If you’re a skateboarder who already has a skateboard helmet, then you may be wondering if you can just use that helmet when you go snowboarding or skiing.
While skateboarding helmets do protect your head when you’re skating, you need to know that they are only designed for use on a skateboard.
So no, you cannot use a skateboard helmet for snowboarding or skiing – unless it’s one of these helmets. (more info below)
The simple reason is that skateboarding helmets are designed for skateboards, just like bike helmets are for cycling. And that means they have only been safety tested for the sport they are designed for us in.
Skateboard helmets also don’t have space for your goggles.
For a little more detail on this, let’s dig into all things sports helmets.
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Why You Need A Helmet For Snowboarding And Skiing
As with any sport, there is a risk of head injury or trauma when you go snowboarding or skiing.
Most of the head injuries that occur with snowboarders involve striking the back of the head.
Skiers tend to get the impact on the side of their head in a fall.
Of course, there is also the risk of head trauma as a result of running into a tree, a person, etc.
The risk of injury to the head is real, and snowboard/ski helmets are really your first line of defense against serious head injury out on the powder.
You should know that wearing a helmet when snowboarding or skiing will decrease your risk of head injury by 20 percent to 50 percent.
A helmet can mean the difference between a major head injury and a minor head injury, and it can mean the difference between a minor head injury and no injury at all.
Of course, all helmets have their limitations.
The average recreational snowboarding/skiing helmet is designed to provide protection when snowboarding or skiing at speeds of less than 15 mph.
I know what you’re thinking – 15mph is not a lot.
Especially when you consider that most experienced snowboarders and skiers reach speeds of 25-40 mph on some trails.
But even at those high speeds, a helmet is still beneficial because it reduces the severity of the head trauma on impact.
Skateboard Helmet vs Snowboard Helmet
To give you a better idea how these two helmets differ, and why you cannot use a skateboard helmet for snowboarding, we’ve got a short run down of their differences.
Skateboard helmets are only designed for a single impact. After that, you have to buy a new helmet.
Snowboard helmets are designed for multiple impacts, assuming that you’re not having really hard impacts (if you take a big hit, then you will need to replace it).
Snowboard helmets offer more coverage than skateboard helmets, which means that they keep you warmer.
Your goggles don’t really work with a skateboard helmet, but snowboard helmets are designed with goggles in mind.
Skateboard helmets are cheaper than snowboard helmets, but remember that you have to replace a skateboard helmet after a single impact while snowboard helmets last longer.
The One Skateboard Helmet You Can Wear Snowboarding
There is one exception to the no skateboard helmet on the slopes.
There’s a company called Bern that makes skate helmets that can be used for snowboarding/skiing and they’re really good.
They also sell like a liner insert with ear pieces that makes it a winter helmet.
The reason that you can use these helmets for either sport is because they are safety tested for BOTH sports.
Snowboarding & Skiing Helmet Tips
When you’re shopping for a new snowboarding helmet, it is important that you get a proper fit from it.
Your helmet should be snug, but not tight.
And the chinstrap should always be securely fastened.
A note for the parents out there – don’t think you can let your child “grow into” a snowboard helmet. Kids should wear a properly fitting helmet when snowboarding.