Originally Posted by restrac2000
I would recommend AGAINST the use of biking helmets for rafting and kayaking. Regular bike helmets, unlike the one linked by the OP, do not cover the lower head and upper neck. This is a major limitation considering the recommended defensive swimming posture in whitewater. During a swim it is the back of the head and neck that are most vulnerable to traumatic injury from boulders and rocks.
A better option would be a skateboarding helmet. Some bike helmets have similar shaping and padding but its not the most common design.
Most non-whitewater helmets also lack ear and side coverage. This seems to be a bigger deal for rowing than kayaking considering the damage a popped oar can do to the skull.
Just a few thoughts. Anything is better than nothing. But if you can find a specially designed whitewater helmet go with it. We only get one head, brain and spine in life....might at well protect it as well as possible. I teach adaptive ski lessons and I have seen firsthand how inappropriate gear can alter ones life forever.
I felt ok about using my Nutcase helmet for rafting because their Bike, and Water helmets have the same basic design. The water helmets have EVA foam instead of EPS like their bike helmets, so probably not designed for multiple hits. Unlike a lot of the aerodynamic bike helmets, the Nutcase have good forehead, side, and back of the head coverage. The hit I took that made me get a helmet was right around my ear, so I was definitely looking for that side coverage. I had tried a lot of brands (Protec, WRSI, NRS, Shred Ready) looking for a helmet and just couldn't find one that fit me right. I tried hard to love the WRSI, but it was either too loose or killing my head, and even when tight, I could still easily push it back off my forehead. I tried all the outfitting & adjustments, and it still didn't work.I stumbled upon the Nutcase at a local bike & skate shop, tried it on, and it fit great. I wore it around the shop for 30 minutes and didn't have a headache. I also got the optional visor for it that's nice for sunny days. If I happen to bang this one up and need to replace it, then I'll get a Nutcase water helmet. Here's pics of the bike & water helmets (bike-left, water-right). Water helmet does come with removable ear pads. I have an email in to Nutcase to see if the water helmet has the adjustable occipital band like the bike helmet. It allows for fine tuning of the fit. I can't remember if it's Sweet or Shred Ready that has the occipital adjuster like that????