The Best Skating Helmets (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Prevent the risk of head injuries with these top-rated skating helmets
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BY Corrina Murdoch / LAST UPDATED ON February 19, 2021
Even the most experienced skaters take the occasional tumble—it’s the only way to learn new tricks and expand your skillset. Whether you do your riding on a board, roller skates, or on the ice, one thing is certain: you need a quality helmet. Without proper head protection, you’re at a higher risk of getting severely hurt. Traumatic brain injuries are serious, ranging from concussions to permanent damage. Instead of running that risk, using a helmet properly-suited towards your sport is a simple, and easy precaution to take. The safety value of helmets is standardized by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Setting forth a set of regulations which must be met for the helmet to be viable, it is a helpful resource when making your pick.
But safety is just the start. You want comfort, style, and durability, too. So, to help you track down the best skating helmets on the market, we’ve curated a list of the leading options, along with some tips on making the right pick.
This skating helmet touts a sleek design and comfortable wear. It comes in multiple colors and is available in a wide range of sizes.
- The helmet meets CPSC standards
- Incorporates a lot of ventilation
- Matte exterior is easy to maintain
- Buckle attachment points are vulnerable to rust
- Buckle itself can get stuck when it wears down
Available at a friendly price point, this helmet is suited for all skating activities. It fits reliably and is well-balanced for comfort.
- Stylish design
- Openings improve breathability
- Helmet comes in multiple colors and sizes
- Dial adjustment system wears down with continual use
- Can result in frays on the straps.
Featuring a sleek and simple design, this helmet is well-suited to skateboarding. It comes in three sizes, encompassing the most common head structures.
- Comfortable to wear for long periods
- Matte exterior for easier maintenance
- Removable interior for simplified upkeep
- May be too small for children skaters
- Doesn’t incorporate a lot of ventilation
- Exterior is prone to scratches
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Skating Helmets
- Safety. The main purpose of a skating helmet is to protect you from harm in the event of a fall. Even if you are only skating casually, it’s important to address the risk of head injury with a helmet.
- Comfortable and protective. Helmets are built to be easy to wear by incorporating interior padding and ample ventilation. While giving you protection, they also keep your head away from wind and sun while you ride outdoors.
- Stylish opportunities. You can find helmets in all colors and styles, plus you can equip them with decals to further the aesthetic. It lets you declare your personality as a skater. You can also opt for something more subtle like a black helmet, to integrate into your surroundings.
- Durable and easy to adjust. Helmets for skating are quite long-lasting since they are designed for multiple small impacts. As a result, you can keep using the same helmet for kids as they grow. The adjustable component lets you keep using the helmet until your head exceeds the circumference of the interior.
- Balanced and lightweight. Skating helmets are crafted to be lightweight and limit strain on your neck. Balanced to cover both the cerebrum and cerebellum parts of your skull, when used with the buckle, the helmet remains steady while you ride.
Types of Skating Helmets
This type of skating helmet is easily the most prevalent in the market. It refers to the material used in the manufacturing of the helmet, specifically expanding polystyrene. This type of material is used in conjunction with other parts like foam and PVC to give you full protection from impact. Meeting CPSC standards, it’s important to note that EPS helmets are only able to handle a single serious impact. If the force is nominal, however, the helmet can keep working, making it a popular choice for skaters.
Also referring to the material used in construction, another type of skating helmet uses expanded polypropylene instead of EPS. It stands out in that the material will hold its form despite an impact. This is because the material comes effectively pre-expanded, so a force won’t spread out the plastic’s shape. Keep in mind that, as a result, the helmet might not be able to withstand as much force as the other type. As a result, these helmets are useful almost exclusively for skating purposes.
Founded by two college grads, JBM began with a view to manufacturing high-quality sporting gear for active customers. Despite humble Delaware roots, the company has grown into international acclaim for its top-tier supplies. A leading selection is the JBM Skateboard Helmet for its sturdiness and comfortable wear.
A relatively new company based in California, Retrospec manufactures and supplies sporting goods to customers internationally. With supplies focused mainly on bike and skating gear, it has grown popular among customers. One of its top offerings is the Retrospec CM-1 Commuter Helmet.
Skating Helmet Pricing
- Under $50: Helmets that fall in this price range tend to be fairly simple in design and are almost always EPS-type selections.
- $50 and up: Skate helmets in this range tend to have extensive ventilation, be of either type, and come in multiple styles and colors.
Perhaps the most important feature of any skate helmet is the exterior shell. It is the key component that protects you from impact. Many use EPS material since it is so powerful against impact. The density of the EPS will vary based on the helmet, with most skate helmets having relatively low densities. This causes the shell to absorb the force of a minor impact and expand upon a serious impact.
Both for comfort and an extra layer of protection, the interior padding is another important feature of any skating helmet. It serves multiple purposes. For one, it holds tightly to your head. It also absorbs the force of an impact so your skull doesn’t have to. Also included in the padding are the removable parts that Velcro into place. This helps to hold the helmet in the correct position while also keeping you comfortable.
Necessary to closing the helmet and holding it in place, the straps are a key component of any skating helmet. To work properly, the strap needs to be adjustable. Some helmets use a dial mechanism while others use a more traditional slider. The important thing is that the strap is durable and tightly affixed to both your helmet and the buckle.
The final component of any skater helmet is the buckle. Required to close the strap, the b buckle should be made out of a tough polymer that isn’t prone to rust or corrosion. Ideally, it’s easy to clean and won’t wear down. Stronger buckles are easier to open and close, tending to break less easily with ongoing use.
- Size: When choosing your helmet, whether it’s for your scooter or your mountain bike, the key thing to consider is if it’s going to fit. You can determine this by two metrics. First, check the age range. Next, measure the circumference of your head and compare it to the helmet’s sizing chart. A properly-fitting helmet will give you optimal protection.
- Style: The next consideration is the color and style of the helmet. Are you looking for something bright and bold? Or a helmet that helps you blend in with your surroundings? Think about whether you want it matte or glossy, how you prefer the ventilation openings to look, and what color the strap and buckle are before making your choice.
- Ventilation: Especially if you plan on getting a non-reflective (matte) and dark-colored helmet, you’ll want some airflow. Darker colors and coarser materials tend to take on heat, so if you’re riding in the sun, you’ll want something that promotes breathability. This will make the helmet comfier overall.
- Adjustability: After you’ve determined the breathability and the style of the helmet you want, you’ll want to look into the mechanism of the straps. Check how much wiggle room you get in case you need more or less slack down the line. You’ll also want to look at how the strap loosens and tightens. The options are usually a slider and a dial. The former tends to last longer while the latter is easier to use, though more vulnerable to damage.
- Maintenance: Everything needs a certain amount of upkeep, including skate helmets. Spare a thought for how much work you’ll need to put in to keep the helmet in good condition. Can you remove the interior padding to wash it? Will it be easy to keep the buckle free of debris? Most helmets require a simple wipedown and indoor storage, but it always helps to see how much work you can expect.
- CPSC Compliance: Finally, you’re going to want to be sure that the helmet you’re choosing meets the standards set forth by the CPSC. These guidelines are the result of rigorous testing, where the materials and structure are exposed to forces they would have to bear during impact. Meeting these standards shows you that the helmet will work when you need it.
Best Skating Helmets Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Replace the helmet if you encounter a serious incident; the expanding foam works multiple times for small impacts, but not big falls.
- Adjust the strap every time you put on the helmet to ensure that it sits properly on your head.
- Check your head’s circumference and consult the sizing chart before you pick your helmet.
- Be sure that the helmet adheres to CPSC standards, including materials and design quality.
- Store the helmet indoors, in a safe space, just like you would with a bike helmet. Some parts can rust and the entire helmet is vulnerable to ultraviolet radiation-caused wear.
- Wear your helmet every time you skate to make it into a habit, even when you’re just doing a single trick.
- Keep the helmet clean and remove and wash the padding as it is beginning to get less forgiving.
- Check the helmet for issues with the buckle, the strap, or cracks on either the interior or exterior. These compromise its ability to keep you safe.
Q. Is there a difference between skateboard helmets and bike helmets?
Yes, there is a difference. Bike helmets are made out of a harder foam shell that is designed to absorb a single, severe impact. Conversely, skate helmets are built to withstand multiple smaller impacts and keep working due to the softer foam.
Q. When should I replace my helmet with a new one?
First, check if the helmet has an expiration date. If one is present, will most likely be three years from the date of manufacturing. It’s to account for the natural degradation of the material. Generally, you should replace the helmet every few years, if it is damaged by impact, or the straps wear down.
Q. What is the importance of skateboarding helmets?
If you are doing tricks and skateboarding on-ramps, you need head protection. Even small falls can result in a traumatic brain injury or a concussion. Helmets are a comfortable and affordable way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.