How to Buy a Snowboard Helmet
Although helmets are not generally required for snowboarding, they are becoming more and more common on ski slopes. Helmets offer important protection from potential serious head injury, and every rider should consider purchasing one. Before you make the purchase, be sure that the helmet is right for you--getting the correct fit is extremely important, as a helmet will not protect properly if it doesn't fit.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Check the certification. Snowboard and ski helmets should meet one or more of the following safety certifications: CEN 1077, ASTM F2040 or Snell RS-98.
Get your size. To get your helmet size, measure around your head above your ears and eyebrows using a measuring tape in centimeters. This measurement is your helmet size.
Try the helmet on. Always try a helmet on to ensure that it fits properly. Though the numerical size is a good guide, helmets may fit differently, depending on head shape, so the only way to guarantee it fits is to try it on. If you intend to wear a hat underneath the helmet, wear that when trying the helmet on. Adjust the chin strap by pulling the plastic clip into a position so that it's firm around your chin and secure the helmet to your head.
Check fit closely. The helmet should sit just above your neck without touching it. The top of the helmet should be just over your eyebrows. There should not be any space between your head and the inner padding. The fit should be close without squeezing your head or causing discomfort.
Fit your helmet with your goggles to make sure they fit together comfortably. The goggles should fit underneath the helmet without overlapping. They should sit normally on your face without being pushed down or digging into your face.
Shake your head. Move your head from side to side and back and forth. The helmet should remain secure and move with your head without wobbling around.
Consider any features that you want. Some helmets have convenient features such as adjustable venting and built-in headphones. Determine any features, such as colors and designs, that you want and how much you're willing to pay.
Tips & Warnings
If you decide to purchase your helmet online, make sure that you can return it if it doesn't fit.
If you crash onto your helmet, contact the manufacturer to see if the helmet needs to be replaced. Many helmets are designed to be used in one crash and the protection that such helmets offer is very limited after the crash.
Article Written By Joe Fletcher
Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.
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