Helmets

The most important thing you should have is a helmet. Be smart, save your brain !

Helmets come in all sorts of variations but are always either “full face” (with chin/jaw protection and often a visor) or the so called “half/egg shells” which cover the top of your head.

Helmet standards

There are several standards in helmet certification. We’ve tried to display as many as possible, below. All certifications are sorted alphabetically, not by order of ‘strength’, which is hard to determine without the testing methods being public.

Click here for a visual view of which helmet has which certification.

ASTM F1492-08

ASTM (formerly American Society for Testing and Materials): Standard specification for helmets used for Bicycling, Skateboarding, Trick Roller Skating (2012).

ASTM F1952-10

Standard specification for helmets used for Downhill Mountain Bicycle Racing.

ASTM F2032-06

Standard specification for helmets used for BMX Cycling.

AS/NZS 2063

Specification for bike helmets in Australia/New Sealand.

CPSC

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is an independent agency of the United States government and regulates the sale and manufacture of more than 15,000 different consumer products.

DOT

An acronym for Department of Transport, DOT is the is US government approved standard and, in the United States, is the most popular. DOT sets minimum standards that all helmets sold for motorcycling on public streets must meet.

E mark

An E mark is a mark from the Economic Commission for Europe (Economic Commisssion of Europe, referred to as ECE) regulations. The E number indicates the helmet is tested by a certified European test facility. The number represents the country in which it was tested.

All numbers are ECE certified, but these are amongst the highest valued:
1 = Germany (TÜV)
4 = Holland (TNO)
13 = Luxembourg (Lux Controls)

ECE 22-05

This is the most common motor helmet certification internationally, required by over 50 countries worldwide.

EN 1077-B

This European Standard is applicable to performance requirements and tests for two classes of helmets for alpine skiers and snowboarders in competitions. The standard comprises two different classes of protection, class A and class B.

EN 1078

EN 1078, entitled Helmets for pedal cyclists and for users of skateboards and roller skates, is a European standard published in 1997. It is the basis of the identical British Standard BS EN 1078:1997. Compliance with this standard is one way of complying with the requirements of the European Personal Protective Equipment Directive (PPE; 89/686/EEC). [ source: Wikipedia]

There is some controversy about this standard not undergoing the touhghest tests, like the previous Snell standard.

EN 966

This certification is used by Icaro helmets. It’s the European Standard which specifies requirements and test methods for protective helmets used in paragliding, hang gliding and flying with ultra-light aeroplanes.

Another helmet brand for paragliding (Speedmaster) with the same certification had the following notice on their boxes: “We take no responsibility for injuries caused if this helmet is used for Downhill Skating. This helmet is not certified for the use of DH Skating. Use at your own risk.”

NOTE: We (as Skatesafe.org) don’t recommend this helmet to any boarder ! It’s just not safe enough. Invest in a better helmet. For info see our helmet chart.

Snell N-94

The Snell Memorial Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to research, education, testing and development of helmet safety standards.


Which certifications are safe ?

Right now it’s hard to compare the different certifications because we don’t have detailed info (yet) about how these tests are conducted and with which pressures and under which circumstances the helmets are tested.