WW helmet -- featuer to look for?

I know bike helmets and ski helmets. But I don’t know much about WW helmets, YET.

Besides fit, what are the features to look for and why?

In bike helmet, weight & ventilation is what drives prices. Even there, more expensive helmet isn’t always “better”. Sometimes it’s just the one that fits happen to cost more and it’s just luck.

In ski helmet, it’s the other way around, easy temperature adjustment cost more than those that don’t have temperature adjustment. Again, sometimes, the one that fits is the one to get, regardless of features.

But before I go try on gazillion helmets for fit, what features should be on the “must have” list? And those “nice to have” features?

Oh right, marketing gibberish one should look pass?

you need to try them on
Most helmets offer some degree of adjustability, but you need to be sure that you can adjust it so that it cannot shift back on your head, but remains comfortable at the same time.

Look for something that offers reasonable brow protection. A lot of guys have taken hits just below the front brim of the helmet.

Although they are probably still the minority, some paddlers running steep creeks use helmets offering full facial protection.

What do you think of your WRSI?
I like mine a lot. It’s comfy, lots of adjustmant pads, and doesn’t slip back exposing my forehead. But, it’s only my second helmet and the first was crappy by comparison.


– Last Updated: Jun-23-11 12:53 PM EST –

good to a point, but IMO is crap for serious whitewater. when they first came out, a bunch of people I know picked them up, and within a month I saw three fail. the plastic just isn't tough enough. i wouldn't use it beyond class II-III

go with a good carbon/kevlar shell, with a good fitting liner. the best are sweet and shred ready. i generally use a full-face, but it's overkill for most people and makes communication a little harder. good helmets are expensive, and worth every penny. I've got a cracked Kevlar helmet in my garage from a really big hit that I came away from with just a sore neck.

that said, the most important feature is fit. try them on first to make sure it doesn't move around your head, and has good coverage.

Mama Mia test
Put the helmet on, making sure it is the right size and adjusted properly. Then strongly hit the front of the helmet with the butt of your right hand (assuming you are right handed). If the helmet moves don’t buy it. Simply pushing and pulling the helmet to see if it moves is not sufficient. You need to simulate a strong hit from a rock. Shred Ready helmets are made from good material but may not pass the mama mia test, even with the h.o.g. system. There is a video on youtube that shows a Shred Ready coming off in surf despite the h.o.g. system.

I like it
It stays in position very well. At first, I wasn’t used to the “bill” limiting my upward vision but I am getting used to it.

I can believe it
The helmet doesn’t seem as sturdy as many but most people don’t run the type of stuff you do.

The people I know who do seem to be increasingly going with Sweets.

Same experience
WRSI helmet is my 2nd WW helmet and fits well. Reasonable price.

The first one didn’t fit well so I gave it away.

WRSI stands for?

– Last Updated: Jun-23-11 2:48 PM EST –

Never mind, found it.

You mean hit the bill upward, or hit
the front of the helmet above the bill?

And how much movement is acceptable, because zero movement is a stupid design goal. You want no more than a small amount of movement, with clear limiting of further movement.

I have a SR tdub and it fits and stays in place, but I don’t feel a need to be perfectionist because I used Protecs for 30+ years without a head injury. And with my torso height, my head is more exposed with the boat inverted than anyone else’s on pnet.

front of the helmet above the bill n.m.

I have a basic shred ready…
Used mostly for surfing, some ww, fits well, but some of the harware seems to be corroding a little from exposure to the salt water, nothing major, caught my attention though. For what I paid for it I’ve got my moneys worth many times over, and it bears some interesting battle scars that would have left a mark had I not been using a helmet. Been a good helmet IMO…

The guy who founded WRSI did so
after his son died on the North Fork of the Payette, wearing a Protec. The father was understandably pissed that his son was hit so hard in the forehead. I never got clear whether the Protec moved up so it didn’t protect the forehead at all, or whether the Protec was so flexible that the blow depressed the shell and then the skull.

I’ve worn Protecs for years. I never regarded them as “adequate” but better helmets (including the Sweet) did not accomodate my head width. No one who thinks about it would regard the Protec as adequate for the North Fork. One is very likely to be upside down in very fast current moving closely over rocks.

Anyway, the WRSI is an attempt to provide an effective helmet at an affordable price. I’ve never tried one on— I picked up a SR tdub which does fit me.

years back
quite a few expert kayakers were running tough stuff in those relatively light weight Ace helmets too.

Seda Composite…
wish I can find another one of these:


Full coverage, no visor. I prefer having my own baseball cap or surf hood visor underneathe rather than an inflexible hard visor that gets worked/torgued by the wave dynamics.

If I ever come across another size large, I would snap it up and keep for the day I need to replace the one I currently use.