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Old 03-07-2016   #1
manitowoc, Wisconsin
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 30
DIY helmet

DIY helmet , OK seems like the last thing anyone should try a DIY job on but he's what I wanted to do : I want to take this cheap full face helmet from Walmart I paid $30 for and gut out the insides and replace with water friendly high density foam pads and maybe a better chin strap . ??? idea's ???
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Old 03-07-2016   #2
curtis catman's Avatar
Rivertown, West Virginia
Paddling Since: 9:45
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 416
The only thing I have been told is that bike helmets and whitewater helments are made of different types of plastic. Bike hellments are meant to be discarded after a hard hit. Whitewater hellments are built to take mutlipel hits for their lifespan

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Old 03-08-2016   #3
FlyingDutchman's Avatar
Westfield, Massachusetts
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 178
That is a Bell brand helmet. It should take a few knocks. Maybe a neoprene helmet liner will help it fit once you gut out the fabric material.

How is the weight of the helmet. Motorcycle/atv helmets are way overkill and too heavy for whitewater. I assume you helmet is for like bmx and mountain biking.
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Old 03-08-2016   #4
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
Dumb idea. It's safety equipment.
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Old 03-08-2016   #5
BV, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 131
A helmet is not the place to try and save money. If you think your head only deserves $30 worth of protection, more power to you.
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Old 03-08-2016   #6
Laramie, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 171
The $30 is a lot more reflective of the scale of overseas production than the protection provided by the helmet. And if done right, I'm confident that your Bell there will protect your head better than what a lot of companies are marketing as whitewater helmets. I bet Wal-Mart could pump out the equivalent to a Pro-Tec for $7.99.
I paddled with a Giro full face DH helmet for a bit and the one thing I would be aware of is making sure the chin strap keeps the helmet stationary and doesn't allow it to shift back and expose your forehead. The single attachment point (riveted at the jaw line) chin strap doesn't allow you to cinch down the front of the helmet as would a multiple attachment chin strap (riveted near the temple and behind the ear).
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Old 03-08-2016   #7
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
I wouldn't suggest it, but my research leads me to believe it would likely work for awhile...

"The shell for inexpensive helmets is just stamped PET (the material used for bottled water containers) or a similar plastic. It is usually glued onto the liner, then taped around the edge for appearance, although some use no glue and others have no tape.
For more expensive helmets the shell is included in the mold when the liner is expanded from the bead, and must therefore be polycarbonate or another higher quality plastic that can take the heat of the mold (PET would melt). Really sophisticated techniques can add more than one shell section to the mold, and up to five pieces can provide shell protection for the lower section of a helmet, or even the interior. In this case no glue is necessary, since the shell is bonded to the liner in the mold. This technique could yield stronger helmets, but the designers use it to open up larger and larger vents and reduce the foam, eventually just meeting the current impact standard.

Skate-style helmets and a few bicycle-style helmets have hard shells made of ABS or polycarbonate plastic. BMX helmets (and a few older bicycle helmets) can have composite hard shells, with layers of fiberglass or even kevlar fiber laid up in an epoxy. ABS is molded, but Fiberglass shells are generally laid up by hand."

"The hardest and strongest whitewater kayak helmet shells are made from carbon fiber, Kevlar, and composite polymers. Plastic helmets are the lowest strength helmets although they are well proven, having been used for decades in whitewater."
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Old 03-08-2016   #8
Roseburg, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2015
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 86
I agree with everyone saying nope.I think you would be better off spending $100 on a cheap ww full face.Or pick up used one somewhere. I like to have confidence in my gear. If I have to pay a little extra for that confidence then so be it. Plus quality gear last for YEARS.
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Old 03-08-2016   #9
Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 185
For rafting, maybe. For kayaking, hell no!
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Old 03-08-2016   #10
mattman's Avatar
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,046
Don't do it.
Looks like a down hill helmet you have there, which is engineered for a specific purpose, by the time you redo the padding it was tested with, no telling what kind of protection you will have.
I could tell you how much it can suck to have years of your life screwed up from multiple brain injury's.
A modified helmet that may not protect you the way it should is not worth that risk.
Save money on something else, and get the helmet with the best protection you can find.

" I wish I were a headlight, on a North bound train..."
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