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Can You Use a Bike Helmet for Skateboarding?

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It’s generally recommended to use a skateboard helmet for skateboarding and a bike helmet for bicycling. Bike helmets aren’t designed for skateboarding as they offer less protection at the back of the head. They also can’t handle multiple impacts like skateboard helmets.

difference between a skateboard helmet and a bike helmet

Skateboard helmet for cycling and skateboarding

Main differences between a skateboard helmet and a bike helmet:

  • Skateboard helmets also cover the back of the head.
  • Bike helmets offer better ventilation.
  • Some skateboard helmets are multi-impact (recoverable foam) where bike helmets are single impact.
  • Skateboard helmets have a thicker shell. Bike helmets shells are made of thin plastic.
  • Bike helmets are designed to withstand extreme force (like being hit by a car).
  • Depending on the helmet, skateboard helmets are not designed to combat extreme force. There are exceptions though.
CharacteristicsSkateboard helmetBike helmet
Safety StandardsASTM F1492, CPSC 1203, or bothCPSC 1203 or EN1078 (International)
MaterialHard plastic outer, foam inner shellpolycarbonate shell
Coverage and ProtectionAlso covers the back of the headLonger back, visor
VentilationLess, get warmer More
Weight and ComfortHeavier, more paddingLighter, less padding
skateboard helmet vs bike helmet

Bike helmets are made to survive one big impact, but a soft bump doesn’t mean you have to throw it away. Make sure you inspect the helmet after a fall.

There are helmets available that are suitable for riding a bike and skateboarding. The Thousand Heritage Helmet is designed for both, but is less comfortable compared to skateboard helmets.

Difference in shells

The outside of a skateboard helmet consists of a hard shell which in some cases can sustain multiple impacts.

The shell is usually a bit thicker than bike helmets, allowing for more impacts. Bike helmets have a thin plastic shell.

The difference in helmet shape and design

You probably noticed skateboarding helmets are designed differently than bike helmets. Skate helmets cover the back of your head and are round and smooth in shape.

When it comes to skateboarding there are many ways to go down. One of the ways to fall is on the back of the head, this is why a skate helmet covers more than just the top of the head.

Bikers hardly ever fall on their backs, though kids tend to do this more often. There are kid helmets that also cover the back of the head. My son has one which is suitable for skateboarding.

Different types of foam

Probably the most important difference is the type of foam used. Basically, foam inside helmets is used for energy management.

There are many types of foams, some foams are designed to withstand one extremely hard impact, some for a few harder impacts and others to withstand multiple softer impacts.

The most popular helmets have Expanded PolyPropylene (EPP) and Expanded Polystyrene (EPS). EPP is a rubbery or squishy material designed to sustain multiple impacts which are often found in skateboard helmets.

Because of the rubbery material, EPP restores itself, unlike EPS. Only EPS is generally used for bike helmets as EPS is designed for one impact.

skateboard helmets

Not sure about using a bicycle helmet for skateboarding anymore?

Consider buying a helmet that has the ASTM f1492 skateboard helmet standard. This doesn’t mean skateboard helmets that don’t have the standard are bad, not at all.

They just haven’t gone through the ASTM f1492 safety standards and certifications that are required.

Some brands have proven themselves to manufacture excellent skateboard helmets. Bad helmets don’t exist or else it’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.

One could say, the best helmet is the one you’re wearing but you can never be too careful. I found the perfect helmet for kids and adults, this helmet is certified for both bicycles and skateboarding. 

It’s one of the safest helmets you can buy. Check out my recommended helmets, involuntary crash tested by me.

Take good care of A helmet!

Just a reminder and often overlooked. I used to throw my helmet around frustrated with my performance. It never crossed my mind taking good care of your helmet is essential. 

Throwing your helmet around will shorten its lifespan. And if you have a nasty fall, I guess the rule of thumb here is that when you made a fall and you’re glad you were wearing one, it’s time to replace your helmet.

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