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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Helmet damage?

I took a pretty nasty fall yesterday.

Overshot a jump (20 ft) and crash landed on the flat in this order -> board -> left hip -> helmet = yard sale.

Didn't feel injured on the spot, but mild headache 3 hours later.

At first glance the helmet looked fine (outer shell). I took out the liner and found some cracks (fingernail deep, 1mm)


Was wondering if that was from the helmet doing its job or just the plastic edges of the liner digging into the foam?

Thx.



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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 11:55 AM
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It was doing its job if around those cracks you notice it also being depressed in some. Anytime you take a big hit to the head of the helmet you need to consider replacing it. A lot of snowboarding helmets are not made for "mulitple" impacts. Meaning each subsequent hit around that same area lessens the ability of the helmet to absorb and lessen the forces of impact. It is also typically recommend to replace helmets after about three years as the materials in them will start to break down over time from sun exposure, heat, etc.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 11:56 AM
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when in doubt (especially after a significant impact) replace the helmet. There is no multi-impact standard for ski/snowboard helmets, once it's been compromised/damaged, it will no longer protect you.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thx for the input so far, but how could I get cracks on the inside without seeing anything on the outside?

Shouldn't there at least be a small dent, scratch, chip?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 10:54 PM
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You can crack the foam without breaking or damaging the shell (transfer of energy). Replace. It saved you once why risk it not working the next time, it's your head.

It's not about how many runs you get, it's the quality of the turns you made.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 08:43 AM
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No. The inside of the helmet is compressed styrofoam meant to absorb energy from an impact. It is much softer than the plastic shell. Most motorcycle helmets are built this way and the only way to examine them for internal cracks inside them is with an X-ray.

Even with a crack, your helmet isn't useless, but it very well might not perform up to expectations if you happen to take another big impact.

The manufacturer will tell you to replace the helmet (because of liability, and they get another sale that way), which is the only way to be completely safe.

As for me, I don't usually travel at high speeds or do risky stuff... so a single crack would probably not prompt be to buy a new *snowboard/ski* helmet (unless I knew for sure that it had been through hell already). However, I would replace a motorcycle helmet that I knew was cracked.

It is your choice.
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Originally Posted by fredericp64 View Post
Thx for the input so far, but how could I get cracks on the inside without seeing anything on the outside?

Shouldn't there at least be a small dent, scratch, chip?
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