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Old 07-24-2012   #41
Abron Cabron
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Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 594
Originally Posted by KSC View Post
Just a couple of thoughts from semi-authoritative information I've managed to dig up. On shell materials, from what I've read, a good composite is generally better than ABS plastic. By good, I don't mean that it has better durability, I mean that it provides better impact protection.

The most common thought process seems to be that a stiffer outer shell is safer because it will dissipate the blow across a wider area of the inner foam shell (which is where most of your protection comes from). This is especially true if you impact a pointy object. A composite shell cracking is not always a bad thing in my opinion, as the destruction of the material absorbs some of the force. I don't know how much difference this actually makes in practice and is probably open to some debate. I figure a good plastic shell with a well constructed multi-impact foam liner (like EPP) that properly fits your head is likely suitable, but I've personally decided to pay for the composite shell in hopes of gaining a little extra impact protection. If I end up with a concussion, I'd like to know that I did everything possible ahead of time to prevent it, even it made my pocket $100 lighter.

Have you picked up a carbon composite helmet? Those suckers are light and I figure one of the selling points of carbon helmets is the ability to retain their protective attributes while being light weight. It doesn't matter as much for a playboat helmet since they're smaller by nature, but man it's nice having something lighter when you've got a full face.

The "full face" debate has raged many times and I have to say I thought it was pretty much dead (like the ski helmet debate). Go to your local creek and maybe on a lucky day, you'll see one or two beach boys still sporting a non-full face. But hell, even Forrest is rocking the full face helmet now and has a story about getting deforrested on the Source where he would have likely been knocked unconscious without his full face. Ask him about it at Bailey Fest!

That's the bottom line for me. The full face protects a knock out point, and being knocked unconscious in your boat isn't cool. I do like to be able to talk and drink and spit with more ease, but I'll take the compromise, unless I'm running something more mellow where I'm not worried about taking hits.

As for the face mask snag debate, one could envision the possibility, but it's almost impossible to find someone that actually has heard of an underwater face mask snag. I think Kent or someone has some story about getting snagged on a branch while upright, but that's the only one I've been able to drum up since I started boating. However, there are a plethora of stories of bashed noses, jaws, teeth, eyes, cracked orbital lobes, etc.
Originally Posted by jmack View Post
Complaining that you cracked your carbon helmet is like complaining that the air bags in your car went off in a head-on collision. If you hit your head hard enough to break your helmet and your head is OK, then BUY ANOTHER ONE.

As for the full face debate, I thought this was over too. If you never paddle low volume creeks, then I guess you don't need one, but if you are planning on paddling colorado mank (or mank anywhere else), a full face is definitely safer.
Good stuff. KSC learnin' us....

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Old 07-24-2012   #42
g.soutiere's Avatar
leadville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 279
[QUOTE=jmack;285088]Complaining that you cracked your carbon helmet is like complaining that the air bags in your car went off in a head-on collision. If you hit your head hard enough to break your helmet and your head is OK, then BUY ANOTHER ONE.

My point if you hit your head hard enough you see stars, or say banner that was a good hit, etc ... than its time to get a new helmet( No matter the material.). If you drop a motorcycle helmet at the store you have to buy it ( possible compromise ). Your brain is worth more than a few hundred bucks a year That goes for any and every helmet.

When I was trying to learn rails on my skis I went through 3 helmets that season. Realized that I will never learn metal rails and gave up, but kinda sucked at $50-$100 a helmet.

Do as you see fit, just want people informed.
PS. I am against motorcycle helmet laws but you will never catch me on one without a helmet.

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Old 07-24-2012   #43
Bozeman, Montana
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2
I'm getting my Master's in composites right now. Doesn't look to me like you have fiber damage ...just matrix cracking. (Then again, I can only tell so much from looking at a pic) Slap some epoxy on it. That will serve as a protective coating for the CF. Keep an eye on it, but from the looks of it you haven't compromised the structural integrity of the helmet. Now, another hit in that same spot and I may change my tune. SR will tell you to buy another one for liability reasons. Ultimately, your head your decision! Good luck.
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Old 07-24-2012   #44
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Summit County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 435
I have the WRSI plastic helmet and attachable face guard. When I playboat I remove the full face, when I'm river running especially this shallow water season I throw on my full face!!! Partially cause my brace sucks and my combat rolls are da bomb! Ha ha.
So I recommend this two in one helmet! Helmets less than $100 and attachable face is $ win!
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Old 07-24-2012   #45
BryanS.'s Avatar
Prineville, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2010
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Posts: 308
Nice. I like the sound of that.
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Old 07-25-2012   #46
Wookie Kayak's Avatar
Herndon, Virginia
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 20

I Called Shred Ready. I was able to talk to Tom. (Awesome Guy). He confirmed what many of you had stated here.

If the Hit on the helmet was strong enough to damage the laminate, the foam would have been compromised as well. The helmet did its job.

He proceeded to tell me about there Crash Replacement Program. All I need to do now that I contacted them is send them the helmet and for 100.00 my cost, my helmet will be replaced.

All in all, I am pretty stoked. Their customer service lived up to the hype and so did their product.

Consider me another Happy, Shred Ready wearing Dirtbag.
"Its a 3 boat world out there"...
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Old 07-25-2012   #47
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 19
Got to keep this thread alive.....

Full face doesn't fully protect the face. Not even close. We have this very low volume bob sled run through a 10 foot wide slot canyon called the Kadunce on the superior shore. Right before a 15 footer called mandatory piton you are cooking and have the potential to hit the wall as it banks. Hard. I had a direct hit forcing my paddle straight at the chin. It rode up the jaw and directly hit my lower lip. Big fat bloody lip. Once in the eddy I noticed the guy in front of me had a split bloody brow. Same exact spot. Paddle hit for him too.

Both have ff shred ready. I suppose it's likely the helmet protected from much worse carnage.

Another guy here paddles with a full face hockey helmet with cage. Looks odd, but he insists it's much safer. Says they actually are tested to a higher level than our fancy kayak lids.

So I return to my desk job and everyone commented on my new goatee since it was so symmetrical and shaded just right......

I was at dicks last week and noticed cascade makes a really nice (minimally caged) lacrosse helmet. I wonder if it'd work for kayaking? I'd be a buyer for sure.
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Old 07-25-2012   #48
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Copper Mountain, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 288
cascade helmets were used for kayaking long before being converted into lacrosse helmets.

Loved my WRSI non full face until I took another boat to my unprotected temple and fractured my face in 3 places. Next helmet will probably be the WRSI fullface, they just fit my noggin better than anything else.

Its all personal preference as to what you feel adequately protects your eggshell.

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