Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hard Foam Helmets vs. Soft Foam Helmets

Hard Foam and Soft Foam Helmets Explained:

We recommend that ALL skaters regardless of age or skill wear a hard foam CPSC Certified helmet when riding a skateboard or roller skates. A CPSC Certified helmet will protect your head up 5x more than a soft foam helmet.
What is a hard foam / CPSC Certified helmet?
A hard foam helmet has a hard plastic outershell and hard eps foam inner liner. The EPS Foam is what enables the helmet to protect the head in the high impact test. If you slam hard, the EPS foam liner breaks apart and disperses the energy. The hard EPS foam is the crucial element in protecting your head.
What is a soft foam / non-certified helmet?
If you are an older skateboarder it is probably what you grew up wearing. This helmet has a hard plastic outer shell and a soft foam (or) rubber liner. These helmets are comfortable but they are not nearly as protective as a hard foam helmets. The soft foam helmet does not even come close to passing the CPSC impact testing process. If you slam from over 3.5 ft from ground the soft foam does NOT reduce the energy pulse adaquately. However, most experts agree that you are better off wearing a soft foam helmet than no helmet at all.

What is the CPSC Certified Test?
There are testing labs that are approved by the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) that test the helmets and make sure that they meet certain safety requirements. One of the most important test is the high impact test. This is the test that determines how well a helmet protects your head. In order to pass this CPSC test a helmet must reduce a 1,000 G energy pulse to under 300 G's. A 1,000 G energy pulse is equivalent to falling roughly 7 ft to the ground or skating at 14mph into a flat surface.

A soft foam helmet fails to reduce the 1,000 G energy pulse to under 300 G's. At it's best, a soft foam helmet can reduce the 1,000 G force down to 400. At it's worst, the soft foam helmet can only reduce the impact to 900 G's. The test results CLEARLY show that soft foam helmets only provide a very limited amount of protection and cannot pass the CPSC impact test.

Why should I wear a CPSC Certified helmet?
A soft foam helmet will not protect you adequately if you hit the ground, coping, tree, curb or barrier at speeds of 14 mph or more . The brain is delicate and it doesn't heel like a knee or wrist. If you go down hard, you want to be wearing the best possible helmet. If you get a head injury while wearing a soft foam helmet you are going to be looking back and asking yourself, "Why wasn't I wearing the safest helmet possible?". Tests clearly show that a soft foam helmet does not protect you as well as a hard foam CPSC Certified helmet. 

Helmet Featured: The S-One Lifer Helmet MSRP $50. CPSC Certified. Designed to fit lower on your head than any other CPSC Certified helmet on the market.

Gerry Poynter Talks About The S-One Lifer Helmet from s-one helmet co / s1helmets on Vimeo.

S1 Lifer Helmet Vs. Soft Foam Helmet (Helmet Testing Lab) from s-one helmet co / s1helmets on Vimeo.

Scizzors / S1 Lifer Helmet from s-one helmet co / s1helmets on Vimeo.