Last week Xavier De Le Rue posted a photo of a busted up helmet with a corresponding caption that said he could have died, but was saved because of wearing his helmet.
In the post, Xav said, "Today I was lucky, riding really mellow powder I hit a rock and then hit more rocks really hard with my head and blacked out for a while. Without a helmet the doctor thinks I could easily have died. In the photo you can see how much the interior absorbed the shock at the back. Thankfully just a concussion with a massive headache and a reminder to always wear a helmet…even on mellow terrain. Thank you, @smithoptics saved my life today."
The dinged up helmet has been making waves on the web and has sparked a resurgence in the conversation about the importance of wearing helmets. But according to statistics from the National Ski Areas Association, (NSAA), close to 20 percent of snowboarders and skiers still don't wear helmets.
Fortunately, the number of non-helmet wearing snowboarders and skiers has decreased every year since the NSAA started to track use back in 2002. But despite the increase, the stigma around wearing helmets remains.
Leaps and bounds have been made in terms of style, comfort, cost, and tech components of helmets, yet many continue to make excuses for not wearing their brain buckets.
According to a scientific study cited by the NSAA, increased helmet usage has reduced head injuries in recent years. According to the report, "researchers studied 17 seasons of ski helmet usage data from 1995 through 2012, and concluded that as helmet usage increased over that span, PSHIs [severe head injuries], dropped from 4.2 percent to 3 percent of all ski injuries over the course of the study."
The report continued, "while helmet usage increased in the last 10 years, there was a dramatic improvement in the decline of potentially serious head injuries, particularly in concussions."
Clearly the best way to protect your brain is to avoid crashing altogether, but that's not how snowboarding works. So what's stopping you from wearing this potentially life-saving piece of gear?
Helmet manufacturers continue to up the ante on protection, from MIPS technology to similar energy-diffusing and -deflecting measures aimed to keep you head in the game. So stop with the excuses, shop for a new style, and wear your damn helmet. It could keep you shredding another day.