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By Steve Kopitz
Perhaps the most important piece of safety equipment for inline skating is a helmet. Although many people use bicycle helmets for inline skating, there are helmets made specifically for skating that cover a larger portion of the back of the head, making them safer for the sport. They tend to be made from expanded polystyrene (EPS) which is tough and strong, but if it is involved in an impact it won’t regain it’s shape. There are two main types of helmets in the inline skating world, fitness helmets and skate helmet, which helmet is best for you is mostly based on style preference.
These helmets are considered the more old school types of helmets. Fitness Inline Skate Helmets have an elongated style to them with lone rear points and tend to have more vents in them, but this feature only helps when it comes to keeping the skater cool during skating. The most important thing to remember about these helmets are that they are designed for a single impact ONLY. This means that once they are hit, they are no longer useful and it’s time for a new helmet.
These helmets go by a few different names, such as compact, city, urban, or commuter helmets. A good example of Skate Style Inline Helmets are Pro-tec helmets. The main difference between these helmets and fitness helmets are the shape and style. They tend to have a rounder shape to them and come down lower on the face and ears, looking somewhat like a combat helmet. These helmets are more popular among younger skaters and aggressive skaters. Another main difference between these helmets and fitness helmets are that because they are designed for more park and aggressive skating, most of them are designed for multiple impacts. But be careful and be sure to check before you buy a skate helmet to be sure this is true.
Multi Sport Helmets
These helmets, as you may have guessed, are designed for multiple sports, such as inline skating, skateboarding and bicycling. One of the best and most important features about Multi Sport Helmets is that they are all designed for multiple impacts and harder impacts. If you are planning on doing any sort or real trick skating, this is certainly the helmet for you as they are designed to take on impacts that are different from basic traffic crashes or simple falls.
Important Things to Know About Inline Skating Helmets
♦ A good strap will keep your helmet on your head even after hard impacts, try to find one with some cushioning on it for extra comfort.
♦ See if your helmet will allow for mounting of a mirror, a visor, lights or other optional safety add-ons. If it has a visor, it must be shatterproof.
♦ When choosing a color it’s important to remember that although black may look cool, it’s harder to see by others so bright colors may be safer. Also, darker colors absorb heat and will not keep you as cool.
♦ Look for helmets which have passed safety standards from the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). That way you’ll know that your new inline skating helmet has passed the minimum safety requirements necessary to keep you safe.
♦ To stay comfortable it’s important to have at lease a little ventilation so make sure to check for vents on your helmet.