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Old 09-09-2004   #1
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 29
Helmet advice

looking for a new helmet, was wondering if any of you have comments on the issue. up untill now I always went for the cheepest one I could find, and after a few concussions I am beginning to realize this approach is not the best. I have seen alot of sweet helmets on the river other than the fact that they look cool I really don't know much about them, same goes for greatfull heads.
Thanks for the advice, Nate

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Old 09-09-2004   #2
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 97
you don't need no stinking helmet to boat

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Old 09-09-2004   #3
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 2
Grateful heads makes a great helmet with a hard kevlar outer shell and minicell foam on the inside. They sell their blemished helmets for half price ($65) which is a terrific deal especially since no real kayaker will care if their helmet is already scratched a little! They sell the blemished ones on ebay or you can directly call them and they are super nice and helpful and will even search and find any color you want. (

I've had mine for one season and it has taken a beating yet I've been fine!
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Old 09-09-2004   #4
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 68

Cheap is not the way to go with head protection. Plastic is okay but it does not disperse blows like a composite helmet will. I have Grateful Heads, old Orosi's and Shred Ready's. They all make very good helmets but technologically Sweets has them blown away. I would own one if I wouldn't be killed by the lady in my life for buying another helmet. Any of them will protect your noodle but I would say second for construction is Grateful Heads. Try some on. They're very differently shaped from brand to brand and you can only do so much with foam. Good Luck...
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Old 09-09-2004   #5
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 831
I like the Cascade helmets because they go low on your forehead, low in the back, and fully cover your ears. There isn't much of your head left sticking out. I put a facebar on mine and I am glad I did it. The full coverage has saved me twice in the past few years: once the face and once the side of the head.

I wouldn't want to use my Cascade for a park-and-play helmet because it is so full-coverage that it is almost stifling, but I won't paddle hard stuff without it. It is a confidence booster for me. I cringe when I see people paddle class V with a helmet that looks like a skull cap. I couldn't do that.

They are plastic, and I don't know how much of an advantage kevlar has over them, if any (i'd be happy to hear anyone's opinion on that). I do know that the liner in these helmets is key. It is very thick. I think that is how you get such good shock protection with a Cascade. I have taken some serious blows to the head in mine and I am happy with it. They are ugly but so what:
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Old 09-10-2004   #6
ZLSeth's Avatar
Dillon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 132
head trip

I busted a "Rock Hedz" carbon fiber helmet this year and I will never wear a chep plastic one again. If it wasn't for the strong helmet I would have been knocked unconcious for sure (or worse).

Rock Hedz is still around, but the company who used to manufacture their helmets, now has their own line called "Head Trip".

I was talked into a Head Trip because an employee at a kayak shop told me that her Sweet did not cushion the impact as well as she would like. She said it is very strong and protective, but that she could feel the impact.

The Head Trip has more cushioning.

If you're an artist, I remember reading somewhere on the Buzz that they are having a contest... design a logo, win a helmet.

Check the threads from a week or two ago.
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Old 09-10-2004   #7
ZLSeth's Avatar
Dillon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 132
found it

I found it.

Here is the quote:

Originally Posted by matts
Head Trip(tm) is trying to design a new logo and, well, we are all tripped up. Head Trip makes carbon/kevlar kayaking and motorcycle helmets. We currently use a 'space toaster' font for our name. You can view details about our helmets at or The logo will be used in our brochures, on the web, and will be imbedded in all helmets we make. We are offering a free helmet of your choice for the best logo submitted to us. All entries can be submitted to me at: with LOGO in the subject line.

If you have any questions, please email me at any time. I will be on the road for Gauley Season, but will contact you as soon as possible.

**now for the fine print: HTH reserves the right to alter, change, or use the winning entry in any way we see fit**

matt solomon
Head Trip Helmets
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Old 09-10-2004   #8
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 416
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Nate here is a story about head trip helmets from Bryan Kirk:

Yesterday I was on Lake Creek in CO with a couple buddies doing an afternoon run. When we put on the level was around 350cfs, which is a medium-low level. At the top of Brains(the double drop above Paralyzer) I could tell the water had dropped to around 200cfs, which is pretty low, but the rapids are still totally doable. We all aced Brains then went down to look a Paralyzer. The right line was extremely bony, and actually looked harder than the left line, which I opted to do. I made the top 12' boof and landed in the left eddy midway down the rapid. The peel out from the eddy was easier and less pushy than normal, but the bottom boof was way harder to line up for since the boof rock was out of the water. At higher water you can paddle right over the rock and get a fairly easy boof, then you're pretty much done with the rapid. Anyway, I had a slight left-to-right angle approaching the boof rock. I made a good boof stroke and just after takeoff the rock flipped me to my right and I started falling upside down. It flipped me so quick that I had no time to recover, and knew I was going to land on my head. I was hoping to clear the shallow rock at the base of the boof on the right side, but didn't. I landed sitting upright, and my head squarely hit the rock which had about 2" of water on it. I was thankful that I didn't go to a backdeck roll(which I always try to avoid while creeking) because my face would have hit the rock instead of my helmet. My paddled instantly broke after feeling the hit, and I rolled up wtih half a stick and made the right eddy above Kiss Me (the rapid just below Paralyzer that pummels those who are a little off line into an undercut wall). At that point, my neck was sore but my head was fine, and I took off my helmet to have a look. It was by far the hardest hit I've ever taken to my head in 17 years of paddling. The weight of my creekboat and my body came crushing down, perfectly upside down, from 5 feet in the air. Right away I could tell that my helmet had done its job. I could see the point of impact, with clear spiderweb fractures that circled away from the p.o.i. The shell had perfectly done its job in spreading out the force of the blow to the entire helmet surface, while the ensolite foam inside absorbed much of the shock. I have no doubt that if I had been wearing a flimsy helmet or plastic wildwater helmet, I would have suffered severe head trauma and probably would not be writing this article right now(or ever again for that matter). Mark and JV were holding safety, and were almost certain that I was going to be unconscious. They were so glad to see me roll up and catch the bottom eddy. They both said it was the worst hit they've ever seen. Mark just got a Head Trip helmet about a week before this incident, and said that seeing this made him extremely confident that he picked out a super-safe helmet. My head was unscathed, but since my neck was sore, I got it checked out at the Leadville hospital. After an X-ray and catscan, they said my neck was fine, although it is still sore. It's the 1st time I've ever felt that a piece of gear really saved my life, and I'm super thankful. I was wearing the Daffy model, by the way, with a brim and excellent coverage in the back. I'll be getting another HT Daffy as soon as I can get my hands on one.* Bryan Kirk

Ben Guska
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Old 09-10-2004   #9
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 75
I use a full mental jacket for me creek helmet. Even tough you do look like a character from Spaceballs The Movie, it provides excellent coverage. has a good review.
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Old 09-10-2004   #10
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 29
thanks for the advice

thanks for the advice guys, after hearing brians story I think that I am going to go with a head trip.
thanks again, nate

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