I will be attending a River Rescue class in June, and I need a helmet. I am just beginning to look into the subject, and would like to hear some advice and opinions. Aside from color (I understand that pink is highly recommended) I am interested in issues like:

A) Degree of coverage (ears covered or not)

B) Drainage and/or ventilation holes

C) Fit and fittings (chin straps, etc.)

D) Padding (type, amount, placement)

E) Other considerations of which I am unaware.

I’ll let you know what I finally decide, and why. Thanks, Jeff


– Last Updated: May-26-05 7:13 PM EST –

Thats a joke right? I have a Predator. I am pleased with the comfort and the shock absorption is well constructed. They are available with or without drain holes. I prefer drain holes. Remember to take all advice on this board with a grain of salt, I may not be qualified to give you my opinon. :)

You can check out the predator at http://www.predatorhelmets.com/whitewater.html

Any Helmet Is Better Than None!

I know I have an old WWII era ‘steel pot’ down in the garage somewhere…

My recommendation
Definitely get ear coverage. I know it doesn’t look cool but there is no real disadvantage and a definite safety advantage. Avoid plastic (like Pro-Tec). Go with composite instead. Most important, be sure it doesn’t move back on your head when it is struck in the front. Properly fitted there should be no movement at all when you push up and back on the front of the helmet. I recommend the Shred Ready Full Mental Jacket with the H.O.T. Lock retention system. In second place for me is Gath. I have not tried one but others I trust have and recommend it.

although a modified pink skateboarding helmet is wicked cool, if we all got one, there is no way i would ever be able to ever identify sing!

A) Degree of coverage (ears covered or not)

If you’re creeking, you want full coverage (including face) but for playboaters/lower class river runners, it probably isn’t necessary.

B) Drainage and/or ventilation holes

A helmet without holes is inherently stronger and there is also the possibility of a spikey rock protrusion going through the hole into your head. A good fitting helmet shouldn’t allow too much water through and therefore drainage is almost a non issue.

C) Fit and fittings (chin straps, etc.)

Chin straps are extremely important and should be positioned in a way to not choke you and yet prevent the helmet from blowing back on your head. Several companies now utilize and occipital lock which firmly holds the helmet in place on your head. (Shred Ready helmets)

D) Padding (type, amount, placement)

Every helmet should be custom fit to your head. If it wiggles, it doesn’t fit. Some of the better brands come with insert pads to fit the helmet and the above mentioned occipital locks help a lot. For me, I personally use a bunch of adhesive minicell and neoprene to get a good fit.

E) Other considerations of which I am unaware.

Composites (carbon, kevlar, glass) off better focused impact protection than plastic. Plastic will actually feel better for soft impacts, but it will not be nearly as effective for strong (concussion level) strikes to the head. Also composites will crack (spider web style) and distribute the impact while a sharp rock at high speeds could rip right through a plastic helmet. I have not read much about ABS plastic helmets but I suspect that they are stiffer than regular plastic helmets. The liner is also extremely important. The type of foam that is used to line the helmet is critical to it’s safety level.

I currently am using a Lidds composite helmet but I highly recommend Shred Ready in terms of quality for the price. Many people also like Head Trips, Grateful Heads, and Sweet. A good creeking helmet could be a Cascade full coverage helmet or a FNA X Stream.

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that’s a sweet helmet
For my next helmet it’s between the full mental jacket and the sherlock. Both are awesome.

inexpensive options
Your profile doesn’t list whitewater as one of your ‘things,’ so I assume you need the helmet only for the duration of the rescue class.

ProTec, Predator, and Shred Ready all make inexpensive plastic helmets that are whitewater specific. A skateboard helmet even would work, as long as it fits snugly and the liner is multi-impact. You might even be able to borrow a helmet if you know any local whitewater paddlers.

Fine protection and value in the plastic

– Last Updated: May-26-05 9:26 PM EST –

cascade full cut. Steps above the protec and half the cost of composite. Standard issue for the USCG, and many rescue teams.

Very low cool factor. Mine is yellow, full ear coverage. Retention strap to keep helmet fron being pushed back. Fine for rolling and drainage If you budget is moderate and you want safety it's the beans.

I’m with Peter on the Cascade. Good solid full coverage no BS helmet. It is plastic but I’ve yet to see evidence that composite is better.

Most of those others are more about fashion than safety IMO.

(Puttin on my nomex suit :wink:

The latest issue of whitewater
gave a whole run down on helmets. As i recall it pretty much said what others are saying below. Plastic was not the highest recommended as compared to composite but did come out with some positive for coverage and price. If you think plastic go Cascade. Cool - not…

This helmet is the design result…
after a helmeted paddler lost his life


Will that helmet ever be marketed?
The father has been trolling ProTec ever since the tragedy, hoping that if they were dumb enough to order a recall, he could sue them. Many of us do not think the “safety” helmet will ever actually be produced.

Click on "order helmet"
They claim early summer 2005.

Wha Ho, Pilgrim;

Git yer’self a dozzon cans o’ Spam, take de Spam out o’ dem, weld all those cans togiter inta de shape o’ a helmut, put back de Spam an’ den force yer noggin’ inta it. Let it sit fer a day o’ so ta harden’ up a’might an’… shazam! Now ye got’s yer’self a custoom made noggin’ bucket an’ lunch ta boot. See ye Tuesday at de meeetin’…

Fat Elmo (ye knows who dis be)

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sea kayaking
Rivers can be hours from the er. I love my old ww helmet because it keeps my hat and glasses on for rolling or when swimming. Suppose you do a rough surf landing or a roll and whack your head. The old ww helmet in the attic could have saved your life.

It may be a good helmet, but…

– Last Updated: May-26-05 1:58 PM EST –

...it looks like a real sweatbox. Two layers of foam and almost nothing for ventilation? It seems that they've forgotten that in order for a helmet to protect someone, they have to wear it. If you make it uncomfortably hot, it end up in a hatch most of the time, rather than on the paddler's head.

I also wonder about this "joining" stuff. It sounds to me as if they're trying to build up numbers for political reasons. It also looks like he's trying to set himself up as the de-facto standard setting agency for whitewater helmets. If he succeeds, he'll finally be able to get the revenge he seeks on ProTec. Frankly, I don't trust this guy's motives at all and have no interest in helping him dictate to the rest of the industry. This sounds a lot like what Tim Ingram is trying to do with sponsons, without all the maniacal ranting. What he should be doing is working with established helmet safety agencies like Snell Labs and the paddling industry in order to establish helmet safety standards.

the best helmet is
your brain and common sense. creeking maniac? love to take huge risks? wear a heavy duty full composite beast for the massive head impacts you invite- and don’t forget the face mask, unless that detracts from the cool factor of course.

otherwise wear a new one, an old one, a plastic one, a blue one.

and go to lengths not to hit your head. it’s easier than you think. even if you paddle bony rivers.

i have both
i prefer the sherlock. it seems to fit better for me. the FMJ slides back too easily on my head because of the way the straps are centered, although i still use it for burly creek runs over the sherlock because it has better side coverage

Our esteemed elder brother Sing
has a trademark pink helmet.

There have been many discussions about how tough you have to be (as a man) to wear that.

Brother sing is a fine an gentle guy and not one I’d mess with. That’s about it.