Post general kiteboarding discussion topics here!
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I wanted to bring the helmets topic forward since we have been spending a significant amount of time trying, testing and evaluating different designs and vendors.
There is a great variety of qualities and pricing. You can find anywhere from the $29 thin padding, non compliant helmets, to the $120+ composite material multi-standard compliant versions.
There are various features that create adjustable fitment, better retension, removable components such as visors and ear flaps, even waterproof earphone integration for your waterproof mp3 player
There are three brands that we have been most successful with. Each of them for different reasons though.
I am attaching some photos and link for you to further review:
Pro-tec Ace Wake:
Your typical, mostly used plastic helmet with substantial padding and great fitment. The helmet that has sold the most this year:
Pro-tec Ace Wake Web Site
Capix Wake Cap:
One of the coolest designs out there. Sponsoring the Pointless Wakeboarding team for a second term. Thinner plastic construction, with good fitment options (removable pads etc), with fairly thin but decenlty comfortable inner layer.
Capix Wake Cap Web Site
Probably the saffest protection for your brain! There are composite models which are pricy but are significantly stronger, and plastics.
Padding is compatible to the Pro-tec, and they are feature-rich. The designs and product names are as good as the actual products
ShredReady Product Page
Full Mental Jacket
Full Mental Jacket Web Site
Shaggy Web Site
Sherlock Web Site
Shredder Web Site
Vixen Web Site
Super Scrappy Web Site
I hope the above helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Thanks for all the info on the helmets. I've been using the Protec standard helmet, which is OK. Not too expensive, lightweight, but i would be interested in one that has support for mp3 earphones. Which one is that?
The wateproof earphones are actually an add-on.
They are ear-flaps that clip on the sides of the helmet.
You can purchase them separately, and they fit either the Pro-tec or the ShredReady helmets. Now that's innovation!
Just another tip. Greatful heads also makes great composite helmets. That's what I use. I've got some nice scratches in the finish, but never bump on my head!
Also, a lot of guys in my area go for the Gath helmets. The padding is a little thinner, but the coverage is better. I've got one of these as well. Mine has a retractable visor for those days when the sun is glaring off of the water. I look like Darth Vador, but at least I can see.
We started with the Gaths years back 5+ but we found the following negatives:
- The padding is so thin, that even although you escape the scatch on the head, the impact still goes through and shakes you in a bigger way than with the other helmets.
- You can't wear water sunglasses with the Gaths. This is a big limitation since many people use watersunglasses to protect their eyes from the elements. The retractable visor scratches very esily so we don't recomment it.
- Pricing is really high, for what you get for.
Nice summary and photos too. A word of caution about some of the helmets with projections, visors, brims, etc.. Anything that might increase drag on impact could contribute to neck injury.
The demands of kiteboarding can be far different from that of surfing or white water kayaking given the high speed of impact that can be achieved against not only water but also hard objects. Many of the helmets shown above were developed for whitewater sports and as such when the person hits the water he is likely already moving at close to the speed of the water. In kiteboarding the water may be relatively motionless when the rider slams in at an angle at potentially a high rate of speed.
There was a kiteboarder that died in Holland last month due to a neck fracture apparently against water following a long, low, fast lofting. He was not wearing a helmet. It is possible that a good, low drag helmet may have avoided or minimized the injury, we will likely never know for sure. More about that in the complete account to be posted in a few days. On the other hand, a helmet with excessive drag, poor fit or construction contributing to bucketing (added water weight & drag), could cause a neck fracture.
Helmets for kiteboarding are good things to wear. Find the best one that you can suitable for kiteboarding with light weight, good fit, low drag, good padding and resilent shell, put it on and forget about it. Most people forget it is even there in minutes.
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