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Monthly Archives: January 2010

  • Snowboard Helmets - Fit, Design and Maintenance.

    Posted on January 25, 2010 by wiredsport

    A current snowboard helmet can be a great way to protect your melon, but there is a lot that you should know about sizing and maintaining a styley new lid.

    First off, it is important to understand how the current generation of snowboard helmets works. They are not designed to deflect hard impact and then rebound (a common misconception), but rather to absorb hard impact by allowing the crushing (and permanent destruction) of the stiff protective foam that makes up the helmet's primary structure. The idea is that the foam is damaged but the head is not. I mention this first, because understanding that this damage to the helmet is the very thing that will protect your head is integral to all of the points that will follow.

    For the helmet to properly absorb impact, it must fit snugly. Buying a helmet with "growth room" will lead to a poor and ineffective fit. When the helmet is on the head it should move as one with the head. Give it a good hard shake. If it moves freely or slides on the head it is too large. The chin strap should be adjusted so that you can slide a single finger between the strap and your chin.

    Once a helmet has taken a hard hit, it should be replaced. Even a single hard hit will cause a crack or a crush in the internal foam. At this point the helmet will no longer have its designed protective value. For that reason, it is crucial that you inspect your helmet frequently for cracks, dents, or loose internal foam.

    It is suggested that you not put stickers on your helmet. Yeah, we know how cool they are, but they also hide cracks and damage and the folks that monitor safety practices suggest that they not be used on your helmet.

    Helmets are more often damaged in transport than they are on the slopes. We suggest that your helmet not be put in with other hard edged gear and never be put in your board bag, even those with a special helmet compartment. Board bags are notorious for helmet damage.

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