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Discussion Starter #1
I’ve been watching a lot of snowboarding videos from Japan lately and noticed one common trend regardless of skill level: no helmets

So what gives? Are people just more responsible over there, that the hills are safer? Is it a style thing? Different snow? These are on piste videos, not just nipple deep pow videos.
 

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I believe it's a style thing. Skateboarders never wear helmets for video parts. Some of my skater friends still don't wear helmets when snowboarding. They've stopped making fun of me, but they aren't about to look that uncool. I've had a tbi and many concussions. The side effects of each concussion seems to be getting worse as they pile up. I was carving hard the other day, had to avoid a collision that wasn't my fault, and was almost launched into some trees. A last minute emergency revert saved me, but you can't rely on luck to keep you safe all the time. I like emulating Japanese riding, but I'm sticking with my helmet.
 

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Cultural thing, for a society that appears to be so focused on safety, Japanese dont really think about things like that, cos after all snow is soft, right ? (a direct quote from the missus) I suppose that's more perception of risk, the perceived risk is low, so not needed. But the place you will see helmets is kids learning, they probably wont be allowed to take part without a helmet.
Ive never seen a Japanese brand that makes helmets, and Asian heads are different shape to westerners, so may be the brands dont cater for them and helmets are uncomfortable.
Style and cost play a part, especially style for the females, helmets are not cute. Cuteness is import in all facets of Japanese life.
Hills are not necessarily safer and people arnt more responsible, at least not in my experience.
All of the above are factors. Japan is so contradictory and illogical I gave up trying to understand
 

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Helmets are pretty damn important. I've been taken out 2 times by out of control riders at speed and head slammed really hard but my helmet has come to the rescue. I remember in Japan I was cutting through knee deep powder at speed around 40-50km/h and was just about to bust back onto the piste however the groomers had caused a really hard packed ridge of snow concealed at the piste edge. It felt like I hit a brick wall. My board come to an instant complete stop and I got so tomahawked, was like a rag doll totally, utterly and absolutely destroyed. Head slammed again really hard on the snow and the Giro come to the party again. Would never ride without a helmet.

Agree about the funny contradictory things with Japan. Noticed recently mostly all their cars don't have DRL. It's overcast most of the time in Winter where we go and light is very low. You'd think it would be essential. Every new cars in Australia have them. They are very honest in their culture. If you lose something in Japan there is a very high chance you will get it back. However in Australia..., it's going to be claimed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5

This is an interesting article.
If it’s busy, icy, or you’re gonna be ripping it’s good to wear a helmet. I’m not so concerned about myself as I am about others around me. Then again I wait a few seconds till there’s a break of people going till I ride down. I always cringe when I see people bunch up and ride so close together.
The piste can definitely get busy and can at times feel like a war zone. I ride mostly during the weekdays in the morning so I avoid that.

What I would like to see is hard evidence that snow helmets do save you (outside the park and not in backcountry amongst rocks). I’m not against them but I have a difficult time believing hard styrofoam can offer significant protection especially since the testing they do isn’t proper as there have been articles on that as well. Technology such as MIPS is a step in the right direction. I wear a helmet, but I’m not convinced. The helmets we have are pretty low tech. Over a certain speed you’re fuck with or without one I think.
 

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Helmet and wrist guards have saved me enough times to not question their value, and I'm talking only a few times in the last 20 years but thats enough to justify both for me. Bit like insurance really, one day you will need it.
Japanese don't wear helmets for the cool factor I think, many of them don't even wear googles and they don't need them somehow. Definitely an image thing I reckon. I have even seen some big air comps locals have and they still don't wear a helmet. Madness!
 

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This is an interesting article.
If it’s busy, icy, or you’re gonna be ripping it’s good to wear a helmet. I’m not so concerned about myself as I am about others around me. Then again I wait a few seconds till there’s a break of people going till I ride down. I always cringe when I see people bunch up and ride so close together.
The piste can definitely get busy and can at times feel like a war zone. I ride mostly during the weekdays in the morning so I avoid that.

What I would like to see is hard evidence that snow helmets do save you (outside the park and not in backcountry amongst rocks). I’m not against them but I have a difficult time believing hard styrofoam can offer significant protection especially since the testing they do isn’t proper as there have been articles on that as well. Technology such as MIPS is a step in the right direction. I wear a helmet, but I’m not convinced. The helmets we have are pretty low tech. Over a certain speed you’re fuck with or without one I think.
I feel like this is a huge misinterpretation of the data. Concussions and TBI's don't happen from your brain moving... they come from the brain stopping. There's only so much 'padding' the CSF can provide. It's really not surprising that folks are having concussions with helmets on. However, there's no way to say how much worse the concussion would have been if they WEREN'T wearing a helmet. Even if folks are still having concussions, the momentum is being transferred to a significantly wider area and taking just that little bit longer. Accel/decel forces are definitely changed. Make of that what you will I guess.

I guess my issue with these arguments is that no one is proposing any downside to wearing a helmet other than looks and cost in most threads I've seen. Yawn to both of those.
 

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I ride in the glades too much to not wear a helmet. Sometimes I use it as a battering ram for branches 🤪
^This. Besides the protection from a fall or collision, a helmet saves me from painful whacks from branches daily. Some of that shit would definitely hurt or even cause a fall, or at the very least snag and rip off a beanie/goggle combo once in awhile. Have purposely chosen white for my last 3 helmets since it shows all those markings, and helps me determine when to replace.
 

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For the people saying helmets don't help over a certain speed and low tech helmets don't do much to prevent injury are terribly wrong and mislead. As a fire fighter/paramedic who has two major interstates going through my community I see death and mayhem on these highways all the time. I'm going to compare it to riding a motorcycle with or without a helmet, if a helmet can save your life on a motorcycle it can save your life while snowboarding. Motorcyclists who wear helmets fare far better than those who don't. The guys who wear full face helmets fare much better than the guys who wear those black half helmets. A level 1 trauma center can fix your lacerated liver, ruptured spleen, collapsed lung, broken bones, etc., but there isn't a damn thing they can do for your brain. A low speed collision with a tree, lift line support column, rock, etc. can easily be deadly without a helmet. So do yourself a favor and wear a helmet, and it is worth it to splurge on a MIPS helmet that fits you really well.
 

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The real truth here is Japanese men blow dry their hair religiously, last night at the onsen I saw 5 guys make a line for the hair drier lol.

You dont want to cover that shit up once you get it sitting just right, hence no helmet or hat and goggles around the neck.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
For the people saying helmets don't help over a certain speed and low tech helmets don't do much to prevent injury are terribly wrong and mislead. As a fire fighter/paramedic who has two major interstates going through my community I see death and mayhem on these highways all the time. I'm going to compare it to riding a motorcycle with or without a helmet, if a helmet can save your life on a motorcycle it can save your life while snowboarding. Motorcyclists who wear helmets fare far better than those who don't. The guys who wear full face helmets fare much better than the guys who wear those black half helmets. A level 1 trauma center can fix your lacerated liver, ruptured spleen, collapsed lung, broken bones, etc., but there isn't a damn thing they can do for your brain. A low speed collision with a tree, lift line support column, rock, etc. can easily be deadly without a helmet. So do yourself a favor and wear a helmet, and it is worth it to splurge on a MIPS helmet that fits you really well.
What I was saying was if you hit a tree head on over a certain speed you’re going to most likely die anyways. Helmets are awesome for preventing everything you mentioned, however, I think people overestimate their use sometimes. You still gotta ride within your ability out there and know when you’re tired and call it a day.


This is a good article, and I believe that many people on the hill have bad fitting helmets or so old that they need new ones. The worst fitted ones are beginners especially if they rent their gear.
 

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A friend of mine (he was asian heritage but grew up in Sweden) used to ride without a helmet all the time. He told me that he just felt like the slightly wider and clearer vision he gained from not wearing the helmet gave him more control of his board and he actually felt safer. I tried it once but it felt the oppisite to me. I feel like I can focus much better on the board when the upper body is well protected.
 

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A friend of mine (he was asian heritage but grew up in Sweden) used to ride without a helmet all the time. He told me that he just felt like the slightly wider and clearer vision he gained from not wearing the helmet gave him more control of his board and he actually felt safer. I tried it once but it felt the oppisite to me. I feel like I can focus much better on the board when the upper body is well protected.
Sort of like saying..., if I don't wear my seat belt when I'm in an big crash, I can get out off the car faster before it catches on fire???
 

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Not a month after posting the question about whether or not my 8 y/o helmet needed replacing,.. I caught an edge in sum wet, crunchy man made and got slammed on the back of my head wearing my Brand New MIPS helmet.

Dunno how the old helmet would have fared, but the new one popped the mips cradle attachment points, dented and deformed the back of the helmet and cracked the outer plastic shell & inner foam near my ear. (...also bit the shit outta my tongue! SERIOUSLY Considering a mouth as well guard after this.) lol 😂
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Pretty sure it would have been a trip ender if not an ER Head trauma case without the helmet. As it was,.. After taking 30-40 min to gather my shit. I was able to get up & ride to the pro shop. I purchased another new $160 helmet & rode the rest of my trip, 2-3 days with only a headache. 😜😂🤷‍♂️
 
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