I was on the chairlift today and we saw a guy in the park below fall on a steep rail. He wasn't wearing a helmet in his head was this close (
) to hitting the rail- just barely missed.
That was one lucky guy. But had his head just been an inch to his right, it would have been lights out for him.
I have personally taken multiple falls and slammed my head hard. The worst was on solid ice and even with the helmet on properly, it was still painful and I had to sit there for a while before I felt ok to get going again. Just a hour earlier, before I went in for lunch, I had been riding around with only a beanie since I has been hesitant to wear my helmet. All I was thinking was that if I hadn't chosen to wear my helmet it would be very likely that I might not be here now. Always been wearing one when snowboarding since that incident, and it has saved me from many other impacts.
jennifer was exactly right- I've only hit my head hard when I've least expected it. I don't have to worry so much about it though by wearing a helmet. A friend of mine told me he's going to try snowboarding for the first time next week. After telling him about the recent death of that girl in MI and some of my own experiences I told him, "whatever you do, wear a helmet. It doesn't matter if you rent or buy one, just make sure you wear a helmet." Thankfully he completely agreed, because he actually cares about making a ridiculously simple and harmless decision to dramatically increase his protection and decrease his chances of long-term injury.
Recently I've honestly been seeing more people wearing helmets that I do not wearing helmets. Just a few years ago it was the other way around, but now most people seem to actually care about preventing brain damage.
This only shows that people no longer give a shit about looking a little more bulky on the head, and don't give a crap if they see someone else wearing them.
One additional thing I like about my helmet is that I've rigged an audio system in the ear pads. One could suggest headphones instead, but I once saw a guy whose headphones fell off after landing a jump. Because mine are inside the helmet, they can't fall off when riding.