Tantalising tips for your pre-ski holiday checklist
by Martin Rupf
They used to be frowned upon on the mountain, but today almost every skier and snowboarder wears a ski helmet. Ski and snowboard helmets not only protect you in case of a fall. They also protect you from the sun, wind and cold. Today, 99 percent of all winter sports enthusiasts wear a helmet.
Ski and snowboard helmets differ in three types of construction: In-Mold, Hardshell and Hybrid. The classic variant is the hardshell version. Here, an ABS outer shell serves as impact protection. The second layer, which is usually made of EPS foam, serves as cushioning. In the in-mold construction, the outer shell is welded to the inner shell, forming a single unit. This process makes the helmet lighter and narrower in shape. Hybrid helmets are a newer technology. The helmet is divided into two zones: the hardshell construction on top, and the in-mold construction on the bottom. This design combines the advantages of light weight with improved shock resistance and durability.
Manufacturers such as Giro, Uvex, POC or Anon improve their helmets with new technologies, trying to make them lighter, safer, stronger and more comfortable. A common technology is the MIPS technology (Multi-directional Impact Protection System). It diverts rotational forces during an oblique impact, mimicking the scalp. Thanks to this technology, severe brain damage can be prevented. Helmets with MIPS technology are marked with a MIPS logo on the helmet .
When buying your helmet, pay attention to the ventilation system. Simple models have a few simply arranged air inlets, while the higher quality models can regulate the ventilation thanks to sliders (Active Ventilation). Removable earmuffs, washable linings and adjustable chin straps with or without magnetic closure are other features you should look out for. In addition, there are helmets that are prepared for an audio system. If you combine ski goggles and ski helmets from the same manufacturer, you can benefit from their optimal coordination and fit. Visor helmets offer a combination of ski helmet and goggles. The helmets with integrated visor are very suitable for people who wear glasses, because the visor can be easily folded over the glasses.
To determine the size of your helmet, you need to measure your head circumference with a measuring tape. Place the measuring tape one centimeter above your eyebrows. If you have a head circumference of e.g. 56 cm, this falls into a size range such as M (55 - 58 cm). If you like to wear a cap under the helmet, you have to take this into account.