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Old 08-06-2013   #11
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
I wear my sweet for steep creeks that's about it... Good to have multiple helmets.. Sometimes you take a couple bumps just gotta brush it off.

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Old 08-06-2013   #12
behind your mom, Colorado
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 678
Originally Posted by Tindel View Post
I got 3 stitches on my lip at Deckers while I was learning - went out and bought a full-face the very next day. You'll never see me on the river - at any difficulty without a full-face.

I have a Shred Ready... It's pretty uncomfortable after a few hours... it pushes on my temples. I've tried all sorts of things to eliminate this, to no avail. Added shims, removed shims... nothing seems to work. I really don't know what else to do.

Another thing I've noticed is that my yellow shed ready has faded over the two years I've owned it - and I'm not sure why... I don't recall ever leaving it in the sun - I have left it in the car through the day though for use after work. I've wondered if the plastic has changed at all due to the discoloration... I haven't really taken any big hits to find out.

Communication is also an issue. Knowing your hand signals is key in any kind of real situation. With or without a FF.

The sweet full-face is by far the most comfortable, but at a $300 price point - it's out of my league. I'd have to own it and boat regularly for 9 years straight to make it worth the money. I doubt most helmets - including the sweet - will last that long.
Same story... When I was learning on deckers I hit my head so hard I almost knocked myself out. I went out and bought a sweet FF and it's amazing... like a dirtbike helmet but lighter. If you get hot dunk your head in the water. $300 is nothing compared to a real head injury or an ER visit.

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Old 08-06-2013   #13
homeworld8118's Avatar
cape may, New Jersey
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 48
Any one have any opinion of WRSIs new current pro with attachable FF guard? I own the current pro with detachable ear pieces and they seem solid, love the helmet and their new design. It just seems like a detachable face piece wouldn't be any where near as strong as the real deal but WRSI seems like a solid company and their testing phase.
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Old 08-06-2013   #14
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 504
I have the detachable face guard for WRSI. For me, it sat in front of my nose and didn't really protect my chin, so I got the Moment. I've seen others use it that achieved good protection. It is not nearly as sturdy as a real fullface, but I think if it fits you well it will provide decent protection. Another plus with the detachability is it may come off in the snag situation discussed above. I think it's a good compromise.
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Old 08-06-2013   #15
Abron Cabron
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Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 594
For the budget WRSI fullface is the bomb. i got the vented helmet, which is a debate in itself, but should allow my head to stay cooler (or too cold w/o a hydroskin skully....)

imo cons are same as stated above. earplug adjustments, spittting, communication etc. it all takes adjusting to, but so worth it for your cabeza.
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Old 08-06-2013   #16
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Many variables to consider for full face helmets.

In colorado where the weather is cool, the runs are shallow and rocky, and the water is cold, the Full Face is a no brainer.

In other locations where its hot or the water is typically deep and non-mank, the downsides of the full face could outweigh the pros to some.

I wear a full face all the time and spend most of my time paddling class IV/V.

The snagging issue is a non-issue. Every peice of gear can snag (skirt, pfd, waist bag, helmet strap) in the right super rare combo, but its so rare that in my opinion snagging for full face helmets is a non issue.

Heat is an issue, but its easy to deal with. When I get hot I roll, or when starting a scout or portage I take my helmet off for a second, fill it with water, and dump it on my head to cool off. In cold weather paddling, the full face is a huge benefit, keeps your head really warm even in freezing temps.

Communication is only an issue if you haven't figured out how to communicate with the full face helmet. If you are in an eddy with someone you could normally talk to, you can still talk to them with a full face, you just need to speak a little louder. If they are across the river, you wouldn't be able to talk to them regardless. I think that the communication issue is really a non-event since its easily overcome by modifying your actions.

Its funny how people percieve risk. Most of the folks I have met or heard about that have had a significant face hit without a full face helmet have become full face helmet converts immediately. The vast majority of folks who starting paddling class IV and up after full face helmets were readily available seem to paddle with full faces, at least in CO. There is a large number of class V paddlers who paddled class V prior to full face helmets that don't wear them. Seems to be more of an attitude (I made it this far without one, so why do I need one now) vs. a risk / exposure analysis.

The other issue is that many helmets have very poor temple protection. Thats a knockout button, and its silly to have a whitewater helmet that stops a couple inches above your temple. Same thing with the jaw. Knockout button. Full faces are not about bumps and bruises... they are about protecting you from low probability but very high consequence injuries like broken jaw, knocked out unconcious etc, which could be potentially deadly. Just because you have never had this kind of accident doesn't mean you never might need a full face helmet in the future. Youl could drive on the interstate for you whole life and never need a seatbelt, but that one time you do need it, pray that you have it on because you are dead without it. Thats exactly how I look at full face helmets.
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Old 08-06-2013   #17
most weekends up on the payettes, Idaho
Paddling Since: 83
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 61
I started using a full face about 15 years ago

Before that, I had the usual low speed bumps and brush ups that I shook off.

Then I took a full on whack---saw stars, rang my ears, bruised battered and all in a shallow class III that I was screwing around on.
It was a wonder I rolled up. I got out of the river and sat on the bank for quite a while.
I did not hit my face but that hit spooked me enough to almost give up kayaking.
I got a cascade helmet---almost looks like a lacrosse helmet--pretty big cage and over the ear protection.
I know it's overkill especially on a easy river, but I guess I look at it as a crutch.
It helps me not to worry as much.

Down side is that you cant drink a beer unless you have a sippy cup.
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Old 08-06-2013   #18
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Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 690
communication should not be underrated. i have at least one friend who will never wear a full face, and he runs big drops that i consider to be stunt boating, outside the realm of normal class 5.

almost every time i paddle with somebody in a full face helmet i notice that communication is not as smooth. seeing somebody's mouth and reading their lips while he is in an eddy across the river really helps.

i borrowed my roommate's sweet full face when i was planning on doing some stunt boating (yule), but when i got there i didn't want to do anything that would make me feel different or uncomfortable. so i wore my normal helmet, a sweet wanderer. i stayed upright so i never tested the helmet.

ultimately i would only wear a full face (and likely only the sweet rocker) if i was regularly stepping up to the plate on some big boy shit. you know, huge drops where the potential for crash and burn is significant. i don't really think of this stuff as kayaking, more like stunt boating.

do you really want to be the guy in a playboat who is wearing gloves, elbow pads, noseplugs, glasses, and a fullface? i want to be comfortable and communicate effectively.
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Old 08-06-2013   #19
vancouver, Washington
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 24
i had the shred ready full face and i didnt like it. it was difficult to get on and off, and it gave me headaches from squeezing my temples i think. i would like to try the wrsi moment, to see how it feels. another thought i had was that sweet also makes snowboard helmets, so is there much of a difference between their snowboard helmets and their whitewater helmets? and if theres not much of a difference, im just going to find a decent snowboard helmet at the thrift store and go with that. i mean, theyre both designed to protect your head from hits and dissipate the impact across a larger area... anyways im all about being comfortable, saving money, and being safe.
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Old 08-06-2013   #20
behind your mom, Colorado
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 678
wrsi's and shred readys have no padding compared to the sweet's. I hit my head in my wrsi and almost knocked myself out through the helmet and that was on deckers..

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