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Do you regularly do a thorough Helmet Inspection?

I do not own or wear a helmet.
No votes
I have no (brain or) skull bones left to protect.
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By Fred Wilson
Do you regularly do a thorough Helmet Inspection? Yes / No.

Helmets made before 1984 just did not have the protection of helmets when the 1984 ANSI standard swept the junk off the market.

"You must replace a helmet after any crash where your head hit.
The foam part of a helmet is made for one-time use, and after crushing once it is no longer as protective as it was, even if it still looks intact.
Bear in mind that if the helmet did its job most people would tell you that they did not even hit their head, or did not hit their head that hard.
And the thin shells on most helmets now tend to hide any dents in the foam.
But if you can see marks on the shell or measure any foam crush at all, replace the helmet.
(Helmets made of EPP foam do recover, but there are few EPP helmets on the market. Yours is EPS or EPU unless otherwise labeled.)

You can also crack the helmet foam or damage it by dropping the helmet on a hard surface.
The cracks may be small and hard to see, so you need to look carefully. Cracks in the foam always require replacement of the helmet.

You may be reluctant to replace a helmet that looks almost as good as new, but if you did hit, you don't want to take chances on where you will hit next time.
If the foam is cracked under the thin shell, it will be more likely to fly apart in your next crash."

The Italian company MET says in their 2010 catalog:

"We are often asked 'For how long is a helmet safe?', or 'how often should I replace my helmet?
Until now it has been difficult to find any reliable figures to help answer these queries.
MET have now developed a series of tests which are conducted on aged helmets to determine a
'best before' date (unless the helmet is involved in an accident. In that case it should be replaced immediately.)
The results indicate that, if used properly accordingly to our owner manual, our helmets will still
do their job up to eight years after they have been made.

MET's (Bicycle) Helmet Inspection Check List - is an appropriate guideline for any helmet.
Last edited by Fred Wilson on Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:14 am, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
By Fred Wilson
CIVL did an extensive study on the topic of helmets and selected EN966 certified helmets.
These have been been mandatory in Cat 1 events since 1 January 2010.

See CIVL's list of approved helmets:
http://www.fai.org/civl-our-sport/safet ... -airsports
By madmax
Thanks for this post. Safe helmets are something for all of us to think about. Helmets have saved me from serious injury multiple times during my bicycle racing days.
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By 1htalp9
Define "helmet inspection". I regularly check the chin strap when I hang check, and I run my hand through the inside when I put it on... but I rarely do a thorough inspection inside & out.
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By thermalfinder
Fred are Deep Lake and Saddle open to hang gliding? Flew Mara in June.
I assume Coopers is always avail. Did you fly this month...after carefully
inspecting your head, er, helmet :mrgreen:

- Jim in TACOMA, WA
By usacalsan
Thanks for the great information!
By Roadrunner
Guys, Trust Me, for I know. You just have not lived until you have had a Helmet come-up short when it comes to protecting your skull. I am not referring to just what is on the out-side of your Skull. But I am referring to what is inside your Skull, YOUR BRAIN.

So for now I sit and hope, and Pray that some Helmet M-F-G will progress beyond making Helmets that use a hard outer shell along with some E-P-S Foam to cushion the wearers skull, and Brain. For this type of a helmet has dreadful limits in it's ability to absorb G-Forces resulting from said helmet being subjected to a impact, a strike.

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