The word on the street is that safety is sexy! Wearing protective gear whilst you’re skating is a personal choice for each and every skater, but here at RollerFit we think that safety gear is a big part of how we can feel more confident on 8 wheels and a way we can keep ourselves rolling well into the future.
A lot of skaters will gear up in the basics of wrist guards and knee pads thinking that they’re all covered. But what about your noggin? As much as we may think we know how to fall safely, sometimes falls can be uncontrollable and a little gnarly. Helmets can make a big difference between walking away from a fall and a trip to the hospital. Whilst you may think that helmets are a no brainer, there are a few things that people don’t know about these melon protectors.
1. How your helmet should fit
To many people, a helmet is a helmet. A hard plastic thing you strap to your head. However, there’s a little bit more to picking the right helmet for you. When choosing the size of your helmet you need to keep in mind that it should fit snug on your head and the chin strap should be secured nice and firm under your chin when clipped up. If you shake your head and the helmet has a bit of wiggle and jiggle in it, then you need to try a smaller size.
As for the shape and style of the helmet, ideally you want to look for a helmet that at the very least covers the top part of your forehead and the base of your head where your skull meets your neck. How far the helmet comes down on the side of your head can be a matter of preference, but your helmet should at least come to meet the top of your ears.
Then there are the bits on the inside of the helmet. If the hard outer shell of the helmet is separate from the hard foam interior then it is definitely time to choose a new hard hat. You should have the hard outer shell and the hard foam completely intact without cracks or dents. You will then have some nice squishy foam or terry cloth inserts that help make your helmet comfortable and fit your head properly. Over time these inserts will compress and as a result, change the fit of your helmet. So if your helmet isn’t feeling quite as snug as it once did, it might be time to replace these inserts. You can also easily change these inserts once they get a bit too smelly or in the case of S1 Helmets you can even change the inserts to change the size of your helmet if your head decides to grow or shrink on you 😀
2. Not all helmets are made equal
When choosing a new friend to keep your noggin safe you should be looking for a helmet that is certified.
In Australia we have certification standards that require helmets to be tested for the level of impact they can withstand and the performance of the product during impact and after impact. The level of testing in Australia is more stringent and thorough than in many other countries. You can read about the testing process and different certification codes over here. Skate helmets are certified under the bike helmet category. Any certified helmet should have the code of certification in the product description, on the product packaging and inside the actual helmet.
3. Bump and replace
The most important thing that not many skaters know is that once you’ve had a good fall and hit your helmet you should replace it with a new one! Wild, we know. You wouldn’t be alone if you thought that a helmet was a one-time skating investment.
Helmets, both the internal and external structure, aren’t made to withstand multiple significant impacts. Each time you hit your helmet hard, the integrity of the helmet and its ability to properly protect your precious head is diminished. Some helmets may have certification for multiple impacts but the number of impacts it can withstand is dependent on so many factors like how hard you hit your helmet, the specific place the helmet made contact with the surface, what kind of surface it made contact with and how much force was involved in the process. The best thing to do is stay on the safe side of safety gear and live by the rule of replacing your helmet after you’ve had a good hit.
Even if you don’t hit your head, regular helmet use, or bobbing around in your skate bag or the boot of your car can all cause deterioration in the performance of your helmet so it is not a bad idea to replace your trusty head shield every few years.
Some of our favourite certified helmets are the S1 Lifer Helmets and the Triple 8 The Certified series. Both brands have a good protective fit, a great size range for all noggins and lots of colours and patterns to choose from.
Now that you’ve completed your head check you can roll around knowing that beautiful and magical head of yours is well protected. You can find a whole range of certified helmets over on the Rollerfit website or in-store at the Rollerfit Studio and Skate Shop on Darkinjung Country. If you have any questions about anything skate-related we are only an email away!