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Old 10-02-2009   #11
Ft. Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 139
If I break my arm boating Ill pay some co-pays and maybe a deductible, maybe $500 total...

If I knock out a couple front teeth boating my insurance is only going to pay about 25% of the cost, at least $1,500 for a crown if some tooth is left, around $3,000 per tooth for implants...

Just something to think about...

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Old 10-02-2009   #12
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 328
Just repeating what others have said: the biggest downside is that it is hard to hear and hard for people to hear you. Plus make sure you pull it up before you spit. Never, ever heard of anyone getting it seriously caught on something, so that is pretty much a non-issue. I have noticed that when you try to tuck your chin down against your chest or the deck of your boat you can't tuck as far, but not a major issue. However, I think that a full coverage helmet with a visor, without a face guard that covers your temples, your forehead and the back of your head is adequate for most situations. I would use a full face helmet if you are paddling manky class IV or V or if you are an intermediate paddler that is updside down a lot and are paddling shallow class III or IV.

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Old 10-02-2009   #13
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
Seems to me it's worth wearing if there's a chance you'll be upside down where there are rocks. Beginners often get the most mileage out of theirs.

I have heard of 1 person who claims to have snagged their full face and strained their neck or something like that. This person doesn't wear a full face anymore. However, thats''s the only account I have ever heard. If that's a big concern, I say get the WRSI, which will release in a snag, or jmack's Lord Helmet SR thing (if you can find it), which was designed to release in a snag.

But really I would not worry about it. The chances of a snag are extremely small, and your chances of getting knocked out due to a blow to the face is much higher. I've seen countless people coming out of the water with face shots.

Btw, when I started boating 6 years or so ago, I remember there being a thread on here about whether or not to use a full face. The sentiment was very split, with many people citing snag concerns and/or saying they have a really good tuck and don't need it. Now look at the response to this thread. Much like skiers/boarders wearing helmets, people through experience have discovered more protection is better and the downside is minimal. Now if you show up at the put-in on a Colorado creek without a full face helmet, you might be the only guy.
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Old 10-02-2009   #14
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 700

I have heard several stories of boaters going over and never rolling. Did they take a blow that gave a concussion and never were oriented enough to bail or were they knocked out? We'll never know because they're dead.

The two worste face shots I've seen were both to good boaters in class II-III water.

Wearing a face mask is just wise in my opinion.

As I said before, this is a pet peeve for me.
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Old 10-02-2009   #15
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
I have seen a lot of kayakers come up with lacerations to their face in shallow places - which covers just about every river in Colorado, many times even at higher flows. I haven't seen many rafters with facial injuries, but I have been thinking about getting a WRSI face guard for running the silliness - waterfalls have a lot of impact potential.

JMack - is that NCO falls on the Upper Taos Box?
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Old 10-02-2009   #16
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The Road, Colorado
Paddling Since: '07
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Originally Posted by VirginiaPaddler View Post
good lord!! I think you just made my decision haha
I don't feel there is a real issue with it hanging up on anything and that is why I wear mine. The other guys are right about it restricts hearing/talking though. I would agree that is the biggest issue.

Personally I'm very divided on the cost. Looking at it logically it is kind of an insurance policy, yeah it is expensive but if you ever need it and don't have it $400 for a higher end full face is going to seem very cheap. Guess that is why I went half assed and got the WRSI.

Speaking of which, anyone have any input on when it is time to replace a helmet? My WRSI has taken some blows and is scratched up like crazy but no cracks. Is it like a motorcycle helmet and if it takes even one good blow is it time to replace or only if there is obvious structural damage?
Life: Live it!
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Old 10-02-2009   #17
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Chicago, Illinois
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 21
What about the Shred Ready one - is it good?

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Old 10-02-2009   #18
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 807
Raftus- right run, wrong rapid. Its Pleasure Plunge. NCO is the first major rapid. IMO the worst rapid on the run.

My full face has come through numerous times. I have been upside down in some very dicey places the last few years, and my face is still anatomically correct. I actually knocked the faceguard loose this spring (Breakin the Law- Escalante). I can't imagine what shape my jaw would have been without it. And now I know it will come off with enough force.

The protection of a full face far outweighs the risk of getting it caught. The only real downside is communicating with others. That said, you won't find me wearing it on the Numbers or Westwater, etc.
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Old 10-02-2009   #19
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 99
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 37
Thats the one I use, and its good at least for a couple good hits. They are inexpensive, so that could be worth it. The biggest downside is that it is not as customizable as some others. Also, hitting your head wearing a plastic helmet rings your gong a little more than with a heavy duty composite one. Could be the difference between foams and outfitting too.
I sort of regret opting not to go with the FnA one. Its hard to put a price on your own head.
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Old 10-02-2009   #20
ashland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 222
I've been wearing a cascade since I took a hit that resulted in 6 stiches in the eyebrow. Inexpensive and functional. In the 8 years I've owned it I've only taken one hit to the face while wearing it. Strangely enough in a 6,000cfs class 3 gorge that's probably 60' deep. I flipped and took the wall square to the nose with no more damage than a little lost skin due to my nose plugs. No full-face, minimum broken nose. I'm thinking of replacing it with the shred ready though. anybody put a nose gaurd on one?

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