Can You Use a Climbing Helmet for Skateboarding?
A bunch of climbing helmets in different colors that are used for skateboarding.

Needless to say, folks like to find their own ways of dealing with certain issues. For instance, let’s say you’ve thought about taking up skateboarding as your recreational activity. Also, let’s say that you’re a bit low on cash. You don’t want to spend any of it on protective gear that’s an absolute necessity once you’re starting our skateboarding. Suddenly, you remember that you’ve got a brand new climbing helmet gathering dust in your attic and think to yourself: can I use this climbing helmet of mine for skateboarding?

Let’s say you’ve typed that very same question into your Google search bar. The next thing you know, you’re here, at Go Extreme Sports, browsing this text. In it, we’ll show you everything you need to know about using a climbing helmet for skateboarding and various other tips. Stay tuned!

While it’s possible to use a climbing helmet for skateboarding, we don’t recommend it. The thing is: climbing helmets are made to withstand impacts from above (flying rocks, etc.) while skateboarding helmets will keep your head protected against hitting hard on the concrete. Just make sure a helmet you’re interested in is certified before buying it. 

When there are safety issues involved, one can’t be satisfied with reading just the preview; that’s not something you’d call guaranteed protection. That being said, read the whole thing!

Is it weird to wear a helmet while skateboarding?

Now, before we venture deeper into the heart of today’s article, let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions about one of the most important pieces of skateboarding gear. First things first, let’s tackle a common stereotype better known as wearing-a-skateboarding-helmet-isn’t-cool. So, is it weird to wear a helmet while skateboarding?

We get it. Folks might get the idea that wearing a helmet when skateboarding is a clear signal that you’re a noob or something. Woah, it’s been a while since we last used that term. Anyway, keep in mind that wearing a helmet while skateboarding isn’t weird at all.

As you’re well aware, skateboarding isn’t the safest sport out there (it’s neither the most unsafe one, though, since we’ll always have BASE jumping). Anyway, without wearing protective gear (especially if you’re a beginner), you’re risking too much. Injuries are like a sine qua non of this sport, so… Yeah, if you’re just starting out, be prepared to endure some pain. However, a lot of mishaps could be prevented by wearing proper protective equipment.

All in all: try not to see the whole story about wearing proper equipment as something just amateurs and scared folks would believe in. It’s of utmost importance you wear protective gear while skateboarding, including the helmet, of course.

Do I need a certified helmet for skateboarding?

Well, it depends on where you’re located since skateboarding laws will vary from state to state, country to country. For instance, if you’re riding under 18 in California, you have to wear a so-called CPSC-certified helmet each time you hop on that board. CPSC, of course, stands for the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Before you place your order, please inform yourself about your local/state/country laws concerning skateboarding. However, keep in mind that skateboards should meet some sort of safety standards and possess certain certifications.

Are cheap skateboard helmets safe?

Does the last sentence in the previous paragraph imply that cheap skateboards without certificates aren’t supposed to be worn? Let’s consider that one!

Okay, so some cheap skateboarding helmets you’ll find out there won’t have any certifications. That means that while they’ll protect you from various minor falls or skull fractures, they won’t do such a good job at preventing more serious trauma or protecting you against concussions.

Let’s talk some more about these certifications. As we’ve already said, in the US you’ll want to opt for a CPSC 1203 Certified helmet. In Europe, see if a certain skateboarding helmet has the CE EN 107 certificate. In Australia and New Zealand, you won’t find particular skateboard standards. However, the AS/NZS 2063/2008 applies to bike and scooter protective helmets.

So, what’s all that fuss about certification? Well, by receiving a certain safety certificate, a single helmet will ensure its wearer that it has passed certain tests. Also, if you notice that a helmet is rated as single-impact, that means you’ll need to replace it after the endure an impact while wearing it. If you see that a certain skateboarding helmet is labeled as multi-use, it means that it will last you a couple of low impacts before you’ll have to replace it.

Okay, that’s that about some info surrounding skateboarding helmets. We could’ve talked a bit more about them, but we didn’t want to bore you to death. Anyway, without further ado, here’s our take on the question: can you use a climbing helmet for skateboarding?

A blue climbing helmet placed next to a wooden log.

Can you use a climbing helmet for skateboarding?

Since falling or getting hit in the head by a flying rock while climbing definitely sounds worse than falling off a skateboard (here’s how to properly fall from one), one might get the idea that climbing helmets might even offer some extra protection regular skateboarding helmets can’t really provide you with. Also, it seems that the idea of using a skateboarding helmet for climbing is a more popular idea. We’ll tackle that one, too! But first, let’s answer the question in the title: can you use a climbing helmet for skateboarding?

The thing is: most climbing helmets can’t really fit into the multiple-hit/multiple-use category. In other words: they’re made designed to withstand one impact. Also, climbing helmets are mostly designed to resist the impact of falling objects, not so much to protect your head if you fall. A helmet won’t do you any good if you were to fall from higher altitudes.

As climbing helmets are made to serve a certain purpose (to protect your precious head from falling objects), skateboarding helmets are made to help your head “tackle” concrete. So, yeah, it’s for the best that you avoid using a climbing helmet for skateboarding since climbing helmets aren’t really made to protect your head from hitting the concrete. 

Can you use a skateboarding helmet for rock climbing?

Okay, so now the tables have turned. Let’s see if a person can use a skateboarding helmet for their adventures in rock climbing.

As was the case with using a climbing helmet for skateboarding, the answer here is: nope, a person shouldn’t use a skateboarding helmet for rock climbing. Some would disagree with us, saying that certain skateboarding helmets would do a nice job protecting your head against falling rocks. However, we still think it’s best you play it safe since skateboarding helmets aren’t exactly made with the intention to keep your head protected against impacts from above. They’re mostly made to withstand side impacts.

So, that’s that. To reward your patience, we’ve gathered some tips on skateboarding helmet safety! Make sure you read ’em.

Additional (skateboarding helmet) safety tips

Not only is it recommended that you avoid using any other helmets except the ones that are approved and certified (still, we stick to the rule that any helmet is better than no helmet at all), but you’ll also have to keep some additional helmet safety tips on your mind to make sure everything goes smoothly and injure-free. Here we’ve made a list of basic tips you’ll need to stick to:

  • Make sure that your skateboarding helmet sits low on your forehead. 
  • Your skateboarding helmet shouldn’t move even the tiniest bit once you start shaking your head. 
  • Also, your skateboarding helmet should in no way interfere with your movement or senses. 
  • You’ll need to make sure that your skateboarding helmet has straps that a letter-V shape around each of your ears. 
  • The bottom edge of your skateboarding helmet needs to be parallel with the ground.
  • Read this article to know how a skate helmet should fit

Also, replace your skateboarding helmet every 5 years or so, if it doesn’t get damaged earlier. However, one should always consult the owner’s manual and check what the manufacturer suggests.

Safety tips in no relation to your skateboarding helmet

And here are some skateboarding safety tips in general:

  • Don’t use your headphones while you’re riding the board. 
  • Don’t let anyone else get on your board with you. 
  • Never hesitate to call 911 for medical assistance or an ambulance if something goes awry. 
  • Be considerate to your fellow skateboarders, regardless of their skills or age. 

Speaking of age, here’s an article about whether 18 is too old to start skateboarding. Here’s a little hint: it most definitely isn’t!

The bottom line

Okay, so we’ve reached the bottom margin of this text on whether one can use a climbing helmet for skateboarding. Hopefully, now you understand that the climbing helmet (you’ve found in the attic in our version of the story) will have to wait some better days. In other words: it’ll need to wait until your next climbing adventure. Still, if you don’t have a lot of choices, know that any helmet is better than no helmet at all.

For tips on skateboarding safety and various other skateboarding-related subjects, visit this section of our blog.

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