In this issue of the Braille Buyer’s Guide, we will be discussing the skateboard helmet. Braille Skateboarding believes that if you are going to learn how to skateboard, you should do so in the safest way possible.
Skateboarding is inherently dangerous. Before you are totally comfortable on your skateboard, you are going to fall down. Falling down is a huge part of skateboarding, but more importantly, getting back up is what matters the most. Expect to fall often, but remember after each fall you need to brush yourself off and keep pushing.
Without a helmet, some of these falls can end up worse than they need to be. In skateboarding, helmets have been designed to accommodate our needs. Skateboarding helmets have been refined over the years to keep you safe, having fun, and looking good!
We will be reviewing some of the different types of skateboard helmets, what they’re made from, how to choose the correct size, and we’ll even look at some professional skateboarders who still wear helmets to this day!
Skateboard Helmets vs. Bike Helmets
Although it may not seem like it, there are quite a few differences between a standard bicycle helmet and a helmet designed for skateboarding. Skateboarding helmets are manufactured and designed differently from your standard bicycle helmet. But believe it or not, there are certain standards that both helmets need to hit.
A bicycle helmet sold in the US market needs to have a CPSC certification. Skateboarding helmets, however, require an ASTM certification. Bike helmets need to be replaced after each fall, while skate helmets that meet the ASTM F1492 standard will be able to withstand multiple impacts.
The hard shell of a certified skate helmet far outlasts the thin plastic shell of a CPSC certified bicycle helmet. On top of the stronger materials used for skate helmets, you will also receive far more head coverage compared to a standard bike helmet.
Some helmets are dual certified, meaning they have both CPSC and ASTM certification. Generally, this is the type of helmet that will be best for skateboarding. When selecting a helmet, look inside for the stickers indicating they meet both CPSC and ASTM F1492 standards. If you are purchasing the helmet brand new and the stickers aren’t there, then the helmet is not dual certified.
If you’re buying a helmet at a skate shop or an online skate store, you should have no doubt in your mind you’re buying a skateboard helmet. These shops don’t typically sell bike helmets.
Skateboard Helmet Features
Skateboarding helmets are shaped like a bucket in most cases. The exterior shells of these helmets are made from ABS plastic, kevlar, carbon fiber, or fiberglass. Inside the helmets, you’ll find different forms of padding. Many standard skateboard helmets will have a soft layer of foam to provide protection, with a softer secondary foam liner for added comfort.
Some skateboard helmets will have EPS certified foam, which is a slighter harder foam liner that meets CSPC bike standards and ASTM skate standards. Inside of these, helmets you’ll also find soft foam liners to provide comfort to the skateboarder.
Skateboard helmets are fitted with an adjustable strap and buckle system to safely secure the helmet to the skateboarder’s head. Even though these straps can be adjusted, Braille Skateboarding recommends properly measuring your head to find out which size helmet you should purchase.
Skateboard Helmet Sizing
Before you go out and purchase yourself a helmet, it’s important to know the size of your head! Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all helmet, so you’ll need to pull out the old measuring tape to figure this out. Not sure how to go about measuring your head? Don’t stress! Braille Skateboarding has you covered.
We’re going to explain everything you’ll need to get an accurate measurement of that noggin of yours! Each brand of helmet will have a sizing chart, and they usually differ slightly from each other. Once you figure out your head size, you’ll be able to take that measurement and refer to the sizing chart of each brand.
The first thing you’ll need is a soft measuring tape. Not one of those hard, plastic, yellow ones that zip back into a little box in the blink of an eye. Yes, we know those are fun to play with, but play-time is over!
Find yourself a soft tape measure, and wrap it around your forehead. The measuring tape should be sitting above your ears and eyebrows. You’ll want to measure the lowest section of your forehead before touching your eyebrows. Make sure the tape isn’t sitting too high up, and double-check that it is level.
If you can’t get an accurate measurement, there are a couple of methods you can use to find the right helmet size. If the helmet isn’t for you personally, measure the inside of a hat or helmet that the person is currently using. Just, don’t be weird about it.
If the helmet is for you, but you just don’t have a soft measuring tape, simply use a piece of string and the head measuring method described above to get an accurate measurement. Wrap the string around your head, mark it with something (e.g a pencil), then you can take the piece of string and measure it against a standard ruler.
Now that you know the size of your head, check out the helmets in our online shop, select your size, and you’ll have a high-quality helmet atop your head in no time!
Do professional skateboarders wear helmets?
Sure, not all pro skaters wear helmets, but no matter how you slice it, the answer is yes. Professional skateboarders do wear helmets. In fact, one of the most creative skaters in the world, Andy Anderson, swears by the use of his helmet. You may recognize the name, as Andy Anderson has been featured in a number of Braille videos available on Youtube.
One Pro skater named Andy isn’t enough for you, huh? Well, how about TWO pro skaters named Andy? That’s right! Amongst the professional skateboarders who wear helmets is the legendary Andy Macdonald, who has also been featured on some Braille videos.
Do you have to be named Andy to wear a helmet? No! Does it help? We aren’t quite sure… What we are sure of, however, is that after you’ve read this, you’ll be able to pick out the perfect helmet.
In case you didn’t know, we offer helmets in our online shop! You can pick up a high quality helmet that looks fresh and keeps you safe. Check it out below!
We want to see your setup, helmet and all! Send us a photo of your gear and tag us on Instagram! Use @brailleskate,#brailleskate and #brailleskateboarding for a chance to get featured. We love to see you guys progressing, so keep that content coming!
If you’re new to skateboarding and looking to improve your skills, definitely check out Skateboarding Made Simple. It’s the most detailed lesson plan for skateboarding that exists. With 7 different volumes, you’ll go from learning how to ride on a board, to skating skateparks and landing more advanced flatground tricks in no time!
Now go out there, take a fall or two, and learn how to skate. It’s YOUR turn!
– Written by Joe Kovacs