WSRI Helmets?

Anybody have experience with any of the WSRI helmets? They appear to have a number of nice safety features, and the NRS fitting video makes it look like they are easy to adjust to various head sizes. Are they durable? Do the fitting inserts stay in place as the helmet is used for a while? Thanks for your input. George

You will get more into from

i’ve seen a couple fail
one i saw the shell rip apart and cut the guy’s head, the other he took a hit and he came away with a golf ball sized lump, with the shape of a rivet right in the center of it. IMO, they are crap unless you are sticking to class I-II. Sweet are the best, but expensive. Shred Ready are also pretty good.

Not so good.
I got a new coabon and got the fit good, very comfy; had it on and got rolled while surfing and the buckle broke. Needless to say if the helmet won’t stay on while surfing you can’t count on it being there in rougher conditions.

IMO, after looking more closely; the buckle & strap system are lighter than my much less expensive SR, the impact values are probably not as good either. WRSI used a thinner mini-cell type foam housed inside a plastic inner-shell for impact absorbsion. While this may be a more dureable design, it is most likely inferior to the thicker,(EVA?), crushable foam cores found in most other helmets, (similar to those in my ski helmet.


Safety Recall

This is pretty unusual for helmets, best to pass on them.

Surprising that they’re having problems
The company was formed after the son of the WRSI founder died on the North Fork of the Payette in a helmet-related incident. The son was reputedly a good kayaker, but the North Fork is very fast, turbulent, and rises above class 4 in several places.

The son flipped, did not roll, and drowned. Examination of is forehead indicated that his Protec helmet had shifted back, leaving his forehead exposed to a blow from a rock.

The father was upset, and partly blamed Protec. I don’t know if there was a formal lawsuit, but he publicly criticized Protec in the media for some time.

I have worn Protec helmets for much of my ww paddling career. They are cheap and don’t offer much protection, but then I would never wear a Protec on a difficult, fast moving section like the North Fork. (For that matter, I’ve never been good enough for the NF, but some of my friends ran it and survived.)

The reason some of us fatheads have worn Protec, is that no other helmets have fit. Sweet doesn’t fit. WRSI doesn’t fit. Nothing. Finally I’ve got a Shred Ready t-dub that fits, though the liner is kinda thin.

Real world observation suggests that the latest Protecs are adequate for class 1-2-3, based on absence of serious head injury.

Wow! Thanks for the thoughtful comments
concerning the WSRI helmets. I do appreciate your advice. I am definitely going to look elsewhere than WSRI for my replacement helmet. George

fit first
Even though all helmets manufacturers claim sublime fit for a variety on noggins, they are being less than sincere.

I tried three top notch brands, all were being sold as very customizable, only one fit.

WSRI was not one of them.

I can not comment on durability. Of course if one stops to think for a minute and has some science training he or she would understand that in order to suggest one brand over the other someone would have to go through the same “experience” and recommend some helmet based on that. So, in the case of some shell fracturing - there probably is no data showing what happens to other helmets in identical impact.

my experience
I’ve owned a WRSI helmet for around 3 or 4 years. Overall i like it. I had one piece of foam come unglued. No big deal. No buckles broke or anything like that. One gripe would be that i find it a bit heavy. I have the plastic version. But the fit is nice and comfy and it stays put in the surf and rolling. I like the style and comfort.

experience with WSRI, but I have a shred ready & really like it. Run up to class IV & had some impacts, no problem. Comfortable & have had no issues. Mine was about $130. Sweets are best (in my opinion) but are spendy.

As a result, ProTec no longer markets their helmets for watersports. You’ll see them labeled for bike, skate, and snowsports only.

its mostly about fit,

– Last Updated: Mar-21-13 8:25 PM EST –

I've got lots of helmets: protecs, an old romer, some shred readies, voz, an unknown glass job, and also the brand you asked about. Mostly I use my cheap ace protec. I really like how it fits my head and the chin strap is easy to adjust. If I'm going to have a more challenging day (class IV+)I wear one of my shred ready helmets- a beefer plastic one usually. I definately feel like I have more protection with it, but for my class II and III runs I prefer the lightweight protec. It just fits my head better than all the rest and I can get it snug yet still be comfortable. Thirty years ago protecs were "the helmet" made for kayakers. People made their own glass helmets if they wanted something different. I boated parts of the nf payette in a protec but I wouldn't do that now. I'd want the protection the new models/companies provide.


– Last Updated: Mar-21-13 10:29 PM EST –

I started WW with a Shred Ready, that used to hurt my head. And after a good trashing in a hole when I came out it was twisted off to the side. My wife said I should really get a better helmet.

I got a WRSI and have been completely satisfied with it. Fits great and comfortable all day, stays in place and has been tested more than a few times.

Last year I was planning to up my WW game with some harder creekier runs (class IV+) so I got a WRSI Fullface. I like it better than my first WRSI. It's pretty much all I wear on WW. A lot of my crew now use the same helmet and I have not heard one complaint. Yes there was a recall on some strap failure, but the test is pretty simple.

It works for me...

No problems with mine
Got it 3 years ago. Fits better than the other one I had before. Have had some head bumps and scrapes on rocky river bottoms and ocean surf sandy bottom. Nothing major, though.