Helmet As Part Of Your Water Sports Equipment

Why is a helmet important? Because head injuries are not to be taken lightly. They can occur suddenly and unexpectedly in all kinds of situations, from mishaps while cycling, or as a result of a motor accident, or simply from falling.

Children are particularly likely to tumble from high places, the elderly are prone to falls even in the security of their own homes. Equally, though perhaps not so obviously, injuries can easily occur when out on the water in a boat, with a paddle.

As we all know, the head is particularly important because it contains the brain, the control center for the whole of the body. It is the brain that makes us who and what we are. The more serious types of injury to the head can results in:

1. Concussion – temporary unconsciousness, paralysis, or violent shaking due to shocks;
2. Brain contusion (internal bruising and swelling);
3. A fracture of the skull; or
4. A hemotana, bleeding in the brain.

A helmet goes a long way to protect the head from this type of injury.

It is now law for a cyclist to wear a helmet, simply to reduce the risk of head injury. “But why should I wear a helmet – I only go on the water?” you may ask. A reasonable question, but it is what lies unseen, under the water, that is important.

A sudden squally, or some other unforeseen occurrence could cause your boat to capsize, throwing you into the water, perhaps hitting your head against an underwater rock that could cause serious injury.

It is well to remember that the necessity for a helmet increases dramatically beyond level 3 whitewater. This is where falling out of a small boat is more likely to occur.

Paddle-sports helmets, to be successful, have a few areas which need to be looked at. Will the forehead be covered at all times? Is there a face guard? Does the helmet have a comfortable fit? It it likely to fill with water and damage your ears?

Some helmets come with a head lock system at the nape of the neck which adjusts to the head size of the wearer so as to form a good fit. Ear protection panels are often built-in and sometimes these are also removable. These help to keep the eardrums from popping at high speeds. Vents in the helmet allow for the water to flow out.

Materials from which they are made vary. Polyethylene and polypropylene are popular materials because they are light and strong. They can carry a certificate to show that they comply with CE helmet standards.