It used to be that you could find maybe one helmet on the shelves that looked good. Nowadays, there’s a slew of “skate inspired” helmets. Skate inspired is industry code for low profile, lighter weight, ahem … cool helmets. We narrowed your shopping down to these models that won’t just roll around in the trunk, but that you’ll want to wear.-Annie Fast
The Baker helmet is one helmet for all seasons-for all action sports. Bern helmets came onto the scene this year with twelve models in the line, including five women’s models. This one comes with a snazzy brim and a snap-in knit.
Available in black, gray, brown, and white (shown)
The Roller is a one of the lower-key helmets made in Italy by Boeri. Want even less bulk? Those earpads are removable.
Certification: EN 1078
The TJ Schneider is a minimalist design-a really light and low-profile helmet (period). It doesn’t give you that “impending whiplash” feeling, and it’s great for multi-sporting (snow to skate).
Certification: CE 1077
Available in black (shown) and gray
You already know whether The Bad Lieutenant is the helmet for you. If you want something more traditional, check out the Giro Signature series, which includes three models (Antti Autti or Tommy Czeschin Encore, and Andy Finch G10) with rider-driven graphics.
Certification: ASTM F 2040
Available in fatigue cloaks (shown), audio series matte black ($75), matte black, blood red, titanium, white leather, and alloy
What do you expect from the leader in skateboard helmets? You should expect nothing less than the Danny Kass Assault signature model-new this year. Danny’s helmet comes with fuller coverage and audio force earphones.
Certification: ASTM 2040
Available in matte camo (shown), matte black, matte smoked pearl, matte lavender, and gloss slate
The Remix Helmet is one of the more easily adjustable, lightweight lids we’ve seen. The MC2 mechanical fit and comfort system is super simple to use-even with mitted hands. Hallelujah.
Certification: ASTM 2040
Available in handbag khaki (shown), black, white
brimstone red, and acid green
Buying A Helmet
The most important thing when choosing a helmet is fit. Start by determining the circumference of your head. Loosely measure around your dome with a soft measuring tape (or use a string or shoelace and then measure that) above your ears and eyebrows to find your size in centimeters. Now, head to the shop with your head (and goggles), and try on a bunch of different brands and models to find one with the best fit on your unique head. If the helmet fits too loosely or the straps don’t hold it on, you won’t get any of the benefits of wearing a helmet. In fact, you might experience what the industry calls double impact, where your head impacts the inside of the helmet-dumb.
Helmets, like toasters and car seats, are subject to testing to make sure they do what they’re supposed to. According to helmet experts, CE 1077 is an easier qualification for manufacturers to achieve, and these also tend to be the skate-style lightweight helmets we favor. Experts more strongly recommend the ASTM 2040 certification as the highest level. Just make sure you buy one that you’ll actually wear.
One last check to make sure that your goggles fit with your helmet. Now tighten the straps, adjust the padding if necessary, and hit the slopes … not headfirst, please.-A.F.