Ski Helmets are becoming the norm for most skiers on the slopes. A few years ago the only people that had a ski helmet on were those you might have regarded as the more extreme or off-piste skiers. Now it is quite the norm to wear a helmet whilst skiing or snowboarding.
A helmet will protect your head from most falls or collisions with other skiers or obstacles. Your head and ultimately your brain are the most important parts of your body to consider protecting from an injury. Damage to your head or brain can have serious injury implications, which in some case can be terminal. Not wearing a helmet while skiing can have some serious effects on your health should you be involved in even the slightest accident and hit your head in some way. The sad death of Natasha Richardson earlier this year is a grim reminder that not wearing a helmet really can have terminal consequences. There are many factors surrounding her death including the length of time it took for her to receive treatment but one thing is for sure, and that is had she been wearing a helmet, the damage to her head and ultimately her brain may not have been so severe. Natasha Richardson is not the only high profile person to die from a head related injury on the slopes. Other well know people in recent years include Sonny Bono and Michael Kennedy.
A report from the US shows that over 7,000 head injuries in a season could have been prevented if a ski helmet was worn. The resort of Aspen has made it compulsory for the 09/10 ski season for all the employees working on the snow to wear a helmet and it is widely predicted that before long it will become compulsory in some places to wear a helmet. There is now plenty of evidence to show that wearing a helmet will reduce the injury that the head may sustain in a ski accident. There is no evidence to suggest that wearing a helmet reduces your vision or impairs your hearing in any way or makes you feel off balance.
Fortunately, helmet wearing is on the increase with latest figures showing that some 48% of adults now wear a helmet whilst skiing with a higher uptake in children and the over 65 age group. The days of wearing a helmet and feeling uncool are fortunately now gone. Wearing a helmet is regarded as the sensible option and amongst younger new entrants to the sport, is regarded in many cases as the norm.
Helmets come in all shapes, sizes and colours now and are made by most of the ski hardware manufacturers along with a number of companies that have made helmets for other sports such as cycling, skateboarding and blading. The design of helmets varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but purpose of the design is to protect the head from most sorts of ski accidents. Designs have now become quite stylish, helmets come in most colours, the most popular being black. Some helmets now have a visor integrated as part of it that will come up or down as required and negate the need for goggles.
Expect to pay around £80 – £100 for a good average helmet made by someone like Uvex who have a very extensive range of ski helmets for men, women and children. If you want top of the range, expect to pay up to £400 for a designer helmet made by a designer company. Companies like Poc make a good range of helmets that sit in the middle of the price range and again, offer all shapes, sizes and colours and some now with a fancy chin / face guard.
A good quality helmet will last many years, so think of the purchase of a helmet as an investment in your safe future.