Just how good are FNA Helmets? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-24-2006   #1
 
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Just how good are FNA Helmets?

Been looking at getting a new helmet, something that will offer really great protection but i would like something that has actualy proven itself as a good helmet. leaning towards an FNA but was wondering if anyone has info on its design, the materials, and personal experience would be greatly appreciate.

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Old 02-24-2006   #2
 
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Get it. Best on the market for the burl...
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Old 02-24-2006   #3
 
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How good are FNA helmets? They're F'N' great! I have been using them for some years now and only have higly positive feedback on their strength, protection and whatnot. Definitely a great helmet option for hucking huckit21.
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Old 02-25-2006   #4
 
Denver, Colorado
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I have an FNA X-stream and I used it a lot last season.

Pros:
-Really like the side coverage (temples, ears etc)
-Really like the jaw coverage. When you tuck as you are trying to roll the chin of the helmet tucks to your PFD and protection is solid.
-Helmet material is super solid, hits to rocks have not made gouges, only minor surface scratches
-Helmet foam adjustment and strap allows for very good fitting with very little movement.
-Good forehead protection too. Helmet won't ride up and expose forehead to rocks.

Cons (just my opionion, not a helmet expert)
-The extra protection is not without its side effects. Because ears are closed in with no holes, it is harder to hear. Also the chin in front of the mouth seems to make it harder for people to hear you, maybe it dampens your voice. Small price to pay for protection, but it is there.
-Hard shell with thin foam strips to line out helmet can produces hard hit to your head. Basically the helmet is super hard and has no give or flex. The foam inserts are probably a 1/4 thick, and don't provide lots of energy dissipation. What that means is you hit your head, the helmet is intact, but you get your bell rung, because the energy doesn't dissipate in the helmet, it gets transferred to your head. While first breaking the helmet in I was farting around at golden, flipped in class II+, hit my head on a rock and I get my bell rung hard. I was really suprised, because I have taken many shits to the head with my "shittier" helmet, but never got my bell rung. Ironically the plastic shred ready with more give I think absorbed the impact better and didn't transfer as much to my head. I did a bunch of searches on here and on boater talk. Lots of discussions on this subject. In my mind it seems that you really need an energy absorbing and dissipating layer of foam or some material like that to help dissipate a big blow. Don't get me wrong, I think that the FNA guys are really close to a bomber helmet. I think if they made the helmet a little bit bigger to provide a little more room for more foam, and then foamed it out with more energy dampening foam material, it would be the bomber solution. What worries me it that a big hit while creeking could produce a knockout. If you look at the motocross type helmets for example they have big ass foam all over the entire head surface, it is much thicker and give way more. Of course it is heavier, but I think that we will find a good solution in between.
-One last thing is that the x-stream has the open hole over the face with no vertical bar. You can still get slammed in the face by a paddle, or a rock. FNA sells a vertical bar for the helmets, and I think that this is a good idea to implement.

Admittedly I bought my FNA after doing some research, looking at helmets, and wanting face protection. I felt that it was the best option available for what I wanted. After wearing it, getting my bell rung and doing more research, I am of the opinion that more foam is needed. I don't think that the perfect solution is available yet.

In the end, I think that the WRSI guy is getting pretty close with the dual energy absorbing layers. I think that side impact ear protection needs to be there, but it needs open holes to improve hearing without seriously degrading integrity. I also think face protection can be optimized a bit more.

I think in the next several years designers will figure a lot of this out, as there has been a lot of research in other industries as well as ours.
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Old 02-25-2006   #5
 
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about how much are they costing. i have been told around 230 but i have also heard of people getting them for aoround 150
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Old 02-25-2006   #6
 
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you're such a gear whore....I agree about the energy dissapation though and plan on putting all the foam they send you into mine to help. If you have to ask how much they are, they're $230. speaking of ringin bells, i had mine rung today. Most pain I've ever endured. I'll call you.
joe
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Old 02-26-2006   #7
 
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Amazing Helmet. You can ask Faron to drill holes in the mouth area. I've never needed a skull cap when it's cold and never got too hot either. I took a huge hit to the chin the first time I wore on Clear Creek of the Ark..........Did not even phase me. Faron has excellent customer care. Worth every penny.
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Old 02-26-2006   #8
 
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Faron will also do ear holes along with the mouth part...

Anybody seen this one yet?

http://www.happy-2b.com/new/pages/aegis.htm

looks cool and the chin bar comes off if snagged
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Old 06-25-2009   #9
 
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Just wanted to bump this one up. Took a serious shot to the side of head last night. Bell was rung hard, but without the full coverage, I might not be typing this. There is something to be said for ear and jaw coverage, for those of you considering helmets. There's also something to be said for keeping the plastic side down.
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Old 06-25-2009   #10
 
Golden, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepsouthpaddler View Post
...
-Hard shell with thin foam strips to line out helmet can produces hard hit to your head. Basically the helmet is super hard and has no give or flex. The foam inserts are probably a 1/4 thick, and don't provide lots of energy dissipation. What that means is you hit your head, the helmet is intact, but you get your bell rung, because the energy doesn't dissipate in the helmet, it gets transferred to your head....
BINGO.

I have been wanting to replace my full-face cascade, due only to its age and my concern about UV damage, and I am having a hard time believing that these FNA things are the way to go. The cascade has a plastic shell that flexes and thick foam padding.

I have a playboat helmet that is hardshell with the foam inserts and it have gotten my bell rung in it at the playpark. The only difference I see with the FNA is that is has awesome coverage. But it is negated by the fact that too much shock is going to be transferred to your brain when you hit the back of that helmet hard on a rock.

I'm going to get another cascade.
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