Ski / Snowboard Helmet size & fitting guide


Whilst wearing a helmet is not a requirement in most ski areas (for adults), skiers, snowboarders, are voluntarily choosing to protect their brains (and life) by wearing one of the many helmets available on the ski market.
Nowadays you look out of place on the slopes if you do not wear a "skid lid".
Helmets for skiing and snowboarding are designed for cold weather, keep your head & ears warm and comfortable, also compatible with goggles and are certified to protect you.
The following guide will take you through how to size and choose the right helmet for you.  
HELMET SIZING AND FIT
1. MEASURE YOUR HEAD
Take a soft measuring tape (the type dress makers use – ask your Mum!) and wrap it around your head about 1 inch above your eyebrows and ears.  Don’t have a soft tape measure? Take a piece of string and wrap it around your head and then measure the string.
Helmets sizes are usually in centimeters, so measure your head in centimeters. For example, if you measure the circumference of your head and it is 56 cm, you will wear a 56 cm helmet or Medium (55-58cm) depending on the helmet’s size scale.
2. TRY IT ON
After you receive your helmet put it on. The helmet should feel snug. A properly fitting helmet needs to be snug all the way around your head so that it doesn’t move around. You don’t want any excess space between the helmet and your head. Be careful to pay attention to any pressure or pain points.
3. SHAKE TEST
 With the helmet on your head, shake your head around. If the helmet moves on its own or shakes separately from your head, it’s too big. Use your hand and move the helmet to the left and right, up and down. The skin of your head should move with the helmet without the helmet shifting on its own. You can choose to buckle the helmet at this point if you wish, but it will not impact the fit of the actual helmet, just keep the helmet on your head.
4. DOUBLE CHECK YOUR FIT
 Is the helmet too tight? If your head is feeling squeezed or doesn’t fit all the way onto your head, then your helmet is too tight.  You should be able to wear your helmet comfortably all day.

WHAT ABOUT KIDS HELMETS?
All of the same rules described above for helmets apply to kids ski helmets. However, fitting helmets for kids can be more difficult because they don’t know exactly how to describe to you how snug their helmet feels. Be sure to pay extra attention to how snug the helmet is and if your kids complain about anything that hurts.
PARENTS : DO NOT BUY A HELMET FOR YOUR CHILD TO “GROW INTO” - IF IT’S TOO LARGE IT’S UNSAFE AND DANGEROUS
 
ADJUSTABLE FITTING SYSTEMS
ADJUSTABLE WHEEL
With the turn of a dial, you get even, fine tuning adjustability to make sure your helmet fit as snuggly and comfortably as possible. It’s lightweight, fast, secure, and can be adjusted on-the-fly.
IN FORM FIT SYSTEM
Dialed adjustability at the touch of a wheel or ratchet that tightens and loosens the helmet’s head fit as well as vertical adjustability.
 PAD SYSTEMS
Removable pads add thickness to the interior of your helmet increasing snugness and comfort at the same time.
AIR FIT
Air-fueled comfort in the form of a low-profile headband attached inside the helmet. At the touch of a button, you can add or decrease air to fine-tune fit your helmet and avoid pressure points.
 
HELMET CONSTRUCTION
Most helmets are designed for a single large impact. In the occurrence of an impact where the hard foam interior collapses or cracks to soften impact, the helmet should be replaced as it is no longer safe. Soft Shell (EPP) helmets are the exception, but may not be certified.
IN-MOLD
In-molded construction utilizes a thin, hard plastic outer shell that is molded to an EPS foam liner to absorb shock. This lightweight setup allows for less rebound during impact because it will collapse under hard impact.
HARD SHELL ABS
ABS construction uses a thick, tough ABS plastic shell that is pre-formed and glued onto a pre-molded hard foam interior and liner. This design offers good protection that is still budget-friendly.
SOFT SHELL
These helmets are often designed for multiple, less intense impacts, but there are exceptions. Many soft shell constructions now feature 2 foam densities, with a  softer foam against your head transitioning to a harder foam against the outer shell for hard impact protection.

HELMET VENTING
VENTING
Almost all helmets have some form of open, passive venting built into their design that allows for excess heat and moisture to escape. These systems are generally simple and cannot be personally adjusted. Each company sets up their venting systems in different ways to reflect what they see as necessary.
ADJUSTABLE VENTING
Helmets with adjustable venting systems give you the ability to open or close the holes to fit your needs depending on the weather conditions. A variety of adjustable systems are used by companies including plugs, sliding mechanisms, and one-push buttons. Choosing a specific system is mostly up to your personal preference
.
WHAT ABOUT MY GOGGLES?
It has become increasingly popular to wear goggles underneath helmets. This is mainly for style and should only be done if the helmet fits properly over your goggles. Your goggles should fit comfortably with your goggle strap over the outer helmet. There should be no gap between the top of your goggles and the helmet.

HELMET STYLES
There are three types of helmet styles: Full Shell, Half Shell, and Full Face.
HALF SHELL
Half Shell helmets are the most popular, incorporating soft ear pad protection (in the case of winter helmets) into standard helmet design. This allows for a more comfortable fit and better hearing.
FULL SHELL
Full Shell helmets provide complete coverage and help block out the elements. Racers and sometimes halfpipe riders wear full shell helmets, and kid’s helmets are often full shell, too. If you go fast and hard, attempting tricks and new moves, this helmet provides full ear coverage that can help increase protection to the side of the head and ears.
FULL FACE
Full Face helmets provide complete head & face coverage and help block out the elements. These are the ones where you look like a helicopter or jet fighter pilot. Excellent if you don’t like wearing goggles or sunglasses but a happy to have an integral screen

WHEN SHOULD YOU REPLACE YOUR HELMET?
Experts recommend replacing helmets every 3-5 years of use due to the breakdown of materials (see below). It's important to know that most helmets are not built to last a lifetime.
The majority of alpine action sports helmets use EPS (expanded polystyrene) liners.  EPS has a tendency to compact and/or crack upon impact. This jeopardizes the protectiveness of the helmet for the next impact. Most EPS helmets are rated for "single impact."
 
Another common impact absorbing material used in ski/snowboard helmets is EPP (expanded polypropylene). Helmets constructed with EPP liners are generally rated for "multiple impacts."
 
“I never crash and land on my head, I don't need to worry about helmet replacement”.  Not exactly true
Most experts recommend replacing your helmet after 3-5 years of use. As a result of exposure to sweat, hair products, cleaning chemicals and exposure to the elements there is material breakdown which could reduce the efficiency of the helmet.
 
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