Probably the most important piece of protective gear for skateboarders is a helmet. Sure it doesn’t look fancy but fortunately, more and more skateboarders are wearing skate helmets. Nowadays helmets are more comfortable than they used to be so hopefully this trend continues.
If you skate street (rails, stairs etc), vert or cruise in traffic you should consider getting a helmet, better safe than sorry. It only takes one hit to ruin your life (and your family’s).
Since I always wear a helmet (except when I just cruise around town), I decided to buy a bunch and see which are great and which aren’t. Basically it comes down to a couple brands that offer the best helmets; Protec, Triple8, TSG, S-One, and 187. I bought about 8 different helmets and picked the ones I like most.
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This is just a small selection of great skateboard helmets. There are many more which will probably be added in time. These skateboard helmets offer optimal protection and are all certified. Note that you don’t need a certified helmet, but it is reassuring.
What we look for in helmets are mostly comfort factors like padding, ventilation, buckle system adjustment and weight. Other factors we take into consideration are aesthetics and price. I had impacts with a few helmets but I’d rather not headbutt the ground on purpose, that’s what the certifications are for.
TSG Skate/BMX Bike & Skate Helmet
In my experience TSG helmet offer the best ventilation and lots of padding for extra comfort. Many helmets get really hot after a while and sweat will poor from your head. It has a unique shape and large ventilation holes to keep your head cool.
Other than that it’s just very comfortable, tight enough fit to stay in place while not feeling restricted. It features a standard buckle system and comes with two sizes of pads in case the standard padding doesn’t work for you.
The padding and cooling system is really what makes this helmet stand out, it absorbs sweat, doesn’t overheat, and is easy to take out and clean. Absolutely recommended and not even the most expensive helmet on this list. Check current prices on Amazon (sponsored link) but also look around elsewhere to see if you can get a good deal.
Triple 8 Gotham
This is my favorite helmet in sunny weather. After hitting my head while wearing my other Triple 8 Helmet I thought it was a good idea to get a new one. I had my eye on the Triple 8 Gotham for a while mainly because of the subtle brim, dial fit system, and comfortable fit.
So far I like it! I love the design but most importantly, it fits just right and the dial button really is a big difference compared to the Triple 8 helmets that only have straps and a buckle.
The Triple 8 Gotham is both ASTM and CSPC certified and comes with Sweatsaver technology which absorbs sweat, better than most helmets. Helmets are bulky and this one is no exception but it is surprisingly light.
The adjustable dial fit system and extra padding make it easy to adjust the fit so it won’t move around while your riding. The Gotham offers lots of ventilation holes to keep your head cool, six on top, two at the back, and two in front. Note that there is also a version available that offers MIPS, these are a lot more expensive and really isn’t needed for skateboarding.
Pick the bigger one if you’re in between sizes. The extra padding and dual fit system will make it easy to adjust its fit. Check Amazon for prices and availability. (sponsored link)
- Dual certified (ASTM & CPSC)
- Subtle brim
- Absorbs sweat
- Comfortable fit and easy to adjust
- Dial fit system
Pro-Tec Classic Certified Skate Helmet
Protect offers a bunch of different models, I’m a simple man so I went with the classic. White is never a good choice when you want a matte helmet because it stains a lot. IN this case I got a glossy protect helmet that is a lot easier to clean. Another benefit is that offers a bit more cooling when exposed to the sun.
The Protec is pretty on par with triple 8 and TSG. Extremely comfortable padding which consists of 2 parts with some nice details added to it. It does a decent job of cooling through the ventilation holes, though the TSG is better in that regard. Check Amazon for prices and availability. (sponsored link)
This helmet does not come with extra padding which I also didn’t need in my case because it has a snug fit.
Inspect Your New Helmet
I would recommend fully inspecting your new helmet before you go out and skate. I had this weird case where the inner shell came loose, somehow the glue just didn’t stick to the outer shell.
This renders a helmet completely useless so make sure to check if everything is functional. Inspect the buckle system, the inner and outer shell, and inspect it for cracks just to be safe. In my case I was able to return the helmet and the replacement helmet didn’t have any issues.
Picking the Right Size Helmet
Shopping online for helmets is sometimes difficult and helmets are probably one of the most returned items.
Not all brand offer the same size. TSG size M is smaller than Triple 8 size M so make sure to measure before you buy. If you are in-between sizes like me, pick the smaller one. Just measure your head as they instruct and you should be able to pick the right one, measure it more than 1 time though, and don’t feel bad if you have a big or small head.
Finding a comfortable and well-fitting skateboard helmet means making sure it’s tight, but not too tight. It should fit snugly. The helmet should stay on your head when you shake it side to side and shouldn’t hurt after wearing it for a while.
A properly fitting helmet:
- Rests two finger-widths above your eyebrows
- Does not fall off your head when you leave the strap unclipped and you bend down at the waist
- Does not slip when you shake your head from side to side
- Fits snugly when you have the chin strap tightened so you can just get two fingers between the strap and your chin
If you have to buy online, many of the more reliable brands offer size charts, check it carefully!
To measure your head for a helmet, wrap a tape or string around your head, just above your eyebrows. Usually, head sizes are between 18.5 inches (47 cm) and 25.5 inches (63.5 cm), with most people in the 20.5 inch (52 cm) to 22.5 inch (57.15 cm) range.
Don’t Feel Awkward Wearing a Helmet
I admit I don’t always wear a helmet but I should. I never hit my head in all those years but it only takes one fall. If someone makes fun of you because you want to stay alive, well that’s their problem. Even pro skaters (and legends) like Tony Hawk, Mike Vallely and Andy Anderson wear helmets and are actively promoting helmet safety.
Slap Some Stickers on It
If you want to make your helmet look more appealing, slap some stickers on it. I really like the look of the helmet and there’s a wide variety of colors, but you can make it a little bit more unique by adding some stickers. Don’t slap a sticker on the Thousand helmet though, you monster!