Over the last 5 years helmets have become much more popular for snowboarders — they’re no longer considered lame which is overall a good thing: snowboard helmets keep your brain safe, they give you a touch more confidence when trying new tricks, and protect you from those random skiers who always find a way to run in to snowboarders.
Unfortunately most people are totally clueless about a helmet’s useful life.
If your helmet looks like my old helmet with enormous cracks running around the foam, it’s obviously time for a new one (plenty to choose from at Snowboards.net). Do you even know if your helmet is busted up like my old one? How many times have you really inspected your helmet? Even if you haven’t wrecked yourself, it never hurts to inspect the helmet after each session for signs of damage, any of which will compromise your helmet’s brain-saving abilities.
How many times have you seen stars? Like Gavin at The Afterbang Blog, I always kinda figured the rule of thumb would be the same as mountain-biking where you’re urged to replace your brain bucket after any significant impact. There is no multi-impact standard for snowboard/ski helmets. Read that again.
Yep, that means if you take one nasty shot to the dome, it’s time to replace your snowboard helmet. Inspect your helmet regularly and if you take a bad shot to the head, replace it even if it looks OK. The money you spend on a helmet is chump change compared to hospital bills.
(Thanks to Gavin for inspiring me to finally take a picture of that damaged old helmet and write this up!)