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Do you wear a helmet or recommend wearing one while skiing? - Page 7

Poll Results: Do you wear a helmet when you ski?

Poll expired: Dec 16, 2010  
  • 75% (102)
    Yes, of course, safety first.
  • 5% (8)
    Yes, but I am starting to think its no necessary.
  • 7% (10)
    No, helmets are for dorks.
  • 11% (16)
    No, but I should start.
136 Total Votes  
post #181 of 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques View Post



You said it!  Well, I tried to be diplomatic!





OK then, so following that logic, a pretty smart person would have very little need of a helmet.



Is that why are all you guys are wearing them?
post #182 of 316

If anyone is still interested enough in this topic to bother reading summaries of research, here's a link to a featured article in Telemark Tips.

It addresses several of the themes which have been pursued somewhat speculatively in this thread.

 

http://www.telemarktips.com/Helmets.html

post #183 of 316

My ski instructor wife skied 1 run without a helmet in 2009. She stopped on top of a mogul to wait for our sons, and had her skis slip out from underneath her on the ice. Head versus icy mogul resulted in a concussion that a helmet would have prevented. I am not naive enough to believe that a helmet is going to save me if I ski off the edge of a trail at 60mph, but for lower speed crashes (or when a 14 year old snowborder cuts my legs out from under me) I prefer to be helmeted. (and my wife has not skied without a helmet since that day)

post #184 of 316


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedToSki View Post

So after 143 posts, I have learned:

   o  Everyone has an opinion on helmets, but many feel the need to share theirs more than others

   o  Some like wearing a helmet, while others don't (I'm pretty sure that Bob Lee and CTKook don't)

   o  What a Leatt brace is

   o  To shut my car off before re-fueling

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

 

Heh, I can see why you might think that, but I have a helmet and wear it sometimes.  There are other things that I don't like. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post


OK then, so following that logic, a pretty smart person would have very little need of a helmet.

Is that why are all you guys are wearing them?

 

So are you pretty smart or not?  Sounds like you are still on the fence.
 

post #185 of 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedToSki View Post


 

 

 

So are you pretty smart or not?  Sounds like you are still on the fence.
 




I'm trying to figure it out. I've been told I'd be stupid not to wear a helmet, but there's a good case being made here that you may not need one if you're smart.
post #186 of 316

I just accepted my employment package for JHMR.  In the text after a few pages of other stuff was the declaration that we will be required to wear helmets next year.  I know that a lot of people will be pissed.  I made my choice a few years ago.  I love my helmet.  I'm not convinced it's as helpful as some people think it is though.  As stated in an other thread people tend to absorb safety measures with behavior.  The safety margin gained by wearing a helmet is likely to be overcome by skiing faster and taking more chances because of the sense of security some people say the helmet gives them.

 

The resort is also providing air-bag anti avalanche packs to all guides and staff working OB starting this season.

post #187 of 316

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

 

The resort is also providing air-bag anti avalanche packs to all guides and staff working OB starting this season.


Out of curiosity, which pack?

post #188 of 316


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

I made my choice a few years ago.  I love my helmet.  I'm not convinced it's as helpful as some people think it is though.  As stated in an other thread people tend to absorb safety measures with behavior.  The safety margin gained by wearing a helmet is likely to be overcome by skiing faster and taking more chances because of the sense of security some people say the helmet gives them.

 

 


For what it's worth, there has been some research conducted on the question of whether risk factors increase with helmet use as a result of an exaggerated sense of security. Those who insist the risks increase with helmet use rely on some version of 'the risk compensation hypothesis.' As with most hypotheses there will be some evidence in its favour. The question is whether there is enough evidence to support the hypothesis and whether the evidence actually points to some other hypothesis. 

 

Here are some of the results of two such studies which suggest the risk compensation hypothesis is a myth. (Quoted from the Telemark Tips article I referred to earlier in this thread.)

 

"In a landmark ski helmet study published in 2004, Brent Hagel, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Calgary, found that helmet use did not lead to riskier behavior or increase the risk of severe injury while skiing and snowboarding. In fact, Hagel discovered that wearing a helmet out on the slopes may reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 29 to 56%. Hagel's study didn't include those who fell and hit their heads but did not sustain an injury because they were wearing a helmet. Including those individuals would have increased the documented protective effect of helmets even more.

 

Further, in 2005, Dr. Michael Scott of the California State University at Chico, along with several others, published a report entitled "Testing the Risk Compensation Hypothesis for Safety Helmets in Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding. Dr. Scott and his group recorded face-to-face interviews with 1,779 adult skiers and snowboarders at 31 ski areas in Western North America during January-March 2003. Respondents were asked two questions assessing risk compensation: do they (a) ski/snowboard faster, slower or about the same speed, and (b) challenge themselves more, less or about the same. Helmet wearers compared current behavior to when they did not wear a helmet; non-wearers, to previous seasons. The result: helmet use was significantly associated with less risky skiing/snowboarding, and the study's authors concluded that increasing helmet use does not appear to motivate more risk taking. Helmet wearers were said to engage in "less risk behavior than non-wearers, suggesting that decisions to adopt helmets are motivated by safety concerns."

 

Obviously there is little reason to suppose these studies are the definitive final word, but it is helpful to consider what more systematically obtained evidence has to say on this issue before basing one's judgment on anecdotal evidence gleaned from 'study groups' with a sample size of 1 or 2 or 3 individuals.


Edited by Tecumseh - 9/25/10 at 3:07pm
post #189 of 316

You need another choice

 

I wear my helmet when it is cold, it does a first rate job of keeping my ears warm.  but I don't wear it when is warm.

post #190 of 316

Not sure how the questions were asked in the study, but it appears maybe the question should have been flipped: to helmet wearers, do you take less risk when you are NOT wearing a helmet? I think that would show more than asking if putting on a helmet makes someone consciously want to go faster.

 

I wear a helmet all but about 3 or 4 days out of 30 or so. I like occasionally reminding myself how fast I'm going, and how dangerous this sport can be. I find that the helmet insulates the surrounding noise etc so much, when wearing just a hat, I feel more exposed, more aware, more conscious that I want to go slower.

 

I also prefer a hat if it is raining or snowing wet snow, since it's easier to cinch up the hood. Yes, my hood goes over my helmet, but it just doesn't work the same. I do feel safer (ie, it's easier to see, turn my head, etc) in a hood w/o a helmet.

post #191 of 316

Tecumseh, do you have any information regarding hockey players?  It sure appears to me that hockey players are a great deal more careless and suffer many more concussions these days than they did in the 1950s and 1960s when helmets were rare.  I've seen old videos of goalies not even wearing masks!  It may be that the improved protective equipment they wear these days has little to do with their more aggressive play which appears to result in more injuries.  I'm just wondering if hockey is an example of more carelessness being encouraged by better quality protective gear.

 

I'm not arguing against helmets.  For what it is worth, I wear one.

post #192 of 316

I wear my seat belt 100% of the time but I hate seat belt laws. I believe in personal choice rather than the threat of involuntary donations to balance the local budget deficit. 

 

More than 20,000 fatalities occur in bathroom in North America every year.

Yes, 20,000 dead, not just injured.   

Looking at the statistics - I'm more likely to die and/or injured in my own bathroom.

 

Can't wait for the state government to enact a bathroom helmet law.   

Got my eye on a full face unit with external fresh air intake.

 

When your time is up - time to check out. Don't sweat it.

post #193 of 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by resonate11 View Post

Tecumseh, do you have any information regarding hockey players?  It sure appears to me that hockey players are a great deal more careless and suffer many more concussions these days than they did in the 1950s and 1960s when helmets were rare.  I've seen old videos of goalies not even wearing masks!  It may be that the improved protective equipment they wear these days has little to do with their more aggressive play which appears to result in more injuries.  I'm just wondering if hockey is an example of more carelessness being encouraged by better quality protective gear.

 

I'm not arguing against helmets.  For what it is worth, I wear one.

Hi, Resonate. I don't have any information regarding hockey helmets or hockey players, but no doubt there are studies out there.

 

I wear a helmet when skiing resorts and will, if necessary, wear a climbing helmet while touring. I'm not a hardliner with respect to helmets. Don't wear one if you don't want to.  I personally am more worried about wrecking my knees and ligaments than about cracking my skull open. Still, I think it is a good idea to see what investigators have uncovered regarding the advantages and disadvantages of wearing a helmet.

 

The one advantage of helmets which I most appreciate is the protection they afford from the elements in damp and stormy coastal mountains. They cut the wind better than any hat I own and they keep my noggin dry.
 

post #194 of 316

In response to the hockey helmet article, this isn't exactly the same thing, but along the same lines ... I thought this was interesting. Not too much to do with skiing, only as a counter to the automatic, reflexive HELMET GOOD/NO HELMET BAD  attitude.

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704402404574527881984299454.html

 

Is It Time to Retire the Football Helmet?

This football season, the debate about head injuries has reached a critical mass. Startling research has been unveiled. Maudlin headlines have been written. Congress called a hearing on the subject last month. As obvious as the problem may seem (wait, you mean football is dangerous?), continuing revelations about the troubling mental declines of some retired players—and the ongoing parade of concussions during games—have created a sense of inevitability. Pretty soon, something will have to be done.

Counterintuitive, or just plain dangerous? WSJ's Reed Albergotti discusses with colleague Chaz Repak why some experts think an NFL without helmets would vastly reduce on-field injuries in American football.

 

But before the debate goes any further, there's a fundamental question that needs to be investigated. Why do football players wear helmets in the first place? And more important, could the helmets be part of the problem? "Some people have advocated for years to take the helmet off, take the face mask off. That'll change the game dramatically," says Fred Mueller, a University of North Carolina professor who studies head injuries. "Maybe that's better than brain damage." The first hard-shell helmets, which became popular in the 1940s, weren't designed to prevent concussions but to prevent players in that rough-and-tumble era from suffering catastrophic injuries like fractured skulls.

 

But while these helmets reduced the chances of death on the field, they also created a sense of invulnerability that encouraged players to collide more forcefully and more often. "Almost every single play, you're going to get hit in the head," says Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jake Long. What nobody knew at the time is that these small collisions may be just as damaging. The growing body of research on former football players suggests that brain damage isn't necessarily the result of any one trauma, but the accumulation of thousands of seemingly innocuous blows to the head.

 

The problem is that there's nothing any helmet could do to stop the brain from taking lots of small hits. To become certified for sale, a football helmet has to earn a "severity index" score of 1200, according to testing done by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, or Nocsae. Dr. Robert Cantu, a Nocsae board member and chief of neurosurgery at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Mass., says that to prevent concussions, helmets would have to have a severity index of 300—about four times better than the standard. "The only way to make that happen, Dr. Cantu says, "is to make the helmet much bigger and the padding much bigger." The problem with that approach, he says—other than making players look like Marvin the Martian—is that heavier helmets would be more likely to cause neck injuries.

 

One of the strongest arguments for banning helmets comes from the Australian Football League. While it's a similarly rough game, the AFL never added any of the body armor Americans wear. When comparing AFL research studies and official NFL injury reports, AFL players appear to get hurt more often on the whole with things like shoulder injuries and tweaked knees. But when it comes to head injuries, the helmeted NFL players are about 25% more likely to sustain one.

 
Andrew McIntosh, a researcher at Australia's University of New South Wales who analyzed videotape, says there may be a greater prevalence of head injuries in the American game because the players hit each other with forces up to 100% greater. "If they didn't have helmets on, they wouldn't do that," he says. "They know they'd injure themselves."

.... [more at link]

post #195 of 316

Hockey was much mor fun to watch before they all wore helmets.

post #196 of 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tecumseh View Post


 


The result: helmet use was significantly associated with less risky skiing/snowboarding, and the study's authors concluded that increasing helmet use does not appear to motivate more risk taking. Helmet wearers were said to engage in "less risk behavior than non-wearers, suggesting that decisions to adopt helmets are motivated by safety concerns."

 

 

Wow that's some hard science there. So people who wear helmets do it for safety, and they claim they don't engage in more risky behavior. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

post #197 of 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tecumseh View Post


 

....

Obviously there is little reason to suppose these studies are the definitive final word, but it is helpful to consider what more systematically obtained evidence has to say on this issue before basing one's judgment on anecdotal evidence gleaned from 'study groups' with a sample size of 1 or 2 or 3 individuals.


They're far from the only studies, in addition to far from definitive.  For instance, while asking the PC question of helmet users of whether they were safe, or not, yielded a PC answer in a poorly designed study, clocking skiers on radar shows helmeted skiers, on average, ski faster. 

 

Studying fatality rates shows that helmets make no difference in fatalities, because while the actual cause of death may be from a different injury, a collision hard enough to kill you from a brain injury will on average be hard enough to kill you from something else. 

 

Basically, the best people can determine from studying these things is, yes, there is risk compensation (just as people drive faster with car that does better in snow, etc, etc.) and, while a helmet obviously provides some protection against the type of blow it's designed to protect against, there are other things much more important in determining whether someone stays safe, or not.

 

Now, I will probably swim later today.  That is a more-dangerous sport than skiing or riding, on average.  I'm sure someone will feel a strong urge to chime in that they  "sincerely hope I don't have to learn the hard way that swimming is dangerous" but aside from the fact that I ain't too worried, I also truly believe the health benefits far outweigh any residual risk, which certainly exists. I own a lifejacket but won't wear it. 

post #198 of 316

There's no poll selection for "sometimes." When I'm going skiing with my parents, they tend to stick to the blues and greens, nothing too difficult. When I go out with them, I usually just wear a hat, and I'm fine. If I'm going on a trip with some of my SCUBA buddies down here... I know we're going to hit some of the most difficult runs on the mountain. Then, a helmet is a MUST. I wear a helmet, but only when necessary.

post #199 of 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScubaSkiier View Post

There's no poll selection for "sometimes." When I'm going skiing with my parents, they tend to stick to the blues and greens, nothing too difficult. When I go out with them, I usually just wear a hat, and I'm fine. If I'm going on a trip with some of my SCUBA buddies down here... I know we're going to hit some of the most difficult runs on the mountain. Then, a helmet is a MUST. I wear a helmet, but only when necessary.


Wear a helmet when skiing with your parents to set a good example. They are the only parents you have! Teach them well.

post #200 of 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post




They're far from the only studies, in addition to far from definitive.  For instance, while asking the PC question of helmet users of whether they were safe, or not, yielded a PC answer in a poorly designed study, clocking skiers on radar shows helmeted skiers, on average, ski faster. 

 

Studying fatality rates shows that helmets make no difference in fatalities, because while the actual cause of death may be from a different injury, a collision hard enough to kill you from a brain injury will on average be hard enough to kill you from something else. 

 

Basically, the best people can determine from studying these things is, yes, there is risk compensation (just as people drive faster with car that does better in snow, etc, etc.) and, while a helmet obviously provides some protection against the type of blow it's designed to protect against, there are other things much more important in determining whether someone stays safe, or not.

 

Now, I will probably swim later today.  That is a more-dangerous sport than skiing or riding, on average.  I'm sure someone will feel a strong urge to chime in that they  "sincerely hope I don't have to learn the hard way that swimming is dangerous" but aside from the fact that I ain't too worried, I also truly believe the health benefits far outweigh any residual risk, which certainly exists. I own a lifejacket but won't wear it. 

 

Get over yourself.
 

post #201 of 316

That makes sense. A footballer with protected head will be more likely to use his head as a weapon.

 

A helmeted skier may or may not decide to ski in a way that increases the risk of slamming his head into something. I'm a skier who decides not.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

In response to the hockey helmet article, this isn't exactly the same thing, but along the same lines ... I thought this was interesting. Not too much to do with skiing, only as a counter to the automatic, reflexive HELMET GOOD/NO HELMET BAD  attitude.

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704402404574527881984299454.html

 

Is It Time to Retire the Football Helmet?

This football season, the debate about head injuries has reached a critical mass. Startling research has been unveiled. Maudlin headlines have been written. Congress called a hearing on the subject last month. As obvious as the problem may seem (wait, you mean football is dangerous?), continuing revelations about the troubling mental declines of some retired players—and the ongoing parade of concussions during games—have created a sense of inevitability. Pretty soon, something will have to be done.

Counterintuitive, or just plain dangerous? WSJ's Reed Albergotti discusses with colleague Chaz Repak why some experts think an NFL without helmets would vastly reduce on-field injuries in American football.

 

But before the debate goes any further, there's a fundamental question that needs to be investigated. Why do football players wear helmets in the first place? And more important, could the helmets be part of the problem? "Some people have advocated for years to take the helmet off, take the face mask off. That'll change the game dramatically," says Fred Mueller, a University of North Carolina professor who studies head injuries. "Maybe that's better than brain damage." The first hard-shell helmets, which became popular in the 1940s, weren't designed to prevent concussions but to prevent players in that rough-and-tumble era from suffering catastrophic injuries like fractured skulls.

 

But while these helmets reduced the chances of death on the field, they also created a sense of invulnerability that encouraged players to collide more forcefully and more often. "Almost every single play, you're going to get hit in the head," says Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jake Long. What nobody knew at the time is that these small collisions may be just as damaging. The growing body of research on former football players suggests that brain damage isn't necessarily the result of any one trauma, but the accumulation of thousands of seemingly innocuous blows to the head.

 

The problem is that there's nothing any helmet could do to stop the brain from taking lots of small hits. To become certified for sale, a football helmet has to earn a "severity index" score of 1200, according to testing done by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, or Nocsae. Dr. Robert Cantu, a Nocsae board member and chief of neurosurgery at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Mass., says that to prevent concussions, helmets would have to have a severity index of 300—about four times better than the standard. "The only way to make that happen, Dr. Cantu says, "is to make the helmet much bigger and the padding much bigger." The problem with that approach, he says—other than making players look like Marvin the Martian—is that heavier helmets would be more likely to cause neck injuries.

 

One of the strongest arguments for banning helmets comes from the Australian Football League. While it's a similarly rough game, the AFL never added any of the body armor Americans wear. When comparing AFL research studies and official NFL injury reports, AFL players appear to get hurt more often on the whole with things like shoulder injuries and tweaked knees. But when it comes to head injuries, the helmeted NFL players are about 25% more likely to sustain one.

 
Andrew McIntosh, a researcher at Australia's University of New South Wales who analyzed videotape, says there may be a greater prevalence of head injuries in the American game because the players hit each other with forces up to 100% greater. "If they didn't have helmets on, they wouldn't do that," he says. "They know they'd injure themselves."

.... [more at link]

post #202 of 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post




Wear a helmet when skiing with your parents to set a good example. They are the only parents you have! Teach them well.



The one major downside I see of a helment on the groomed blues and greens is actually the limited ability to hear what's going on around you. It's not really the terrain that is dangerous there, it's the other people around you. The lack of having a helmet in that situation I find it easier to see who is around me, or hear a bit better if someone is screaming and out of control. It may sound stupid, but not having a helmet lets you know where people are without turning your head.

post #203 of 316

I can't hear you, I'm listening to an iPod.

post #204 of 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post



 

Get over yourself.
 


Noting that there are lots of studies about helmet effectiveness, that the T-Tips article cites only a few that have some real holes in the way they were done, and that other studies have shown the opposite -- that helmet wearers in fact ski faster, etc. -- well, sorry if that is offensive. 

 

Of course, you'll frequently see posters here say things to the effect of "I ski faster with my helmet on, but more aware..." Hmmm.

 

Interesting decision at Jackson.  Given the grief they got from OSHA, I can see their doing that from a management perspective.  Next thing they should consider is some sort of drop and angle restraint, so that any employee who skis on anything more than 35 degrees or who takes a drop of more than 24 inches is flagged on a central system and at very least chastised severely.


Edited by CTKook - 9/26/10 at 3:21pm
post #205 of 316

So you have decided not to get over yourself just yet?

post #206 of 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScubaSkiier View Post





The one major downside I see of a helment on the groomed blues and greens is actually the limited ability to hear what's going on around you. It's not really the terrain that is dangerous there, it's the other people around you. The lack of having a helmet in that situation I find it easier to see who is around me, or hear a bit better if someone is screaming and out of control. It may sound stupid, but not having a helmet lets you know where people are without turning your head.

 

Actually, skiing fast on groomed blues is one of the more dangerous things you can do while skiing.  Helmets cause people to ski faster on average.  So helmet usage is problematic in that regard, in addition to affecting hearing. 
 

post #207 of 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

I can't hear you, I'm listening to an iPod.



LOL! Too funny... a bit of a pet peeve of mine. I think I need to find a helmet which doesn't hinder hearing as much. Wearing it all the time would be much safer overall.

post #208 of 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post



 

Actually, skiing fast on groomed blues is one of the more dangerous things you can do while skiing.  Helmets cause people to ski faster on average.  So helmet usage is problematic in that regard, in addition to affecting hearing. 
 

 

Helmets encourage wearers to use their heads as weapons.
 

post #209 of 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post



 

Helmets encourage wearers to use their heads as weapons.
 



RAMMING SPEED!

post #210 of 316

Do you want to have a serious discussion about ski helmets or not? I've got the concussions to prove it. The studies are in my head.

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