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Race Helmet Suggestions

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I need a race helmet and am looking for suggestions about models/brands.  Let me know your thoughts.   Also - why are POC helmets so expensive?!

post #2 of 21

I think it's all about the fit. That's critical, so if you can try some on, that would be a huge plus. Presume you know that you want a "full" helmet, one piece, rather than with ear flaps. The two biggest brands, Uvex and Carrera tend to fit different head shapes better, IMO. I think of Carrera being a good choice for a rounder face shape, and Uvex perhaps a bit more angular.


I would check out the on-line suppliers to check brand, style, etc.; Reliable Racing Supply, The Race Place, RaceWerks, Artech, Ski Racing Development.


Other brands: Briko {Bode, and other WC skiers, has had some availability issues}, Alpina {used by a ton of Canadian and other WC skiers}, Giro {they make a couple of good race helmets}, Dainesse, Jofa. Shred has just begun to be distributed this year; Ted Ligety's company. New often means limited availability. My understanding is that the Shred helmet fits a lot of people well. I'm probably forgetting a brand or two.

POC helmets are really popular with some people. A lot of racers in them are not paying anywhere near retail {same goes for a number of these other brands}. Some folks really buy into their technology, and others not so much. My take is that the technology works. They have done a very good job of marketing the helmets, and the goggles {which are really nice}. Price is absolutely top of the spectrum, for their best helmet. If you search "POC" on this board, you'll find a lot of spirited discussion, and many opinions.

Another very nice helmet, which I don't think is being sold and distributed any longer is the Marker. Good value. You might find a leftover. Fits a lot of "heads" as well.  

I would look around, try some on {or be prepared to return some}. Also make sure that you have a good match with your goggles, in terms of fit. Most race style goggles work with most helmets.  

Good luck.



post #3 of 21
Just noticed that you're in Canada. You might have some luck finding an Alpina. I know that a number of the provincial teams {including Quebec} are supplied with Alpina helmets. Seems to find a lot of people.
post #4 of 21
Unfortunately most retailers have a limited supply of race helmets to try on, and fit is the most important thing about  a helmet, IMO.

You could go to a retailer and size a "consumer" helmet, then order a race helmet from he same manufacturer. I did that two years ago and ended up with a Giro. It lasted one season and I cracked it near the side by pulling on the straps to get it off.

Or you could do what I did last year and measure your head carefully, then pick out a helmet in one of the catalogs that Muleski mentioned and pick one out where you are more or less in the middle of the range. I did that, selected a Marker, and am very happy with it.
post #5 of 21
 I can't even find a website for Ted Ligety's Shred helmets...

Being in Canada you might want to check into Movement. Their helmets look pretty sweet.

I'm with you on the POC pricing. I didn't blink at first since they're a Swedish company and hype up all the awards that they've won for design. But when I see the "Made in China" sticker on the inside of the helmets I have to wonder why the prices aren't lower (I never really understand how companies move their operations overseas to save money yet never seem to pass these savings along to the consumers, unless we're to believe if the POC's were made in Sweden then they'd cost twice as much?)

But I digress. Best thing you can do is try on a variety of helmets as they all fit differently. For example the POC race helmets fit entirely different than their non-race models (the race ones are REALLY round).

The most expensive POC is nowhere near as pricey as Sweet helmets, btw.

post #6 of 21
Artech, RaceWerks and SRD all sell Shred Helmets.

POC carbon fibre helmet retails for $500+, so Sweet must be making some great stuff. Are their ski helmets distrubuted in the US and Canada, yet. Have never seen a Sweet race helmet. Great kayak helmets.
post #7 of 21
 Mule, apparently I spoke out of turn (had no idea that the POC Carbons werre $500!)

Sweets usually top out around $270 give or take for their full-cut recreation snow helmet (though not sure about their race helmets or if they even have them). Dist is spotty (i've gotten my last 2 from a kayak sho).

Check their site.
post #8 of 21

My son has one of their kayak helmets.....very, very nice. Good protection. That top end POC is a "bit" on the expensive side, to say the least. I hope that Sweet gets their ski helmet distribution lined up. Seems to have been a huge issue for other helmet companies, Briko being the number one example {in my experience} , over the years. Nothing more frustrating than knowing what you want, being willing to pay for it, and having it not be available.

post #9 of 21

I think you can do much better than POC and for much less.  All of their stuff is overpriced whether its good or not.

post #10 of 21
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post

But I digress. Best thing you can do is try on a variety of helmets as they all fit differently. For example the POC race helmets fit entirely different than their non-race models (the race ones are REALLY round).


Spot on Dookey!  You really need to try the exact model rather than assuming that all from a manufacturer fit the same.   Sometimes even in the race models the fit is different.  For example My Briko Carbon race helmet (ex Muleski junior) is a significantly different fit to my favorite but now ageing Briko forerunner.  (reminds me that I must post the Carbon one for sale as well!). 

On my head shape the Carrera feels like a bowling ball, the Uvex just does not fit at all but the Briko, Marker Cheetah (some good clearance deals out there on this as Muleski indicated), the Giro Sestriere and the POC all seem to have a similar shape and fit for me

(oh and don't assume that the matching goggles always work!.  I made the mistake of buying the marker google to match the Cheetah (goggles cost me more than the helmet!) only to find that it still left a gap.  But the Carrera Kimerik worked perfectly - go figure.  Of course it could just be my head that is the issue.)
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
 Thanks to all.  I guess I really need to do a deep search to find out more, my local ski shop has a marker helment but it's got a bunch of graphics I'd rather not have.

post #12 of 21
At least around here, it's useless to hope that one day, I could try helmets from 5 or 6 different companies in store (and even less in same store). So I go with first one that fits. In my case it was Scott WC Pro RC (not to mention I got lucky and got it for free on the end ). Briko was actually my first choice (in one store), and Uvex (in another store) second, but no matter which I tried, they just didn't fit. Then I somehow got Scott helmet to try and it fit really nicely. So I didn't even look further.
post #13 of 21
Originally Posted by sanigene View Post

 Thanks to all.  I guess I really need to do a deep search to find out more, my local ski shop has a marker helment but it's got a bunch of graphics I'd rather not have.


Does it fit?
post #14 of 21

Check to see that they have the chin guards. Marker do not make helmits 09/10

post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Southern Man View Post

does it fit?


didn't try it on actually.....I guess I should because it is proving to be quite difficult to find a race helmet.

post #16 of 21
This can be a real challenge, depending on whether you have anything "local" to try on. I really understand that. Sometimes you need to buy online, and be prepared to return until you find one that works. Can be a real pain in the neck, and the shipping charges add up. I would suggest that you measure your head size, and start with perhaps a Uvex, or Carrera that you like the looks of. One of those will fit better than the other, without question. Neither may fit quite right, but one will be closer. Then, even if you return both, you're armed with some information, and can talk over the phone to another on line seller about  " This was close, and didn't quite fit in this respect......That was way off, and felt like this"  Might be a process of elimination, but you want to get it right. Fit is absolutely critical in a race helmet. It's this way with a lot of race gear. For example, finding shin pads that really fit well can be a challenge for some, too. I see a lot of kids sporting $300 Slytech's that just don't fit them. They fit others perfectly. Unfortunately a lot of trial and error may be involved. Good luck.
post #17 of 21
 POC may be a exspensive helmet but never get it poc is made out of just hard plastic and will crack if you fall it is a enexpensive company trying to make there product look good i would never recomend poc or Peace O Crap i would recomend a marker or uvex uvex makes a good race helmet and a lot of world cup racers use this product briko is another really good brand along with shred and marker but never ever get a poc especially if you expect to do a lot of super g as a j3 and downhill as a j2
post #18 of 21
POC HELMETS ARE MADE FOR MORE THEN 1 CRASH. moast helmets are 1 crash only.
post #19 of 21
As others have stated, FIT is the most important aspect of any helmet.  Your situation is tough because you don't have the opportunity to try on a number of lids.

My racer has used Carrera and POC, presently uses the POC Skull Comp.  YMMV, but that is a lid that I am comfortable providing for my racer. 

As far as cost, there are different POC race helmets with different price points.  The Skull helmet compares favorably in cost and features with race helmets from Uvex and Carrera (which are two of the more popular brands of helmets I see on racers in NH).

As far as surviving more than 1 crash, given the choice as the whether I want the helmet or my racer's head survive a crash?  I vote for my racer's head.  Sorry helmet.

We did have a quality issue with a Skull Comp last year.  Cracks were forming around the mounts for the slalom guard.  A call to the retailer was dealt with quickly and painlessly.  The retailer called the U.S. distributor (Jarka) who authorized a replacement site unseen.  Great customer service.
post #20 of 21
Don't drop it off the kitchen table or stare at it too long, they have been known to crack under those circumstances too.
post #21 of 21
For 2009-2010 POC is using both a reformulated shell and EPS liner. The switch was to a multi-impact EPS or Super EPP material. It is very difficult managing a helmet designed to deform under heavy impact yet be able to withstand GS gate hits ( in some cases 200-1000 hits in the same area over a season ) Any race helmet needs to be replaced on a seasonal basis for a full time racer or you will seriously compromise its safety and performance ( There is also UV degradation involved ). Testing racers with an accelerometer showed that the forces deflecting a gate at even moderate GS speeds can exceed 75g's which is similar to a head to head crash at full speed in football, multiply this to 3-4 hits per run, 10-20 training runs per day and you see the problem!

Many here naively feel that the POC concept of having a helmet deconstruct on impact is a design flaw, nothing can be farther from the truth. The shell can absorb up to 20% lower G forces by using this type of design. Very stiff and rigid carbon or fiberglass shells transmit these forces direct to the brain.

A racer should consider the helmet no differently than skis, boot liners, gloves etc... these all have limited life spans under training and race conditions and are replaced yearly.

In our case POC replaced every single cracked race helmet without question and continues to improve and develop their products to meet the needs of skiers both on and off the course.
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