As a beginner skateboarder, you might get the idea that it’s lame to wear a skate helmet or knee pads, or any other form of protective gear. However, that’s a bit naive way of thinking there, buddy. Protective gear’s there for a reason. That is: to keep you intact if you fall during your skateboard practice (and don’t think you’ll be somehow excluded from plunging to the floor every once in a while).
For all we know, you might be reading this text because you want to ensure your child’s well protected when skateboarding. Whatever’s the case (whether the person in question is yourself or your kid) – you’re at the right address, dear reader! In the article below, we’ll show you exactly how should a skate helmet fit!
Always try out the helmet before you buy one. If the helmet you’re planning to buy sits a bit too tight and uncomfortable on your head, there’s a good chance that it’s too small. If it wobbles around or moves on its own, that means it’s too big. Keep in mind that your helmet should fit like a glove!
And that’s not the whole of it! More safety tips await you below!
Table of Contents
Why is skateboarding safety important?
We’re not trying to scare you or discourage you from trying out this fantastic important. Quite the contrary! Our objective here is just to tell you how to enjoy safely, without risking any injuries. Anyway, whether skateboarding is or isn’t a dangerous sport relies solely on you.
As if you couldn’t figure this one out by yourself, wearing skateboarding gear is the most important prerequisite for practicing this exciting sport. Here’s a fact that speaks for itself: each year approximately 70,000 injuries requiring a visit to the E.R. occur because folks choose not to wear skateboarding gear. Now, ain’t that a fun fact?
What are the most common skateboarding injuries?
Almost half of all skateboarding injuries are “performed” by children under 15. Here’s another interesting fact: the majority of the injured children are boys. Who would’ve guessed? Anyway, most of these accidents happen when a skateboarder loses balance and falls off the board landing on an outstretched arm.
Wrist fractures are one of the most common injuries associated with skateboarding. That’s why it’s of utmost importance you wear wrist guards. Other milder injuries include everything from cuts and bruises on the neck, arms, legs, and the trunk to sprains, strains, and a bit of good ol’ broken bones.
Oh, let’s not forget facial injuries are quite common, too. A broken nose and a broken jawbone are topping the charts. Most severe accidents result in concussions and other head injuries. That being said, it’s not hard to realize what’s the most important item of skateboarding protective gear.
Basic protective skateboarding gear
Here’s a piece of advice before we start counting the elements of basic protective skateboarding gear: before jumping on the board, empty out your pockets of all hard and sharp objects that might be there. Anyway, your basic protective gear should consist of:
- a helmet that properly fits your head.
- wrist guards to keep your wrists safe.
- knee and elbow pads to ensure your skin’s safe from cuts, scrapes, and other similar surprises.
- closed-toe shoes that possess slip-resistant soles (sandals are to be avoided at all costs).
- goggles to keep the debris from getting into your eyes.
Of course, vert skateboarders who perform more difficult tricks are required to wear heavy-duty gear. Also, if you’re wondering whether skateboarding wax has any relation to the story told in this article, just follow this link.
Skateboarding helmet safety 101
Before we dive deeper into the pool that is our today’s topic (how should a skate helmet fit), let’s see some basic info concerning skateboarding helmet safety.
Whether you’re a pro or merely a beginner, a youngster, or an old dude trying out the sport for the first time – it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re wearing a quality skateboarding helmet that fits. Not only does it have to fit your head, but it needs to fit or even exceed safety standards put down by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or the safety standards adopted by the country you’re residing in. Anyway, here’s what a skateboarding helmet should feel like:
- you’re wearing it flat on your head with the bottom edge resting parallelly to the ground you’re standing on.
- it sits low on your forehead.
- its side straps form a “V” shape around each of your ears.
- It has a buckle that can be fastened tightly (make sure there’s room only for two fingers between the strap and your chin).
- there are pads inside it you can either install or remove in order for the helmet to fit correctly.
- it shouldn’t interfere in any way with your movement, sight (visions), or hearing.
Needless to say, by sporting an ill-fitting helmet you’re basically laying a solid ground for many unfortunate events to happen. All in all: just because you’re wearing a helmet doesn’t mean you’re now protected, it needs to be the right fit. So, how do skateboarders figure out if their helmets are fitting? Check the paragraph below.
How should a skate helmet fit?
Nowadays, there are just too many options on the market and a person can get easily confused browsing the skate shop in search of a fitting helmet. Today we’ll help you with this sometimes-awfully-difficult decision. You’ll know exactly which one to buy.
Okay, so the perfect skate helmet for you is the one that fits greatly all the way around your head. Of course, there should be no gaps or spaces between the foam and your precious head. The main thing is: it shouldn’t move freely once placed on your head. A helmet that’s too big just won’t provide you with the safety sporting a fitting helmet ensures. On the other hand, a too small of a helmet will only irritate you to the point where you’ll stop wearing it, and that is a scenario you’ll want to avoid.
How do you know if the helmet’s too small?
As we’ve already said, sporting a helmet that’s too small won’t do you any good since you’ll feel uncomfortable, to say the least. It will most probably cause irritating discomfort at many points around your head. One thing leads to another and there you are – skating without a helmet!
What’s the best way to test if the helmet’s too small? You should wait for the right signal. That is: feeling too much pressure around your temples. All in all: your skateboarding helmet should fit like a glove, as they say!
How do you know if the helmet’s too big?
It’s downright nonsensical to believe the saying: the bigger the helmet, the better the protection. Of course, it’s not something that people actually say, we’re just using it to prove a certain point. A helmet that’s too big is to be avoided at all costs.
In order to figure out if the helmet you’re wearing is too big, you’ll want to conduct a so-called tilt test. Just tilt your head back and forth, and sideways also. If you notice your helmet is doing a bit of good ol’ wobbling around or if, for instance, it falls off your head, then you can be completely sure it’s too big for your head. All in all: the perfect one shouldn’t move on its own.
Buying a skate helmet for your kid
And here’s the part where we’ll help the parents choose a safe skateboarding helmet for their kids. There are many reasons why you’d want your kids to experience this fantastic activity. If they’re protected and careful, there ain’t no reason why should they miss out on skateboarding.
If you’re concerned with the safety of your children as we’re sure you are, you should pay special attention to the process of finding the right skateboarding helmet for ’em, just so nothing goes awry and you don’t end up knee-deep in guilt. Not to mention the fact it’s not who’s injured. Anyway, here’s what you can do:
- never buy one that your kids haven’t tried out first.
- if your kids are prone to changing their hairstyle a lot, make sure they try out the helmet sporting their usual skateboarding hairstyle.
- always ask your kids if they feel the helmet’s too big or too small.
- make sure you can see their eyes when they’re wearing the helmet.
- also, make sure the front rim is aligned with their eyebrows, and the back edge doesn’t rest on their neck.
- avoid buying a used helmet; also, avoid buying one that is damaged.
- tell your kids they should never sit on the helmet.
- store the helmet away from the path of direct sunlight, in a room that’s neither too hot nor too cold.
One more thing: always ask for a little guidance from the skate shop clerk. It’s their job to make sure everyone enjoys this sport in the safest manner.
That’s about it, dear folks! Hopefully, you’re now equipped with the necessary info to start your own or your kids’ skateboarding adventure in the safest way imaginable. For more skateboarding tips, feel free to visit this page.