Helmet design questions - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-17-2009   #1
 
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
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Helmet design questions

I was digging through the helmets in my garage and noticed something that I wanted to ask about. Not many whitewater helmets seem to have much protection for the temple area and the back of the neck and I was curious why. When looking all over online and checking out discussions about helmets around the buzz I feel like Iíve quite possible checked out every model commonly used and havenít discovered why this is. I feel like even half coverage might be sufficient to prevent solid enough blows to the temple that might otherwise cause the bone to fracture and subsequently cause a hematoma. I bet this sounds pretty paranoid (the temple is an awful small area for a rock to hit) but I remember being told I was lucky after having my eyebrow slammed by a baseball bat to have not had such an injury and donít want a river rock to do what my sisterís bat failed to.

As far as the low coverage of the back of the head is that due to fear of spinal injury (helmet meets neck) or just a general consensus to lack of danger? I feel like it couldnít be the second because if you lean forward to protect your face/get in position to roll you would be opening up that area to a good blow. That bit occurred to me when I cracked the bill of my helmet at Fossil this spring, if I had been backwards for some reason that rock which stunned me to the point where I forgot which way was up would have hit the back of my neck (first thing I do going underwater is lean forward for my roll.) I donít know what sort of damage that would do but when a tornado hits thatís the place you cover up first, surely thereís a reason.

Seems full face helmets could do a decent job in those areas, I don't have one around to check out.


Just wondering if anyone had any ideas.

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Old 08-18-2009   #2
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Brief story for you: I was in a sticky hole and had my helmet slide back on to my head. I was grabbing the green to get out of the hole-thus when I finally got spit out upside down my face was exposed. I smashed my face onto a rock. I crushed my eye socket, broke my nose and had a skull fracture. It cost $40k worth of reconstructive surgery. I still love to kayak, and go as much as possible. I wear a WRSI because it fits me well, has good coverage, absorbs multiple impacts, and I know that it will not slide back on to my head. I have the option to wear the face mask when I am creek boating. Get a helmet that is comfortable and fits you well.
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Old 08-18-2009   #3
KSC
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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I think the answer is surprisingly simple: fashion and comfort and probably in that order. I've met people who have been injured by a hit on the temple. It's a very real possibility. I think there's a reason you're seeing more and more full coverage, full face mask helmets on the river. People have asked themselves the same questions you just did and came to the conclusion that they like their heads.

If you're playboating lower coverage helmets make sense because the risk of head hits is much lower.
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Old 08-25-2009   #4
 
North Bend, Washington
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After much looking around for a helmet that offered fuller protection- I ended up getting a Gath Gedi. It's not a "cool" looking as some of the other helmets (although mine's electric blue), but it's comfy enough for me to wear all day, never budges, has a flip up visor (so it doesn't catch water and pull the helmet back), optional ear flaps, optional face mask and offers great temple coverage.

check them out
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Old 08-25-2009   #5
 
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nowhere, Kansas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kendi View Post
After much looking around for a helmet that offered fuller protection- I ended up getting a Gath Gedi. It's not a "cool" looking as some of the other helmets (although mine's electric blue), but it's comfy enough for me to wear all day, never budges, has a flip up visor (so it doesn't catch water and pull the helmet back), optional ear flaps, optional face mask and offers great temple coverage.

check them out
I also have one of these. They have a great foam system which makes them very comfy. You can also get the lexan "fighter pilot" visor for it(almost reason enough to get one). It is also very light compared to my composit helmet(HT Daffy).
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Old 08-25-2009   #6
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by criddle b View Post
I wear a WRSI because it fits me well, has good coverage, absorbs multiple impacts, and I know that it will not slide back on to my head.
I also wear a WRSI, and totally agree...it has taken multiple impacts, holds up, and doesn't move around...however, I don't have the face shield and have taken a few shots to the face, luckily none to the temple. I think it would be difficult to design something that was much more protective, with-out sacrificing range of motion/manueverability/comfort.
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Old 08-25-2009   #7
 
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Portland, Oregon
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There are a few wrsi on ebay for $49. Just got one and love it!
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