Snowboard Helmet Guide | The Board basement
Why wear a snowboard/ski helmet?
Why not wear a helmet? If you have ever watched the X-Games or the Winter Olympics, it is pretty obvious. Even the most experienced pro's can catch an edge and get thrown out of balance. One common accident is actually being hit from behind by some skier or snowboarder out of control. So it does not matter how good snowboarder or skier you are, any rider at any level can have an unsuspected fall. Wearing a helmet could make all the difference. In most indoor slopes and resorts, it is also a requirement.
Years ago there were a lot of people not wearing a helmet on the slopes. Helmets back then where a lot bigger, heavier and nowhere near as comfortable as today's helmets.
This has changed; today you will see a lot more snowboarders and skiers wearing a helmet. Snowboard & ski helmets have become a vital piece of equipment for the majority of snowboarders and skiers.
Snowboard & ski helmets are now well ventilated, surprisingly light, very comfortable and comes in many different shapes and forms. If you have not tried on a helmet for a couple of years, we highly recommend that you do so now. This is the most important safety quipment that could potentially save your life.
Finding the correct sized helmet:
Before ordering a helmet online, it is important to measure your head and check the brand's specific size chart for the particular helmet that you are purchasing. While all of the different brands measure for sizes in centimetres, the sizes do vary by brand and even model. Please note that head shapes are different and therefore there are different types of helmet shapes. We highly recommend trying on a helmet if you can, to ensure you have got the best fit for you.
It is important to try the helmet on with your goggles to ensure that you are getting a comfortable fit. Your snowboard goggles should fit tightly to your snowboard helmet not leaving any gap between the frame of the helmet and goggles which leaves your skin exposed to the elements. At The Board Basement we call this “the twat gap”. Having a freezing point on your forehead is extremely uncomfortable. And you end up looking a bit silly...
It is important that the goggles are not pushing down too much on your nose and restricting breathing through your nose.
How to measure your helmet size:
You’ll want to use a flexible measuring tape or string if you can't find a flexible measuring tape to measure all the way around.
It is important to keep the measuring tape level and above your ears. You should aim for roughly two fingers width above your eyebrows. This will ensure that you are measuring the largest part of your head.
If you need to use a string to measure, simply wrap the string around your head as described above. Then simply measure the length of the string.
As well as using standard sizes, some brands choose to add levels of customisation to certain models, such as a boa coiler to each size for extra fit and comfort.
You will find the size charts below.
Most helmets available at The Board Basement are half shell helmets. They feature a hard shell upper with soft ear flaps and liners providing a more comfortable, adaptable fit while making it easier to hear. There are a few different types of constructions to choose from.
Zip mold / In-mold
Featured on some K2 and Bern helmets, In-mold or Zip mold snowboard/ski helmets are produced by creating a hard plastic outer shell which is fused with the snowboard helmets impact absorbent foam liner, typically made from EPS foam. In-Mold snowboard helmets are created in a single molding process which means that you can easily spot if the helmet has split on impact.
The in-mold construction also allows the manufacturers to sculpt better ventilation systems.
This process creates a very lightweight and strong helmet that is more comfortable to wear. All In-mold helmets available at The Board Basement comply with the CE EN and ASTM Certification Standards.
Hardshell / EPS helmets
This is the most common helmet construction. Sometimes referred to as ABS construction, hard shell construction uses an injection molded ABS shell which is designed to withstand high-impacts. This hard shell is then bonded to an EPS Foam Liner. The EPS hard foam is designed to absorb and break apart on impact. It is therefore important that you inspect your helmet after an impact.
As soon as EPS foam has got any cracks, you must replace the helmet. The hard shell of this style of snowboard helmet is typically more durable than an In-molded snowboard helmet shell and safer than a hard hat. All hardshell / EPS helmets available at The Board Basement comply with the CE EN and ASTM certification standards.
Bern technically uses hard shell construction to create their hard hats. Instead of using traditional EPS hard foam inside the helmet, hard hats use Bern's soft Brock foam inside their thicker ABS shell. Brock foam is open cell foam designed for low multi-impact protection. This means that the hard hat is softer and more breathable and therefore more comfortable. However, the amount of impact enegry that the brock foam can absorbe is not at the same level as the standard EPS foem that will break apart on impact.
Protective headwear such as hard hats are designed for multi-impact protection and does not comply with the way the CE EN and ASTM certification standards are written, and therefore cannot be classified as a helmet. The Bern hard hats are great for the person
who normally would not wear a helmet and looking for comfortable and low profile protection.
There are two major certification systems for snowboard helmets; CE EN and ASTM. Most snowboard/ski helmets sold at The Board Basement meets the certifications, apart from Bern hard hats as they do not meet the standards.
ASTM is one of many American organizations dedicated to testing products to ensure that, in this case, the helmet can provide appropriate protection in simulated crashes. ASTM F2040 is the section regarding recreational snow sports helmets. Snowboard helmets which are awarded this certification status are intended to protect snowboarders and skiers against a hard single impact only. After one serious impact or if you discover cracks in the foam or outer shell of the snowboard/ski helmet you should dispose and replace the helmet.
CE EN is a European based organization that helps to protect consumers by ensuring that products meet certain standards in order to be sold in the European market place. CN EN certifications are often seen on snowboard helmets, which are produced in Europe. Much like the American rating system snowboard helmets meeting CN EN certifications are designed to protect against a hard single impact only. After one serious impact or if you discover cracks in the foam or outer shell of the snowboard/ski helmet you should dispose and replace the helmet.
Special Helmet Features
Ventilation is great if you are using the helmet in warmer conditions. The ventilation will create a cooling air flow inside the helmet so you don't get too hot. If you know that you normally get really warm or you are going to ride during spring, you should definitely be considering a helmet with vents. There are fixed and adjustable vents. Please use the filters on our website to find a helmet featuring vents. As the ventilation types vary, please read product descriptions for details.
If you normally feel cold, maybe a helmet without ventilation is the better option for you, as they will hold the warmth better.
If you prefer to listen to your favourite music whilst cruising down the slopes, then you should look at a helmet featuring audio speakers. Many of the helmets available at The Board Basement come with speakers integrated with the liner. Audio liners are also sold separately if you would like to update your non-audio helmet. Please make sure you order compatible audio liners for your helmet. However, it is more economical to purchase a helmet already
featuring audio system as buying audio liners separately can be much more expensive.
Peaks / Visors
They are not just there for styling. The peaks are there to prevent cold wind blowing on your forehead by creating a windshield. A peak/visor are also good at stopping rain and snow from landing on your face or goggles and protecting you and your goggles if you are riding amongst trees.
All season use
Most snowboard helmets available at The Board Basement have removable winter liners to accommodate washing/cleaning them and replacing them with audio liners.
You can replace the winter liners with a summer liner for use as a skate or bike helmet.
Please be aware that just because the winter liners are removable doesn't make it suitable for all year round use. Check the product description for the specific snowboard/ski helmet to ensure that it is truly designed for all seasons.