Water sports are a fun way to get out and enjoy the great outdoors, but they can be dangerous if you don't take the proper precautions. One essential piece of equipment that every water sports enthusiast should have is a helmet. Whether you're kayaking, wakeboarding, or white water rafting, wearing a helmet can help protect your head from injuries in the event of an accident.
The Ultimate Guide to Helmets for Water Sports
The Ultimate Guide to Helmets for Water Sports
Choosing a water sports helmet to offer maximum protection
A good water sports helmet should be snug and comfortable, with a secure chin strap to keep it in place during rough conditions. Proper head protection made with durable materials that can withstand impact from rocks or other obstacles in the water is essential. A helmet with additional features like ventilation and moisture-wicking fabric can also help keep you cool and dry while you stay out there on the water.
When choosing a watersports helmet, you will find many options, but not all meet safety standards. A certified helmet is designed to reduce the risk of head injury in an accident by providing optimum safety. A non-certified helmet may look good but cannot prevent serious head injuries.
CE EN 1385
In Europe, the European Committee for Standardization establishes safety standards for helmets. For example, CE EN 1385 is a standard for canoeing and white water sports helmets, covering water sports in rapids ranging from Class I to Class IV. To achieve this certification, water sports helmets are tested on three criteria:
- Retention – The helmet's straps must be sufficient to keep the helmet in place in the event of an impact.
- Buoyancy – Water sports helmets have a unique quality that other helmets lack – buoyancy.
- Impact Resistance – Hitting the water at a high rate of speed can feel like hitting concrete. To protect water sports athletes from high-speed impacts, their helmets need to be designed to absorb and deflect the energy of an impact away from the athlete's head.
Bern's water sports helmets
Bern's water sports helmets are an excellent choice to protect you from head injuries. We engineer our water sports helmets to provide maximum protection, without sacrificing comfort or style.
Whether you are an adrenaline junkie surfing the big waves or a kayaker paddling through tranquil waters, our water sports helmets offer the protection and comfort you need to stay out there.
Safety standards for water sports helmets
Several certifying organizations set internationally recognized standards for safety protection, including the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the European Committee for Standardization (CEN). These organizations provide guidelines on factors like impact resistance, buoyancy, and strap strength that helmets must meet to be considered safe. Helmets that meet these standards will display certification labels, making it easy for consumers to identify them.
Let's look at the criteria for water helmets:
US CPSC Safety Standard
The minimum standard for sports helmets of all types is the US CPSC Safety Standard for Bicycle Helmets for Persons Age 5 and Older. To receive this certification, helmets are rigorously tested in four main areas:
- Peripheral vision – The helmet can cause no obstructions to the athlete's peripheral vision in any direction.
- Positional stability – The helmet must stay in place without intervention.
- Retention strength – The helmet straps must keep the helmet on the athlete's head in the event of an accident.
- Impact attenuation – The helmet must absorb and displace impact energy to prevent head injuries during a collision or fall.
Choosing a water sports helmet that fits properly
First and foremost, the helmet should fit snugly and comfortably on your head. A loose or ill-fitting helmet can easily come off during an impact or underwater, leaving you vulnerable to serious injury. Look for helmets with adjustable straps and padding that conform to your head's shape.
Another critical factor is the level of protection offered by the helmet. The best water sports helmets will have multiple layers of impact-absorbing material, such as foam or EVA padding, and hard outer shells made from materials like ABS or polycarbonate.
So how do you find out what size safety helmet you need? The first step is to measure your head circumference using a tape measure. It should fit snugly around the widest part of your head - just above the eyebrows and ears. Once you have this measurement, please save it to compare it with the manufacturer's sizing chart for their helmets. Remember that different manufacturers may have slightly different sizing charts.
Secondly, you'll want to try on different sizes if possible. It's more than just fit. You want to check for pressure points and other factors that could cause discomfort, such as lack of ventilation.