Any professional could agree about the importance of using protective equipment when it comes extreme sports. If you practice skateboarding, longboarding, BMX, snowboarding or whatever, the use of helmet and protective equipment is a must if you don’t want to reach the hospital.
These past years we have seen an amazing increment of people who wear helmet at the moment of practicing extreme sports. However, despite all recommendations that professionals, websites or TV could give out, most people who practice skateboarding or any other kind of extreme sport ignored the importance of wearing protective equipment and doing the common safety practices.
Every day new people arrive to hospitals due to skating accidents, which could have been prevented if they used the recommended equipment.
Neil Cole (surfer and skateboarder), died on May 31th, 2005 at the age of 19 years “doing what he loved.” Professionals agree with the fact that if he had used protective equipment would have saved his life. After this accident, her sister Elly started a charity campaign in trying to educate people to use helmet when doing extreme sports.
As Neil, there are a lot of skateboarders who have experimented serious injuries just because they were not using protective equipment at the moment of the accident. A survey applied to 5,120 skateboarders indicated that 3,008 of them prefer not wearing helmet at the moment of skating. So, 59% of total skateboarders.
Helmet: The Lifeguard Par Excellence
As probably you know, helmet is not the unique element to take into account in order to practice your favorite sport in safety mode; there are other important elements as well such elbow pads, knee pads or wristbands. However, since helmet protect the most important part of your body, it becomes essential.
Helmet can mark the difference between life and dead in case of an accident.
A recent study presented by researchers from Denver (Colorado, USA) studied the efficacy of using helmet to prevention in those who practice winter sports. Conclusions were surprising: both skiers and snowboarders who wear helmets are less likely to suffer a head injury (one of the leading causes of death in snow) compared with those who do not carry this protection. The same goes for skateboarding.
By standards, helmets are manufactured by a blend of strong plastics and oil derived materials which are highly resistant to impact.
We must set a special attention to ventilation of the helmet. A helmet with more ventilation usually will be more comfortable than a helmet with low or no ventilation at all. Moreover, we can choose between different models and helmet variations like removable ear, built-in screen or radio transmitter.
In order to find the perfect helmet size, you should take a sewing tape measure and measure your head circumference just above your eyebrows. Choosing a correct size it is a critical step. You need to make sure that the helmet fit well in your head, just not over tighten. And remember: a helmet without buckling is equivalent to not wearing a helmet.
NCDSA (Northern California Downhill Skateboarding Association) has started a new movement a few months ago with the purpose of increase aware in skateboarders about using helmet and protection equipment.
In their website, you can find a space where people share their experiences in skating accidents, upload photos and discuss topics related to safety practices with the main purpose to take people reflect on the importance of wearing helmet.
More movements such as NCDSA should be born. It is time to make awareness in extreme sports environment and promote the use of helmet and protective equipment.
More people need start thinking different!
As skaters, we need to collaborate together in order to create a new wisdom in our skateboarding world.