Skateboard helmet: why and when should you use it?

January 28, 2022 | Skateboarding
Skateboard helmet: protect your head while pushing the limits of the sport | Photo: Shutterstock

Learn why and when to use a skateboard helmet. Find out how to choose the right model and size for your head.

If you're an active skateboarder, you might already know the difference between riding your board with and without protective gear.

The best skateboard helmets in the market provide additional layers of safety and protection to a skater's most important body part.

However, and for too long, riding a four-wheel board having a helmet on was a sign of kookiness.

Fortunately, that prejudice is quickly shifting away from the mindset of world skateboarders.

Skate helmets should be worn by adults, teenagers, kids, men and women, and riders of all ages and experience levels.

Make no mistake - a helmet can save your life, so it's an essential piece of skateboarding gear that one must never underestimate.

So, is it odd or inadequate to wear a helmet while skateboarding?

Contrary to popular belief, skateboard helmets are cool and reveal that the riders using them are smart and are willing to give their best while skating.

When should you use them? Ideally, every time you go out and ride.

Skateboard helmets: a critical piece of protective gear for riders of all ages and experience levels | Photo: Red Bull

Skateboarding Pros Wear Helmets

Do any pro skaters wear helmets?

Many professional skateboarders have endorsed the use of helmets while cruising the streets, hitting skateparks, or bombing steep hills.

Also, several competitive riders wear them all the time.

Tony Hawk always has his helmet on while competing in skateparks and riding large ramps.

"I've had serious head injuries with and without a helmet on, and I know that it has saved my life more than once," the skate legend once revealed.

Helmets are not only protection against unexpected impacts.

They're also a confidence booster every time skaters push their limits on a half-pipe, handrail, or bowl.

Knowing that your skull is covered with a solid and cushioned protective headgear will provide the peace of mind you need to get your skating to new heights.

Skate helmets prevent head injuries that could go from mild bumps and bruises to cuts, concussions, fractured skull bones, and internal bleeding.

In skateboarding, everyone will inevitably fall and hit the pavement and dangerous obstacles. It's part of the game.

Nobody wants to end up in a hospital bed, especially if they could've avoided surprisingly expensive medical bills by just wearing a helmet.

Full-face skateboard helmets are not as common, but if you feel comfortable with them, then go for it.

And they should be the right option for downhill longboarders and electric skate enthusiasts who often ride at high speeds.

Tony Hawk: an advocate of using skateboard helmets | Photo: Shutterstock

Critical Features

Can you use a bike helmet as a skate helmet? It depends. Yes, if the bike helmet meets the ASTM F1492 standard, you can.

There are three main types of skateboard helmets: classic, full-cut, and full-face.

Classic skate shells cover the head from the middle of your forehead to your neckline. They feature ear cutouts and ventilation holes at the top, front, and back.

Full-cut helmets are slightly heavier but offer more head-and-face coverage, covering ears and further down the neck.

Full-face helmets are high-protection models for the most extreme riders and are similar to the ones used by motorcyclists.

The world's best skate helmets feature an ABS-plastic outer shell, high-impact ready EPS foam, soft and extra thick padding, removable liners, and adjustable chin straps with side release buckles.

These tough head protective systems are often lightweight and durable and meet both ASTM F1492 and 16 CFR Part 1203 maximum safety standards.

Ventilation systems will keep your head cool and minimize sweating, while safety rear lights will ensure car drivers see you in the dark.

Bowl skating: helmets protect skaters from unwanted and unexpected head injuries | Photo: Red Bull

Skateboard Helmet Brands and Sizes

The most popular skateboard helmet brands are Triple 8, Pro-Tec, Bell, Thousand, and OutdoorMaster.

Most of the manufacturers offer different sizes and colors.

A good skate helmet will cost you between $30 and $130 depending on the features, the quality of the materials, and the type of protective shell you want.

What size skateboard helmet should I get?

The right skate helmet is the one that fits your head comfortably, and it is not too tight and not too loose.

Picking the wrong size will result in limited head protection for handling multiple impacts.

So, how should you measure skateboard helmet size?

If you're buying it online, wrap a measuring tape around your head, ensuring it lays across the middle of your forehead, one inch above the eyebrows.

The most common sizes are small, medium, and large.