Roller Derby Gear Reviews, Tips on Purchasing Well-Fitting Items, and Advice on How to Keep You Rolling for as Long as Possible!
Thursday, March 21, 2013
One Hit Wonder?
My Orange S-One Lifer Helmet in Action
There is some confusion as to "one hit" versus "reusable" helmets. There are el-cheapo helmets that are not good for much of anything, there are multi-use which provide some protection, then there are high impact helmets. High impact helmets have layer of hard Expanded PolyStyrene (EPS) foam lining, which if you hit your head hard enough will act like a crumple zone in a car. Some cheap helmets will have a hard foam lining that may look like EPS, but look for the Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC) sticker on the inside of the helmet to make sure it is going to protect your brain. The CPSC certification means the helmet has been proven to protect your head in bicycle crashes (think how fast you go on your bike!), so they translate well to Roller Derby. Here is an illustration of a CPSC certified Lifer helmet:
Both S-One and Nutcase brands have CPSC certified helmets with a layer of hard EPS lining followed by a soft foam pad. They are made for multiple lower impact hits to the head and if you happen to take a hit hard enough to dent the hard EPS foam lining (you will be able to see this), it's time to replace it. So basically these helmets are reusable helmets at low impact and single use at high impact. You can replace dented or cracked S-One helmets for $20 through the manufacturer or $35 through 2N1 Skate Shoppe, which is a pretty sweet deal. I also heard a rumor that Nutcase likes to replace broken helmets when you send them an awesome story about how it saved your brain from catastrophe.
Non-CPSC Certified Helmet
Helmets that only have a hard shell with a thick terry cloth liner (see picture to the right) used to be the most popular helmet in Roller Derby, and this may also be why we were seeing so many concussions or traumatic brain injuries. These helmets are not CPSC certified and are even illegal to sell in some states because your head is the crumple zone instead of a hard foam liner. Doesn't sound like much fun, does it?
The Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) has recently taken the helmet issue a step further by recommending HECC certified helmets. These are (imho) ugly hockey helmets that run about $150 (from the models I looked at), but are tested to even harder hits than the CPSC helmets.
Nutcase Modern Dots CPSC Certified Helmet
Some skaters I've met want to keep their helmets forever...personally, I think it is better to look at all of your protective gear as being easily replaceable after it has done its job. Hopefully no one ever hits their head hard enough to need to replace their helmet, but I don't think that worrying about having to get net stickers should be a reason you get a lower rated helmet. Besides, with the awesome color selection S-One has and super cute Nutcase designs, who wouldn't want to switch it up every once in a while?
Chris from Nutcase sent me a helmet to try out and review, as well as one to give away to a G Spot reader! While I'm testing mine out, let's hear some of your helmet stories... Post your tale of woe, near-miss, or triumph in the comments for your chance to get your own brand new Nutcase helmet. We'll announce the winner April 15th.
Sweet Atom Backpack
Speaking of giving away stuff, you have less than 2 weeks left to enter our Atom Backpack giveaway contest! Just post a pic of you showing your 2N1 pride on the 2N1 Skate Shoppe FaceBook page and you may be carrying around all your derby stuff in style!