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Are face masks only for polo?

3164 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  benjamin.thomas874
I've been looking at whitewater helmets, and I think I want one that covers my face -- I have a nice new face scar from the beginning of this season at low water.

The consensus seems to be that full face helmets are great but make it hard to talk to people nearby. A friend told me about his helmet with a football-helmet-style face mask (but no jaw bar) that sounds like the perfect middle ground. I've seen people wear helmets with face masks for kayak polo as well, but nobody seems to sell them for creeking. Have they gone out of fashion, or are they not safe in some way?

If it's just a fashion thing, is there any reason I shouldn't but a thrift store football helmet, take the face mask off, and attach it to a whitewater helmet? I'm not exactly sure how that would work, but polo helmets look like they attach their masks using short screws.
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helmets and masks that are almost exclusively designed to protect you from very specific types of impacts
You have a good point there. I hadn't thought about the differences between kayak polo impacts and creek kayak impacts, but it makes sense that a polo helmet wouldn't be great for creeking.

El-Butcher said:
I can drink a beer, smoke some weed, and communicate just fine
KSC said:
unless you're a professional guide, I'm not convinced this is much of an issue
Thanks -- this is comforting to hear.

theBoatPeople, do you still boat with a face mask? Do you have a source for them in the US?

I'll probably end up buying a full-face whitewater helmet and trust that people who design kayak helmets for a living know what they're doing, but one more question first: does anyone have experience kayaking in a hockey helmet?

Comparing the certification requirements for hockey helmets to a summary of the whitewater certification requirements, a hockey helmet sounds like it offers better protection for less money. A hockey helmet must protect from multiple, increasing impacts at 3.5 m/s, 4.5 m/s, and then 5.5 m/s, while CE EN 1385 only requires a whitewater helmet to protect from 2.5 m/s impacts. Hocket helmets have face masks rather than rigid chin bars, solving the communication problem (if it exists) and offering eye and nose protection as well. I can imagine them not drying as well, though.
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