How Do You Know When To Replace Your Helmet?

by Fraser

I think it’s pretty common knowledge that a helmet needs replacing after a significant impact. But what about smaller impacts? What if you’ve had your helmet for a while and it’s taken a few knocks – how do you know that it’s time to replace your helmet?

In my case, I’m pretty certain that it’s time to replace my lid. I’ve been using that helmet since 2004 and know that I’ve had more than a few impacts. I sometimes wonder if it’s worth wearing it at all? But again, the question is, how do you know?


Useful information from mountain biking?

I’ve done a bit of reading around and, as you might expect, a lot of the information about replacing helmets refers to mountain biking/cycling. The basic, take home advice, is to replace your helmet after a crash. The interior foam of a helmet is designed to protect the head – a crash can reduce the effectiveness of the foam…

So how does that relate to snowboarding?

I don’t know about you, but I fall over a lot. I’ve easily had five slams involving a head collision in that helmet. Snow is softer that tarmac, but the piste is still pretty solid.

Is anybody aware of guidelines specific to snowboarding? Has anybody noticed replacement-information that’s packaged with a new helmet? Can you learn stuff simply by looking at the inside of your helmet? Obviously if there’s a huge crack somewhere, inside or outside, that’s a strong message to get a new lid. But does the polystyrene foam itself show any signs of weakness?

Not too long ago I wrote an article asking the question: should you wear a snowboarding helmet? Overall – I still like to have a helmet on in certain situations, plus, it’s a requirement when shredding the indoor snowdomes. What I don’t know is how often they need to be replaced…

Have you ever replaced your helmet on the grounds that you think it’s losing effectiveness?

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