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Old 10-26-2015   #1
shredjesse's Avatar
Plymouth, New Hampshire
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 49
Downhill full face helmets for white water?

So I would like a full face helmet. I can't get any uglier and remain employable, so I gotta keep this mug looking at least the way it does now! I've also got a large head, and I've tried ALL of the full face whitewater helmets out, even with the padding removed, in all of the large sizes. ALL of them give me headaches as they are just barely too small.

I considered MX helmets (I have a bunch) but the story goes they're too heavy, which would make sense as messing with your roll. I also imagine they're built for pretty high speed impacts, and probably wouldn't do much for the average river crash speed.

So on that note, I noticed full face mountain bike helmets are not only light, but REALLY affordable! All of them are under $100, have way cooler designs, etc etc.

So... is there any particular reasons not to use one?

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Old 10-26-2015   #2
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
I have a size XXL hat size.

Been using the European Ski Helmets for many years now and real happy with them.

Both full face and regular are out there. And, I think the European linings are far superior to the thin foam strips I see on most USA boating helmets.

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Old 10-26-2015   #3
shredjesse's Avatar
Plymouth, New Hampshire
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 49
Man with an XXL helmet size you surely know my pain! I'm usually an XL in most motorcycle helmets, but some snowboard brands I have to go XXL in, so perhaps we're in the same boat.

Good to know on the ski helmets. Weight might be comparable. I'll look into it. Also trying to find multi impact helmets as I think they would make a lot more sense for kayaking.
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Old 10-26-2015   #4
Jenks, Oklahoma
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Yup, I put up with a lot of headaches from tight helmets till I found the ski helmets.

Giro and Biori {may be off on spelling} but there are several good brands out there

Looks like the Europeans have a pretty good certification process for ski helmets which looks to me like a European Ski certified helmet is similar or maybe better head protection than a USA car / motorcycle helmet.
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Old 10-26-2015   #5
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
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Originally Posted by shredjesse View Post

So... is there any particular reasons not to use one?
Yes, most are probably not multi-impact.
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Old 10-26-2015   #6
k2andcannoli's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 657
And multi impact full face helmets like poc are really expensive. But you also can't go wrong with a poc, I shot my old hard ear ski race helmet with a compound bow and practice arrows after I decided to retire it, they wouldn't penetrate the special "bullet proof" weave inside the helmet.

Most ski helmets are also very hot if it's not cold out.
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Old 10-26-2015   #7
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Phuoc My, Da Nang, THE 'NAM
Paddling Since: 1845
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I have a predator six that I really love......

But I can't say anything about the pricing because I won it at a comp
"Don't f$&@ing eddy out, just run it! Whaddya doin??" -LMyers
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Old 10-26-2015   #8
Jhit's Avatar
Fort Collins, Chico Ca, brevard nc, California
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Posts: 37
I rock a bell full face helmet I got from goodwill for 7 bucks. my ones put the cam in the helmet yet…. gopros are like antennas.
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Old 10-27-2015   #9
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Denver-ish, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 741
The foam in my full faced DH mtn bike helmet soaks up any liquid close to it. I would think submerging it in the river during rolls would make it a cold wet lead weight around your head.

Have you looked at water ski jumping helmets? They're full faced. They're made for the water. And I bet they have big noggin sizing.

“HOLD THE DOOR!” — Hodor
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Old 10-28-2015   #10
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LAX to SEA, 90032
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 27
Full face for kayaking

I started a thread on using hockey helmets for ww. 1 thing that I always thought strange was that ff ww lidz are made to look like mx helmets. Probably cuz they look cool and 'extreme'. But with the face open to horizontal objects like paddle shafts and cockpit rims I question the design for kayaking. Users complain about inability to be heard or see their feet while trying to portage. I'm going to try a hockey helmet with a tinted half shield. Treat it with rain X if need be. It should give decent face protection and filter uv rays. While leaving the lower area open for talking, drinking water and using a whistle.

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