uncle is an avid skier who also happens to be a pediatric neurologist, he skis with a helmet, and if the brain doctor wears one...its enough of a reason for me to as well!
post #63 of 158
A helmet offers protection at speeds over 15 mph, they are warm, they stay on your head, they hold your goggles in place, offer protection from a-holes in line that are f#c#in around, make your head slippery in a fall so it doesn't hang up, has vents so you can cool down when it gets warm, and offers protection at speeds less than 15 mph.
post #64 of 158
But you don't have to wear one if you don't want to.
post #65 of 158
A few years ago a study of head injuries found PET scans could see brain damage from any impact that induced momentary "stars". These symptoms were detectable for ~3 days afterwards. Such minor injuries affect the perception of time slightly and will impair coordination activities such as skiing during that time. The timidity that we often feel after such minor injuries may originate from such impairment.

I've worn a helmet for 10+ years and usually wear it from the car-to slopes- and back to car. Here's some of the pain I've avoided:

1) Having my bell rung after falling in a sheet-ice parking lot and striking my helmeted head.

2) Significant pain after a little girl dropped her skis on my head as I ascended a staircase.

3) Landing on my head after my skis released while skiing very icy bumps.

4) Smacking my head on small tree limbs as I ski trees. (My helmet allows me to concentrate more on the terrain and less on ducking minor limbs.)

5) Smacking my head on a rock after catching a rock that was submerged under the powder. (That impact made a significant scar on the helmet. That would have hurt!)

6) Smacking my head while loading on center bar lifts. (Without the helmet, perhaps I would have kicked that habit.)

And many other mishaps I didn't really register mentally. I'm on my third helmet and each had accumulated numerous nicks and scars. Some of these probably would have hurt.

Cheers,
Jeff
post #66 of 158
I started skiing again about 5 years ago after a 10 year break (don't know why I ever stopped). On my 1st trip to Killington I was going too fast around a bend, lost control, lost my skiis and hit the back of my head (not hard) on some ice. First thing I said to my self was "that's why I see all these people wearing helmets".
post #67 of 158
America:

Land of the Free? Home of the Brave?
Lets hope anyway
post #68 of 158

Helmet?I wear

I wear a helmet except when teaching lst timers or real beginners. After on work related head injury (ll months off job, blind in right eye for 4 months etc.) I returned to skiing and didn't wear a helmet unless racing or race training then slammed my noggin on an icy mogul (really sever headaches) checked with Doc., head injuries i.e., concussions are cumulative. I now where a helmet all the time except as noted above. Also you can wear earphones and ustilize Ipod and no one knows you are - rock out.
post #69 of 158
[quote]I broke my neck some years back from hyperextending after apparently landing on my chin, (I couldn't really tell you if I did or not). Had I been wearing a helmet most of which came straight across at the back at the time the injury quite likely would have been much worse. As it was the concussion from landing on my chin and driving my teeth towards my brain would not have been helped by the helmet. I guess it's possible the extra weight could have made it worse[quote]

L7


I have heard people say things like this and I just can't see how a helmet would have made things worse. I am not saying it couldn't be true, but it doesn't make sense to me. A helmet is very slippery and would facilitate less resistance between the snow and the head. Many people claim that a helmet is good for head injury, bad for neck injury.

Elaborate if you wouldn't mind.
post #70 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by L7
I'm not down on people who wear helmets but I do get tired of the evangalists that insist not wearing one makes me an idiot.
Bingo!
post #71 of 158
I never thought about wearing a helmet when I skied. The first day I rode a pair of shape skiis, the guy I was with showed up with a helmet. We skiied VERY fast all day that day. He turned to me and said "what else would you do at 40 mph and not wear a helmet." Point taken, I bought one.

I now have a Giro G10 and love it. It is very comfortable, warm on cold days and cool on hot days.
post #72 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck34
"what else would you do at 40 mph and not wear a helmet."
Drive a car.
post #73 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict
Drive a car.
Or in PA and some states, motorcycle.:
post #74 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by makwendo99
my uncle is an avid skier who also happens to be a pediatric neurologist, he skis with a helmet, and if the brain doctor wears one...its enough of a reason for me to as well!
Interestingly, I ride Harleys with a 58 year old trauma surgeon who does not wear a helmet.
post #75 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
Or in PA and some states, motorcycle.:
Certainly in Montana.
post #76 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul jones
I have heard people say things like this and I just can't see how a helmet would have made things worse. I am not saying it couldn't be true, but it doesn't make sense to me. A helmet is very slippery and would facilitate less resistance between the snow and the head. Many people claim that a helmet is good for head injury, bad for neck injury.

Elaborate if you wouldn't mind.
Apparently I went down face first and landed on my chin. A helmet would not have been directly involved or beneficial. My head was bent back so far that I snapped the spinae process off of my C7 as I guess it has the biggest process so that will be the one to bind.

If you look at the back of most modern helmets they are cut up in an arc at this point and it is for this reason. At the time a lot if not most helmets came straight across back there. If I had been wearing one of those likely that ridge of the helmet would have been driven into my spinal column, I suspect that may have gone poorly. With a modern cutout helmet hopefully it would accomodate. I often wonder if a chin guard would drive a helmet back further in this way and push or lever it into the back of the neck. When people shop for helmets I always point out the need to check for this cut out.

As far as the extra weight possibly making things worse I would think that impact would be minimal but perhaps not non existant. I'm not thinking of checking it out personally.
post #77 of 158
Well...I used to be one of those racer kids and vehemently resisted getting a helmet for any other reasons.
Then, I made a stupid turn on a pretty steep area at Blackomb and tumbled within inches of smashing my noggin on a rock.
It was a that point I realized just how stupid I was being.
Yes, wear a helmet. You never know what's gonna happen...from making a dumb move on a tight line to bombing groomers on a hardpack day and, for whatever reason something finds you off balance with your head smacked against the ground.
How much do you like your brain/current cognitive capacity? It's worth the $$, and it's no longer for hardass to go without one.
Plus, helmets are nice and warm on cold days and the newer ones do a pretty good job of venting on warmer days.
post #78 of 158
mnemosyne's lobotomyWell...I used to be one of those racer kids and vehemently resisted getting a helmet for any other reasons.
Then, I made a stupid turn on a pretty steep area at Blackomb and tumbled within inches of smashing my noggin on a rock.
It was a that point I realized just how stupid I was being.
Yes, wear a helmet. You never know what's gonna happen...from making a dumb move on a tight line to bombing groomers on a hardpack day and, for whatever reason something finds you off balance with your head smacked against the ground.
How much do you like your brain/current cognitive capacity? It's worth the $$, and it's no longer for hardass to go without one.
Plus, helmets are nice and warm on cold days and the newer ones do a pretty good job of venting on warmer days.



I'd have to agree with this. I was a racer from about 13 till 18 years of age. I'm 25 now and I have always had a helmet from racing, I just never would free ski with it, eventhough it was strapped to my bag most of the time. When i'd ski with my parents they'd nag me about not wearing it, but I didn't really like it and didn't think it was cool. Last year I started wearing it regularly becuase of how warm it was and the thought of not having it on the one time I may need it. I still would kind of like to wear a hat because I don't like having any fear in my head (not wearing the helmet being the one time I need it), but that is probably a very stupid reason not to wear it.

I don't want to end up with a cracked head, because I fell and nicked a rock with a hat on.
post #79 of 158
Be warned that as soon as you get a helmet the chances of getting hit increase tremendously. Just look at the overwhelming evidence (anecdotal evidence, but what the heck) that the helmet saved the day.

I don't wear a helmet - mostly because I have yet to experience a comfortable helmet. When I drove motorcycles I could barely stand that helmet. I also hate my mountain bike helmet but I do wear it because: 1) it is mandatory where I ride and 2) I find mountain biking to be a little more risky than skiing (for me).
post #80 of 158
TomB, look at it this way. If you ski the trees you are probably going faster past trees on skiis than you do on your mountain bike. Hence why you should wear a helmet for both.
post #81 of 158
I wear a helmet but I also found that I ski more aggresively with a helmet. I have less fear and am more likely to go into the trees or do crazy shtuff if I have one on, when I bump my head I am always happy I have a helmet on though.

self fulfilling maybe.
post #82 of 158
Quote:
I view helmuts the same. My friend is a neurologist who has explained to me that helmet protection becomes negligible at more than 15-20 mphs because the impact, or sudden halting of my brain in one direction at more than 15-20 mph is just as dangerous with or without a helmet. I.e. the only thing it is truly effective for is sharp imapaling events, however, imapaling likely wont happen at less than 15-20 mph. Thus, you are not giving yourself more tolerance to a harm. Just like the "peanut drug," the "safety" of the item is directly relatd to the usual use...most people usually go faster than 15 mph and most people usually eat more than one peanut if they dont feel the effects.
As pointed out by Matt Davis, helmets can be effective for glancing blows. Even if you are skiing >15mph, your head isn't necessarily going to impact an object in a tumbling skiing fall at that speed, as you are moving with/down the terrain. Imagine you tumble in a steep chute and cartwheel down, as you are sliding out your head shunts off a rock. Helmet will make a HUGE difference here. Yes, if you ski/fall into a tree dead on at 40mph with your head out a helmet will not make a difference, but we hope those types of falls don't happen too often. A helmet IS effective for glancing blows off rocks in steep terrain in a tumbling fall (you are probably falling slower than 15mph after the first cartwheel as well).
post #83 of 158

Yes ... no ... uh, yes ... Mmm, no, no ... yes, yes, yes ... ahh screw it.

I've owned at least 10 different ski helmets. Eight of those helmets were used for nothing more than 2 race runs on any day because we were required to wear them. I hated them for mostly the same reasons - I couldn’t hear very well (seemed to affect my balance), they were heavy, and cumbersome. But, ski helmets have come a long long way thanks mostly to the advances of bike helmet technology.

Funny thing is that the hardest falls I’ve had that required hospital visits were either during training runs or while free skiing ... when I wasn't wearing a helmet. I've been knocked unconscious 3 times while skiing without a helmet.:

Wearing a helmet or not is a very personal decision. There are lies, damn lies, and statistics to support any view imaginable. Your job should you choose to accept it is to determine if you’d be better off wearing one, or if you think that a helmet isn’t much more useful than to provide a convenient package with which to transport your brains to the hospital.

Me? I wear a helmet because I’m a good candidate for one. Your mileage may vary.
post #84 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTT
America:

Land of the Free? Home of the Brave?
Lets hope anyway
So, does this mean that those that wear helmets are wussy slaves to fear? Or does it mean that it is un-American? Or what?
post #85 of 158
I don't understand why most helmets are open faced. It seems like a helmet with some sort of face protection would make a lot more sense for downhill skiing. It doesn't have to be some sort of constricitve motorcycle helmet looking thing either- a few football or hockey helmet style bars would help a lot.

For the record, I don't wear a helmet yet, but I'm looking for one.
post #86 of 158
I don't know about that hockey/football bars on a ski helmet. It seems like if you smash into a tree or something, the bars would get bent into your face.
post #87 of 158
A lot of downhillers don't use full face hemets (yes, hemets) becuase face guards can get caught up and wrench the helmet back/forward, which is not good for the neck.
post #88 of 158
I am a young guy (23) and most people say that guys my age feel invincible....I wear a helmet...first doctors cannot fix your mush....secondly it gives you more confidence, it is warm and very comfortable, so many people wear them now a days that the "its not cool" argument does not work....I read this thread and I must say that I still am not convinced that there is even one good reason not to wear a helmet...the new ones are so light you can't even tell you are wearing them...one last very good reason to wear a helmet....you are not the only one on the hill...if you were then you are responsible for your own actions....with all the jackass snowboarders and gappers on the mountain it is so easy for one of them to do something that screws you over
post #89 of 158
No, you don't need to wear a helmet.

Yes, I wear mine every day on skis. and motorcycles. and bicycles.

I'm thinking of getting one for sex, but that's another story.
post #90 of 158
Weems, Banging your head into the headboard to many times?
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