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Old     (wakerider111)      Join Date: Jul 2006       04-08-2008, 2:13 PM Reply   
before i am misunderstood for a "basher of helmets" let me just say that i am glad we have at least something.

Wakeboarding is not Kayaking!
so why should we be content on using helmets certified for kayaking and other whitewater sports?

Every wakeboard helmet i have seen that has a certification listed is listed with the same certification: CE 1385
from what i have gathered in quick internet searches, safety of helmets may not only be questionable for impact on water but impacts on hard objects as well. (I think i have yet to see an "official" document on this certification, so if you see one point it out to me)

MAIN PROBLEM ONE - We wakeboard faster than kayakers do


Under these circumstances it is extremely unlikely that the speed of impact will be greater than 18 km/h (5 m/s) because this is the highest recorded rate of flow in a white water river.

MAIN PROBLEM TWO - If not recomended for "extreme kayakers," then possibly not good enough for those hitting sliders too
If this helmet certification does not meet the needs of "extreme kayakers" (class 5-6 difficulty as stated on the same web site
then these helmets are probably not up to par for those hitting sliders too. I think it would be fairly safe to say the forces that "extreme kayakers" are faced with are similar to those that pose a threat for those hitting sliders, especially slider gaps.

other info gatherd from an interview with a co-founder of shred-ready on this site


RF: Ah I see. What about the CE 1385, that seems like a small amount of energy.

TS: It is, but the people who helped right the whitewater helmet standard did not have any data to suggest how hard kayakers hit their heads. They thought about the vertical distance the head travels and also though about the water slowing the head down when flipping upside down. They set the standard with the best knowledge they had at the time.

RF: So we really donít know how hard we hit our heads?

TS: Right we donít. There is subjective or anecdotal evidence but I know of no studies with objective measurement of the forces of head impacts in whitewater.

I wrote a 4 page e-mail to pro-tec yesterday about this and hope for a reply.
this topic (water impact) has also been submitted at least 3 times on three separate occasions by separate individuals to myth busters. see what happens...

(Message edited by wakerider111 on April 08, 2008)
Old     (steezyshots)      Join Date: Feb 2008       04-08-2008, 2:45 PM Reply   
Don't crash on the slider with your head...

Until they come out with helmets that are safe enough that is..

Good research!
Old     (innov8)      Join Date: May 2005       04-08-2008, 2:53 PM Reply   
Depends on what type of Kayaking your talking about.
I would say this is a pretty hard impact.
Old     (kristian)      Join Date: Nov 2002       04-08-2008, 2:56 PM Reply   
I use a skate helmet. Problem solved.

I could be dead wrong here and please correct me if I am. But dont Pro-tec's ace wake helmets have the same certifications as their skate equivilent?
Old     (woohoo)      Join Date: Jun 2006       04-08-2008, 3:07 PM Reply   
I have seen the pro-tec's and I have one of the Byerly helmets. Why does the pro-tec have way less padding then my Byerly one? Seems like there is going to be a lot more protection with the amount of padding my helmet has compared to the pro-tecs I've seen.
Old     (bmartin)      Join Date: Jan 2007       04-08-2008, 3:32 PM Reply   
Good start on your research and I will be checking back to see what Pro-tec says. I would be curious to know what studies have gone into certifying kayak helmets.

As a paddler myself, I would feel pretty comfortable wearing a lid when hitting rails that is certified for extreme kayaking. For starters, kayakers deal with some of the hardest objects on earth - rocks like granite. I'm not saying sliders are soft, but given the choice I would rather deal with a blow to the head with wood or some other composite materials that sliders are typically made of. Kayakers can also get to the speeds of rail riders off drops/waterfalls or raging white water, but agree that most of the times you are going much slower, but it is those times you booking in a kayak that bad things are likely to happen. Lastly, the stakes are a little higher in a kayak. Get knocked out while being upside down in a yak and you will not resurface without someone rescuing you and often the water is too raging for anyone to get close enough to perform a rescue. If you are wearing a life jacket on a lake, it is a real simple rescue to pull someone out of a lake that is unconscious.

Not trying to say paddlers have bigger nads or anything, but they have to deal with some pretty gnarly head blows and it is kind of freakish hitting your head while you are cruising along underwater.
Old     (hawk7)      Join Date: Apr 2007       04-08-2008, 3:53 PM Reply   
Avoid Falling.

If youre hitting rails, hearing a helmet is better than not wearing one I'd Think.
Old     (wakeslife)      Join Date: Jul 2005       04-08-2008, 5:15 PM Reply   
I don't understand why many people are so persistent at trying to disprove the effectiveness of helmets. Does it make you feel better not wearing one by trying to expose the few flaws/disadvantages to wearing one?
Old     (zburns)      Join Date: Mar 2007       04-08-2008, 6:51 PM Reply   
They are not trying to disporve the effectiveness of helmets just for the sake of doing it but rather to improve the quality of them. Why settle for something good when it can be great and if no one challenges the effectiveness of helmets then no steps will be made to make them better.
Old     (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       04-08-2008, 8:09 PM Reply   
Helmet design needs several considerations. Comfort from the soft padding and the shape. The soft padding does nothing to protect your head but the shape does because it gives an even load.
The crush zone. It''s commonly styrofoam of some type in almost every kind of helmet but it can be a closed cell foam. It's not soft and the energy is absorbed and trauma lessened by the time it takes to crush instead a sharp impact. The energy if effectively the force applied in relation to the time the force is applied. Thicker and stiffer absorbs more energy. Too stiff and too much energy goes into your head.
The shell protects the crush zone and stops intrusions.
Somewhere in all that you have to keep the head cool because all of that insulates the head and no one wants heat stroke.

I'm glad it's not my job to design helmets. Motorcycle racing helmets are designed to take a single hard hit and slide on an abrasive surface. Car racing helmets are designed to take multiple hits but don't need the abrasion resistance.
It would be nice if someone set up test standards for watersports helmets. There is a big design difference between a helmet that's going to pound a slider as opposed to one hitting the water from a strange angle at more than 40 MPH while crossing the wake..
Old     (wakerider111)      Join Date: Jul 2006       04-08-2008, 8:26 PM Reply   
roddy rod, zach answered best. Just trying to figure out what is really happening. there are good arguments from both sides. but only a test will confirm things it seems

im seeing a high possibility of at least two types of helmets. one for just water and one for sliders

it just seems too difficult to make a helmet that will fit both worlds to its highest potential. slider helmets however do need to have some protection against water. after all there is water everywhere around the sliders.

but i could be wrong. i am no expert even with all the research i have done and the people i have interviewed (neuroligist, biomechanics prof., physics prof., fluid mechanics prof., and anatomy and orthopedic professors.) Mostly all it has come down to is a few theories that have already been echoed on WW and an agreement that testing needs to be conducted

I sent the email to pro-tec because i like their designs the best of any wake helmet (based from looks and reading) and if any company were to make improvements i would want one from them. but if ANY company out there is reading this... hop on this and let us know. i personally am willing to do whatever within my power to help.

(Message edited by wakerider111 on April 08, 2008)

(Message edited by wakerider111 on April 08, 2008)
Old     (wakerider111)      Join Date: Jul 2006       04-08-2008, 9:04 PM Reply   
Again, just to be clear for everyone.
Helmets ARE (still) advocated for sliders!!
but your on your own to sort out opinions when deciding whether to wear one for water impact alone.
Old     (xbones)      Join Date: Mar 2007       04-09-2008, 7:34 AM Reply   
Kinda off topic a little but...I listen to a sports radio guy named Colin Cowherd who has a famous saying when referring to professional/collegate athletes when they get busted for doing something stupid/illegal:

"Before you do something say it outloud and see if it sounds like a good idea." For example:

I'm going to strap myself to a 140cm piece of wood and hold on to a rope thats connected to a boat going 23mph...and then try to stay on the piece of wood after jumping from the water on to an immovable object placed on the water...without a helmet.
Old     (andy_nintzel)      Join Date: Sep 2004 Location: Minnesnowda       04-09-2008, 7:57 AM Reply   
Old     (romes)      Join Date: Sep 2006       04-09-2008, 8:13 AM Reply   
hey luker i think it sounds like a great idea....without the helmet
Old     (wakerider111)      Join Date: Jul 2006       04-15-2008, 11:58 AM Reply   
AtTheLake and everyone else~

just f.y.i. i have received no reply from pro-tec as far as i know. whether the e-mail got lost on its way to them or back to me or something else... i don't know. so, sorry for those looking forward to hearing what they had to say.

just before i posted i checked the three posts on myth busters that i have seen on it and there was no new conversations so i added one to the one that i thought had the best running of the three. i probably should have posted sooner on it and keep updating it in hopes of it gaining attention. so if any of you want to do the same, quickly sign up and post and check often here 9&r=7451983369#7451983369

the other posts are: (but as i said, the one above has a better running)

Also, ... maybe i am getting anxious to ride and need something more than W.W. to do, OR maybe i am letting this helmet thing go to my head, excuse the pun, but i started making my own SOFT SHELL helmet. I figure a thin soft shell helmet is the best way to take the middle ground between the two arguments and is what i feel most comfortable with at this time. It is pretty ghetto so far, being as i am making it on a poor-newlywed-newlyparent-student-income.
I'll post info and pics about it when i finish it. hopefully some time within a week.

i was thinking that maybe the web address might not work for the myth buster forum 'cause i was logged on or not, so here is another

and if that doesnt work just search for this topic:
Myth---"Will a helmet reduce the chance of a concussion durign a crash on a wakeboard"

(Message edited by wakerider111 on April 15, 2008)

(Message edited by wakerider111 on April 15, 2008)
Old     (wake_upppp)      Join Date: Nov 2003       04-15-2008, 9:44 PM Reply   
Try this one fact: I have not had a concussion, or even my bell rung since I started wearing my Pro-Tec two seasons ago...
Old     (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       04-15-2008, 9:50 PM Reply   
I have not had a concussion or even my bell rung for the last two seasons and I haven't worn a helmet once. Obviously, I'm not telling anyone not to wear a helmet. That's a decision you have to make yourself. I'm just trying to point out that just because you do X and Y doesn't happen, it doesn't necessarily mean that X is what prevented Y from happening. Just trying to make sure that everyone is thinking it through.

Check out our article on concussions at
Old     (pyrosmurf)      Join Date: Apr 2002       04-15-2008, 10:01 PM Reply   
Well, there's not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol is sure doing its job.
That's specious reasoning, Dad.
Thank you, sweetie.
Dad, what if I were to tell you that this rock keeps away tigers.
Uh-huh, and how does it work?
It doesn't work. It's just a stupid rock.
I see.
But you don't see any tigers around, do you?
Lisa, I'd like to buy your rock
Old     (wake_upppp)      Join Date: Nov 2003       04-16-2008, 8:52 PM Reply   
But David, I take the same exact diggers with or without the helmet. There is no better proof than personal experience. After nine seasons I know which falls would pound my dome. It works more often than not and that's the key. Same arguement can be made about seat belts....
Old     (heeb_v215)      Join Date: Feb 2007       04-16-2008, 10:15 PM Reply   
Sparky , I have the Pro Tech helmet and has worked well so far.What do you think of the Byerly Helmet?
Old     (wake_upppp)      Join Date: Nov 2003       04-17-2008, 6:05 PM Reply   
Have not seen the Byerly in person yet myself, but knowing Byerlys' track record, it's money if he puts his name on it...


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