or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Après-Ski › The year of the Helmet!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The year of the Helmet!

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Hey Everyone,

Has anyone else noticed a sharp increase in the use of skiers using helmets this past year?? :

I can only relate to what I have see in Germany, Austria and France but the difference between this year and last is amazing.

Kids, experts, regular skiers, boarders, parents, all ages...this year was the year of the helmet.

Do you think people are becoming more safety conscious or was it just another sales gimmick?

I for one would like to invest in one...
I have had quite a few bangs to the head in recent times- even narrow escapes in bowls where my head was just wide of a nasty boulder - and I can't afford to lose many more brain cells!!

Go on, tell me what you think.
Oh and is this a European or global phenomenon ?
post #2 of 35

Head protection is GOOD. Get a helmet and Wear it. They are warm and comfey. There are some with sliding ventilators to help out on warm days.

They absolutely will not give you a false sense of security and make you ski fast, huck big air, or drop into steep, tree filled chutes!

Get a "head cap" as offered for motorcycle helmets (a cotten or silk liner that is easily washed) 'They help keep the inside from getting grungy and, for those with hair, helps out with "Helmet Head".

As a patroller, The head injuries are the ones that cause the grief.

Hit your head, gag on your own tongue, maybe Die. Not good. No Fun!

Now some of us could use a good knock up side the head on occaision, but for that purpose, the wearing of a helmet will not diminish the usefullness of the action.

I could go on, but you may tell where I stand on this subject.

Lots of helmets are worn at the Northeast areas in the USA.

post #3 of 35
Hi Cheeky...
Bienvenido, Bienvenue, Willkommen,Welcome, Benvenuto.
I think we euro are coming in late in this.
I've been following the helmet thing since a couple of years, even more, and as you say, I noticed a sharp increase only this year (in Italy, at least).
The phenomena is still not as diffused as it ought to be (I still do not wear one, bad, but my kids do wear helmets, good)
post #4 of 35
Thread Starter 
Hey CalG

Thanks for the tips...I'll be starting next season with a hard head

And I agree with u 100%. Afterall, we wear helmets for cycling, motorcycling, bobsleigh but not always for skiing, where the injuries can be just as horrific as you pointed out.

Having said that, I think you would be hard pressed to get an old boy ski patroller in Austria to don a helmet.....his choice of protection would be a shot of Schnapps to ward off the cold and keep the nerves at bay!!!

Attitudes are just difference I guess!!

I for one think it should be mandatory for all kids 10 and under to wear helmets...what do you think?

Also, can you suggest some makes of helmets which are reliable and affordable?
post #5 of 35
cheecky carver, try using the search function on this site to find threads about helmets. The subject has been well aired here! I was a holdout and naysayer. Now I wear a helmet, except on those ridiculously warm -no, HOT - spring skiing days. If I could find one that was as cool as my head band or baseball hat, I'd wear it on warmer days. By the way, welcome to EpicSki! I saw your post in the "new members" thread, and you're right - this IS the best website on the Internet!
post #6 of 35
Thread Starter 
Ciao M@tteo

Benvenuto oggi, se vuoi possiamo anche parlare in Italiano... but then that would be rude....

Yeh, this helmet thing has exploded in France....the Trois Vallees was full of them!!!

Do you usually ski in the Dolomiti or the Alps...i.e was the border influence more French or Austrian??
I think this might reflect your experince of the popularity of helmets because I have noticed far fewer helmets in Austria than in France.

Oh and BTW if you haven't been to Selva/Gardena...I've forgotten its Austrian name!) then you should...it's great fun...
clear skies, not overcrowded pistes, Cibo Italiano and Weizenbier...not bad really, even if its notthe best terrain.
post #7 of 35
While trying on the helmet inventory at various ski shops this past season. I found ONE that was big enough, but I was going to wait for them to go on sale. Is there a proper way of measuring one's head to determine the most likely helmet size?
post #8 of 35
We have helmets for my whole family. The wife says I really don’t need one since there is nothing inside my hard skull to hurt. She has a point!!! Seems to me the primary use of the ski helmet is to protect the pate from some yahoo who drops the chairlift safety bar without notice. I have had no significant head knocks ever since ski brakes replaced safety straps (what an oxymoron!!!). Back in those bad ol’ days, a fall in the steeps often meant the “helicopter treatment” ala Vic Morrow. Since the skis were firmly attached to your feet every roll, twist, or bump resulted in the skis making yet another attempt to lacerate, or concuss your unprotected skull. I was on a first name basis with the ER physicians. Yeah baby.

cheeky carver and M@tteo:

It would be rude!!! I don’t know why but that little bit of Italian reminds me of a story I heard while visiting friends in Italy. They knew a British woman who when stopped by the Carabinari would lean out of the window, wave and say, “Tu-ta-lu (or some such), no fumare Italiano…” Apparently, it worked since the Carabinari, dumbfounded, waived her on each time. I can only imagine the look on the Carabinari’s face!!!

My brother tried something similar while visiting the Soviet Union, bad move; it earned him a strip search, “cavity” search and 4 hours of conversation (interrogation) with, as he puts it, “one big mother.” Better him than me!!!

Moral: unless you are British, don’t be a wiseass in a foreign country.
post #9 of 35
Helmets are booming in the PNW too. It's been 30 years since I wore a helmet while racing but I bought one in February and used it everyday since. Wife got hers a month later after talking with some friends who both wear helmets. She's still worried about what her hair looks like but more concerned about what's inside her head. Kids get theirs in the fall. Still growing so fast they would be too small if bought now.

And I find the removeable padding makes it cool enough for the spring skiing. I'll see how it does Memorial Day.
post #10 of 35
Helmets are great to have for those who race or ski trees and chutes. People who ski nothing but groomers with helmets should have kept their money.
post #11 of 35
JBB - The easiest way is the most obvious. Try a few on.

You may want to start larger, and work your way down. It's a little less painful than starting small and working up.

If you have a big melon like mine (XXL), buy it if it fits well, regardless of the price. Chances are there won't be any around come sale season. I bought mine at a Labour Day sale, and never saw the same size again that year.
post #12 of 35
Originally posted by noodles:
People who ski nothing but groomers with helmets should have kept their money.
I disagree. Watching some of the unguided missles (skiers of boarders at speeds far exceeding their abilities) fly past my kids on groomers convinced even my wife that helmets for the family were a worthwhile investment.
post #13 of 35
Originally posted by noodles:
Helmets are great to have for those who race or ski trees and chutes. People who ski nothing but groomers with helmets should have kept their money.
Agreed. I'm perfectly content with warming up on groomers and then skiing wide-open bowls all day. Little to no risk of falling and hitting my head on something hard. Saves me some cash, good for a couple of long islands at the bar.

If the all-helmet, all-the-time advocates had their way, we'd all be walking around wearing helmuts. You never know, you might slip and hit your head on the kitchen counter or the toilet.
post #14 of 35
After another concussion about two weeks ago I will be wearing a helmet next season. Skied 30 years without one, except for races, but I don't need anymore shots to the pumpkin. I had the whirlies and a headache for three days after the last one.
And Noodles, it happened on a groomer. Groomed snow can be hard.
post #15 of 35
Two things

Young kids aren't the target group to effect change in the statistics of head injuries, but the use of protective gear is easily introduced and then becomes "normal". My kids always wear helmets!

One of the head injuries I took off the hill this year was of a young man on our easiest trail. He was hit from behind and couldn't remember a thing. It is not always what you are doing.

post #16 of 35
If you want to up your odds for living to a ripe old age, Wear a helmet

While driving in your car!

The evidence is sobering.

post #17 of 35
Now that we've got another helmet use flame thread started it's time for my usual disclaimer.

I use a helmet by choice. I don't really care if anyone else uses a helmet or not. I think of it as a form of modern day natural selection.
post #18 of 35
JimBB: Most helmet sizes are matched to a metric measurement of the head just above the browline. There are sizing charts for many helmet makers on their websites. It's only a guideline, however, as far as comfort of fit is considered, so the best option is to try 'em on.

Don't forget about goggles compatibility for the helmet. If you have a favorite goggle, it'd be good to take it with you when helmet hunting.
post #19 of 35

While I use my helmet all the time, I have no enmity towards those who do not. And I agree with you about the natural selection part. For those not in the know, natural selection now has an annual awards program. Outcomes and past award winners can be seen below.


With some of you, who will remain nameless, dogmatically against wearing the pot, I shall await my next Darwin Awards program with baited breath. Perhaps I will know the next winner, or a runner-up? noodles, saq are your ears itching???
post #20 of 35
Cheeky Carver,
Just a piece of advice. If you buy a helmet make sure it and your goggles get along. If you have a large head like some of us be aware that Smith sells goggle strap extenders which are really nice as the helmet eats up all the slack on most straps. skidoc
post #21 of 35
People are sheep, they see someone do something and they follow along. Everyone looks like they are about to enter an extreme competition with all these silly helmets. But this is the way things are moving in these times, led by Americans trying to legislate long life and safety. I have read studies on head injuries in sports and they concluded that you have a 2-4% chance of a head injury in skiing as opposed to biking which is the most dangerous head related sport. The helmet trend is just another way for the corporate world to make $$ and if they can scare you into buying a helmet they'll do it. I will wear a helmet when appropriate, which isn't very often, and never at the ski area. So keep bleeting you sheep, what's next bubble rapped suits so we never get hurt!!
post #22 of 35
Ciao Ceecky!
E' un piacere conoscerti.
Ehi, dove hai imparato l'Italiano?
Da come ti esprimi penso che hai vissuto qui, giusto?

Anyway ,yes, it would be rude toward all the other bears, but if you like, feel free to PM me [img]smile.gif[/img]

Yes, I used to ski the Dolomiti during my yearly
Settimana Bianca, precisely Colfosco and the resorts of Sella Ronda.
I've taken most of my ski lessons there, where the Austrian influence is very strong.
I am familiar with Selva di Valgardena/Wolkenstein, and the Sella Ronda in general, but my last visit there was in 1997, when my kids were 3 and 2 years old.
I was meant to go there this past january but, due to a bad turn of events I had to cancel...
I also ski Austria, nowaday, and I must say you're right, the helmet thing is limited to kids and racers, althought, since many skiers want to emulate racers, the helmet would be a good thing to begin with (the emulation).
This year at Galtür, me and my friends were apalled to notice how few kids were wearing an helmet (compared to last year).
My take is that, being Easter, a lot more people was there, and when the population increases, so does the percentage of "bad apples"
I also ski Vallee d'Aoste/Valle d'Aosta (precisely Champoluc), but go there for one day trip only, usually.
The views from my home today were simply fantastic. It has been a clear blue sky day, which is not often living so close to Milan, and one could see, looking westward, some 200 km away, the Monte Rosa massif, and behind it, the Mont Blanc. What a view!

Maddog1959, , that's because the Carabinieri are nice people, especially toward tourists
post #23 of 35
Oh, BTW, I think I've found the helmet that'll do for me.
It's a Bell fiberglass MTB downhill helmet, used also in skier/boarder cross competitions.
Now I need to find the money (200 euro or so)!
post #24 of 35
I am an interseting case - I wuldn't go near my bike without a helmet, and have been doing so for 15 years, but I am a major holdout for wearing one skiing. I have had numerous big and bad falls over the years, with a couple of stitches required to the noggin, and a concussion, but still refuse to wear one.

I don't feel the need to wear one, unlike on a bike - there is mush more forgiveness in snow and ice than concrete.
post #25 of 35
Mmmm, snow and ice may be more forgiving than tarmac, but the average rock ain't!

I've never worn a helmet, but insisted my daughter did on her debut this season. Now I'm edging that way myself, not least because I don't do the "do as I say, not as I do" school of parenting.

I do love that wind-in-the-hair thing, tho'
post #26 of 35
Originally posted by scotski:
Mmmm, snow and ice may be more forgiving than tarmac, but the average rock ain't!
Oh yeh, forgot about rocks....and considering I ski at a mountain known as Rockapapa!
post #27 of 35
forgot about rocks..
Rocks were one of the factors that nudged me over the edge to buy a helmet this year. Although our PNW volcanoes have 10-12 feet of base on them there is a LOT of "new" rock that often lurks just under the surface in the bowls, chute and trees I like for powder. The image of hitting the first rock with my skis and the next one with my head got my attention.

Recer wannabe? No. But I don't know anyone who would pay me to sit in the corner and drool all day either.
post #28 of 35
Thread Starter 
Good point Knealbrownson and skidoc about the goggles. I actually have a tiny head...it's empty too! so i would probably be the next size up from kiddies. My goggles are also smaller than average so I would have to make sure they fit in the space. You should see me in a pair of oakleys or alpina goggles, they seem to swallow half my face!

Thanks for all your views. I am a newcomer to the forum and didn't realise it had been a hot topic. Like I said the uptake in Europe has been slower than the America.

Safety is such a MASSIVE issue in America!!!
Oh, speaking of safety issues, can somebody tell me why Mammoth mountain chair lifts had NO BARS when i went then there in 1995!!!!
I was speechless...safety, what safety!

One last question to all of you who instruct, do you wear a helmet whilst giving lessons. That's something I have never seen.
post #29 of 35
Originally posted by cheeky carver:
Oh, speaking of safety issues, can somebody tell me why Mammoth mountain chair lifts had NO BARS when i went then there in 1995!!!!
I was speechless...safety, what safety!

Don't get 'em started on safety bars!

Just DON'T GO THERE!!! :
post #30 of 35
oh no!

Cheeky carver said "safety bar"

That's like opening a can of worms with a stick of dynamite.

Stand back...

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Après-Ski
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Après-Ski › The year of the Helmet!