kayak helmets

Asking everyones advise on when to wear a helmet on my kayak?

love my helmet
It keeps my sun glasses on during a roll or wet exit. My helmet saved my life more than once during whitewater days. Does not blow off in wind so bald head does not get burnt. Helmets are great for rough surf landings. A problem with kayaking is there are many ways to cut your head. It might be an hour to the er.

Helmet Link
go to www.npmb.com and you’ll find an extensive thread on helmet selection

there is a chance you might bump your head.

you haven’t given a clue to what kind of paddling you do. In whitewater 100% of the time.Sea boatin’- your call.

get a helmet with a SWEET fit and SWEET protection and a SWEET look and style.

Tho the price ain’t so SWEET. $185.

oh BTW, check out SWEET helmets. :slight_smile:


In Surf, Near Rocks…
and practicing rolls in unfamiliar waters…

At this point, I have four helmets: Lidds, Shred Ready, Protect and generic pink plastic kid’s skate board helmet. The latter is what I wear most of the time after the early part of Fall and well into spring. Why? 'Cause I removed the styrofoam liner and replaced with minicell foam to the thickness that allows me to wear 3-4 mm hood underneath. Can’t do that with my other helmets and I don’t want to destroyed the line either.

Yeah, my screaming pink helmet does the job. I consider that my favorite surf helmet. Someone drove by a beach and saw my helmet out in the surf and knew right away it was me. :slight_smile:


I do mostly intracoastal kayaking on a sit-on-top.

Will a bike helmet work?
I have a bycicle helmet with the standard hard

foam type lining. Will this work for the

occassional surf landing? I have not tried it

yet, but was wondering if the foam would provide

too much floatation for the head. Maybe salt

water would destroy the foam?

It’ll Work But…
not over the long haul. One good hit on styrofoam, the liner crushes and need to be replace. Maybe that’s the time to put in minicell foam and use as kayak helmet. :slight_smile: Also, the glue in the bicycle helmet with not last. Finally, some of the bicycle helmet designs are about areodynamics and not necessary providing wrap around protection you would want in surf and white water.

My converted kid’s skateboard helmet works because it protects my forehead, wraps around my ears and protect the lower head area just over the neck. That sucker has taken some beatings in surf and white water and, as far as I know, my brain is still semi functioning… :slight_smile:


My Pro-tec has snap-in ear covers that help keep a blast of cold snow runoff from forcing an earache. I got swimmer’s ear from a blast in the ear one time. Took a trip to the doc to get stuff to cure it. It doubles well as a Mtn. bike helmet. The worst bonk it’s taken yet was from another yakker’s paddle as he was trying to “help” me recover from a dump in the creek.


“Here, I’ll help.”

Whack! “Nyuk, nyuk,”

"Oh, a wise guy…

“Whoop whoop whoop”


No whitewater or rocky reefs in Florida, so probably just for surfing, or surf launch and landing

Sweet lookin helmet. How do they fit mellon-heads like me? Seda apparently kidnapped me and pulled a mold off of my spherical noggin.

Any comments on Gath helmets?


in conversation with a paddle bud
we talked about how much to spend on a helmet and he asked me a question which put it all into perspective, “how much is your head worth”.

I strongly recommend a metal/plastic face guard. It has guarded my ugly mug against rocks a few times. My philosophy is more coverage the better, bike helmets just do not provide the protection and why gamble. I have a Cascade helmet which works for me but i would now like something solid for winter paddling as the holes allow a greater amount of cold h2o on my brain.

Make sure too you get something that allows for some extra space, for example neoprene head gear or some such material.

But then again, forget what i said and go for something strickly cool, something that looks great in pictures cause that is important too.

I too am a big fan of cascade

– Last Updated: Feb-17-04 11:01 PM EST –

Like I Say, look at the inside of a Cascade helmet, look at the inside of any other under-60-dollar helmet, think about what the helmet is doing and I bet you 'll go cascade.

Kevlar and that fancy stuff is nice, but nothing will help me look cool so I do not try. If you can look cool, and can afford it it is nice.

Class II+
Only reason I say II+ is that’s where I (and-over the past decade-a good half dozen other folks running this regatta/dice run)got into enough trouble that a helmet should have been a must do for everyone. I only do this run once a year…Helmet and skirt were my first purchases after the initial season.

I know of two paddlers who now have face guards attached to their helmets from paddling class II. Face meet rock in capsize. Face lost. Blood everywhere. No fun. :frowning:

Take a helmet seriously in surf and ww.


GATH Helmets
I don’t normally paddle whitewater or surf but the Gath helmets look like an option for either and can be fitted with a faceguard.

See: http://www.murrays.com/archive/03-04.pdf

Where do you paddle? Surf yes, and also being a road bicyclist I’d agree that a bike helmet ain’t it.

I have one other suggestion - that if you take your boat out to work on skills by yourself it might be good to wear it any time you risk being upside down. I was trying to roll in a local pond with no one around last fall and misjudged the location of some rocks when I went over for the setup. I lucked out and caught my shoulder so no harm, but 6 more inches forward and it could have been bad. Next time I go out alone there I’ll wear a whitewater helmet.

Mostly paddle in the intracoastal, kinda like a big river, slow moving, but lots of waves.

Probably not a good idea

– Last Updated: Feb-19-04 2:51 PM EST –

Bike helmets may not be designed to take pointy impacts as well as they take hitting bigger things like asphalt and tree trunks.

Bike helmets have thin, somewhat flexible shells over foam. The shells on WW helmets are noticeably thicker and harder. You could easily puncture a bike helmet shell with a nail or other small, sharp object; I doubt the same would be true of WW helmets.

The other difference is repeatability. Once you have smacked your head in a bike crash, the helmet is severely compromised. Most likely it will have a crack in it, and the manufacturers advise replacing the helmet rather than continuing to use it. These helmets are *meant* to crack, just as car bumpers are meant to get crushed in impacts rather than letting the force be transmitted further. Generally, in a bike crash, you hit your head once and that's it. But if you smack up in water and keep getting thrown around, you might keep hitting your head several times before escaping whatever got you in the first place.

If it is just straight surf without big rocks, really your call. I would guess that most sea kayakers wouldn’t and those from the white water side would, so you could get any opinion.