Why Wear a Ski or Snowboard Helmet?Experts recommend that skiers and snowboarders wear a ski helmet in order to reduce the risk of a head injury while skiing. Ski helmets help absorb the shock of an impact to the head, and reduce the jarring of the brain against the skull during impacts with the ski slope or other objects, such as trees or other skiers. The right helmet substantially reduces the risk of concussions and other serious head injuries.
Ski Helmet Standards and CertificationsHelmet standards vary according to the type of helmet and its intended use. In the United States, helmets marketed for skiing and snowboarding don't have to meet the requirements of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (UPSC), which has requirements for bicycle helmets. However, ski and snowboard helmets should meet other federal and/or voluntary safety standards.
When choosing a ski or snowboard helmet, look for a helmet that meets ski and snowboard helmet standards from the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), European Committee for Standardization (CEN) or Snell. There should be a label or sticker on the inside of the helmet to designate such a standard.
Here is a list of sites that offer current helmet standards and comparisons:
- Which Helmet for Which Activity (pdf) - U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (UPSC)
- Snell Helmet Safety Standards
Shop for a Ski or Snowboard HelmetThere are a variety of ski helmet styles and prices. The most important consideration is to choose a helmet that is approved for skiing or snowboarding and it fits your well before making major adjustments.
Helmets for skiing and snowboarding are insulated for cold weather. They provide complete head coverage and high-impact protection, and they allow ski goggles to fit snugly within the helmet.
Compare Prices: Skiing / Snowboarding Helmets
How to Fit a Ski or Snowboard HelmetA properly fitting ski helmet offers protection, comfort and style for cold-weather activity. Here are some guidelines for fitting a ski helmets:
- Measure your head. Ski helmets are generally sized based upon your head circumference measured in centimeters. Some are based on a Small, Medium, Large scale, so measure your head and compare to the manufacturer's size chart.
- Try on ski helmets. Before you buy a ski helmet, try them on in a ski shop. Be sure to bring your goggles and any liner you will wear skiing.
- Check the fit. A helmet should fit securely, but not so tight you have pain. Test the fit by holding the helmet in place and trying to turn your head from side to side, then up and down. The helmet should have very little room for movement (less than an inch) and should not obscure your vision.
- Ski Helmets for Children. If you're fitting a child's ski helmet, make sure it fits well now. Don't buy a helmet for a child to grow into; if they can't see well, injuries are more likely to occur.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission. Which Helmet for Which Activity? http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/349.pdf. Accessed August 2, 2009.