Thursday, December 27, 2012

Longboard Helps: Which Helmet to Get?

A Viking helmet!
I actually don't reccomend
this for longboarding
Like I'm sure you've seen, I am a big advocate for helmets. If you are riding a board you are guaranteed to fall at some point in time. You need to be well protected. Thankfully if you break a wrist or an arm, your bones and muscles regenerate and heal. However, your brain cells don't regenerate like a broken bone do. Damage is often permanent. This may seems silly, but if our brain cells were always dying and regenerating, like skin cells or blood cells, you would be constantly forgetting and relearning things over and over. There is a method in this madness.

Since brain damages are permanent it is vital that we take care of it. In this post I want to talk about what to look for when purchasing a helmet. I am no authority on the subject and just got my information from reading and research. In the end the best thing you can do is read up on the subject and be safe.

As a younger person I didn't like to wear helmets. I thought they didn't look cool and were uncomfortable. It took a frightening crash and more information on helmets to convince me to wear one. I tried a few helmets but I ended up sticking with the basic Triple 8 Brainsaver. This is a nice helmet. It is great for simple skateboarding and longboarding. I love the terry-cloth liner inside and how comfortable it is. The model that I have, however, is not certified in any way. This means that I should not ride it on a bike, or at high speeds. It's perfect for the cruising and longboarding that I like to do. Especially good for a long distance trip.

Some of the best skateboard helmets are "dual-certified" to both the ASTM and CPSC standards. These provide much more protection for dangerous skating and bicycling.

But what does ASTM and CPSC mean? Well these are just tests that are run to see how well the helmets perform. A CSPS test is when they simulate a drop from 6 feet at a 14 mph impact. These kind of helmets are for bike riding. The ASTM test is a from from 3 feet at a 7 mph impact. ASTM helmets are made for skating. Helmets should be used for the proper activities and are not always guaranteed to prevent injury. But why take the chance without one.

In your quest for the right helmet you may hear about soft-foam or hard-foam helmets. This is just referring to the foam inside of the outer shell. This is what compresses as your head hits an object and helps slow down your head and reduce injury. A lot of helmets advertise as multiple impact, but, once again, why take the risk. After a bad crash or impact (and especially if you see damage to the helmet) you should throw it away and get another one. Small impacts you may be okay, but why gamble your brain on the $40 it takes to get a new helmet?

There are lots of different helmets out there and lots of good companies. Like I've mentioned before, my personal favorite, for the past 6 years, has been Triple 8. I like the design, and the comfort a lot. The helmets are quality and classy. Beyond the product itself Triple 8 is just a good company. I really like the forum they have where they take suggestions from people.

All that really matters though, is you get a helmet, and put it on your head when you ride. DO IT!

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