I have used Shred Ready helmets for 13 years now. They used to seem extremely durable. I took numerous good rock-to-helmet shots, but the helmet never seemed compromised.
After at least 8 years or so in the same SR helmet (I am almost certain it was a Shaggy), I finally replaced it this winter with a new Shaggy.
Within the first 10 uses or so of the new Shaggy, in early 2014, I rolled in Pine Creek and took a few mild head shots - nothing that felt like a big deal. I rolled up and paddled on. Later when I took the helmet off, I found that the matte-black plastic coating had been fractured and chipped/flaked-off. This exposed a neon green material underneath. I didn't feel like I had taken a shot that ought to really end-of-life a good SR helmet, yet because it looked so visually compromised with its outer shell compromised, I decided to replace it.
I replaced the barely-used Shaggy with a new T-dub, because the shop was out of Shaggy's. The T-dub seems to have the same kind of matte-black plastic coating. So within a handful of uses of the new Tdub, I rolled in Clear Creek of the Ark, took a decent headshot... and, well the rest of the tale need not be told. But when I got out, I found that the matte-black plastic coating had again fractured and flaked away, exposing material underneath much like what had happened with the new Shaggy. Only, this time the exposed material was actual weaving - of carbon-fiber or fiberglass...
I'm a little disappointed. I wonder if these helmets are really ruined and can't be safely used. And I am wondering if the Shred Ready lids aren't as durable as they used to be: after getting years and years out of an older one, it feels wrong to have to buy a third this season alone. Average life about 10 river days per.
Any opinions about whether I need to buy another helmet, or whether I can safely use either of these two? Why do I see the neon green under the matte black on the Shaggy whereas I see the white/gray weaving underneath on the Tdub?
Does anybody else feel like the SR helmets aren't holding up like they used to?
If I need to buy another... well I don't feel like I have money for that right now ... but if I was going to, does anybody have a strong suggestion for something else? Anything else more durable but not super super expensive?