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Helmets and honesty

post #1 of 75
Thread Starter 
I know, there have been a hundred threads on helments..but its summer. Here is a new twist or just a simple true story. I feel it reveals much, some of which has been said before.


Kids---3 yr olds--are honest. Especially when they don't want candy.


My son is riding a normal bike with training wheels. He is a bit of a dare devil. As I came home from work yesterday, he showed me something he just learned. He stands on the training wheel bars, holds onto the handle bars bars and glides down the paved driveway until it dead-ends into a stone wall. Smack..he is jolted forward and stops...He laughs and wants to do it again.


I tell him this is not the way to ride a bike and I will be taking it away if I ever see it again.


His response. "ITS OK DADDY, I AM WEARING MY HELMET!"



We are not all the same and we surely do not think the same. I just feel there is definitely more people who skis faster/more aggressive when wearing a helmet than if they didn't. Whether (we) care to admit it or not to ourselves or others.

I'll admit it..., I don't like, it but will. I know I ski the trees faster or tighter. I have less fear going off a kicker (I would not even try if I didn't wear one). I would not attempt a personal speed record without one, but would with one. Ice? No worries. All of this....knowing that the helmet really would not do too much for me crashing at these speed or falling from those heights.

Now, how do I convience my son that he's wrong.
post #2 of 75
Oh, He's only saying it for your benefit. I bet he just like the ride so much hitting the stonewall isn't going to stop him.

The day I started skiing in the trees, I bought a helmet for the first time. I like skiing in the trees. I would have skied the tree with or without a helmet. Helmet doesn't really MAKE ME go skiing in the trees. It's the other way around.

You always want to set a personal speed record each time you're out. You're rationalizing the attempt by putting on a helmet.

I may or may not ski faster with a helmet. But that's not really that important. The faster you ski, the more adrenalen. So you're going to ski as fast as you FEEL safe. Basically, we all like to ski right at the edge of controllability! I'm just not convince helmet changes where that edge is.
post #3 of 75
I don't expect a helmet to save me or my kids from skiing beyond our abilities. But, I came from an age when nobody wore them except olympic or WC downhill racers. What I do expect is for some protection from incidents involving other out of control skiers/boarders. It won't offer much releif from kissing a tree at 20 mph but it will save you from smacking the back of your head against someone else's body or the ground.
post #4 of 75
im pretty much still a kid i ski in the park all the time so a helmet is really mandatory.they wont let you in the thing about the helmet is that it cuts down on some of the sensory input. you don't hear the wind and the sound of the snow as well...i think that increases your speed. But in the park when you start the big hits a helmet doesnt matter theyre scary no matter what and you wont hit them without the proper prep
post #5 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by I:)Skiing View Post


I tell him this is not the way to ride a bike and I will be taking it away if I ever see it again.
post #6 of 75
Sez the world famous concussionologist...
post #7 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
Sez the world famous concussionologist...

Only one of the skiing ones was without a helmet.
post #8 of 75
I definitely ski slower when I don't wear a helmet, but that doesn't mean I do stupid things with a helmet. I never think "its ok, I'm wearing a helmet". I more just think, if I'm not wearing a helmet, I cannot no matter what hit my head.
post #9 of 75
I never dont wear a helmet inbounds so no, I dont do thing I would do with a helmet on that I would do with out a helmet on.
post #10 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by s0nyskiwer_(jib) View Post
......about the helmet is that it cuts down on some of the sensory input. you don't hear the wind and the sound of the snow as well...i think that increases your speed. ......
Interesting point. I had not thought about that before. I heard about the study where people drive a car with a large steel spike sticking out of the center of the steering wheel will definitely drive slower. : Since I sometimes wear a helmet and sometimes don't, to be honest I admit I do more dangerous stuff with the helmet on.
post #11 of 75
Different Twist:
I don't necessarily take more risk because I wear a helmet, because I believe that I'd be approaching the challenges that I've been embracing the past few years, with or without a helmet,......... but I ski/ride more tentatively when I'm not wearing a helmet. Make sense? :
post #12 of 75
I have a daredevil kid too. I let her push the envelope a bit even if she might get hurt...as long as the odds of serious injury are pretty darn low. If she gets hurt a little, she leanrs a bit about where the edge is (not just skiing...could be just jumping out of a tree or something like that). No hurt, no learn.

As for me...helmet means when i whack my head on branches it doesn't hurt much. High speed impact - i have no delusions that helmet will save me. Helmet is better protection for things we don't anticipate (i.e. the fall on a relatively easy run where we might smack head on something hard), not things we do anticipate.
post #13 of 75

Hmmmm

Helmet has been a standard item for me and my kids for many years now. I feel naked without it. I ski on eastern hardpack for the most part, so the bonks over the years have made me a believer.

Not sure where I am going with this but I do NOT think helmets make you ski harder / faster. I think it increases comfort level, makes my goggles work better, and protects me from reckless park rats and googans.

As for helmets in the park being like totally a downer, I would encourage the doubters to search skateboard crashes on youtube. While few skaters (or boarders) belong to MENSA to start with, I do not think they are doing themselves any favors eschewing helmets. Multiply skate speed and amplitude by 10x and I think you get a semi accurate approximation of park (vs skate) physics. I am sure that somehwhere there are some parks that do not have roughly the same surface consistency as asphalt, but not really where I ski.
post #14 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer256 View Post
and protects me from reckless park rats and googans.
While few skaters (or boarders) belong to MENSA to start with,
i dont think you have a real understanding of helmets, safety or people, it would seem to me that park rats such as myself need to worry about you especially with your signature:

go fast take chances


i wonder if you would be going as fast or taking as many chances without that helmet.
post #15 of 75
I wear a helmet on the bike. I don't have a ski helmet yet.

When you get a little older than 3 you realize that the helmet isn't magic. I don't ride any differently with or without a helmet. I doubt I would ski any differently with a helmet.
post #16 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by I:)Skiing View Post
His response. "ITS OK DADDY, I AM WEARING MY HELMET!"

Now, how do I convience my son that he's wrong.
He'll learn.

I do suggest you become good at splint & bandage & road rash treatment.
post #17 of 75

Edu-ma-cay-shun...

"Irony." Still too tricky a concept for most self labelled park rats. Its ok. I undersand. It is not your fault. Wikipedia may help since public school probably cannot.

Incidentally - I am interviewing for a large public HS teaching job Tuesday at 9:00. Perhaps I can change the way things are going. Wish me luck.

post #18 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer256 View Post
"Irony." Still too tricky a concept for most self labelled park rats. Its ok. I undersand. It is not your fault. Wikipedia may help since public school probably cannot.

Incidentally - I am interviewing for a large public HS teaching job Tuesday at 9:00. Perhaps I can change the way things are going. Wish me luck.

LOL "dude". Be sure to make sure that the definition of "reckless" is stressed in your curriculim and on exams cause the term's obviously fallen through some cracks somewhere. Good luck on your interview
post #19 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer256 View Post
"Irony." Still too tricky a concept for most self labelled park rats. Its ok. I undersand. It is not your fault. Wikipedia may help since public school probably cannot.

Incidentally - I am interviewing for a large public HS teaching job Tuesday at 9:00. Perhaps I can change the way things are going. Wish me luck.

Ok THAT was funny.
post #20 of 75
I wore a helmet because I had to buy one once and then had to get my money's worth out of it. It didn't make me faster, it did keep me warmer. I thought I looked like a dweeb in it, but it was more important to justify the expense than look fashionable. I certainly never had the illusion that it would protect any part of my body other than my head and I realized that there were plenty of parts of my body that would HURT REAL BAD or I COULD DIE if I fell.

Nevertheless I hit a tree and am alive today because of the helmet. But, as I realized, there is more than just a head on a body and I basically lost seven months of my life for the parts that had no armor on them (wrists).

So, now I need some of that material that hardens for an instant when you hit things.

And, I also slowed down a bit. If you're going slower, you'll break less. At 56 I can't afford to start using up my remaining life sitting in a chair for months on end.
post #21 of 75
Like many on this board I wear a helmet to protect me not from my skiing but from those out of control people bombing down behind me. In addition, I think that it is important to set an example for my kids if I am going to make them wear a helmet...skiing or biking.
post #22 of 75
The question was, does wearing a helmet make you ski faster? Does it give you false sense of security?

I'd say yes to the former but no for the latter.

The reason is simple sensory deprivation. Helmet blocks the wind and make many skier FEEL they're skiing slower than they really are. So they'll speed up to compensate.

But that's not the same to say they have a false sense of security. It's more of a disconnect to the environment that causes the faster speed.

When terrain gets tricky, people slow down, helmet or not. We get our "kick" out of being on the edge of controllability. Tricky terrain gives us that even with less speed.

I don't blame the skiers, I blame the grooming. (And I stay away from it for the most part)
post #23 of 75
Uh oh here we go again

:
post #24 of 75
Don't get that much sensory deprivation from mine, don't see any real change in average speed or tactics, except one: I feel more secure in trees than I used to. Not going faster, just more relaxed, focused on the line instead of those little whippy branches. Relaxed focus produces better skiing, IMO.
post #25 of 75
I would say, not a false sense of security but rather a helmet helps lessen a false sense of impeding doom or certain death. In my case, additionally, I do not worry that I will knock out my front teeth or break my nose (both have happened in the past when I had no helmet and was not skiing so my concerns are somewhat warranted).
post #26 of 75
Compensating behavior is a real issue in traffic safety. Virtually every improvement in the safety features of cars or in roads causes drivers to drive faster and take more risks. In youth hockey, high sticking became far more common when they required eye protection.
In the ski industry, there was a report by Carl Ettlinger a few years ago that documented that helmet wearers were faster than non-wearers by a significant margin. Anareyone who says that they don't ski faster with a helmet, but they ski slower without one is admitting that they practice compensating behavior, regardless of what they call it.
You can deny the effect of compensating behavior if you want, but safety professionals all believe it, even if it is difficult to prove.

em
post #27 of 75
I don't PURPOSELY ski (or bike) any slower without helmet, because I don't really believe in helmet's "magical benefits". However, I do ended up skiing/biking slower without helmet. With the wind blasting in my hair, I feel I'm skiing fast enough even at a slower speed.

Similarly, I ski faster with goggle than with glasses. It just "feel" slow and boring when I'm all wrapped up and can't "feel the speed". In fact, I ski relatively slow in spring, when I'm only wearing a shirt with no jacket, too.
post #28 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
As for me...helmet means when i whack my head on branches it doesn't hurt much. High speed impact - i have no delusions that helmet will save me. Helmet is better protection for things we don't anticipate (i.e. the fall on a relatively easy run where we might smack head on something hard), not things we do anticipate.
Quoted for common sense.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post
Compensating behavior is a real issue in traffic safety. Virtually every improvement in the safety features of cars or in roads causes drivers to drive faster and take more risks.
Sure, and yet roads are safer per mile traveled today than they were fifty years ago, just like skiers are safer today than they were with non-releasable bindings and leather boots. You can challenge the veracity of either of those statements with well sourced data if you care to...I'm too lazy to find supporting information at the moment.

Advances that allow me to take more risk (have more fun) for a given amount of pain are always a good thing.
post #29 of 75
Sure, if I had had an helmet on last week while boarding that boat on the Nile river, I wouldn't had banged my had that hard against the iron structure and would not have heard the bells ringing in my head, nor would have fhad that big swelling on the top of my head (and the scab from the cut).
Combing my hair for the following 3/4 days had been a chore...
Man, did it hurt!
post #30 of 75

Flawed Data?

report by Carl Ettlinger a few years ago that documented that helmet wearers were faster than non-wearers by a significant margin.

I wonder if perhaps that this could be the result of more experienced (e.g. faster) skiers who have taken the time and money to invest in a helmet for a sport they practice more regularly than the casual skier. Futher, the helmeted skiers might also have better skis, tunes, etc etc etc.

Case and point...I ski a lot. I golf maybe once or twice per year. My ski stuff is mint. My golf clubs are yard sale adoptees and my balls were mostly rescued from a pond.

I wonder how this result might look if you used a roughly homogenous group of HS racers? This data might also be a bit skewed as most young racers have grown up with helmets and often feel "weird" without them.

Regardless, unless you are in bottomless in the bowls, as an eastern boilerplate guy, I endorse brain buckets.
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