Skiing with a well-protected head

Skiing with a well-protected head

In order to reduce the risk of head injuries in the event of a fall while alpine skiing, the majority of skiers choose THE helmet that best fits their head, fits perfectly and offers the desired level of safety. Here are five points to keep in mind to make the right choice.

1. Accessory trio

The focus is on the compatibility of hood, goggles and helmet. The thickness of the hood can influence the size of the helmet to be preferred, while the goggles must perfectly match the shape of the helmet to achieve the best possible seal and ensure comfort at nose level. A skier who already has his goggles must therefore bring them with him when buying his new helmet, recalls Philippe Blais, a consultant at Echo Sports.

2. The girth of the head

“Just as you find a shoe on your foot, you will find a helmet on your head,” explains Julien de la Sablonnière, representative of Outdoor Gear Canada. After determining your head circumference with a tape measure, try on several helmets in your size to find the model that best fits your head shape.

3. Customization

An adjustment wheel on the back of the helmet allows it to close on the skier’s head and thus stay in place. Some retention systems also offer the possibility of pointing the helmet backwards, “so that the bezel and the helmet fit perfectly and relieve the pressure of the bezel on the nose,” points out Herr de la Sablonnière.

It is also important to adjust and properly fasten the strap under the chin, which has a mechanical or magnetic closure that is easier to manipulate with one hand.

According to Mr. Blais, a well-fitting helmet fulfills three criteria. It stays in place even when its harness isn’t fastened and the skier moves their head quickly. It is positioned slightly above the eyebrows (about a finger or two), then the space between its strap and the chin allows you to put a maximum of one finger through it.

4. Security

The helmets available in stores are generally sold between $100 and $400 and all have received certification regarding the safety they provide. Various technologies make it possible to maximize this, including MIPS technology, which slows the rotational movement of the brain in the cranial box during an impact, reducing the risk of concussions.

To find out if one of the technologies offered is right for us, Mr. de la Sablonnière suggests considering the number of ski trips planned in winter, the type of exercise chosen, as well as our “injury pedigree” that would require better protection.

Although the lifespan of a helmet is five years, do not hesitate to change it in the event of an impact because a break (not always visible) would reduce the protection offered.

5. Comfort

Lightness is certainly a very popular feature that sometimes even makes you forget you’re wearing a helmet. The comfort of the inner padding must be taken into account as well as the ventilation, which can be regulated in part depending on the temperature.