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Replace Helmet After Fall?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

So, after wearing a helmet for several years, yesterday became the day I was glad I had it.  Caught an edge, got turned around backwards until something else caught and slammed my head hard into the snow straight back. Even with the helmet, it really hurt.  Without, I could easily see it having been a knockout and a concussion.

 

So, I seem to remember helmets being one of those things that was good for its intended use once and then you toss it.  I can't find and damage on the shell or on the lining but that might not mean anything.  Should you replace the thing after one good knock or should they be able to take more than one fall.  I don't mind replacing it if needed but I'd also hate to spend the money if it is still safe to use.  Any guidance?

 

It is a Giro Nine if anyone cares.  Thanks in advance for any replies.

post #2 of 18

If you slammed hard enough that it hurt, your foam probably sustained damage even if you can't see it. So how much is your brain worth? 

post #3 of 18

Yup, you should replace it.  I recently had to force myself to stop using a beloved helmet for this very reason.  Contact Giro (or your friendly local ski shop) about help with a replacement.

post #4 of 18

Replacing it after one hard shock is usually applied to multi-layer high-impact helmets... ie- motorcycle helmets. 

 

A Giro Nine is basically closed-cell foam. The little plastic shell will either crack or not. 

 

I'm not going to jinx you (knock on wood) but replacing a minimalist-protective helmet after an impact with no visible damage to the helmet is, imo, quite redundant. What's going to fail that hasn't already? 

 

High Impact helmets have very strong shells securing very malleable foam... when they are properly impacted, the foam dies... as it should... and the shell often cracks. 

 

If you don't see any damage on a Giro 9, I'd keep wearing it. It's not designed to handle high speed impacts anyway. A new one will do little more. 

 

(knock-on-wood)

 

 

post #5 of 18

Replace it.  It depends on what the protective layer is.  If it's styrofoam (like those inexpensive break-easily coolers), it got crushed and must be replaced.  If it's not styrofoam, like in a motorcycle helmut it's should be.


Edited by Ghost - Wed, 04 Feb 09 12:41:21 GMT
post #6 of 18

While the helmet MAY be ok it's your head we're talking about. I say replace, don't even debate it.

post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post

Replacing it after one hard shock is usually applied to multi-layer high-impact helmets... ie- motorcycle helmets. 

 

A Giro Nine is basically closed-cell foam. The little plastic shell will either crack or not. 

Giro nines are made from the same low cost high performance material the liner in hard shelled helmets (ski, motorcycle, car) is made from: EPS.

 

It is entirely possible to compress EPS without cracking the Giro candyshell.  If you hit your head hard enough it hurt quite a bit, I'd say it is likely.  No, they don't handle sharp punctures as well, but when you smack your head into a firm but deformable surface like snow, I'm not sure why you expect them to behave so much differently.

 

I actually have some experience with this, because I trashed a helmet for exactly the same reason a few years ago.  Ripping the textiles out of the interior revealed a nice Garrett's head shaped dent in the thing.

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post

Replacing it after one hard shock is usually applied to multi-layer high-impact helmets... ie- motorcycle helmets. 

 

A Giro Nine is basically closed-cell foam. The little plastic shell will either crack or not. 

 

I'm not going to jinx you (knock on wood) but replacing a minimalist-protective helmet after an impact with no visible damage to the helmet is, imo, quite redundant. What's going to fail that hasn't already? 

 

High Impact helmets have very strong shells securing very malleable foam... when they are properly impacted, the foam dies... as it should... and the shell often cracks. 

 

If you don't see any damage on a Giro 9, I'd keep wearing it. It's not designed to handle high speed impacts anyway. A new one will do little more. 

 

(knock-on-wood)

 

 


 

that's an interesting take, Samurai. I do, however, beg to differ. I believe that the manufacturer specifies one hit (correct?), by design. the idea IS that the foam compresses in a fall like brandon took, thereby reducing the shock. (The condition of the thin, outer shell is not a factor, as I understand, the helmet would work the same without the outer shell, which is cosmetic and water proof.)

 

the back-slap is a common fall and it is conceivable that the same part of the helmet could smash down on the hardpack again, and would have reduced shock-absorption capacity this time.

 

Giro offers a wholesale price (did at one time?) for replacement if you return the damaged one. contact them, Brandon if you're concerned.

 

.

post #9 of 18

Now you have me wondering as well...my son recently took a serious enough hit to the head with his helmet on to give him a concussion and a sled ride down the mountain...nothing happened to the helmet.

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by swisstrader View Post

Now you have me wondering as well...my son recently took a serious enough hit to the head with his helmet on to give him a concussion and a sled ride down the mountain...nothing happened to the helmet.

I can say with near certainty that something did happen to the helmet, and you should replace it despite a lack of obvious visible damage.

post #11 of 18

I just bought a Giro G9...glad to hear a Giro 9 did its job...they seem to be good helmets.

 

If your head hurt in the impact, I would definitely replace it, as the helmet probably took some of the force.  The foam in these helmets can compress without cracking or having visible damage (especially if you don't have a good helmet to compare it to).  Once compressed, it won't provide the same protection as before.

 

Giro's website is a good place to start to find the dealer who you should contact.  They also give replacement prices.

 

All that said, if it's not noticably damaged, I would still probably wear it until the new helmet arrived.  It's better than nothing, but not as good as a new helmet would be.

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by swisstrader View Post

Now you have me wondering as well...my son recently took a serious enough hit to the head with his helmet on to give him a concussion and a sled ride down the mountain...nothing happened to the helmet.

I can say with near certainty that something did happen to the helmet, and you should replace it despite a lack of obvious visible damage.

What he said. 

post #13 of 18

I did the same thing as Brandon last year, and never even thought about a new helmet...which is stupid, because I replace bike helmets if I drop them on the ground too hard. A ski helmet just seemed "different", probably cuz the shell is so hard.

I'm going helmet shopping. I don't think my daughter has ever hit her head hard, but I'm going to ask her to be sure.

post #14 of 18

I've bought a Rossignol Radical helmet recently and the instructions leaflet inside the box recommended replacing the helmet after 3 years even in case of no actual accident due to the changes to the foam structure over the years. I'm just wondering if anyone have any experience with this. Are these helmets supposed to be replaced so frequently or is it just a way how to force you to spend money more often? thanks.

post #15 of 18

Helmets use foam to protect your head.  The perspiration and other moisutre that comes off your head deteriorate the foam over time.  Replace the helmet

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 

A bunch of good responses.  Thank you everyone.  That confirms what I was thinking; these things are really meant for one good hit.  Contacting Giro about a replacement program was an excellent suggestion.

 

I think the hit was hard enough to have caused hidden damage compressing the foam.  A closer look seems to show a few places where it is compressed but I may be seeing things.  I know the fall hurt even with the helmet pretty bad.  The hit was hard enough to cause an instant mild headache that lasted for several hours.  About the time the headache went away, my neck got stiff and started hurting.  The neck hurt for about a day an a half.  If it hadn't quit hurting when it did I was going to go see my doctor and I might still give him a call.  Google and I self diagnosed all sorts of things.

 

But this was the exact situation for which I got the helmet.  I don't use one as an excuse to do things I otherwise would not.  In this case, I was making my way down the middle of a fairly generic intermediate groomed run at moderate speeds and took a spill.  I wasn't going fast at all or doing anything unusual.  It did its job.

post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by brandon View Post

 

So, after wearing a helmet for several years, yesterday became the day I was glad I had it.  Caught an edge, got turned around backwards until something else caught and slammed my head hard into the snow straight back. Even with the helmet, it really hurt.  Without, I could easily see it having been a knockout and a concussion.

 

So, I seem to remember helmets being one of those things that was good for its intended use once and then you toss it.  I can't find and damage on the shell or on the lining but that might not mean anything.  Should you replace the thing after one good knock or should they be able to take more than one fall.  I don't mind replacing it if needed but I'd also hate to spend the money if it is still safe to use.  Any guidance?

 

It is a Giro Nine if anyone cares.  Thanks in advance for any replies.


 

I had a similar fall last saturday, fall back after catching an edge on fresh snow, I was on the groomers though so the snow under that fresh layer has kind of hard.

 

I slammed the back of my head hard, I could feel like a little blast and then I had a headache, no loss of conciousness or memory loss.  Just a headache.

 

I went skiing the next day too, even though I was feeling tired. and I had neck pain just like you describe.

 

About the helmet I decided just to dispose it and get another, but it is more how was your experience, and others as well about this kind of hits.

 

Now it is Thursday and I still have a headache, I guess it is just because I have a bump there, and probably it is nothing to be worried about. all my other functions are normal.

 

I think I didn't have a proper concussion, because I didn't lost consciousness or memory or was dizzy, probably I was just schocked by the impact.

 

How do you guys manage this kind of cases, How long should I wait for the headache to go away before I have to worry and go to the doctor ?  How long do you wait after an impact like this before going skiing again ?

 

Thanks for your answers

post #18 of 18

When purchasing a helmet, SAVE THE RECEIPT. Manufacturer replacement programs often require this little piece of paper to get a credit toward a replacement helmet after a crash.

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