I have a paddling helmet that was given to me, but it doesn't fit to well, just wondering what is the difference between rock climbing, sking, horseback riding , biking and a paddling helmet? I of course will look at paddling helmets when shopping, but just wondered what the differnce may be? They are all meant to protect from a bad blow, so what gives? Is it just marketing?
Full Size Sail Rig
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Get a good paddling one|
Posted by: Celia on Oct-23-12 12:36 PM (EST)
Agree and ...|
Posted by: Dr_Disco on Oct-23-12 1:04 PM (EST)
make sure it passes the "mamma mia" test: whack the base of your hand to the front of the helmet directed toward you and up. If the helmet moves do not buy it (assuming it otherwise fits). Striking a rock with your forehead can be deadly.
Another thing about bike hemets|
Posted by: guideboatguy on Oct-23-12 1:12 PM (EST)
catastrophic versus routine|
Posted by: bignate on Oct-23-12 1:30 PM (EST)
Guideboatguy is right on. I think of a bicycle helmet like a car airbag -- you hope never to need it, and once you use it, it's done. Paddling helmets, on the other hand, are designed to stand up to multiple impacts, and particularly if you're paddling whitewater, chances are you're going to need it more than once. My helmet has certainly saved my noggin on several occasions.
Okay...the bike helmet was a bad example|
Posted by: thirstyturtle on Oct-23-12 1:46 PM (EST)
for sure, but skiing? Rock climbing, just wondering. I get the importance of covering the ocipital and ears, forhead. Just curious, that's all.
"They are all made to protect |
Posted by: ezwater on Oct-23-12 1:19 PM (EST)
from a bad blow..." Not exactly. Even motorcycle helmets don't protect from a direct blow over about 15 mph.
Coastal Paddling |
Posted by: seadart on Oct-23-12 2:46 PM (EST)
one more difference|
Posted by: nickjc on Oct-23-12 2:50 PM (EST)
The lining of my Gath kayak helmet is non-absorbing. The lining in many dry sports helmets is made to absorb sweat.
Thin shell Styrofoam|
Posted by: rectorsquid on Oct-23-12 3:11 PM (EST)
If a thin shell Styrofoam lined helmet has an impact and the foam is compressed, that foam is no good from that point on. This applies to a bike helmet and any other helmet of that design. I have a rock climbing helmet made for head impact (vs. rock fall impact) and it is a use-once helmet. If the foam is compressed, it will never again absorb shock in that area.
some good pointers on the lining...|
Posted by: thirstyturtle on Oct-23-12 5:31 PM (EST)
wouldn't have thought about the material absorbing water or not. I did learn something. :)
Sacrificial helmet or not|
Posted by: pikabike on Oct-23-12 5:38 PM (EST)
Bike helmets are a sacrificial layer of protection. One hit and the helmet has done its job already.
Rock helmets are for things that fall on|
Posted by: ezwater on Oct-23-12 5:41 PM (EST)
you from above. If your safety rope fails, you may easily hit the ground so hard that even a full-face motorcycle helmet couldn't save you. And you wouldn't want to wear one of those on a long climb, believe me.
still wishing there was a like button !|
Posted by: thirstyturtle on Oct-23-12 7:01 PM (EST)
We Can Talk|
Posted by: Kudzu on Oct-23-12 7:16 PM (EST)
I bought a whitewater helmet that was marked way down. It looked really cool and I needed it for some areas that I sometimes paddled in the sea kayak. Well I bought it online so I didn't get to try it on. When I got it it felt awful. The fix was taking out some of the inner, velcroed on, padding on the sides. Ahh much better.
Glad you could fix it. |
Posted by: ezwater on Oct-24-12 12:05 AM (EST)
I had to remove all the added sizing liners in my SR t-dub, and then it just fit. First serious, expensive (but discounted) helmet I'd tried that could sit on my head and not cause pressure pain.
Not all bike helmets.|
Posted by: kybishop on Oct-23-12 9:29 PM (EST)
There are more than just the typical foam bike helmet with the thin plastic shell. There are bike helmets that are made to take multiple hits. Nutcase is one, they make all sorts of helmets for water, bike etc. Off road mountain bike helmets are made to take more than one hit and done.
Not just a bad blow|
Posted by: Jaybabina on Oct-24-12 8:14 AM (EST)
Other than the breather holes and water resistance, they all do the same thing. One point I would like to make is that a tiny blow to the head can be pretty devastating. I was rock gardening with a friend and a wave knocked him over (we both don't wear helmets) and he rolled up bleeding. A tiny contact with a rock opened him up enough to cause bleeding. A helmet would have prevented that.
Posted by: glendorado on Oct-24-12 4:02 PM (EST)
I purchased a shred ready kayak helmet. Mine came with adjustable inserts for head size, & has the HOG (hand of god) strap on the nape of the neck which prevents your helmet from slipping up exposing your forehead. My advice is to get a "kayak" helmet which does not absorb water, and will stay in place. Mine was about $80. Well worth the $$.
WRSI makes a $80 helmet also|
Posted by: pikabike on Oct-25-12 8:50 PM (EST)
I bought one. It comes with lots of adjustable features, has a very (very) short visor, and cost $80 full price. I've had my head smack river rocks while upside down while wearing it. It has some minor scuffs and scratches from that. It does, however, still become infested with sand from having one's head scraped through shallow bottom in surf. ;-) Still was washing sand out of my hair and scalp two days later.
what is the difference between...|
Posted by: abc on Oct-25-12 11:13 AM (EST)
...rock climbing, sking, horseback riding , biking and a paddling helmet?
Posted by: jimyaker on Oct-25-12 4:53 PM (EST)
Is that kayaking helmets are really made for water use -- they have closed cell foams and glues that should hold up better than other designns.
Posted by: abc on Oct-25-12 6:21 PM (EST)
"Is that kayaking helmets are really made for water use -- they have closed cell foams and glues that should hold up better than other designns. "
Posted by: Dr_Disco on Oct-25-12 6:49 PM (EST)
You are mixing things up. A $30 helmet is not going to do the job no matter what it is. This is not about saving money. It is about choosing a helmet that is designed for the protection that is needed and doesn't add other problems (like unnecessary weight). That is a paddling helmet that fits, doesn't move around at all, and is designed to take repeated hits of the kinds that occur in paddling. You cannot get that for $30.
but still higher cost isn't always best|
Posted by: jcbikeski on Oct-25-12 6:59 PM (EST)
I agree $30 is likely too low but simply looking for more expensive even in a fully qualified water sport helmet isn't always best. Some of the higher cost is often due to non-safety aspects. Also you need to consider your risks. If you paddle along some rocks but never in fast current and never in more than two foot surf then any super impact absorbing ability is likely not needed. Sure something extra bad CAN happen but using that logic we'd all carry shark repellents, huge booms with reflectors for boat traffic and who knows what else. So understand the benefits of each helmet and compare it to your expected situations.
Consistent with what I said. n.m.|
Posted by: Dr_Disco on Oct-25-12 7:39 PM (EST)
The question was not the cost|
Posted by: abc on Oct-25-12 9:33 PM (EST)
of the helmet. The OP asked the question whether non-paddling-specific helmets could be used for paddling. While the OP's motivation was to save money by re-using the same helmet for different sport, there's nothing in his post that he's looking for cheap helmet.
Name one helmet|
Posted by: Dr_Disco on Oct-25-12 9:45 PM (EST)
that costs $30 that meets the criteria I specified.
I'll name one |
Posted by: abc on Oct-25-12 10:33 PM (EST)
Posted by: desertdave on Oct-26-12 3:19 PM (EST)
For better or for worse, I am aware of only a single certification for WW helmets. I think it is CE 1385, but I'm not where my helmets are, to verify that number.
See my post below about Playak reviews|
Posted by: Dr_Disco on Oct-26-12 4:42 PM (EST)
They explain that the standard for WW helmets in the US is very weak and provides no guidance to safety or quality.
Posted by: desertdave on Oct-26-12 6:28 PM (EST)
Once you get a CE 1385 certification, the rest of the argument (this is better, that is weak) seems to become subjective. And one of those helmets in the article is in the closet at my house, bought for about $45.
Posted by: jimyaker on Oct-26-12 1:57 PM (EST)
Many bike helmets are designed well, but the standards aren't the same (see NRS link below), so some bike helmets will use materials that will not hold up well when exposed to water continuously. That doesn't mean a mfg can't make it better, just that the standard is different.
Did you read the OP's post?|
Posted by: abc on Oct-26-12 2:10 PM (EST)
You're hung up on bike helmet. He's asking ANY helmet. Have you ever own a ski helmet? A horse riding helmet? If not, your answer will at best be biased. Worst, totally based on ignorant!
Posted by: jimyaker on Oct-26-12 3:01 PM (EST)
I have seen paddlers use bike helmets, motercycle helmets, and climbing helmets. I have not seen horse-riding helmetes or ski helmetes (I'm in the southeast).
Posted by: abc on Oct-26-12 5:15 PM (EST)
Posted by: H2OAddict on Oct-26-12 11:04 AM (EST)
And it's one we do get asked here at NRS. Our advice is in this article from our e-News newsletter:
Posted by: Dr_Disco on Oct-26-12 12:23 PM (EST)
The Playak website has reviews of most of the WW helmets. The following reviews two particular helmets but more importantly it gives information about how helmets are rated and what the tradeoffs are.
Get a cute one!|
Posted by: davejjj on Oct-27-12 12:10 AM (EST)
Most paddling helmets seem to be designed to look cute because that is what sells. You want a helmet with uniform coverage of the entire head, including ears and forehead. You want an ultra reliable chin strap. You want a good fit so that it is impossible to pull it up and have your forehead become exposed.
Posted by: Kudzu on Oct-27-12 4:43 AM (EST)
Eeets betta to loook goood than to feel goood.