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Old     (superair502)      Join Date: Mar 2010       01-23-2011, 12:17 PM Reply   
I think the only real way to prevent concussions is learning how to fall and awareness. Just think when you are learning how much more you fall and how many faceplants you have compared to when you are a pretty decent rider.
Old     (rnopr8)      Join Date: Apr 2005       01-30-2011, 11:26 AM Reply   
Andy...LOVE the can of worms!!!! Hahahahahahahahaha....
Old     (razorjaw)      Join Date: Jan 2003       01-30-2011, 2:07 PM Reply   
OK, I have to put this out there - do most people realise that a helmet DOESN'T have enough surface area to make much difference? Comparing a dive to a bellyflop? No way. Folks, the impact difference between a skull and a helmet on water is very small. The cushioning offered by a helmet more than compensates for this. My 2c
Old     (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       01-30-2011, 5:31 PM Reply   
Quote:
Folks, the impact difference between a skull and a helmet on water is very small. The cushioning offered by a helmet more than compensates for this.
On what are you basing your assessment? We have an entire thread full of opinions, but no hard data that shows whether a helmet helps or hurts.
Old     (joe_crawley)      Join Date: Jan 2007       01-30-2011, 8:11 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakeworld View Post
On what are you basing your assessment? We have an entire thread full of opinions, but no hard data that shows whether a helmet helps or hurts.
But plenty of anecdotal evidence. And common sense. I've spent the last 17 years riding a lot, about half of them with a helmet, half without. I would ride without a vest before I would ride without a helmet ever again. While I agree that I'd like to see the hard data that I'm sure will be overwhelmingly in favor of wearing a helmet, I can't even take people seriously when they make the surface area argument since I've done hundreds of high speed entry case studies on my own dome.

If anybody is genuinely on the fence about this I suggest taking a month to ride with a helmet. You won't be on the fence anymore.
Old     (jealous_soul)      Join Date: Sep 2007       01-30-2011, 8:38 PM Reply   
no. helmets with earflaps are great for preventing ear drum blowouts, but concussions, not a chance. however, they are great for preventing giant gashes if you manage to nail your dome on a slider.

thanks for playing!
Old     (deltawake)      Join Date: Sep 2004       01-30-2011, 11:57 PM Reply   
The only concussions I have personally observed in wakeboarding are due to either 1) the knee hitting the chin, or 2) a whiplash injury. I have seen plenty of right now, slap the water hard, faceplants. These impacts, while as hard as any in wakeboarding, typically do not cause concussions. Notice I did NOT say that they never do. I just haven't seen it. I have seen similar impacts, where the rider catches a back edge and back plants, with the resulting whiplash causing a concussion. My premise is that hitting water does not stop a head fast enough to make the brain impact the inside of the skull enough to cause a concussion. I'm not saying it's impossible. I'm just saying that the concussions that I've seen probably could not have been prevented by a helmet.
Old     (wakerider111)      Join Date: Jul 2006       01-31-2011, 12:09 AM Reply   
I have ignored this thread for a while especially since i feel like i have done a fair share of soap-box-standing in the past with no end results (REAL SCIENTIFIC DATA), but the thread has stayed active for a while and had to check it out and so here i am again.
It is funny how this topic pops up a couple times of year and runs its same course each time from the beginning. I am going to try to point out some of the most interesting things i found in the past and try to find the links to specific past threads (there are a lot, but not many that get real DEEP into it like this one)

Getting someone to take on the study would be great, myth busters always comes up, and fact is, it has been submitted numerous times by different people in the past, but each time people (on myth busters submission/forum site) don't get the bigger picture of why water poses a whole different environment and the subject loses interest and disappears as if it were. maybe the past submissions to myth busters were not worded right to promote understanding and genuine interest and curiosity. we could try again, and maybe the time is right, when before it might not have been.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The ONLY research that has truly been done, documented, and submitted that i could find from my searches done over 2 years ago is this one

Characteristics of Water Skiing�Related
and Wakeboarding-Related Injuries
Treated in Emergency Departments
in the United States, 2001-2003
Sarah Grim Hostetler,* Todd L. Hostetler,� MD, Gary A. Smith,* MD, DrPH,
and Huiyun Xiang,*� MD, MPH, PhD
From the *Center for Injury Research and Policy, Columbus Children�s Research Institute,
Children�s Hospital, The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health,
Columbus, Ohio, and the �Department of Internal Medicine/Pediatrics, Ohio State University
Medical Center and Children�s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
Background: Water skiing and wakeboarding are popular sports with high potential for injury due to rapid boat acceleration,
lack of protective gear, and waterway obstacles. However, trends in water skiing� and wakeboarding-related injuries in the
United States have not been described using national data.
Hypothesis: The number of injuries, injury diagnoses, and body regions injured vary by sport.
Study Design: Descriptive epidemiology study.
Methods: Data regarding water skiing� and wakeboarding-related injuries presenting to 98 hospital emergency departments in
the United States between January 1, 2001, and December 31, 2003, were extracted from the National Electronic Injury
Surveillance System. Data included demographics, injury diagnosis, and body region injured.
Results: Data were collected for 517 individuals with water skiing�related injuries and 95 individuals with wakeboarding-related
injuries. These injuries represent an estimated 23 460 water skiing� and 4810 wakeboarding-related injuries treated in US emergency
departments in 2001 to 2003. Head injuries represented the largest percentage of injuries for wakeboarders (28.8% of all
injuries) and the smallest percentage for water skiers (4.3%) (P < .01; relative risk [95% confidence interval], 6.73 [3.89-11.66]).
Analysis of injury diagnosis was consistent as wakeboarders had significantly more traumatic brain injuries (12.5% of all injuries)
than did water skiers (2.4%) (P < .05; relative risk [95% confidence interval], 5.27 [2.21-12.60]). Strains or sprains were the leading
injury diagnoses for water skiing (36.3% of all injuries), and the majority (55.7%) were to the lower extremity. Lacerations
were the most common diagnoses for wakeboarders (31.1% of all injuries), and the majority (59.6%) were to the face.
Conclusion: The analyses of water skiing� and wakeboarding-related injuries treated in US emergency departments in 2001 to 2003
highlight the differences in injury patterns for these 2 sports. The substantial number of head and facial injuries among wakeboarders
underscores the need for research on the potential role of helmets or other protective gear to reduce these common injuries.


as far as i know this "research" mentioned in the last sentence above has still not been done


Wake helmets are actually glorified stylized canoe helmets in a sense. i say this because they are all made under the same CE 1385 certifications. a closer look at these certifications show that these helmets are not made for the higher classes of risk and difficulty of rivers as defined by the International Canoe Federation. these higher classes include high drops in cascades and crazy stuff like that. there are a lot of wakeboarders hitting crazy obstacles at parks and with winches that i bet equal the risks of these higher canoeing classes. helmets may need to be redesigned even for rails considering this, especially as cable parks become more popular. I bet people definitely are not replacing their helmets as often as is recommended either "All helmets loose their impact resistance over time. We reccomend that paddling helmets be replaced after every serious impact, and even if you never experience an impact, your lid needs to be replaced every third paddling season." but hey, anything is better than nothing when obstacles are involved for 100% sure, so wear a lid when hitting rails.

I have thought about the idea of separate helmets made specifically for water impact alone and others for rails and obstacles around water. maybe a soft shelled helmet would be better for water alone? there really is a ton of stuff to think about

want some more reading? here are the past posting links as promised:
http://www.wakeworld.com/MB/Discus/m...tml?1204678508
http://www.wakeworld.com/MB/Discus/m...tml?1207182189
http://www.wakeworld.com/MB/Discus/m...tml?1208746626
http://www.wakeworld.com/MB/Discus/m...tml?1208480749

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
p.s. If we want to do a myth buster suggestion submission again, i think it might help to word it so it includes other watersports too, so as to point out the larger public that use helmets around water. not everyone wakeboards

Last edited by wakerider111; 01-31-2011 at 12:14 AM.
Old     (hkysk8r187)      Join Date: May 2004       10-03-2011, 8:40 PM Reply   
We all know this has been debated for years. I submitted the myth to MythBusters. Maybe if we get enough talk on there they will actually do it and shut us all up

http://community.discovery.com/eve/f.../m/37319494901

There's the link to my submission. Feel free to add/comment on it for everyone to see. I think the more hits it gets the more likely they will do it? Who knows.
Old     (benjaminp)      Join Date: Nov 2008       10-03-2011, 9:07 PM Reply   
I got scared when I saw this thread again.
Old     (Wiatowski)      Join Date: Aug 2011       10-03-2011, 9:46 PM Reply   
I don't wear a helmet for one reason. I fallen my face more than the back of my head. and I'm more scared of wrenching my neck back, (cause helmets catch water) than of whacking my head. But that's just my $ 0.02

Here's a thought:
Ever wonder why you don't see platform divers wear helmets?
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       10-03-2011, 10:15 PM Reply   
Mythbusters has probably never heard of wakeboarding, but props for trying!

I used to not wear my helmet for boat riding because I didn't think it would help. After several minor concussions, I'm really starting to worry about the damage that's building up. I just can't physically shake off hits to the head like I used to. In the wake of my latest concussion a few weeks ago, I've started wearing the helmet at all times. No concussions with it so far, but my mind still isn't made up. I'll have to take a few good diggers before I decide for sure.

I never worry about neck injuries. My neck muscles are very strong. My coach/mentor used to cut my sets short if I took a bad whiplash fall out of concern for me, but eventually he realized that I wasn't suffering any immediate or lasting effects from these falls. It feels like the muscles in my neck are protecting me just fine.

The way I see it, my head is the most vulnerable part of my body. I've built up my fitness to the point where I can take huge hits to just about any other area and keep on coming, but no amount of conditioning can make me more resistant to brain injury, and brain injury is something I take very seriously. So, since I can't protect my head by strengthening my body, I might as well protect it the best I can with my helmet.
Old     (durty_curt)      Join Date: Apr 2008       10-03-2011, 10:42 PM Reply   
Wearing a helmet also prevents 'brain freezes' when riding during the winter time. Don't really need much scientific data to feel the freezer burn on your forehead at 24 mph.
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       10-03-2011, 11:15 PM Reply   
Damn, I've ridden in air temps as cold as 48F, but I've never noticed this^^^

Sounds pretty scary!
Old     (durty_curt)      Join Date: Apr 2008       10-03-2011, 11:49 PM Reply   
Haha, not scary just painful. Few factors in that. If there's any wind, long hair, cloud cover aka no sun, and of course... The temprature
Old     (bschall)      Join Date: Jun 2007       10-04-2011, 1:23 AM Reply   
On another note do you guys actually wear wake specific helmets for the cable or just a standard bike one?
Old     (benjaminp)      Join Date: Nov 2008       10-04-2011, 6:51 AM Reply   
I dont think anyone wears a bike helmet wakeboarding. Too bulky. I wear a skateboard helmet that has the outer shell and a little padding on the inside, but wake-specific helmets are pretty common from what I've seen.
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       10-04-2011, 7:59 AM Reply   
I wear a wake-specific helmet. It drains nicely and has ear flaps to protect my eardrums.
Old    LR3w8kbrdr            10-04-2011, 8:00 AM Reply   
Wake specific...actually wore mine behind the boat for a period last fall after rupturing my ear drum from a hard wipeout. Ear flaps helped me feel more comfortable mentally.
Old     (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       10-04-2011, 8:10 AM Reply   
Last year I had a life threatening concussion from a raley crash gone back (took it past 180 to a heel edge hook and a whip to the back of the head). I was left unconcious and had to be pulled out of the water and onto the boat and given CPR and chest compressions and spent 3 days in the hospital with water in my lungs. I also spent 3 months treating whiplash. It was a close call, very close.

A concussion on a wakebord is NO joke.

Since then I started wearing a helmet and I will never go back. I was exactly like everyone else on here: It won't help, it will make falls worse, they are not proven. After wearing one for a whole season let me tell you they DO help. My first bad crash and KO was from my head whipping back when I hit the water and it was the whiplash I believe that caused the concussion (my head whipping back so fast and then stopping when it couldn't go any further), not the impact of hitting the water the did me in. Since using a helmet this year I have taken some bad crashes like this and always come up with a smile and I usually say "I love my helmet".

Believe me, I was and have never been a helmet guy for anything but after scaring my wife and kids by almost dying I had to promise I'd do something different and a helmet made them all feel a bit better but now, I never ride without it.

If you really don't believe in helmets, I suggest trying a good quality wake helmet, they are light as can be and you don't even notice them. I have the 2 face and love it.

True story above.
Old     (Wiatowski)      Join Date: Aug 2011       10-05-2011, 6:19 AM Reply   
After reading that, I have to retract my post on this subject and plead ignorance.
I'm always telling my kids to think safety first, hind sight is 20/20, would've,should've could've etc.... I know I wouldn't play hockey without a helmet, so the question the above post has made me ask : Is should I be boarding without a helmet?
I want to thank Levi for posting his story and for safety I think I will start wearing a helmet.

As for the concussion issue helmet, no helmet either way anyone can suffer a concussion. My question is are some people more susceptible to them?

Sidney Crosby for example takes what I wouldn't call a hard hit to the head and is still not playing, while I've seen other players get knocked out go to the dressing room for 15 and come out the next period.
My point?
I would say that tests have already come to the conclusion that wearing a helmet in any sport lessens the impact directly to the head. But I would say that concussions depend on the individual,how can you test that? Would I be wrong in saying that some people can take a harder knock than others?

Any thoughts?
Old     (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       10-05-2011, 10:43 AM Reply   
I would not dive off a high dive into a pool with a helmet on my head that measures three feet in diameter because I believe it would increase my change of getting a concussion and/or neck injury. Obviously, that is an exaggerated example, but it does illustrate that there is at least a point at which a helmet would do more harm than good when entering water. If I was a betting man, I would say that a helmet that only increases the diameter of your head by a couple of inches would probably only add a negligible increase in surface area and, therefore, a negligible increase in how fast your head slows down when it hits the water. But I may be wrong and I'm not aware of any scientific studies that support that assumption.

That's the basic helmet/no helmet argument and as much as everyone wants to get on here and give their opinion about whether they think a helmet will help or hurt (as I did above ), until a scientific study is done, we're not going to get much closer to the answer. Kudos to those with helmet/no helmet experience that have chimed in. Although they aren't scientific tests and results, they are probably adding more to the debate than those that are giving it 30 seconds of thought and trying to compare water to snow, wood, ice, steering wheels, etc. in their head and drawing a conclusion. Remember, water is a different surface than just about every other object out there for which helmets are made to protect our heads, so comparisons to "hard" objects are fairly useless.
Old     (Wiatowski)      Join Date: Aug 2011       10-05-2011, 11:34 AM Reply   
That being said would you not also agree that it would be hard to test given the notion that the same impact on water could effect one person and have no effect on another?
Old     (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       10-05-2011, 12:16 PM Reply   
The test would be to see which situation causes the most impact to the brain (i.e. likelihood of concussion). As with all trauma, how that impact affects each person is a separate issue that would be impossible to test.
Old     (FunkyBunch)      Join Date: Jun 2011       10-05-2011, 1:07 PM Reply   
I have a similar story to Levi's in that I have rarely worn a helmet until getting my first concussion last year.

Since then I have worn my helmet this entire season with no issues. My experience is that there is a big difference in having the helmet on with heel side diggers. IMO I would not have had the concussion at all if I had my helmet on. I would also add that since wearing the helmet there are instances where I think that toe side diggers or anything that has my face hitting the water first hurts worse. As I increase the speed of my riding I think the helmet does help more since the water is becoming more like a solid when you fall so anything that can cushion the impact helps IMO. If you think about the speeds that some of us ride at we are moving pretty fast across the water so I am not sure you could compare it to diving with a large surface area. All in all I will continue to wear my helmet since it gives me the confidence that I need to progress and try new things without scaring my wife or kids as Levi mentioned.

For those waiting for science to give some numbers to sway you one way or another I would remind you. Science is not always conclusive one way or another. The test that are run on things like this can leave out variables and can give mixed results. Just look at all the things that science say’s one day then a couple years later has to be refigured or recanted altogether. As its already been stated there is a lot that goes into testing a helmet in a water environment.
Old     (kamighazi)      Join Date: Nov 2008       10-05-2011, 1:22 PM Reply   
How many folks got concussed with helmets v. How many folks got concussed without

Should lead to your answer. I've gotten 3 without and 0 with.

(but never really took a digger with one so....)
Old     (Wiatowski)      Join Date: Aug 2011       10-05-2011, 2:01 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakeworld View Post
The test would be to see which situation causes the most impact to the brain (i.e. likelihood of concussion). As with all trauma, how that impact affects each person is a separate issue that would be impossible to test.
true but would be very hard to get good results. We don't just fall on a hard surface, we tumble on a changing surface related to our speed... the initial impact may not cause the concussion, it could be movement afterward follow my thinking?
Old     (austin)      Join Date: Apr 2010       10-05-2011, 3:14 PM Reply   
However, it should be easy enough to test the hypothesis that the increased surface area results in more force on the head than the cushioning effect of the helmet can cancel out. Yes, there are plenty of other factors and variables that can affect any given crash, BUT testing the most commonly cited reason for not wearing a helmet should be doable. Get a fake head with sensors to measure the force of impact at various points along the surface, drop it (or shoot it out of something to give it more force) into water and record the forces measured at the different points, then put a helmet on it and repeat. That would definitely give you some hard numbers that could confirm or deny the theory that the faster deceleration caused by a helmet outweighs the force distribution and cushioning of the helmet.

Other factors like bucketing etc. are separate, and a more holistic study like having a randomly chosen 50% of a large group of wakeboarders wear helmets for a while and track injuries would be very informative and possibly conclusive if the test sample size and duration are sufficient.
Old     (austin)      Join Date: Apr 2010       10-05-2011, 3:18 PM Reply   
Also, I would like to note that the commonly cited wisdom of the wakeworld forums is that larger wakeboards land softer than smaller ones. This is the exact opposite of what everyone says about helmets. If larger surface area increases the rate of deceleration resulting in greater impact forces, then smaller wakeboards should land softer instead of larger ones.
Old     (MattieK27)      Join Date: Mar 2010       10-05-2011, 4:10 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by austin View Post
Also, I would like to note that the commonly cited wisdom of the wakeworld forums is that larger wakeboards land softer than smaller ones. This is the exact opposite of what everyone says about helmets. If larger surface area increases the rate of deceleration resulting in greater impact forces, then smaller wakeboards should land softer instead of larger ones.
The problem is people look at what they feel is correct, not the physics behind it. I got into the "extended pylons cause a boat to tip more than a tower" debate and soon realized educating some is pointless. Apparently brosephs know more than physics, free body diagrams, and general engineering principals will prove.

Getting past that, I think people on here are looking for a definite and there isn't one. I can see many situations where a helmet will help reduce forces to the head during a fall, and situations where it could increase them. To me its like the seatbelt argument; sure people can argue and come up with the one instance where the seatbelt would be a detriment, but the other 49 instances it saves lives. I truly believe a helmet will help more often than it would hurt. Yes, surface area with a helmet is increased. But the benefits of inner padding and the deformation the outer shell of the helmet offset that and then some. If you're looking at increased surface area, you are missing other factors in the equation.

(If you want to start the board debate, identical shapes considered the larger board will land "harder." Its the spine, shape, and flex of the larger board that will allow for softer landings. Different argument for a different thread though.... )

Last edited by MattieK27; 10-05-2011 at 4:13 PM.
Old     (helix_rider)      Join Date: Mar 2003       10-05-2011, 5:38 PM Reply   
People are thinking about this type of research...the article I linked ends with 'we need studies to see if helmets help.' From the discussions I've had with a neurologist, he is convinced helmets help prevent concussions.

http://ajs.sagepub.com/content/33/7/1065.short
Old     (wake_upppp)      Join Date: Nov 2003       10-05-2011, 8:34 PM Reply   
Ben, same results here as you. Several concussions without, none with.
Old     (bobenglish)      Join Date: Mar 2008       10-05-2011, 8:53 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattieK27 View Post
The problem is people look at what they feel is correct, not the physics behind it. I got into the "extended pylons cause a boat to tip more than a tower" debate and soon realized educating some is pointless. Apparently brosephs know more than physics, free body diagrams, and general engineering principals will prove.

Getting past that, I think people on here are looking for a definite and there isn't one. I can see many situations where a helmet will help reduce forces to the head during a fall, and situations where it could increase them. To me its like the seatbelt argument; sure people can argue and come up with the one instance where the seatbelt would be a detriment, but the other 49 instances it saves lives. I truly believe a helmet will help more often than it would hurt. Yes, surface area with a helmet is increased. But the benefits of inner padding and the deformation the outer shell of the helmet offset that and then some. If you're looking at increased surface area, you are missing other factors in the equation.

(If you want to start the board debate, identical shapes considered the larger board will land "harder." Its the spine, shape, and flex of the larger board that will allow for softer landings. Different argument for a different thread though.... )

Well said!

It would be interesting to look at the force transferred using a std helmet versus a helmet whose shell had small dimples.
Old     (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       10-05-2011, 9:45 PM Reply   
OK, lets look at a bad heelside digger.

You land 90, with your back facing toward the boat and hook the heelside edge while holding the handle, whichs cause a whipping motion of your body and head intot he water. Basiclly whiplash.

Now the first question is whether it is the impact on the water that causes the concussion or if it is the whip lash motion that causes the concussion.

When you hit the water back first this is going to slow you down alot because there is a lot of surface area/resistance. But a head is small and dense, so when you are hitting the water in a whipping motion, your body is going to stop more abruptly then your head, hence the head continuing into the water at a rapid speed bending back as far as possible. A helmet increases this surface area and thus slows the head down.

Of course it's all a matter of opinion, but I have rode with one behind boat for a season and see zero reason to not wear a helmet. I actually prefer it. I'm old now (34) and have kids but I think it also sets a good example for them.
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       10-06-2011, 1:37 PM Reply   
This issue was SOLVED for me this morning. I was wearing my helmet and I took the worst heelside digger of my life on a sloppy ollie 360 attempt. It was an extremely violent crash. As the back of my head hit the water at full speed, I could feel the padded girdle in the back of my helmet compress and tighten. I was actually a little surprised to come up conscious. As I took stock of my surroundings, I realized that my head didn't hurt. I was expecting the all-too-familiar feeling of a concussion, but I didn't even have a headache.

As I got back in the boat, I was actually thrilled. It was the same feeling of relief you get when you just barely avoid a car crash. I've had so many concussions this year that I just couldn't bear the thought of another. I'm no physicist, but I know my head hit the water straight on at a ridiculous speed. There might have been some luck involved, but I have no doubt that my helmet saved me from a concussion today, and for that alone, it was worth every penny.

I still have no symptoms. My neck took a crazy whip, but I can handle that no problem, as I said above. My neck muscles aren't even sore yet.

I know that my helmet can't totally prevent the possibility of a concussion, but I'm now convinced beyond doubt that it can make a real, worthwhile difference, and I'll be wearing it for the forseeable future, even when I'm riding boat.
Old     (gnarslayer)      Join Date: Sep 2008       10-06-2011, 2:08 PM Reply   
for me i think the helmet makes it hurt worse... thats my opinion. also i stick my tongue out alot when i ride for some reason and a few times when i have crashed the water has caught the helmet and the chinstrap clenched my jaw on my tongue...

more surface area = more slap

helmets are good for rails and winching, thats what i think
Old    LR3w8kbrdr            10-06-2011, 2:23 PM Reply   
Not to change topic but since u mentioned the tongue. Ive somehow n the past smacked my balls pretty hard and that will knock the wind out of u. Course i should prob b wearing something under my boardshorts

Hell ive had a concussion & 30 stitches from slalom skiing and thats not even jumping wakes 10' in the air. But i wont go out and wear a helmet still.
Old     (Wiatowski)      Join Date: Aug 2011       10-06-2011, 2:30 PM Reply   
Sorry for the fuzzy video but this is the type of wipe out I'm talking about.
Was testing how hard I could edge my new board.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdek2...=youtube_gdata
Old     (kamighazi)      Join Date: Nov 2008       10-06-2011, 2:44 PM Reply   
No offense Jamie, but i dont know how you could get a concussion at all from that crash. Did you?

can we agree that for a heel edge digger a helmet is good. Benefits (cushion) out ways the Cost (surface area). For a toe edge digger i see the bucket head effect plausible.
Old     (fizzz)      Join Date: Nov 2010       10-06-2011, 7:37 PM Reply   
I always thought they were cheesy till one of my buddys knocked himself out at the start of this season, now I always wear one unless I know I'm gonna take a run with no inverts or spins, mostly due to the ear protection since I can't mess up my hearing with work but I think the helmet helps with concusions as well, it's really silly to say otherwise
Old    LR3w8kbrdr            10-06-2011, 8:15 PM Reply   
Paint ur helmet and have some style if it feels better to wear it lol
Old     (bftskir)      Join Date: Jan 2004       10-06-2011, 8:47 PM Reply   
A concussion is a concussion no matter how it happens.
Do helmets prevent concussions?
According to the well funded guys whose water is frozen as hard as concrete: Helmets, equipment and mouthguards DO NOT prevent concussions.

http://www.stopconcussions.com/concussion-facts/

http://www.stopconcussions.com/4-ste...ention-step-2/

The helmets really don't have enough padding to prevent concussion, they will prevent more catastropic injuries though.
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       10-06-2011, 8:56 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by bftskir View Post
they will prevent more catastropic injuries though.
Such as...? Skull fractures?
Old     (Wiatowski)      Join Date: Aug 2011       10-06-2011, 9:09 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by kamighazi View Post
No offense Jamie, but i dont know how you could get a concussion at all from that crash. Did you?

can we agree that for a heel edge digger a helmet is good. Benefits (cushion) out ways the Cost (surface area). For a toe edge digger i see the bucket head effect plausible.
Tell you what, it was a hard roll. Agree heel digger has bigger impact, but concussions are caused by brain hitting the skull. Point being that a fall like that could cause a concussion. we don't fall ( or get hit like in other sports ) the same way twice. and as I posted before sometimes it isn't the initial impact but the roll or movement afterward that causes the brain to hit the skull.
it's like in boxing one big punch could knock you out, or a series of small punches could do the same.

right?
Old     (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       10-06-2011, 10:15 PM Reply   
A proper fitting helmet won't really bucket, and at the angle that one would enter the water to cause a helmet to bucket, you're really not causing any additional motion that wouldn't already be happening. Ski Jumpers used to wear helmets with holes to avoid "bucketing", and eventually evolved to where helmets don't have those any longer, because it was a long shot compared to other occurrences
Old     (kamighazi)      Join Date: Nov 2008       10-07-2011, 8:02 AM Reply   
@ Jamie - yeah i agree, some of the worst wrecks are the ones that didn't look like anything.
Old     (michaelspsp)      Join Date: Sep 2007       10-07-2011, 8:36 PM Reply   
I never researched this but a doctor i know told me high divers have brain issues later in life. the doctor himself was an Olympic athlete. ive seen stars falling without a helmet. I dont with. seems with is the way to go.
Old     (wake_upppp)      Join Date: Nov 2003       10-07-2011, 10:20 PM Reply   
I've found the bucket effect to be a non issue with a helmet that fits correctly in my experience as well as others that ride with me and wear helmets.
Old     (gnarslayer)      Join Date: Sep 2008       10-07-2011, 11:29 PM Reply   
Im pretty sure a helmet wouldnt help me too much in the situation... SMACK! this was this morning

Old     (baitkiller)      Join Date: Jan 2010       10-08-2011, 4:37 AM Reply   
Beg to differ. that is the exact time when a helmet could help allot.
Sure it would have stung and rung but there is good chance your entire day and maybe weekend wouldn't be shot.
That fall looked like a three day headache.
You are young and strong, 10' tall and bullet proof, Alas i was once too. Enjoy it while it lasts because mortality is lurking just around the corner. Every day we get older and its falls like yours that add up.
Just my opinion, I don't wear my helmet as much as I should but I do wear it most of the time.
You mileage may differ.
Old     (michaelspsp)      Join Date: Sep 2007       10-08-2011, 9:19 AM Reply   
agreed with baitkiller 1000%. well said
Old     (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       10-08-2011, 10:25 AM Reply   
I also agree 100% with Baitkiller, that is the EXACT type of fall a helmet helps on most. IMO, it would have made a difference.

with that said, that is a sick Trick! I have always thought that a Pete Rose is one of the coolest looking tricks.
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       10-08-2011, 1:52 PM Reply   
im sure the wake has alot to do with it, my tige churns out a very steep, poppy wake but it was a softer feel, face plants and back edges hurt but the board seems to cut into the wake rather than grab it... i also frequently ride behind an x-25, the wake is mellow and HARD, when that wake grabs your edge, it sucks, it whips you right down and stings bad...

just another variable to add

maybe ill buy to use when i spend sets only trying to learn one trick aside from sets where i just do my usual thing.
Old     (skull)      Join Date: May 2002       10-11-2011, 8:38 AM Reply   
So, how tight should a wake helmet fit?? I generally wear mine fairly lose and had the worst concussion ever this weekend when somehow catching the back edge off a jump at the cable park. The thing I remember most about the fall was the almost "double impact" as my head and back hit the water then my helmet hit the back of my head. The thing is... this didn't feel like THAT bad of a fall yet I was knocked completely silly and fell down twice trying to exit the water then had a MASSIVE headache, blurred vision and dizziness all day yesterday. Luckily, after crashing out before 9PM yesterday I woke up feeling almost normal today! I think I may need to buy a new helmet or customize mine with a little foam to hold in on my head tighter.
Old     (baitkiller)      Join Date: Jan 2010       10-11-2011, 9:46 AM Reply   
I bought mine a little smaller than I would have for a bike helmet. It drives my nuts to have it flopping down over my eyes so i wear it kinda tight. I would guess the helmet manfs. have fitting recs on their websites but i haven't looked.
Old     (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       10-11-2011, 10:02 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by skull View Post
So, how tight should a wake helmet fit?? I generally wear mine fairly lose and had the worst concussion ever this weekend when somehow catching the back edge off a jump at the cable park. The thing I remember most about the fall was the almost "double impact" as my head and back hit the water then my helmet hit the back of my head. The thing is... this didn't feel like THAT bad of a fall yet I was knocked completely silly and fell down twice trying to exit the water then had a MASSIVE headache, blurred vision and dizziness all day yesterday. Luckily, after crashing out before 9PM yesterday I woke up feeling almost normal today! I think I may need to buy a new helmet or customize mine with a little foam to hold in on my head tighter.
dude - dont "customize" a helmet.. get fitted and let the pros customize it for you.


helmets help. / thread
Old     (stoked_32)      Join Date: Aug 2007       10-11-2011, 10:11 AM Reply   


Hit I took two months ago. Cant remember the 4 hours before it, and couldn't make new memories for a few hours after it. I'm glad I wasn't wearing a helmet on this one. Say what you want, but if you watch closely I took it to the chin. Maybe a mouth piece. That being said, I'm in the market for a helmet. If something should happen to me from wakeboarding, I don't my friends and family thinking that a helmet could've saved my life. One of the worst concussions I've ever had was when I was rocking a helmet. I'm still not a believer.
Old     (Wiatowski)      Join Date: Aug 2011       10-11-2011, 10:43 AM Reply   
Went out and bought a helmet today at a pro shop, fits prefect. Looking forward to using it.
Want to give props to Wake Nation in Cincinnati for hooking me up even though they were closed today. The cable park looks awesome, and they took the time to help me pick out the right helmet for me. I suggest if your in the area look them up, customer service A+.

Thanks again


http://wakenationcincinnati.com/
Old     (luke_j)      Join Date: Jul 2008       10-11-2011, 5:11 PM Reply   
In JB's crash, I'd imagine the concussion occurred before his head even hit the water. That's what I think people don't understand about wakeboard crashes, it's not the impact with the water at all the causes the concussion, it's the violent whipping of your neck when your board digs in. The smack of the water itself is minimal compared to what your own body is doing from the moment your board catches its edge.
For the record, I'm coming off 3 concussions with a helmet, 2 without. I'd never put one one behind the boat, they don't help and look just foolish.
Old     (luke_j)      Join Date: Jul 2008       10-11-2011, 5:23 PM Reply   
to further clarify, It's not the water that decelerates your head so rapidly. It's the rest of your body and the board which cause the rapid deceleration. If the impact of the water were the sole cause of the internal injury to your brain, don't you think people would be getting brain damage on tubes?

Here's an example... you get punted on a tube, and let go up top and belly flop in... same speeds as wakeboarding, you get the wind knocked out of you, but no concussion... even if your head took the impact first. Connect a board to your feet and catch that edge, though, the whipping of that board stopping your momentum is going to cause that instant headache or concussion. The slap from the water just isn't going to knock your brain into your skull. What will do it is your brain carrying it's momentum forward as you neck thrashes and you'll probably be concussed before you even hit the water.
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       10-11-2011, 7:34 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by luke_j View Post
to further clarify, It's not the water that decelerates your head so rapidly. It's the rest of your body and the board which cause the rapid deceleration. The slap from the water just isn't going to knock your brain into your skull. What will do it is your brain carrying it's momentum forward as you neck thrashes and you'll probably be concussed before you even hit the water.
Interesting theory, but I don't buy it.
Old     (Tlaw)      Join Date: Jun 2011       10-11-2011, 9:08 PM Reply   
Last year went for a tantrum to blind. Came down at a weird backside angle with no helmet. Passed out and had to be airlifted in. To bad I don't remember that ride.... Had to have brain surgery, woke up felt like half my head was missing. Got a mirror and realized it was 3 times the size of what it should be. Slept for like 16 hours a day after I got out of the hospital for 3 months. Finally could start exercising, and running.

This was all during prime Wakeboard season, around September. I wanted to sneak out on the lake so bad, mom stopped me every time... Had to wait 7 month's to board but finally after agreeing to wear a helmet I could ride. Never took the thing off.

Only took one questionable fall that gave my head a scramble with the helmet the whole season. Definitely your choice. Helmet > Hospital all day every day.
Old     (ryanw209)      Join Date: Jan 2010       10-11-2011, 9:10 PM Reply   
I didn't bother to read every post in this thread since this has been beaten to death but incase nobody has brought it up: how about someone suggest it to Myth Busters on there website and then we can all go on there and stir up some interest so it will get tested and then we can put this debate to rest once and for all? Oh, and it will get our sport some national TV exposure too...

*This was my friends idea... I'm just passing it along...
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       10-11-2011, 10:47 PM Reply   
It's been suggested^^^

Link is buried in here somewhere.
Old     (michaelspsp)      Join Date: Sep 2007       10-12-2011, 6:32 AM Reply   
Sorry luke. you need to hit your head on something for a concussion. what you are talking about is whiplash. and ive had whiplash on a tube without falling off of it. and you can have a fall and get both whiplash and a concussion. secondly all you guys riding without helmets may have had 1 too many concussions because you arent making sense. How can i say this? Because we all know boarders who have had concussions without helmets. so we know- no helmet does not equal no concussion. so helmets are needed. that being said helmet design needs much research. Riddells football helmets have changed over the years because research proved they needed to be redesigned. that being said even in football with new tech helmets, concussions still can happen. too many variables. which is why i highly doubt myth busters will touch this. too many variables.
Old     (Briany)      Join Date: Jul 2011       10-12-2011, 7:12 AM Reply   
I suffered a very real concussion on the last day of riding last summer. Heel digger that I have no doubt would have been less traumatic had I been wearing a helmet. This summer, I wore a helmet every ride, and have not suffered another concussion since. My wife wears a helmet with ear flaps, as she has nearly blown her ear drums twice.

It is not the first concussion that worries me. It is the risk of the second and third. Medical evidence clearly illustrates that repeated head trauma can lead to decline in cognitive function. The second injury syndrome, occurring when a person suffers another injury after not fully recovering from the first insult, can lead to death. Such a story has been discussed on this forum from earlier this year.

I personally have friends that rationalize away the use of helmets. In this sport, it is only a matter of time before a concussion is suffered. I choose to do everything I can to minimize the effect of trauma to my brain when it does occur. This is also still largely a young person's sport. With youth comes the impervious sense of invincibility. This is why accidents remain the leading cause of death in young adults. Bad decisions lead to bad outcomes.

Your decisions are yours, but when your decisions land you in a persistent vegetative state, it becomes my problem. Both in my profession, when I have to care for you and comfort your family, and from my pocket book, as my taxes will be paying for your tube feedings. I know this sounds extraordinarily cynical, but it is harsh reality. It is the same reason I cringe every time I see motorcycle riders without helmets. In my profession, that is why we call them "donor cycles."

More than anything, I hate to see preventable injuries cause disability and death in young adults. This is clearly an area that needs better, more focused study, but the empirical suggestion from the many replies to this thread are that helmets decrease concussive events. For me, I'd rather still be riding when I'm 50 and 60, so the helmet stays on.
Old     (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       10-12-2011, 11:13 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by luke_j View Post
In JB's crash, I'd imagine the concussion occurred before his head even hit the water. That's what I think people don't understand about wakeboard crashes, it's not the impact with the water at all the causes the concussion, it's the violent whipping of your neck when your board digs in. The smack of the water itself is minimal compared to what your own body is doing from the moment your board catches its edge.
For the record, I'm coming off 3 concussions with a helmet, 2 without. I'd never put one one behind the boat, they don't help and look just foolish.
where did you get this information? if those 5 concussions occurred this year, you shouldn't be driving a car, let alone getting back on a board.
Old     (joe_crawley)      Join Date: Jan 2007       10-13-2011, 12:01 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by luke_j View Post
to further clarify, It's not the water that decelerates your head so rapidly. It's the rest of your body and the board which cause the rapid deceleration. If the impact of the water were the sole cause of the internal injury to your brain, don't you think people would be getting brain damage on tubes?

Here's an example... you get punted on a tube, and let go up top and belly flop in... same speeds as wakeboarding, you get the wind knocked out of you, but no concussion... even if your head took the impact first. Connect a board to your feet and catch that edge, though, the whipping of that board stopping your momentum is going to cause that instant headache or concussion. The slap from the water just isn't going to knock your brain into your skull. What will do it is your brain carrying it's momentum forward as you neck thrashes and you'll probably be concussed before you even hit the water.
That info is so wrong and so stupid it's absurd. You have no understanding of concussions or physics.

Hoping you are a troll for your sake. Also if you really have had 5 concussions you need to quit wakeboarding at least for a year, maybe longer. That's seriously dangerous territory. My rule is 2 weeks off for a concussion. 3 strikes and the season is over without question. 5 is asking to pretty much have your memory and brain turn to mush in the next 20 years.
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       10-13-2011, 1:14 PM Reply   
I find it pretty distressing that this very important issue is still left up to urban legend/superstition.
Old     (ryanw209)      Join Date: Jan 2010       10-14-2011, 6:00 PM Reply   
Lets not forget another thing that really helps prevent a concussion: Ejecting. Obviously we all know the worst case scenario about ejecting with only one foot etc.. However I have been wakeboarding for quite a few years now without a concussion. I always wear a helmet and I ride with my uppers loose so I can eject on edge catches. I fully eject on a regular basis and sometimes only partially and have never had any knee injuries either.

Here is the last edge catch I have on film. TS Raley that I let off my edge and couldn't get the board back underneath me. I fully ejected on this and had my board back on and ready to go by the time the boat got back to me. If I didn't eject it would have been a much different scenario I'm sure.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEmPb6P2i2M

Sorry I don't know how to embed it.
Old     (luke_j)      Join Date: Jul 2008       10-15-2011, 3:49 PM Reply   
no, im not trolling, those concussions have been over a long period, 5 years or so. and Im still an A/B college student. you'd agree that ejecting helps prevent concussions, correct? Even though you still hit that water just as hard, without the whiplash you're not getting concussed like you would being anchored to the board still.

It's also interesting to note that the more experienced riders (Nintzel, JB, myself) all agree that helmets don't help. From people who have a taken a lot of falls we've realized that there is no benefit to having a helmet on when you're hitting water.
Old     (luke_j)      Join Date: Jul 2008       10-15-2011, 3:53 PM Reply   
http://www.neuroskills.com/tbi/cdcabout.shtml

read the second paragraph
Old     (michaelspsp)      Join Date: Sep 2007       10-16-2011, 7:14 AM Reply   
i stand corrected about whiplash, that being said most concussions are from impact. i DONT agree ejecting prevents concussions. where is your proof first off? secondly the Doctor i mentioned in an earlier post said the problem is hitting the water hard then still moving. which is why he said Olympic high divers brains are mush later in life. he said when your head hits a hard surface, it stops. BUT when your head hits the water hard, it stops for the most part, then keeps going a little. He said that is the problem. That little extra movement time after time. which is what the high divers experience. Race car drivers in the 1950s/1960s didnt want to wear seat-belts saying they would rather be ejected from their cars. Dont know a race car driver today who doesnt want to wear a seat-belt....
Old     (joe_crawley)      Join Date: Jan 2007       10-16-2011, 12:51 PM Reply   
all right, I've been sick of this discussion for the last 5 years so lets put some type of end to it.

I'VE GOT A BRAND NEW PAIR OF TOWER SPEAKERS TO SOME COLLEGE KID MAJORING IN ENGINEERING/PHYSICS/MATH WHO PERFORMS THIS EXPIRMENT

I'm sure some others will throw in too so you can probably make some cash, contribute to our sport, and probably get a semester worth of credit for a study like this.

Alright, so here's basically what we need to have done.

First get your hands on a few helmets, a model human head, a primitive model of a body (i.e. a box/load with the weight of a human body) and an accelerometer. Your university ME or Physics department should have a model head and an accellerometer you can use. Stuff the accelerometer into the middle of the head

Then you need to build a working drop simulator setup into a small pool of water. You should be able to drop the helmet/model and the model by itself from various heights onto the top of the head, sides of the head, back of the head, and front of the head.

Then comes the easy part, simply log the accelerometer data and see if the extra surface area and helmet padding is causing the head model to experience more or less acceleration than the "naked" head is experiencing.

Will the data be 100% accurate? Probably not, depends on how well you create the setup.

Will this put the argument to rest for all intensive purposes. Absolutely. Somebody, or better yet, multiple people, step up and get this done this school year! Hit me up joe@tantrumdesigns.com with the data and I'll hook up the speakers.

Last edited by joe_crawley; 10-16-2011 at 12:56 PM.
Old     (michaelspsp)      Join Date: Sep 2007       10-16-2011, 2:03 PM Reply   
Or maybe not. My money says the current helmets help, but much like the football and motors sports helmets which have been improving recently, wake boarding helmets need to be improved too. I certainly hope this isn't as far as they go.......
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       10-16-2011, 2:52 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_crawley View Post
Will this put the argument to rest for all intensive purposes. Absolutely.
Not at all man, you're missing the point. Most people in this thread don't care what science says or what anyone else's experiences are. They make up their minds individually and their opinions can only be changed through personal experience (i.e. concussions/diggers).

No matter what the results of such an experiment were, helmet people like myself would keep wearing their helmets and people like JB would keep not wearing helmets.
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       10-16-2011, 3:23 PM Reply   
an easy way to solve this would be to set up a poll, i am a biomed student who is familiar with experimental statistics and the like and i will try to set up some kind of questionaire and set up some data on concussions. there are WAY too many variables here for a mock experiment but i think an accurately evaluated poll would help, i dont think this is something that should stop being discussed though, if its not discussed it will never be tested or people may think twice about helmet/non helmet use. that said we need real medical data, maybe a poll here is the next best thing
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       10-16-2011, 4:41 PM Reply   
A poll would be interesting, but if you're a biomed student familiar with experimental statistics then you should know that your poll won't solve anything.
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       10-16-2011, 4:58 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHebrewHammer View Post
A poll would be interesting, but if you're a biomed student familiar with experimental statistics then you should know that your poll won't solve anything.
nope it wont, but it will at least quantify some sample data so that people can look at it and see some kind of correlation between helmet use and concussions if they are on the fence about wearing one or not. A massive questionnaire would be required to get any conclusive results. in the mean time a poll will give some reference point aside from this stupid argument, thats why i said a poll might be the next best thing...

I dont wear one, i dont expect people to wear one behind my boat but the thought of wearing one has crossed my mind when learning new tricks where id be taking some back edgers
Old     (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       10-16-2011, 8:19 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by 501s View Post
Last year I had a life threatening concussion from a raley crash gone back (took it past 180 to a heel edge hook and a whip to the back of the head). I was left unconcious and had to be pulled out of the water and onto the boat and given CPR and chest compressions and spent 3 days in the hospital with water in my lungs. I also spent 3 months treating whiplash. It was a close call, very close.

A concussion on a wakebord is NO joke.

Since then I started wearing a helmet and I will never go back. I was exactly like everyone else on here: It won't help, it will make falls worse, they are not proven. After wearing one for a whole season let me tell you they DO help. My first bad crash and KO was from my head whipping back when I hit the water and it was the whiplash I believe that caused the concussion (my head whipping back so fast and then stopping when it couldn't go any further), not the impact of hitting the water the did me in. Since using a helmet this year I have taken some bad crashes like this and always come up with a smile and I usually say "I love my helmet".

Believe me, I was and have never been a helmet guy for anything but after scaring my wife and kids by almost dying I had to promise I'd do something different and a helmet made them all feel a bit better but now, I never ride without it.

If you really don't believe in helmets, I suggest trying a good quality wake helmet, they are light as can be and you don't even notice them. I have the 2 face and love it.

True story above.
I think this needs re-posting, especially for those that think they're better than others' in this thread. No one is forcing anyone to wear a helmet, and there is no reason to negate wearing one helps just because it is someone's opinion, because as this story shows, in the case that it does help, people need to know.

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