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Old    Garon Davis (gpd005)      Join Date: May 2013       05-22-2013, 2:29 PM Reply   
So what is everyone one's thoughts on helmets? I've ridden in the woods and motocross for several years on bikes and quads so it just feels natural to strap on a helmet when i'm doing anything a little edgy. So who wears one and what are your thoughts? I've heard horror stories about busted ear drums etc from smacking their faces on the water and since i seem to be getting batter at doing that part i thought a helmet might be a good investment.

Thanks for the info and we are talking riding behind a boat not at the cable park.
Old    Bryce Stevens (SS_Hooke102)      Join Date: Sep 2011       05-22-2013, 3:19 PM Reply   
I used to ride with a helmet and found that every time I fell it hurt my head significantly more than when I fell with out one. It may have been the helmet and i may just be a wimp lol, but i just found that i hurt less when I don't ride with one.
Old    Justin Harrelson (skiboarder)      Join Date: Oct 2006       05-22-2013, 3:38 PM Reply   
If it gives you the confidence to shred harder, wear one. If not, don't. I always put on a brain bucket for any hits rail or land related. Not because plan on using it, but just incase I do.

By the way, this discussion always starts a storm. You are not going to get a good answer as far as real safety goes.
Old    Andy Graham (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       05-22-2013, 3:47 PM Reply   
Ear drum protection (at the very least).
Old    Bryce Stevens (SS_Hooke102)      Join Date: Sep 2011       05-22-2013, 4:11 PM Reply   
to add on to my previous comment, all that really matters as justin mentioned is what works for YOU. If it makes you do things you normally wouldn't or feel safe (er) then by all means. 'nuff said
Old    Cory Libka (Fx4210)      Join Date: Feb 2013       05-22-2013, 4:36 PM Reply   
My crew used to make fun of me for rockin mine, but far less headaches and more confidence to try new things made it so I didn't care. Now they don't either. Bern h20 with ear flaps!!
Old    Jamie Corvin (Bumpass1)      Join Date: Oct 2010       05-22-2013, 6:33 PM Reply   
The worst crash i ever took was with a lid on. I had a raised section on my bean where there was a gap in the padding for about 3 days. I feel that the helmet made the crash much worse than it would have been without. Helmet = more surface area at the moment of impact. I pesonally have not had a crash behind the boat that made me think "Wow a helmet would have made that crash better". This is all personal preferance. Like others have said if you feel you need it, then rock it!
Old    L W (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       05-22-2013, 11:57 PM Reply   
I've posted in every thread on this. Im not a big helmet guy, but I have had some very bad falls and a KO that led to a hospital visit from a heel side digger. Since wearing a helmet I have never had a concussion or really a bad whipe out head wise to speak of. I believe in them %100 for wakeboarding. I have kids too and it sets a good example. I always wear mine. I have the Pro tec 2-face.
Old    Garon Davis (gpd005)      Join Date: May 2013       05-23-2013, 8:10 AM Reply   
Thanks for the opinions! I figured there would be a lot of differing thoughts on this subject but i'm glad to see more in favor of it. We have one on order and we will see how things go.
Old    Dave O (wakedaveup)      Join Date: May 2012       05-23-2013, 10:49 AM Reply   
I agree with L W. I was one of those guys that hated helmets his whole life. I had my 3rd concussion and thought I was having seizures for about 6 months (constantly lost vision, felt shaky, couldn't sleep, miserable). Almost got completely out of wakeboarding and the industry because of it. Long story short, made a full recovery and have worn a helmet ever since. Don't care how stupid they look or uncomfortable they are. Nothing is worth what I went through on that 3rd concussion.
Old    S. R. (stingreye)      Join Date: Oct 2012       05-23-2013, 10:58 AM Reply   
Well, I will chime in for info on beginner wakeboarders for those to consider when teaching new people:

When we were in Parker a few years ago, we witnessed a girl catch an edge. She face planted the board whipped behind her and struck her in the back of the head. They had to load her on the swim platform. They brought her to the dock at the house we were staying at. She started to have convulsions and they air lifted her out on a helicopter.

I also had two friends have similar injuries snowboarding when they were learning (staples from board impact to the back of the head).

Needless to say, I bought helmets and require them for riders on our boat (99% of riders are beginners on our boat). I would probably let an advanced rider go without one but he/she knows what they are getting into and the pros and cons likely. A beginner, likely not they are relying on usually the boat owner.
Old    Ron (Nordicron)      Join Date: Aug 2011       05-23-2013, 11:22 AM Reply   
Maybe I've just gotten better but when I first started riding basically the first 2yrs I alway wore a helmet and it sure seemed like I got knocked dizzy more then than all last season that I started going without all the time cuz I lost a ear flap.

Now because of the scorpion effect I make both my kids wear one, or any other kid for that matter on my boat. But for me I'm so inflexible that no way I'd ever scorpion! I do agree with everyone else helmets do provide great benefit from blowing out a eardrum.
Old    Jordan Plummer (WakeJp12)      Join Date: Apr 2013       05-28-2013, 12:16 PM Reply   
I always ride cable with a helmet, but not usually when I ride boat... only when Im learning new raleys and glides
Old    Chase McCaughey (chasemac)      Join Date: Apr 2008       05-31-2013, 8:16 PM Reply   
I never wear a helmet!... I've heard not to for a couple of reasons. 1: with a helmet on, your head weighs more, therefore more swing weight on an edge catch. 2: the helmet makes for more surface area on your head, stopping your head faster when it hits the water. faster swing weight, faster stop = concussion. BUT... always wear a helmet when you're riding rails or cable parks! much more to hit your head on.
Old    Jason G (jason_ssr)      Join Date: Apr 2001       06-04-2013, 5:58 AM Reply   
protection from hitting water = no
protection from hitting solid objects = yes
Old     (Orange)      Join Date: Jun 2012       06-04-2013, 7:36 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_ssr View Post
protection from hitting water = no
protection from hitting solid objects = yes
Totally disagree. At the speed your head can hit the water in a bad crash, the water behaves more like a solid object.
Old    Josh M (dvsone79)      Join Date: Dec 2012       06-04-2013, 8:35 PM Reply   
I think the swing weight and bucket effect would cancel out the impact absorption of the helmet when said impact is with water. Not make it worse, but no better either. When rails and other obstacles come into play, or if you're worried about your ear drums, it seems a helmet is a good option. Maybe not a no-brainer (no pun intended), but I think the pros slightly outweigh the cons.
Old    Jamie (Wiatowski)      Join Date: Aug 2011       06-06-2013, 7:21 AM Reply   
It's funny that in competition the pro's are required to wear one.....
That being said people need to stop with the whole "more surface area = harder fall" ENOUGH!
If they were that dangerous they wouldn't be made. I'm quite sure that they weren't tested thoroughly and designed for the sport by people that know what they're doing. It's an unfounded and lame argument because you don't want to wear a helmet.

Let's be honest. Most people don't wear one because they don't like the feel, or wind noise they cause. They're should be only one answer everytime this question comes up.

Whatever makes you feel safe or comfortable.

So to the people who don't wear them quit ragging on people who do. And to the people who do wear them quit ragging on the people who don't. And if the guy driving the boat wants you to put one on? Shut up and do it, or don't ride.

BTW I rarely wear one cause I don't like the way it feels.
Old    Patrick McNutt (kiter86)      Join Date: Jul 2009       06-06-2013, 8:17 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiatowski View Post
It's funny that in competition the pro's are required to wear one.....
That being said people need to stop with the whole "more surface area = harder fall" ENOUGH!
If they were that dangerous they wouldn't be made. I'm quite sure that they weren't tested thoroughly and designed for the sport by people that know what they're doing. It's an unfounded and lame argument because you don't want to wear a helmet.

Let's be honest. Most people don't wear one because they don't like the feel, or wind noise they cause. They're should be only one answer everytime this question comes up.

Whatever makes you feel safe or comfortable.

So to the people who don't wear them quit ragging on people who do. And to the people who do wear them quit ragging on the people who don't. And if the guy driving the boat wants you to put one on? Shut up and do it, or don't ride.

BTW I rarely wear one cause I don't like the way it feels.
The problem is that simple physics say that more surface area is a harder fall. The helmet acts like a sail and stops your head quicker. (Think of the jerk you get when pull a parachute sky diving) Inertia takes your brain and smashes it against the inside of your skull harder. Obviously when riding rails it is a different story, but it is a fact that the helmet will give you a harder fall when riding straight water.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
Old    Jamie (Wiatowski)      Join Date: Aug 2011       06-06-2013, 3:15 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiter86 View Post
The problem is that simple physics say that more surface area is a harder fall. The helmet acts like a sail and stops your head quicker. (Think of the jerk you get when pull a parachute sky diving) Inertia takes your brain and smashes it against the inside of your skull harder. Obviously when riding rails it is a different story, but it is a fact that the helmet will give you a harder fall when riding straight water.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
You missed the point.... It's just a lame excuse.
Old    Andy Graham (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       06-06-2013, 3:43 PM Reply   
^^ The percentage difference in surface area for a helmeted head vs. a naked head is not nearly the same as a parachute vs. body without parachute. Not a good analogy.
Old    Tim (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-08-2013, 8:09 AM Reply   
If you are good enough that you can tell the effects of a helmet on your performance your probably good enough not to be impacted by something so relatively light. As a dirt bike rider I have done a bunch of helmet research and I can see a helmet helping more than hurting but my heads so big its gonna plow through the water regardless.
Old    Steve (supersteve)      Join Date: Mar 2013       06-08-2013, 8:46 AM Reply   
No helmet, no jacket, no rubbas.
Old    Jason G (jason_ssr)      Join Date: Apr 2001       06-08-2013, 10:52 AM Reply   
The point is, it's laceration protection, not impact/concussion protection. Landing hard is going to rattle your brain, water or PVC, helmet or not.
Old    Jeffrey Blanchard (eternalshadow)      Join Date: Nov 2001       06-08-2013, 11:34 AM Reply   
If I'm hitting rails, every time. If I'm learning a trick that's blind (head may be the principal point of impact) then yes.

Otherwise no. I've had my helmet "bucket" on more than one occasion placing more strain on my neck and almost causing a concussion when the same fall without one would have had no effects.

It really comes down to preference for most people. Helmet or not if you take a full hit to the head the risk of a concussion is high because of the speed of impact.
Old    Delta Force (wakebordr11)      Join Date: May 2001       06-08-2013, 2:14 PM Reply   
I've tried them... I didn't like the whistling wind noise I experienced, couldn't hear the boat, what the driver was doing etc... I like to hear everything out there, it plays into my riding experience. To each their own. My crew doesn't ride with helmets on the wake...

Whoever said snowboarding above - I feel that is different. I almost always wear a helmet when I snow ski.
Old    Josh M (dvsone79)      Join Date: Dec 2012       06-09-2013, 10:00 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiatowski View Post
It's funny that in competition the pro's are required to wear one.....
That being said people need to stop with the whole "more surface area = harder fall" ENOUGH!
If they were that dangerous they wouldn't be made. I'm quite sure that they weren't tested thoroughly and designed for the sport by people that know what they're doing. It's an unfounded and lame argument because you don't want to wear a helmet.

Let's be honest. Most people don't wear one because they don't like the feel, or wind noise they cause. They're should be only one answer everytime this question comes up.

Whatever makes you feel safe or comfortable.

So to the people who don't wear them quit ragging on people who do. And to the people who do wear them quit ragging on the people who don't. And if the guy driving the boat wants you to put one on? Shut up and do it, or don't ride.

BTW I rarely wear one cause I don't like the way it feels.
While some may use it as an excuse, the bucket effect is just science. Same with swing weight. Nothing lame about science. I get your point, but your argument that "if helmets aren't safe for us then they wouldn't be making them" is the lamest thing I've ever heard. People say the same thing about our govt. "If it wasn't good for us, then they wouldn't do it." Lamest way to think, regardless of whether you're talking about helmet manufacturers or Uncle Sam.
Old    L W (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       06-09-2013, 10:55 PM Reply   
It's an interesting debate and I see both sides but I always wear a Helmet now and I'll explain why. I should start by saying I was always against helmets for most sports, and especially for wakeboarding always using the argument "It will make neck injuries worse". I had a Raley go bad a few years ago (took it past 180 to almost 270)and took a heel side back edge digger on impact, resulting in a concussion, complete KO, and my face under the water for a couple minutes. The guys on the boat had to pull me out, and do CPR and chest compressions for apx 2 minutes while on the phone with 911. I came too and immediately starting throwing up blood and water. Liters of it. It was very scary. Spent a few days in the hospital with a collapsed lung and whiplash. The whiplash lasted a good year. I had a vest, a dry suit on and no helmet.

What I took away was that when I hit the water, my body stopped immediately (due to large surface area and the buoyancy of the body combined with the vest and the air in the dry suit) but when my head hit, because it was smaller, and more dense, it kept going back causing the whiplash and the KO. I mean no one can say for sure, but I believe it was the whiplash that caused the concussion, not the initial impact. When I asked the doctor, they of course said I should wear a helmet and that it would help but I was very skeptical. Since that day I have always worn a helmet and I have truly seen a difference on these types of falls. The helmet cushions the head during the fall and slows the head down to a similar rate as the body. I have taken that same type of fall and literally came up with a smile on my face because my head was fine.

I think the best thing to try is actually riding with a helmet and seeing if it effects you positively or negatively. I actually prefer it now. And it's another place to put stickers
Old     (Orange)      Join Date: Jun 2012       06-10-2013, 5:33 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by 501s View Post
It's an interesting debate and I see both sides but I always wear a Helmet now and I'll explain why. I should start by saying I was always against helmets for most sports, and especially for wakeboarding always using the argument "It will make neck injuries worse". I had a Raley go bad a few years ago (took it past 180 to almost 270)and took a heel side back edge digger on impact, resulting in a concussion, complete KO, and my face under the water for a couple minutes. The guys on the boat had to pull me out, and do CPR and chest compressions for apx 2 minutes while on the phone with 911. I came too and immediately starting throwing up blood and water. Liters of it. It was very scary. Spent a few days in the hospital with a collapsed lung and whiplash. The whiplash lasted a good year. I had a vest, a dry suit on and no helmet.

What I took away was that when I hit the water, my body stopped immediately (due to large surface area and the buoyancy of the body combined with the vest and the air in the dry suit) but when my head hit, because it was smaller, and more dense, it kept going back causing the whiplash and the KO. I mean no one can say for sure, but I believe it was the whiplash that caused the concussion, not the initial impact. When I asked the doctor, they of course said I should wear a helmet and that it would help but I was very skeptical. Since that day I have always worn a helmet and I have truly seen a difference on these types of falls. The helmet cushions the head during the fall and slows the head down to a similar rate as the body. I have taken that same type of fall and literally came up with a smile on my face because my head was fine.

I think the best thing to try is actually riding with a helmet and seeing if it effects you positively or negatively. I actually prefer it now. And it's another place to put stickers
Thanks for adding your experience. Most of the people I've talked to that have been knocked unconscious wakeboarding share a similar sentiment - will not wakeboard without a helmet.

I had heard this debate several times for years and started looking around and asking questions. Unfortunately I have been unable to find any research or proclamations specific to wakeboarding from "official" people that would shed lit on the helmet / no helmet issue in a way that nearly everybody would respect as more than just another persons opinion. I'm exposed to a number of doctors due to my profession and started asking around and I can tell you 100% of the maybe dozen neurologists and ER doctors I asked were strongly in favor of wearing helmets. That said, none of them were authorities on wakeboarding injuries or knew of research into the subject.

This thread has a markedly different angle than the other dozen I've seen over the years. Usually most everyone agrees the helmet reduces concussion risk, but introduces the "bucket effect" where the helmet could exacerbate or cause neck injuries and paralysis. This is the first time I've seen so many people take the position that the helmet won't even help or may even cause concussions.

Because of the discussions I've had with neurologist friends who treat concussion victims all the time, helmets are a rule for me and my kids. I've thought about going so far as making them a rule in my boat - no helmet, no ride - but have instead only modified it that it is a rule for all kids but adults can choose to go unprotected.
Old    Jason (Hooya)      Join Date: Aug 2011       06-10-2013, 7:53 AM Reply   
"with a helmet on, your head weighs more, therefore more swing weight on an edge catch"

wakeboard helmets are so light the difference in swing weight is minimal. Before you know it we will be banning anyone with a big head from riding for health and safety reasons.


I agree with the difference in surface area not being a big issue either. The absorption of impact through a lid rather than your skull will far out weigh the negatives from bigger surface area.
Old    Jason G (jason_ssr)      Join Date: Apr 2001       06-10-2013, 11:32 AM Reply   
When wakeboarding, you are subject to injury. Ive hit hard without a helmet, Ive hit hard with a helmet. Ive been bucketed, and ive been cut open. I dont think one can say that trading one set of injury potential for another is either positive or negative. People who wear helmets attempt to prevent concussion in one way, but invite it in another, and vise versa. There is no right\better answer. For every fall you take that a helmet would have helped, you take one where a helmet would have hurt you.

Everyone must look at their own riding and decide which side they might be more suceptable to and lean that way. Some people may be more of an edge catcher (beginner), while others may be more of a bail out of a flip head first (more advanced). Helmets may be better suited for one thatn the other. Most importantly, we must respect each others decision to do whats best for themselves.

if Im on a lake wakeboarding, no helmet. If Im on a river wakeboarding where there is greater potential for logs and whatnot in the water, helmet. If Im hitting sliders anywhere, helmet. If Im kiteboarding in open water, no helmet. if im hitting sliders on the kite, helmet. I have a helmet and I like it. I use it for laceration protection. However, I have a much greater head first bucket risk than I do a edge catch risk when riding behind the boat.
Old    Jason (Hooya)      Join Date: Aug 2011       06-13-2013, 7:27 AM Reply   
Still don't get this idea that a helmet can "invite " concussion.
Old    Baitkiller (baitkiller)      Join Date: Jan 2010       06-13-2013, 12:27 PM Reply   
My head, my boat, my experience and my rules.

I take hard diggers because I suck at wake boarding. I had four concussions without a helmet. The last 3 years, still lots of diggers and a few bell ringers but zero three day headaches or even day ending concussion type head slaps while wearing my helmet. Thats good enough for me. Back edges are extremely helpful. I do allot of those.

My two boys and any other kid on my boat wear helmets because the 9 year old took a front edge, three day headache and sat out the last two weeks of spring football. Starting QB too. His coach chewed my ass for that one.

The 12 year old goes big and is fearless. He is trying inverts and spins and seems not to have any nerve endings. He wears a helmet because I said so..

All other kids wear one because I don't want to explain to some kids mom what the scorpion effect is from the ER waiting room. ("Staples? In his head??!!! Scorpion what??)

Amazon has the new triple 8 wake helmets for 40 bucks. Yep 40 bucks and the kids are used to them from skating anyway.

Your over 18 you can do whatever you want. I wont even bring the subject up. But if you would like to borrow a helmet I'm sure i have one to fit you.. be my guest.
Old    John (stoked_32)      Join Date: Aug 2007       06-13-2013, 3:26 PM Reply   
I've had 3 concussions wakeboarding. The first, I was wearing a helmet and caught a toe edge learning a raley at the cable. I whiplashed and took it to the chin. The second was the day after I learned my first toe off 5 and I didn't get the board to trip and took it to the chin again. I wasn't wearing a helmet.

http://vimeo.com/26991066

I'm on my third concussion as of last week. Only fifth hit at the wake, warming up on a crow (a trick I've done maybe a thousand times by now), went too big and caught the nose. I'm relatively certain I hit the side of my head. Wasn't wearing a helmet on that one either.

On the two that caught my toe edge (once with a helmet and once without) and hit chin first, I'm certain a helmet wouldn'tve helped or had a negative effect. On my last fall where I hit the side of my head, I wished I was wearing one. I'm pretty sure the padding would've prevented the concussion.

Most of the time I'm able to dive in head first, and I can feel the increased force on my neck when I have a lid on.

I don't know what I'm going to do yet when I heal up and ride again. One thing I can say for sure is, I'm not against wearing a helmet because I think it makes me look stupid.

Last edited by stoked_32; 06-13-2013 at 3:35 PM.
Old    Baitkiller (baitkiller)      Join Date: Jan 2010       06-13-2013, 7:13 PM Reply   
Oh man Jon. That had to hurt. If that was a failed 3 and that was a back edge you have a picture of my typical set....
Hope you get back in the saddle.
Old    Jason G (jason_ssr)      Join Date: Apr 2001       06-14-2013, 6:25 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooya View Post
Still don't get this idea that a helmet can "invite " concussion.
I wouldnt limit it to concussion, more like invites injury that would have otherwise no occured.

Google "bucketing" and you will find all sorts of stuff. This is not a new concept and many helmet companies state that they design their helmets to reduce the risk of bucketing. Basically the surface area combined with the lips of the helmet create points of drag that can wrench your neck violently when travelling at speed. The more speed the higher risk.

I too have a helmet that I like and I wear it regularly. But I understand it also has its risks so I look at the riding conditions and determine which way Im rolling the dice.
Old    Jamie (Wiatowski)      Join Date: Aug 2011       06-14-2013, 2:11 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by dvsone79 View Post
While some may use it as an excuse, the bucket effect is just science. Same with swing weight. Nothing lame about science. I get your point, but your argument that "if helmets aren't safe for us then they wouldn't be making them" is the lamest thing I've ever heard. People say the same thing about our govt. "If it wasn't good for us, then they wouldn't do it." Lamest way to think, regardless of whether you're talking about helmet manufacturers or Uncle Sam.
Was more talking about the legal and lawsuit side of it. If helmets were found to cause concussions would they really make them? If helmets were bad and someone was wearing one at the time they incurred a concussion, I think there would be lawsuits against the manufacturers.
Old    Baitkiller (baitkiller)      Join Date: Jan 2010       06-14-2013, 2:29 PM Reply   
Just picked this up today at Revo... Thanks Nick!
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