Snowboarding is one of the most exciting and dangerous sports out there. The slopes can be unforgiving, and one wrong move can leave you seriously hurt if you aren’t wearing the necessary protective gear. On top of the list of protective gear, are snowboarding helmets. Snowboard helmets come in a wide range of shapes and forms, giving you a plethora of options to pick from. With that said, you need to understand how snowboard helmets differ from one another in order to pick the ideal one for you.
The first thing to pay attention to when shopping for snowboarding helmets is the fit. In order to get the right fit, it’s best you try the helmet on. However, given the fact that that’s not an option when shopping online, you should measure your head and get an appropriately sized helmet. That said, sometimes you’d still get it wrong, so make sure you’re shopping from a vendor with a good return and exchange policy.
The next thing to pay attention to is the type. You’ll come across 3 types of snowboard helmets: half shell, full shell and full-face helmets.
- Half shell helmets are the most popular type and they provide coverage for your entire head. They have soft ear pads which can still protect your ears in case you fall, but they won’t obstruct your hearing.
- Full shell helmets, on the other hand, offer everything a half shell helmet does, plus extra coverage for your ears. Although these aren’t as popular, they’re a great choice for people who enjoy riding at high speeds and performing tricks. They’re also great for beginners and young children.
- Full face helmets, as their name implies, offer full face protection, including jawline protection. When combined with a pair of goggles, your entire head will be covered and protected. These helmets are more popular for motorcycle and bicycle riding, but they can also be used for snowboarding.
There are also three types of helmet constructions. One thing to note when shopping for a snowboarding helmet is that most of them are single-impact. What this means is that they’re made to protect you from one severe impact. After that, you’ll need to replace them.
The first type of construction is in-mold. These helmets have a thin outer shell made of lightweight polycarbonate that’s molded into a shock absorbant foam liner. These helmets are lightweight and don’t rebound after impact and hard impacts will collapse it.
Then, there are hard shell ABS helmets. These feature a strong shell that’s made of ABS plastic glued to EPS foam. Although heavier, these helmets provide more protection.
And the last type is soft shell helmets. These usually have two foam layers made of different density levels. The softer foam will cushion your head, whereas the harder foam will absorb most of the damage during impact.