I wore a Cascade helmet, full faced with mask, back in New England for shallow runs. Worked great! And comfortable. It's sized rather large. Eg, normally I am a size Small so I needed a XXS and that was still a bit big!
a good friend of mine's brother rolled in rocky falls on the poudre, the little drop by ansel watrous, at low water a couple of weeks ago and got thirty stictches in his face. The drop isn't tough but if you happen to get rolled no amount of tucking is going to save you. After hearign about that I have given a lot of thought to face protection.
You can go to a sporting goods store and get a metal hocky cage mask to bolt onto you kayak helmet. That's what I did. Most people just use the "Face Saver" which has less metal bars but probably would stop most rocks. Some Kayak stores are carrying those.
I think this is being overanalyzed. I use a Boeri with a facemask drilled on, but Boeri doesn't make kayak helmets anymore.
Visit your local kayak shop and buy a Pro-Tec or Sweet creeking helmet. The shop should also carry face masks with all the necessities to screw it into your helmet. Most shops should carry all of this but if they don't call Alpine Kayak - 949.3350.
Yep - face masks aren't cool, but they don't really hinder your vision. I hear tons of cons about catching the mask on debris and breaking your neck, but have never met anyone who will testify from personal experience. They've just "heard about it."
Plus, there are tons of other things besides plastic surgery that I would rather spend my money on.
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