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View Poll Results: Do you wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding?
Yes 173 66.28%
No 77 29.50%
Sometimes 11 4.21%
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  #61  
Old 20.03.2009, 11:00
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Re: Do you wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding?

on a similar note, can a bike helmet with a base cap be good enough for skiing?
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  #62  
Old 20.03.2009, 11:03
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Re: Do you wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding?

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on a similar note, can a bike helmet with a base cap be good enough for skiing?
I wouldn't risk it. The kinetics from all sports are different and a good helmet will be designed around a particular purpose. Nowadays bike helmets aren't even standard. There are different designs for road and MTB.
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  #63  
Old 20.03.2009, 11:08
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Re: Do you wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding?

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on a similar note, can a bike helmet with a base cap be good enough for skiing?
We cannot judge this remotely. Can you upload a foto for us to see how well protected you are with this combination?
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  #64  
Old 20.03.2009, 11:11
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Re: Do you wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding?

well a base cap is just a warm round cap bikers wear under their helmets during cold weather. It offers no protection, just warmth.
The protection should come from my normal road bike helmet.

I have skied a few times with this combination. Primarily a helmet only serves to absorb the shock, and most helmet should do a okay enough job.
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  #65  
Old 20.03.2009, 11:14
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Re: Do you wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding?

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One big problem when attempting to measure the amount of safety imparted by wearing a helmet is that statistical analyses can only be done on real data sets. In the case of helmet wearing, the data used by statisticians are reported numbers of injuries or deaths that occurred due to head trauma. They then look at this data and attempt to see if there is a difference between helmet wearers and non-helmet wearers.

What is more significant is the number of injuries/deaths that didn't take place because of people wearing helmets. However, this number can't be accurately assessed for two reasons:

1. Much of the data in medical studies/media reports comes from high-impact collisions/accidents where the relative effectiveness of a helmet is reduced. Running into a tree at 100 km/h is going to be catastrophic regardless of whether or not you wear a helmet.

2. More significantly, injuries prevented by helmets aren't ever recorded, and therefore can't be statistically analysed. If you're not injured and don't go the hospital, your helmet has done its job, but the statisticians don't know this.

To give examples from cycling, every serious cyclist I know has at least one story that involves him or her having their noggin spared by their helmet. I had a mountain biking accident as a teenager that resulted in third-degree road rash down one side and a completely totalled helmet, but my head (which was the initial point of impact with the ground) was fine. I once watched my husband do a slow-motion endo where he landed square on his head and cracked his helmet in two on a rock. Without a helmet, he would have surely split his head open and required stitches, and perhaps have suffered worse injuries than that, but (apart from needing a new helmet) he was fine.

Same goes for snowsports. Snowboarding I've whalloped my head on the snow a few times with no ill effects (thanks to my helmet), and I've seen many friends do the same. I know someone with permanent grooves in their helmet caused by a head-boundary pole collision, but both the pole (and boarder) were fine afterwards.

None of the above 'injuries prevented by helmets' have ever been officially recorded. This is why I take media reports and medical studies with a grain of salt. I do wear a helmet partly in the hopes of reducing catastrophic brain trauma in the event of a severe accident, but it is most useful at preventing moderate or minor injuries.

Anywho.

Heather
Hmm, well what about injuries sustained in spite of helmets being worn? Are they reported on?
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  #66  
Old 20.03.2009, 11:15
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Re: Do you wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding?

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Hmm, well what about injuries sustained in spite of helmets being worn? Are they reported on?
Yes.

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  #67  
Old 20.03.2009, 11:18
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Re: Do you wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding?

Just as an aside, which I don't think has been mentioned yet, if someone does get a whack on the head and was wearing a helmet don't ever attempt to take off their helmet until the emergency services have arrived and assessed them.

Apparently a lot of injuries are made worse by removal of a helmet which was possibly holding the skull together.
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Old 20.03.2009, 11:18
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Re: Do you wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding?

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This is a problem with all injury studies This is part of what I actually do for a living (but different sport!).
So my rock climbing instructor years ago told me that there were two different kinds of helmets, those that absorb the full impact of collision by shattering on impact and those that don't. Which one would you recommend? And would a rock climbing helmet serve on the slopes?
Not that I would consider trying the slopes again after Ms Richardson's death
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  #69  
Old 20.03.2009, 11:23
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Re: Do you wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding?

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those that absorb the full impact of collision by shattering on impact...
All ski helmets are made like this.

I personally use a "Bern" (no, not the city) "hard hat" that is made for multiple smaller impacts and will not break into pieces. But I personally do not ski that fast and do not go off piste trough forests...
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  #70  
Old 20.03.2009, 11:24
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Re: Do you wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding?

this thread is filled with all sorts of interesting and unfortunately overly judgemental bits ...

as was said above -(paraphrased) whether or not i wear a helmet is of no concern to you ... how can you argue with something someone chooses to do when it cannot possibly affect you?

something that might be much more useful and pratical to speak about would be the fact that there are far too many people skiing and snowboarding on runs above their level, without proper training, not knowing the 'rules of courtesy' for the mountain and just not taking it seriously.

i was a ski racer in the US when i was young and my parents were coaches for years as well. both of my brothers raced too. none of us wear a helmet. it is a personal choice. just because we have training and are 'good' skiers, does not by any means make us immune from accidents.

as was pointed out above, many accidents happen with another skier/snowboarder and not just because you were going to fast and/or caught an edge.

education and patroling on the slopes is by far a more useful tool than requiring helmets. i have no problem with helmets - i don't think they make you look like more of an amateur - it's just that telling me that i need to wear one is wrong. when i have kids and they begin to ski and if we decide to have them wear helmets, then i'll start wearing one so as not be a hypocrite - but it will be my choice.

i have had a bad concussion from skiing with no helmet. i got myself checked out to make sure there was no bleeding on the brain or what have you. i have the ski patrol to thank for being thorough and knowledgable.

i also lost a close friend 2 years ago in a ski accident who was wearing a helmet. he was not going fast, he merely looked back over his shoulder to wave to a friend and then hit a tree. the helmet did not help. he was an instructor and racer. it was his time and he died doing what he loved.

while these 'discussion' threads can be interesting to read and often have interesting info contained within, the amount of judgement and overly opinionated people is really unfortunate. cannot people discuss and disagree without making potshots and personal jabs at one another?
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  #71  
Old 20.03.2009, 11:30
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Re: Do you wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding?

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Just as an aside, which I don't think has been mentioned yet, if someone does get a whack on the head and was wearing a helmet don't ever attempt to take off their helmet until the emergency services have arrived and assessed them.

Apparently a lot of injuries are made worse by removal of a helmet which was possibly holding the skull together.
This is true, but not just because of the helmet holding the skull together. There is always a risk of a spinal injury with head trauma. Any movement to the head and neck could cause irreversible damage.

I came accross two accidents while snowboarding within 1 week of each other in winter 2007. Both of them banged their head. The first one was an old guy who listened to reason and stayed still until the ski patrol came. He was taken off to hospital. No problems.

The second was a little more troubling. I was going down a hill behind some teenagers on ski's. One of them fell and landed square on his head. I witnessed it happen and stopped immediately. The kid was on the ground having an epileptic type episode when I got to him. This lasted about 30 seconds, when it stopped he stopped breathing. I was nervous of a spinal injury so I very carefully opened his airway and he started to breath again. He regained consciousness within about a minute. I sent my girlfriend off to get help, while his "friends" made jokes about the situation. By the time the ski patrol got there he was conscious and trying to sit up, he was totally disorientated did not know where he was, what day it was or anything. The friends were like, come on lets go, he's ok he'll come with us. I wouldn't let him get up. When the ski patrol came he refused to get on the stretcher.

The advice from those around me was to get him to sit up, move him let him ski down to the bottom of the mountain etc...

Moral of the story... a lot of people don't have a clue what to do in an emergency.

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So my rock climbing instructor years ago told me that there were two different kinds of helmets, those that absorb the full impact of collision by shattering on impact and those that don't. Which one would you recommend? And would a rock climbing helmet serve on the slopes?
Not that I would consider trying the slopes again after Ms Richardson's death
I don't know much about rock climbing helmets, but I imagine its an old/new thing. Newer helmets tend to focus more on absorbing and dissipating the trauma. Older ones tended to just try to spread the impact over the surface area of the helmet. I would always go for the newer style. But like I said, I am not familiar with the specifics of rock climbing ones.
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  #72  
Old 20.03.2009, 11:34
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Re: Do you wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding?

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So my rock climbing instructor years ago told me that there were two different kinds of helmets, those that absorb the full impact of collision by shattering on impact and those that don't. Which one would you recommend? And would a rock climbing helmet serve on the slopes?
Not that I would consider trying the slopes again after Ms Richardson's death
There are two types of rock climbing helmet - the alpine type which really only protects against rock fall etc and does no absorb shock and the more modern type which looks a bit like a bike helmet.

The first sort would be useless - it only really protects you from things falling from above.

The second type would be better but again, like bike helmets, are not really up to the job.
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  #73  
Old 20.03.2009, 14:59
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Re: Do you wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding?

Certainly from my perspective, as someone who is almost in double figures for the number of winters I've spent in ski resorts, there is no judgement from others who live in the mountains (temporarily or permanently) regarding someone else's decision to wear or not wear a helmet. It's a growing trend and certainly not seen as good or bad fashion amongst my friends in various resorts. In fact, it's become a bit of a "I need this because I do crazy things" piece of equipment, and certainly I've never ever classed anyone with a helmet as a beginner based on that bit of safety equipment. I'm one of the few left without a helmet. I've been putting off getting one for two reasons:

1. Dreadlocks; I had them, and I've recently chopped them off, meaning if I had bought a helmet, I knew I'd have to buy another one due not needing extra room for lots of hair

2. A snowboarding accident of a friend who was told by doctors after, that, had he been wearing a helmet, he probably would have died or damaged his spine instead of his brain (bits of his memory, which recovered after a few months).

After reading stuff on this thread, I'm more convinced that his freak accident is a lower risk than not having a helmet, and the search for a small enough helmet continues (they never seem to be snug).

Only a handful of my friends don't wear them now. I'm in the minority with them at the moment.
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  #74  
Old 20.03.2009, 15:02
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Re: Do you wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding?

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So my rock climbing instructor years ago told me that there were two different kinds of helmets, those that absorb the full impact of collision by shattering on impact and those that don't. Which one would you recommend? And would a rock climbing helmet serve on the slopes?
Not that I would consider trying the slopes again after Ms Richardson's death

This is the totally wrong reaction and a total mis-reading of the risk involved, but a common reaction unfortunately. This was a fluke accident, of the thousands upon thousands of beginners on the slopes, how often does a fatal injury happen. You are more likely to die from a number of daily things that you do.

The chances of a non life threatening injury are higher (blown knee) than other things.
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  #75  
Old 20.03.2009, 15:18
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Re: Do you wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding?

oh, I don't pretend it's rational at all, Dakman. It's just that winter sports and I never really clicked, as I have explained in great detail on this forum, and this unfortunate accident does nothing to warm me up to the idea that skiing and snowboarding are safe. The woman was on a bunny slope for crying out loud!

ETA:Actually, I don't know the data on skiing safety/prevalence of fatalities versus other hmm, activities (driving? hiking? surfing?) do you? Also a blown knee would probably seriously blow.

Last edited by leylak; 20.03.2009 at 15:20. Reason: Wait! But is it?
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  #76  
Old 20.03.2009, 15:48
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Re: Do you wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding?

One of the few evidence based medicine sites about skiing injuries here: http://www.ski-injury.com/ The take home message from this site is that cross country skiing is safest of the common snow sports. This page has skiing vs cycling injury rates: http://www.nsaa.org/nsaa/press/facts...nbd-safety.asp

The best set of safety standards for helmets for all activities is made by the Snell Foundation (http://www.smf.org/). Unfortuately, not many of the well known manufacturers adhere to them for ski helmets (perhaps because they are so strict and they have to pay to be certified unlike the less strict and self certified CE standards), but they do have lists of approved helmets.

Last edited by mjjnl; 20.03.2009 at 16:02.
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  #77  
Old 20.03.2009, 16:46
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Re: Do you wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding?

Thanks very intereresting. Interesting that the number of deaths has not gone down with the helmet useage increasing, my personal view without statisitics is that the easier to use ski's that are available now, allow the less skilled (Beginners) to ski above their level and thus has balanced out the expected decrease in serious injury from helmets.

I was having an interesting discussion with the mechanic at a local bike shop here in NYC yesterday about the Natasha incident (not sure what it is about bikers and avid skiiers being the same people).

He was saying that you actually fall harder on a flatter slope than a steeper slope . Which made some sense to me but being non-scientific myself just questioning whether this makes sense. This was not about beginners not knowing how to fall but the pure mechanics that at the same speed your fall has higher impact on a beginner slope than an advanced slope
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Old 20.03.2009, 16:57
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Re: Do you wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding?

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He was saying that you actually fall harder on a flatter slope than a steeper slope . Which made some sense to me but being non-scientific myself just questioning whether this makes sense. This was not about beginners not knowing how to fall but the pure mechanics that at the same speed your fall has higher impact on a beginner slope than an advanced slope
This makes total sense. Its the reason why ski-jumpers and freestyle skiers/snowboarders always have steep landing for the jumps.

Essentially if you fall on a flat surface the vector which the impact force acts through is straight into the ground. If the ground is at an angle the force is effectively reduced due to the angle. Also when the ground is at an abgle the likelihood is that you will slide and dissipate some of the energy of the fall rather then hitting straight into the slope.

I'm sure anyone who ski's regularly has fallen on both steep and flat slopes. Think about which hurt the most. Not which scared you the most... but which actually led to most pain.
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  #79  
Old 20.03.2009, 17:02
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Re: Do you wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding?

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He was saying that you actually fall harder on a flatter slope than a steeper slope . Which made some sense to me but being non-scientific myself just questioning whether this makes sense. This was not about beginners not knowing how to fall but the pure mechanics that at the same speed your fall has higher impact on a beginner slope than an advanced slope
My husband also says this. Falling on a steep slope results in a rolling tumble and, provided you don't hit anything during the tumble (people, trees, pylons, flying skis) you eventually come to a halt in an undignified heap, covered in snow but relatively unharmed.

Tripping over your own skis on the flat can result in one big bump which rattles and jars you right down to your teeth.

Having been a seasoned tumbler and also a ski-lift queue bum planter, I can vouch for both!
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Old 20.03.2009, 17:33
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Re: Do you wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding?

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This makes total sense. Its the reason why ski-jumpers and freestyle skiers/snowboarders always have steep landing for the jumps.

Essentially if you fall on a flat surface the vector which the impact force acts through is straight into the ground. If the ground is at an angle the force is effectively reduced due to the angle. Also when the ground is at an abgle the likelihood is that you will slide and dissipate some of the energy of the fall rather then hitting straight into the slope.

I'm sure anyone who ski's regularly has fallen on both steep and flat slopes. Think about which hurt the most. Not which scared you the most... but which actually led to most pain.
There's also the gradual de-acceleration of the body on the slope (you don't tend to gradually stop) rather than the sudden stop you get on the flat.

The parachute landing fall uses the same principle to slow the de-acceleration of the body on impact to near on a second rather than instantaneously.
And the Judo roll.....etc

All this gradual slowing down is much better for the body - but essential for the brain's survival.

As an aside, this does remind me of the air hostess who fell out of a plane and survived the fall by landing on a very steep snow slope.
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