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When do you bring a helmet on tour?
Always 49%  49%  [ 26 ]
Depends on the route 30%  30%  [ 16 ]
Never 21%  21%  [ 11 ]
Only when I need to film ;) 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 53
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:20 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:34 pm
Posts: 165
Location: Boulder, CO
^^ yep, on the trees. I've landed on my head enough dirt bking and mtn biking to know I'd be eating from a tube in a bed if I didn't have a helmet on. Always wear a helmet when snowboarding whether at a resort or in the bc. They take the edge off a whack, and are great when combined with goggles for busting through tree's (I like tight trees). When skinning up, it's usually strapped onto my pack with a jacket stuffed in it to keep the snow out. Can't give the weight weenie thing much thought, just drink less beer (kidding!, eat less junkfood) or get stronger.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:37 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 7:22 am
Posts: 255
Location: The Kootenays
Shep wrote:
Re: somones mention of "don't try to convince your partners".

Hmmm. Hmmm....

If I'm responsible for another persons safety, I have a right to indicate what I need them to do to remain safe. I have forced a guy on a bike ride I was leading to put on the extra helmet I brought, and I'd do the same for a group in the backcountry I'm responsible for. If I don't think the person is safe, then it's my responsibility not to get into a situation where they get themselves, and me, in trouble. If that means not going on tour, then it would be a touch decision and one I've not *yet* been forced to make, thankfully.
Shep

So Shep, what safety standards have your snowboarding helmets met?
You did review the standards on different helmets before you bought yours, right?
And you educated yourself on what those standards represent before you went to compare different helmets, right? You know the TUV, CE, ASTM, Snell...
ooops, that last one was a bit of a joke, because the last time I looked Snell didn't have a standard for snowboarding helmets.
And you've also read the American Medical Association's report on helmet use, right?
In case you haven't here's the link
http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/13646.html
Having read that report you'd notice that the AMA only recommends voluntary us of helmets for Children and Adolescents. They have no recommendations regarding helmets for Adults.

If you didn't educate yourself regarding the efficacy of helmets before you bought one, I'd suggest that your helmet is more of a fashion accessory than a piece of protection and you're only deluding yourself that you are indeed safer.

Furthermore, you are likely at greater risk on your drive to your ski area of choice...are you fastening your seat belt, and, more importantly, are you obeying the speed limits while you drive? Based on your insistent behaviour regarding helmet use, do you insist that your friends obey the speed limits while you ride in their car as well?

Gary

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:50 am 
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Location: Fort Collins
Just my opinion, but I don't think that the AMA report on helmet efficacy likely covered the whole mess of variables that a snowboarder brings into a given environment.

I myself wear a helmet because I make a reasonable assumption that it protects my head. I know for a fact, based on first hand experience, that it has on many occasions prevented tree branches from embedding themselves into my scalp and skull. On at least two other occasions, it has prevented nasty concussions.

If I was more likely to wreck my car on the way to my destination, I would not be typing this, because I would be dead now...


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:31 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 8:59 am
Posts: 549
Location: Stowe, VT
Quote:
Based on your insistent behaviour regarding helmet use, do you insist that your friends obey the speed limits while you ride in their car as well?

Gary


Hey man, get upset if you want to... My point is that we're doing something risky, and we're responsible for each others safety. Do (generic you) climb with someone you think makes unsafe decisions? I do, but only once, and then I've learned about their decisions, and don't climb with them again. I've never reviewed the standards for helmets, or the AMA recommendations, but I have ridden with the MD pediatrics trauma specialist who serves as the medical policy adviser for Smugglers Notch Ski Patrol. He told me there's no reason not to wear a helmet, and I agree.

We all have our own standards for what is and is not acceptably risky behavior. Society creates norms by the debate and behavior of its participants. And when I'm responsible for another persons safety, I get input on what is "acceptably risky behavior", even if the way I register my input is by choosing not to ride with those people. Responsibility isn't on or off, yes or no. If I'm going out with a guide, I probably have no responsibility for that person. If I'm going out with my friends, I have some responsibility to them. But if I'm taking out my roommate into the backcountry for the first time, I have 100% responsibility for him.

So you can disagree about helmet use, and ride however you want, but do you really believe we're not responsible for each other when we're out in the BC and that it's not important to have common expectations with the people you're riding with?

Best Regards,
Shep


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:55 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 7:22 am
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Location: The Kootenays
Shep wrote:
He told me there's no reason not to wear a helmet, and I agree.

Ahh, but you see there's the rub...as D______'s Advocate mentioned in his earlier post, "I definitely dial it back if I have forgotten my helmet".
People ride faster and riskier when they wear a helmet (as opposed to without a helmet). This has been documented at ski-resorts. So you see, if your helmet doesn't protect you at *normal* speeds, by wearing one you engage in even riskier behaviour thereby increasing your potential for an injury.
If one wanted to increase safety while wearing a helmet they would dial it back even when wearing a helmet. But most people don't.


Gary

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:19 am 
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Location: Fort Collins
"If one wanted to increase safety while wearing a helmet they would dial it back even when wearing a helmet. But most people don't. "

Agreed.

But, if I ride w/o a helmet in such a way that I can reasonably avoid serious injury, and I ramp it up a bit when I wear a helmet because I have that additional buffer, it seems it would be a wash. I'm equally protected in both cases, and accepting of the risks involved.

And, based on this discussion, I'm going to start wearing my helmet when driving up to the mountains. If that fails, I'm never going outside again.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:24 am 
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Location: The Kootenays
D____'s Advocate wrote:
I'm equally protected in both cases, and accepting of the risks involved.

But you are not equally protected. Chances are the helmet would not prevent brain injuries at the risk level and speed you ride when you aren't wearing a helmet...

D____'s Advocate wrote:
And, based on this discussion, I'm going to start wearing my helmet when driving up to the mountains. If that fails, I'm never going outside again.

LOL, excellent response
:D

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 1:15 pm 
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Location: seattle
i started wearing a helmet 3 yrs ago and have definately enjoyed riding faster and more out of control because of it.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:10 pm 
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Location: Stowe, VT
A lot of people quote the statistic that people ride more out of control at resorts with helmets. I personally haven't seen a report that says this. I'm curious if these reports have documented a larger number of incidents caused by people wearing helmets, or if they are survey/opinion based (i.e. "Do you ski or ride more aggressively when you wear a helmet?"). Perception does not equal truth. I want some statistics. I'll certainly cede the point that helmets are no more than moderately effective at preventing concussions, but they can and do protect people from serious injuries other than concussions.

Again, my own personal value judgment comes down to this: In the backcountry, I may be responsible for providing first aid to someone I am with. I am convinced that wearing a helmet will, on balance, reduce the amount of aid I have to render. Based on that, if I'm responsible for someone, I want them to wear a helmet.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:12 pm 
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Location: California
Save your breath shep. No matter when or where this topic comes up there is always someone that doesn't choose to wear a helmet and tries to justify their decision by quoting studies or making stupid comments like wearing a helmet in the car. So predictable.

InTheMountains wrote:
Chances are the helmet would not prevent brain injuries at the risk level and speed you ride when you aren't wearing a helmet...


I think what gary is trying to say is that just because someone is wearing a helmet is doesn't mean that they can't suffer a head injury. I agree 100% however......here is an easy experiment you can try.

1. Walk outside, pick up a rock, and hit yourself in the head. Ouch.

2. Now, put a helmet on and do the same. No ouch.


Plastic is harder than skin and hair. A helmet may not protect me from 100% of head injuries but even if it only projects me from 01% I will be better off than someone that chooses not to wear one. Pretty easy decision to make really.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:54 pm 
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bcrider wrote:
...making stupid comments like wearing a helmet in the car. So predictable.

Re-read my post, I didn't say anything about wearing a helmet while riding in a car.

bcrider wrote:
I think what gary is trying to say is that just because someone is wearing a helmet is doesn't mean that they can't suffer a head injury. I agree 100% however......here is an easy experiment you can try.

1. Walk outside, pick up a rock, and hit yourself in the head. Ouch.

2. Now, put a helmet on and do the same. No ouch.

Plastic is harder than skin and hair. A helmet may not protect me from 100% of head injuries but even if it only projects me from 01% I will be better off than someone that chooses not to wear one. Pretty easy decision to make really.

I agree that a helmet will save you some pain or blood in the example you've given. What i object to is people thinking that the helmet will prevent disabling brain injuries. Most people justify their purchase of a helmet for that reason.

I was going to remain out of this argument, but Sheps comments indicating he would call off a tour due to someone not wearing a helmet seemed a little over the top.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 3:19 pm 
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Location: The Kootenays
One question i have, is why do helmet wearers get defensive when I point out the problems with helmets?
Surely we should have standards that mean something when it comes to helmets? Helmet standards have been stagnant for years. And ski/snowboard helmets don't even have to adhere to any standard either. Head injuries seem to be increasing in spite of helmet use, indicating that the helmets we are being sold are not doing the job adequately.

When a truly adequate helmet is produced, I too will wear one, but until then I'll wear my tuque and stay away from the trees.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 3:41 pm 
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There seems to be a misconception on whether helmets can prevent brain injuries... I saw the exact same statement over at ttips during the weekend.

Brain injuries come about when the brain smashes against the inside of the skull during a sudden decelleration. Basically, your skull comes to a stop against a tree, but your brain is still moving until it comes to a stop against the inside of the skull. So how does a helmet protect against such an injury if the helmet is on the outside of the skull and the brain is on the inside??

The answer is, that the helmet is designed to crush in which gives your head more time to come to a rest against that tree. In physics the math works like this... the average force applied is equal to the change in momentum divided by the time it takes for that momentum to change. For example, if your brain comes to rest in 1/100th of a second instead of 1/1000th of a second, the force applied to your brain will be 10 times less because the momentum change happened 10 times more slowly. This principle explains why it hurts a hell of a lot less to get hit by 1 pound of foam rubber than it does to get hit by 1 pound of steel.

Shep - in regards to the ski area statistics... I haven't seen them myself, but my understanding for the basis of the arguement is that while helmets have been widely adopted over the last decade or so, death rates at ski areas have not gone down. Nobody with a scientific background would argue that helmets are ineffective in mitigating brain injury, so they must point to other causes.

Maybe people with helmets take on more risks? You could leap to that conclusion, I suppose. I personally think there have been tremendous changes at ski areas over the last decade+. Every ski area has opened terrain parks where people can go big a la Luca Brasi. There is much more extreme terrain open, etc. Yeah people take more risks now, but is that because they are wearing helmets? Who knows... maybe. I'm sure a lot of people would think twice about hucking big with no helmet.

In the 80s I used to ride my dirt bike around town in swim trunks and sneakers and not a lot else. I dig freedom, man. And I think it should be anyone's choice to make an informed decision. I resisted putting on a snowboard helmet because I came from that generation where you would put on your headband and pedal around the BMX track. But when I finally did get around to putting on a helmet I found that it gave me more freedom (courage) to push my limits and learn new things. Does that make me safer? I don't know but I pushed my limits and learned new things and now I feel naked riding without it.

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