Statistics indicate that over 12,000 people suffer traumatic brain damage as a result of skateboarding accidents every year. Scary as it sounds, you can be rest assured that if you use the best skateboard helmet you won’t be part of that ugly statistics.
For instance, you should only use certified helmets that have a proven record of protection against head risks. Such helmets will not only protect you from minor and serious head injuries but will also provide you with the much needed comfort when skateboarding.
But how can you ensure that the helmet you choose actually meets the safety standards? Well, we have a comprehensive guide for you here. We will explain everything that you need to consider before purchasing a skateboarding helmet and then we will outline some of the best skate helmets from which you can choose.
Things to Consider When Looking For the Best Skateboard Helmet
Different helmets have different strengths and weaknesses. For instance, whereas some are very expensive others are cheap and easily affordable. In your search for a suitable and best skateboard helmet, you are likely to find many with varying materials, shapes and designs. All in all, there are very important factors that you should consider when making the purchase. Check them out below.
Helmet construction plays a very big role in ensuring your safety. Things like design and shape can make the difference between who visits the hospital frequently and who skateboards without making any visits to the ER.
Generally, the best round shaped because the shape ensures that a large percentage of its inner lining and padding remain in contact with your head at all times. That puts the helmet in a good position to absorb shock before it reaches you.
With regards to design, you have two main options from which to choose – in-mold design and the traditional design. In the traditional design, the exterior shell and the inner lining are manufactured differently and then glued together in the post-production phase. Such helmets are heavy and usually have few vents.
In in-mold design the interior padding and the hard outer shell are fused while the helmet is still in the manufacturing mold. Such helmets are lighter, stronger, and have a variety of venting options compared to traditional ones. Therefore, you are better off with a helmet that has been constructed with in-mold design.
Speaking of vents, a helmet with many or bigger vents is bound to offer you better cooling than one with few and small ones. Venting is an important factor when you have weather to consider. For example, if you are planning on skating in hot weather then a well vented helmet should be your top choice.
Another important construction feature to consider is whether the helmet’s straps are lockable. The straps are only as effective as their lock system because if you can’t lock them tightly then your helmet will fall off frequently and that will expose your head to risks.
There are two main types of helmets – bucket-shaped and full-face. As the name suggests, bucket-shaped helmets take the shape of a bucket and don’t cover a large portion of your face. Instead, they only cover your forehead and the upper side of your head (starting from one or two inches above your ears). On the other hand, full-face helmets cover your entire head and have a glass window’ through which your eyes can see.
Although bucket-shaped helmets are the most popular in skateboarding, full-face ones are highly recommended for very high speeds and risky tricks because they can protect your entire head and upper back. Regardless of your choice, it is prudent to ensure that the helmet is tested and certified.
The weight of a helmet can either enhance or deter skateboarding. A very heavy helmet can increase your overall weight and make it hard for you to perform effectively. Note that when your helmet is too heavy it can interfere with your stability because the aggregate weight of your head will be too high for the body to support it.
As far as weight is concerned, you will be better served by a lightweight helmet. It will not only ensure that your total weight is as low as possible but will also provide you with comfort that a heavy one can’t.
The size of your helmet is arguably the most important factor because it will determine how well the helmet will fit. One that fits perfectly will cover your head properly and that means more protection and comfort.
You can choose the right size by measuring your head at the store. If the store doesn’t have means of measuring your head then choose a helmet that leaves two finger spaces between itself and your eyebrows (for the sake of glasses whenever the need arises).
Ensure that your helmet of choice has adjustable straps as well as removable liners and padding that will allow you to adjust its fit and comfort.
Exterior Shell Material
The best skate helmet is one that features a hard and durable exterior shell. Typically, the strength and reliability of the exterior shell is dependent on the material used to make it. The best skateboard helmets that are made of carbon fiber, Kevlar or fiberglass composite are the strongest and most durable ones. The downside of such materials is that they make the helmets very expensive.
If you cannot afford a helmet that is made of the above materials you can still settle for one that is made of light weight ABS plastic. It is a great alternative for high-priced helmets that are made of fiber, Kevlar or fiberglass composite but will not offer you the same protection that they can.
Interior Protective Liner
A great helmet is one whose interior features a soft and protective material that can absorb shock and at the same time keep you comfortable. A removable and washable padding system will serve you better because it will be easy to clean the sweat that comes with skating.
There are four main materials that are used to make the interior liner of a skateboarding helmet. They are Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), Surface Activated Expanded Polypropylene (SXP), Super Expanded Polypropylene (SEPP)/ Expanded Polypropylene (EPP), and Hard Hat foam.
EPS is the industry standard material for sports helmets. It is adequately light and although it is not multi-impact, it works just fine. SXP helmets have built-in rebound control and multi-impact abilities that make them ideal for aggressive skateboarding. They are also light enough.
SEPP and EPP do not deform permanently and are thus ideal for handling repetitive shock. In simple terms, a helmet that is made of the materials can still protect you from injury even after knocking hard surfaces a couple of times before.
Hard hat foam is made using multiple beads that move laterally to diffuse impact and reduce force into kinetic energy. Sounds technical? Well, it simply means that the material can absorb shock and prevent its effects from reaching your head. It is the best material in the industry because of its comfort and level of protection. Although the material has been used to manufacture skateboarding helmets, it is not certified ASTM or CE for the purpose.
Our Top 5 Best Helmets for Skateboarding
This Helmet comes in 15 different colors and customized Triple Eight logo rivets. Its sizes range from X-small to X-large – meaning you should have little to no worry about getting one that fits you.
Impact Absorption – the helmet is made using multi-impact technology that is specifically meant for skateboarding. The outer ABS hard shell is fused with a soft rubber interior for maximum shock absorption. The interior has 3 pieces of padding that are not removable.
Ventilation – it has 11 vents for ensuring that your head gets enough cool air. As an added advantage, this model is made using the patented Sweatsaver liner which features a sweat absorbing inner liner. The padding has anti-bacterial treatment that treats your sweat and that means it will neither stink nor blur your vision.
Fit Adjustment – it features adjustable straps and a chin buckle that clicks when it is properly secure.
Ease of use – this is one of the easiest helmets to use. You only need to wear it and you are good to go.
Weight – at only one pound, the helmet is light enough for anybody who is old enough to skateboard.
PROTEC has a range of high-quality helmets and as far as protecting your head goes this one is not a disappointment.
Impact Absorption – the most outstanding thing about this helmet is its shock absorption technology. Its high impact ABS shell is complemented by a Dri-Lex wrapped foam transition that ensures the interior has a soft lining. The interior itself features Nylex Lamination that is complemented by EPS Foam Liner. All the mentioned materials work in unison to give you one of the best protections in the industry.
Ventilation – the 11 open vents allow sufficient air to cool your head.
Fit Adjustment – this classic comes in a variety of sizes that range from X-small to XXL. That means there is a size for everyone. In fact, you can improve how well the helmet fits by adjusting its soft nylon straps.
Ease of use – the helmet does not have any complicated parts or systems and can be used by pretty much anybody who knows how to wear a helmet.
Weight – at 3 pounds, this helmet is one of the heaviest in this list and that might but one of its weaknesses.
This CPSC Bike & ASTM Skate certified helmet features outstanding safety standards that are in line with U.S. CPSC Safety Standards.
Impact Absorption – the matte rubbery surface ensures that shock is absorbed by the exterior surface first even before it gets to the EPS liner. That translates to double shock absorption and thus almost perfect safety.
Ventilation – the 11 vents are sufficiently big to let the helmet breathe. That tends to allow fresh air into your head as you skateboard.
Fit Adjustment – the inside of the helmet is designed to fit a variety of heads. Furthermore, it has two sets of inserts that allow you to adjust for a proper fit.
Ease of use – this helmet is easy to use. In fact, its removable and washable pads will not give you any trouble when its time to do laundry.
Weight – it weighs a mere 1 pound and that means comfort and stability when you are skateboarding.
This helmet features ultra-modern in-mold construction. It is ranked as the lightest snow helmet (but is sufficiently suitable for skateboarding too).
Impact Absorption – able to spread the force of a big impact in ways that other helmets cannot. Testimonials show that protects your head perfectly and in case of a crush you are less likely to even get a headache.
Ventilation – like most modern Smith Optics helmets, the Maze features a sophisticated cooling system that includes 9 vents, airflow climate control, self-adjusting lifestyle fit system, and AirEvac 2 ventilation. Simply put, the helmet can sense external temperature and use the information to regulate the rate and amount of cool air that comes to your head.
Fit Adjustment – you can get a size that suits your head (ranging from small to X-large). You can adjust the lockable straps for a more comfortable fit.
Ease of use – compared to the other four, this helmet is by far the hardest to use. Its technology includes removable goggle lock, an audio system and Snapfit SL2 ear pads. Most people are not used to such accessories and they might not be familiar with them.
Weight – 11.5 ounces is good enough considering that the helmet has more accessories than any other in this list.
This multi-certified helmet is what you need if your skateboarding involves tricks and stunts. It has a lovely and eye-catching classic shape.
Impact Absorption – the ABS exterior is combined with a series of EPS (foam) segments in the interior for a generally flexible helmet. Therefore, when you crash it will spread the shock and absorb any force (thus preventing it from reaching your head).
Ventilation – has 8 vents that are not adjustable but very effective. They can give you a reasonable amount of fresh air.
Fit Adjustment – the helmets fit is self-adjusting’ as it has a flexible crown that provides just enough tension and flexibility to hold onto your head by itself. This can only be a cause of worry if the material loses its elasticity.
Ease of use – out of all the helmets in this list, this is by far the easiest to use. It does not have many accessories and things like straps. All you need to do is wear it and you are good to skateboard.
Weight – it weighs 14.4 oz and should not be heavy for you.
So, which of the five is the ultimate best skate helmet? Well, if you are a techie and you have the money then the Smith Optics Maze Helmet is your best choice. However, if you just want a simple but tested and reliable helmet then you can go with the Triple Eight Certified Helmet. It is multipurpose and flexible enough to absorb a lot of shock. All in all if you stick to the suggested list of the best helmets for skateboarding you won’t go wrong. They are not only reliable in providing you with safety but are fairly affordable (remember life is not worth any amount of money).