Wearing a helmet lets you ride the mountain in confidence and safety. Check here for advice buying yours.

 

How To Buy Snowboard Helmets

Besides adding comfort and boosting performance on the slopes, helmets provide an all-important safety element. Here are the basics to help you choose the styles best suited to your activity and the prevailing weather conditions.

 

Helmet Basics

  • Most helmets designed for wintersport use are appropriate for both skiing and snowboarding
  • The type of activity–be it recreational or competitive participation–as well as the terrain and your own personal preference should determine the snowboard helmet that best suits your needs

Ventilation

  • If you plan to snowboard in warm spring conditions or in temperate locales, or if you tend to work up a sweat, consider a helmet with good ventilation that will provide airflow and thus add to your overall comfort
  • Non-ventilated snowboard helmets restrict airflow and are generally preferable for wet, snowy, or extremely cold conditions

Shells

  • Most snowboard helmets have a UV stabilized polycarbonite shell that provides high strength and light weight
  • The helmet interior is usually made of expanded, double-density polystyrene (18mm) with additional lining for comfort and protection

Full vs. Open Faced

  • Generally, full-face helmets are designed for competition–such as speed and slalom events–in which the wearer is at higher risk of falling forward or hitting objects straight-on
  • Open-face helmets are more common–and less cumbersome–for recreational use

Visors

  • Many snowboard helmets come with a built-in visor, and those that don’t often accept visor attachments
  • Oftentimes, it is easier to fit goggles to helmets that don’t have a built-in visor, but you should check a model’s specifications to be sure
  • Visors can cut overhead glare, and can help protect your face in wet or windy weather

 

Helmet Styles

The type of snowboard helmet style you purchase depends on how and where you snowboard.

Full Shell

  • Full shell models provide complete coverage and seal out wind, precipitation and other elements normally encountered on the slopes
  • Some also have venting to help regulate temperature
  • These are recommended if you are planning to do a lot of tricks or some faster snowboarding

Short Shell

  • Short shell models offer comparable protection to full shell styles, but give less coverage and have a less armored and constrictive feel
  • Many include venting and removable liners
  • Buy this type of helmet if you are uncomfortable with the full helmet

Competition

  • Competition helmets feature densely padded liners, structured open ear zones inside the shell, and add-on jaw pieces for speed and slalom events
  • This may be too much if you are strictly a recreational snowboarder, but are highly recommended if you plan on some serious competition downhilling

Youth

  • Youth helmets are simply proportioned to smaller heads and bodies
  • Look for the same safety standards as adult helmets
  • Most have pads that can be inserted or taken out to adjust to a child’s head size

 

How to Fit a Helmet

  • A properly fitted snowboard helmet will be comfortable and provide maximum protection and performance