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Another reason to wear a helmet

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
This weekend, Southern Ontario in Canada got some snow... which is a big change from the golf weather we had last week.

Anyway, I'm always there early and was one of the first few up the lifts... and on my third or fourth run... my chair was passing under one of the lift towers... and a chunk of "snow+rain=block of icy hard snow"... fell on top of my head! I kid you not... luckily... I was wearing a helmet... but the chunk of snow must have been pretty big because I definitely felt a "stun" impact.

Anyway, another reason people should wear helmets = P
post #2 of 25
First day I put on a helmet, I was in front of the lodge and there was a steep, icy 3 foot drop (to dry ground) .... had the skis on my shoulder and with a slip, they went in the air and smacked dead center on the helmet.

I've seen cell phones and skis drop from the lifts, there are 100 reasons I guess?
post #3 of 25
one thing i've always liked about helmets was how aggro they mad eme feel when i donned 'em.
always skied far more aggressively in the ole' helmet....
post #4 of 25
Vladdie boy --U. R. SOOOO Right !!

the testosterone level does seem to ramp up with a brainbucket on
post #5 of 25
The only down side that I see to a helmet (full cover), is that I can't hear the snow or transitions to ice.

You will realize how much you depend on your ears the first time you put on a helmet.
post #6 of 25
I should have gotten my wife a helmet. I ski a lot with a helmet, but my wife is a once a year vacation skier.

She just makes lots of little turns down the green runs, so I figured she didn't need one.

She got catapulted forward while trying to get on a fast two person lift chair. Landed on her face and smacked her forehead. No serious injury, but it could have been. I now think she would have faired better if she had a helmet. My bad judgement. Just can't predict what might happen.
post #7 of 25
while we're all on this rant:
please
resist the urge to wear slalom chinguards and jawguards.
these are fine for the course, but outside the course, they're only extra levers to assist you in the breaking of your neck.
this goes for MX and BMX full-helmets that many boarders are wearing-
stupid move.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad
while we're all on this rant:
please
resist the urge to wear slalom chinguards and jawguards.
these are fine for the course, but outside the course, they're only extra levers to assist you in the breaking of your neck.
this goes for MX and BMX full-helmets that many boarders are wearing-
stupid move.
What he said, Canadian Ski Patrol tracked severity of injury in relation to helmet type and although unscientific it did find in most severe neck injuries the victim was wearing a full face or chin guard type.

They look cool, but a built in neck snipe is not my idea of fun.
post #9 of 25
http://www.inyoregister.com/articles...11110mtn01.txt

http://www.ski-injury.com/helmet.htm

http://www.backcountry.com/store/new...2-Helmets.html

http://www.smf.org/faqs.html

http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=News&id=849652

1) helmets are typically rated to only 12 MPH
2) impact with snow/ice (falling down) is the most protected ... many helmets don't protect against blows from objects like trees and rocks
3) helmets must be replaces after every serious impact
4) otherwise, helmets must be replaced every five years
5) if a helmet doesn't fit properly, it provides significantly less protection
6) most fatal head injuries on slopes occur on groomed, blue runs where speeds of 20-40 mph are commonly reached

when I lived in the east I wore a helmet every day ... for it's warmth and weather protection more than anything else. this winter in CO, I have worm my helmet only once or twice -- there's a lot less traffic on the slopes and the snow quality is excellent. confidence in the snow is a major reason why I am happy to ski in my cap. based upon all the stats ... helmets should not inspire confidence.
post #10 of 25

Full faced helmet

I have to disagree with the assertion that a full faced helmet is more dangerous. A motocross helmet can take a much greater impact than a ski helmet. My friends and I rode motocross for years and never heard of a broken neck from a full faced helmet (we never rode with shoulder pads/chest protectors). I have seen someone almost break their collarbone from one, and have heard of broken collarbones from full faced helmets. I really think the only person qualified to state the cause of injury would be a medical examiner/coroner or a doctor. I have seen a motocross helmet absorb the impact of a person flipping a KX 250 at around 60 mph. While it was gouged, the person had no head or neck injuries (the helmet was replaced). Ski helmets are bare minimum head protection. I would certainly like to see a scientific study relating to full faced helmets and skiing.
post #11 of 25
I didn't realize how much I conked my own head until I got helmet and hear a loud bonk noise every time I do something stupid. Skis, poles, roof rack crossbars, you name it, the helmet has been busy lately.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by james
I have to disagree with the assertion that a full faced helmet is more dangerous. A motocross helmet can take a much greater impact than a ski helmet. My friends and I rode motocross for years and never heard of a broken neck from a full faced helmet (we never rode with shoulder pads/chest protectors). I have seen someone almost break their collarbone from one, and have heard of broken collarbones from full faced helmets. I really think the only person qualified to state the cause of injury would be a medical examiner/coroner or a doctor. I have seen a motocross helmet absorb the impact of a person flipping a KX 250 at around 60 mph. While it was gouged, the person had no head or neck injuries (the helmet was replaced). Ski helmets are bare minimum head protection. I would certainly like to see a scientific study relating to full faced helmets and skiing.
Each type of helmet (MX, Bicycle, Ski, skateboard, climbing) to the average person looks the same and would work for lots of uses.

Most of us know that a bicycle helmet is not the best for skiing, the same as a MX helmet is not great for skiing.
I assume and expect that they all are designed for the types of impacts they sustain. The force involved, the speed, they type of materials they are likely to encounter in a crash.

I ride MX and I ski. I know that when I crash skiing there is usually a lot of turning, twisting, rolling involved that sometimes goes on and on due to the slippery snow and gravity. When I crash on MX I don't usually roll or go that far from the point of crash. more of a thud, ug and stop action. A mx bike is a factor that has to be counted in. a 300LB bike to the face with no chin gaurd will win every time.

This is why it is beleived that while skiing a chin guard or full face (non MX, ski specific) is thought to be more prone to neck injury. More time in crash mode sliding, twisting turning etc... in skiing there is no 300 lb object to factor in. More tree's branches logs, rocks etc..

To me the chance of tree, branch, log rock doesn't override the broken neck. I can get face surgery but a broken neck would suck rotten eggs. no chin guard for me skiing, but 100% for sure while MXin'
post #13 of 25
when I lived in the east I wore a helmet every day ... for it's warmth and weather protection more than anything else. this winter in CO, I have worm my helmet only once or twice -- there's a lot less traffic on the slopes and the snow quality is excellent. confidence in the snow is a major reason why I am happy to ski in my cap. based upon all the stats ... helmets should not inspire confidence.

Sonny Bono sure could have used a helmet in Colorado. It has nothing to do with confidence. It's good common sense to wear a helmet. Trust me the trees and rocks in Colorado are not padded and they are not made of cotton. You can sustain a serious head injury in the pow just the same as on hard pack.
post #14 of 25
icedaddy ... I'm pretty sure you're quoting me.

you have told me that it's "good common sense" to wear a helmet. I agree that a helmet is a good protector ... a cushion. that said, if you're skiing faster than 12 mph, it's not going to keep you from getting hurt -- it will only lessen the damage to a degree.

so, I said ... your helmet should not inspire confidence -- why? because you hear lots of folks who say that they feel safer and ski faster with their helmets. based upon all the helmet stats ... that's not smart.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by james
I have to disagree with the assertion that a full faced helmet is more dangerous. A motocross helmet can take a much greater impact than a ski helmet. My friends and I rode motocross for years and never heard of a broken neck from a full faced helmet (we never rode with shoulder pads/chest protectors). I have seen someone almost break their collarbone from one, and have heard of broken collarbones from full faced helmets. I really think the only person qualified to state the cause of injury would be a medical examiner/coroner or a doctor. I have seen a motocross helmet absorb the impact of a person flipping a KX 250 at around 60 mph. While it was gouged, the person had no head or neck injuries (the helmet was replaced). Ski helmets are bare minimum head protection. I would certainly like to see a scientific study relating to full faced helmets and skiing.

actually, james, my coach made sure we removed our slalom guards when we were off the course, due to the neck-injury risk.
I believe, firmly, that he knows more about this sort of thing than you or me.
simple logic would tell us that a fullface is dangerous on the snow, because, unlike MX (in which I competede religiously in the 70s, and which my snowboard coach also rode and coached), where your falls involve a few rolls, at best, a good yard-sale on the mountain can involve many, many rolls down the fall-line, each one putting far great rotational force against the lever of the chin-protector, (for many, many more rolls, thereby increasing both the probabaility and the rotational force) which is transmitting that force to the weakest link in the rotational interface, ie, the neck.
unles you have a glass jaw, wearing a fullface, on the mountain, is really only for looking badass.
best with that.....
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad
unles you have a glass jaw, wearing a fullface, on the mountain, is really only for looking badass.
best with that.....
despite somewhat contradicting myself ( I figured someone would jump all over me eventually and bring it up)

A chin guard perhaps does have it's place for go hard off piste charging. IE hucking, boulder dancing, way fast tree action etc..

Off piste the snow is usually softer and hence in the crash rolling the neck tension and muscles would likely overcome the resisting force of the snow (unlike harpack) here injury due to face contact with boulders, logs, branches, ones own knees, poles, hands is more prevelant and hence chin guard may not be a bad idea.

To each his own, I don't think they are a great idea on hardpack, but off piste in soft snow I see the benefit. Toothless Hockey players still get chicks so why couldn't a ski junkie so I will take my chances and go sans chin guard.
post #17 of 25

I don't agree or disagree

Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad
actually, james, my coach made sure we removed our slalom guards when we were off the course, due to the neck-injury risk.
I believe, firmly, that he knows more about this sort of thing than you or me.
simple logic would tell us that a fullface is dangerous on the snow, because, unlike MX (in which I competede religiously in the 70s, and which my snowboard coach also rode and coached), where your falls involve a few rolls, at best, a good yard-sale on the mountain can involve many, many rolls down the fall-line, each one putting far great rotational force against the lever of the chin-protector, (for many, many more rolls, thereby increasing both the probabaility and the rotational force) which is transmitting that force to the weakest link in the rotational interface, ie, the neck.
unles you have a glass jaw, wearing a fullface, on the mountain, is really only for looking badass.
best with that.....

You both have made some good points. I am still not convinced though and will look for scientific data. I have seen guys at Unadilla NY eat it pretty hard, maybe the shoulder pads helped, I don't know. I have seen my friend flip a kx 250 on a flat surface at high speed and he rag dolled for quite a distance. I do know that a mx helmet offers substantially better protection against impacts. Oh and I only use a regular ski helmet. I would never buy a mx helmet for skiing. I was just refuting what I thought was erroneous information. I will search out a scientific study to clarify the situation. I have thought about a helmet that offers better protection but I am not really sure I need one, I would rather spend the money towards another pair of skis.
post #18 of 25
I just took a look at my sons old helmet with the SL guard.

A Carrera, and the "lever arm" effect while in a rolling fall . . . it appears that it would be significant.

His coach this year did not seem in favor of guards.
post #19 of 25
Quote:
I just took a look at my sons old helmet with the SL guard.

A Carrera, and the "lever arm" effect while in a rolling fall . . . it appears that it would be significant.

His coach this year did not seem in favor of guards.
I have a friend who broke three teeth when he contacted with a gate: upwards of 6000$ later, his teeth still don't look too good. A chinguard should'nt be so tight that it could act as a lever if you hapened to fall.
post #20 of 25
maybe I haven't read carefully enough, but a coach who is against chin guards for SL is inviting disaster.

they work-- I have seen enough broken noses, missing teeth and cracked cheek bones to assure any who will listen that the way we teach SL now demands a chin guard-


from J4 up we won't let an athlete SL train without one- they are strong enough and face enough to do real damage when face meets gate-
post #21 of 25

oldtimer

Were you a coach at CVA/Sugarloaf?
post #22 of 25
i'll take more nose trauma, busted teeth, etc., to a broken neck any day of the week.
my coach asked us to remove the chinguards when we weren't in the gates, but we used 'em when we were on course, for sl.
softer snow is always far more dangerous than hard stuff, a sthe forces of the spill don't enjoy the benefit of continual, downhill motion with the often-sliding body, but are rather stopped more abruptly and generated toward the skier's frame, and the neck injury odds would likely be increased in such a fall with a chinguard.
logic indicates that the guard is, indeeed, a dangerous lever for neck trauma. you won't see pro racers freeskiing with sl. guards...
post #23 of 25
From the Los Angeles Times
Headway on the slopes

More young skiers and snowboarders wear helmets, but others are still cool to the idea.

By Bill Becher
Special to The Times

February 6, 2006

Denver Haslam was skiing at Colorado's Arapahoe Basin three years ago when he lost control of his skis and flew headfirst into a large pine tree.

The 50 mph crash shattered the college student's right shoulder and rib cage, broke his vertebra and left femur, split his kidney, ruptured his spleen, punctured his lungs and lacerated his pancreas. The ambulance nurse on the ride to Denver's St. Anthony Central Hospital called him a "talking corpse."

Haslam was alive and talking because he was one of a growing number of skiers wearing a helmet, say his doctors.

When singer and politician Sonny Bono and Michael Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy, died eight winters ago from head and neck injuries sustained while skiing, few recreational skiers and snowboarders wore helmets. Last year, one-third of those interviewed on the slopes in a survey by the National Ski Areas Assn. were wearing helmets. More than 600,000 ski and snowboard helmets were sold last season, despite lukewarm support for helmets by the ski industry.

According to the ski areas association, about 39 skiers or snowboarders are killed each year in accidents and 41 suffer serious head injuries or paraplegia. During the 2003-2004 season, the fatality rate was 0.72 per million skier/snowboarder visits and the serious injury rate was 0.65 per million, rates far lower than for sports such as bicycling, according to the association.

Some in the ski industry say that ski areas don't actively promote helmet use for everyone because of fear of litigation when the helmets fail to protect and because they want to avoid suggesting that skiing is not a safe sport.

But ski areas may be reluctant to push helmet use because of previous uncertainty about the risks and benefits.

In 1997, shortly before the deaths of Bono and Kennedy, the American Medical Assn.'s Council on Scientific Affairs published a report that suggested children and adolescents wear helmets but stopped short of recommending all skiers and snowboarders use helmets, citing "insufficient data."

The report relied heavily on research by Jasper Shealy, a professor emeritus at Rochester Institute of Technology, who has raised doubts about the value of ski helmets. Shealy says that while wearing helmets has some benefit, it does not reduce fatalities or the most serious head injuries. He also says helmets might encourage some skiers and snowboarders to act recklessly and could increase neck injuries, especially for children.

Ski helmets are tested at only 12 mph, and most skiers go much faster, Shealy says.

"If you run into a tree at typical skiing speed, on the order of 30 mph, it's going to take more than a helmet to save your life," he says.

Shealy, who has studied ski accidents for three decades, has a lot of credibility in the ski industry. He says he doesn't wear a helmet when he skis unless it's to keep his head warm.

But a number of published and unpublished studies now question these once widely shared views about the value of helmets in snow sports. More recently other researchers have found that wearing a ski helmet can reduce brain injury, without increasing risk-taking behavior or neck injuries.

Haslam was wearing a helmet because his fraternity was involved in a project led by Dr. Stuart Levy, a Denver neurosurgeon and avid skier. Every winter, helicopters and ambulances bring hundreds of injured skiers and snowboarders from ski resorts such as Breckenridge, Copper Mountain and Winter Park to St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver, where Levy is chief of neurosurgery. Levy says the number of preventable head injuries he saw frustrated him. In 1998, he started working with ski areas and ski rental shops to provide free loaner helmets to skiers and snowboarders.

"We had to take a leap of faith to promote helmets before we had data," says Levy. "Now we do have data that shows they are effective."

Levy, who has reviewed more than 700 cases of skiers and snowboarders with head injuries, presented data at a neurosurgery conference last spring that showed helmet use cut the rate of head injuries by two-thirds and reduced the risk of skier and snowboarder fatalities by 80%. Levy says that while skiing is a relatively safe sport, head injuries are the leading cause of death and critical injury in skiing and snowboarding accidents.

Helmets work better in the real world than lab results suggest, says Levy, pointing out that motorcycle helmets are tested at only 18 mph yet have been shown to substantially reduce head injuries even at highway speeds.

Brent Hagel, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Calgary, echoes Levy's findings in his study of accidents at 19 Canadian ski areas. Hagel found wearing a helmet reduced the risk of serious head injury for skiers and snowboarders by 56%.

Hagel also found that wearing a helmet doesn't turn you into an Evel Knievel on skis.

The "risk compensation" theory cited by Shealy suggests that people have a level of risk they are willing to accept. According to this hypothesis, people will take more chances when using protective gear — skiing faster, more aggressively or on more difficult runs — to bring them back up to their acceptable level of risk. But Hagel found in his study, published in 2004, that helmet use in skiing and snowboarding did not lead to riskier behavior or increase the risk of severe injury.

Another Canadian researcher, Dr. Andrew Macnab, a professor of pediatrics at the University of British Columbia, has found that young skiers and snowboarders wearing head protection had a decreased risk of head injury and no increase in the risk of cervical spine injuries. Levy has not found an increase in neck injuries in children wearing helmets in Colorado.

As it has in other sports such as rock climbing, cycling, whitewater kayaking and rafting, helmet use seems to have reached a critical mass where it generates its own momentum, regardless of what experts say, as skiers see others wearing helmets and hear about friends saved from injury by a helmet.

Tim White, education director for the ski areas association, says although the industry favors helmet use, skiers need to ski responsibly and realize helmets are not a panacea. "It's not what on their heads, but what's in their heads that counts," he says.

The ski areas association is encouraging parents to consider helmets for children with a "Lids on Kids" program. Several ski areas, including Mammoth Mountain, now require children 12 and younger to wear helmets when taking skiing or snowboarding lessons. This concern for children may be misdirected, another study says, as those 60 and older are the most prone to traumatic brain injuries when skiing.

"It's just politically and socially easier and more acceptable to force safety measures on children than on adults," Levy says.

Denver Haslam, now 26, would like to see helmets mandatory for all those younger than 18 years old. Haslam, who says he is fully recovered from his accident, plans to ski on the third anniversary of his accident this month. He will be wearing a helmet.
post #24 of 25

I disagree

Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad
actually, james, my coach made sure we removed our slalom guards when we were off the course, due to the neck-injury risk.
I believe, firmly, that he knows more about this sort of thing than you or me.
simple logic would tell us that a fullface is dangerous on the snow, because, unlike MX (in which I competede religiously in the 70s, and which my snowboard coach also rode and coached), where your falls involve a few rolls, at best, a good yard-sale on the mountain can involve many, many rolls down the fall-line, each one putting far great rotational force against the lever of the chin-protector, (for many, many more rolls, thereby increasing both the probabaility and the rotational force) which is transmitting that force to the weakest link in the rotational interface, ie, the neck.
unles you have a glass jaw, wearing a fullface, on the mountain, is really only for looking badass.
best with that.....
I have read alot of studies. The truth is I could not find any studies on full faced helmets and skiing. I did read one study that suggested wearing a helmet ( a regular ski helmet) increases the risk of neck injury. I also read another study that suggested snowsport helmets that had the same safety rating as MX helmets would result in fewer head injuries. The fact that I could find no data suggesting full faced helmets to be responsible for an increase in the probability of neck injuries leads me to believe that this is not an issue. Anecdotal evidence simply does not reach the level needed to dissuade me (the Canadian ski patrol data).
It is also my opinion that your reasoning may be flawed due to emotion. The "best with that" followed by the emoticon remark leads me to believe your emotion may be in the drivers seat and your intellect may be on siesta. I did notice your "I raced MX in the 70s" comment. I know this is before decent MX bikes and full faced helmets. The emotion may be due to a "helmet envy" situation. Anyway, my final point is that even if the fullfaced helmet increases the risk of neck injury (which no data suggests it does) the added protection it gives in a collision far outweighs the risk.
post #25 of 25
[quote=james]I have read alot of studies. The truth is I could not find any studies on full faced helmets and skiing. quote]


: next.....

(logic and professional advice from top coaches supercede nonexistent studies, in my zany world...)
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