Skating, whether inline, roller, skateboarding, or longboarding can be a dangerous sport if safety precautions are not taken. Luckily it is easy and relatively inexpensive to protect yourself so that the sport can be enjoyed as it was meant to be.
Why wear a helmet?
One quick YouTube search on skating accidents can answer this question. Basically we as human beings are very resilient creatures, but concrete, automobiles, and telephone poles are not, and tend to win the head to surface battle every time.
Some of the popular excuses for not wearing a helmet are: "helmets don't look cool", "they impair my movement and sight" or "I just don't want to wear one".
Professional skaters wear helmets for a reason, their own safety. If the skating experts see a need to protect themselves, their reasons should be valid enough for any excuse.
How to choose a helmet
A skate helmet has a distinct look to it. The helmet should cover most of the crown of the head starting from the forehead and ending just below the earlobe on the rear portion of the head. Ears are not covered on most skate helmets and a chin strap (usually two) is attached to make the helmet secure. The helmet usually has a smooth surface with ventilation holes in the front and rear. Pricing ranges from around $20 to $60 depending on the manufacturer. Some popular manufacturers are: Bell, Triple 8, ProTec, and Bern.
How to size a helmet
Most skating helmets come in the basic sizes: X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large. The basic measurements are listed below and are a general representation. Check with the manufacturer for their specific sizing guidelines before you make a purchase. Most manufacturers websites have their sizing information listed.
To take a measurement, simply wrap measuring tape around the head at the forehead level, above the tips of the ears and rear of the skull and note the size. If measuring tape is not available, use a piece of string and measure the length of string itself.
X-Small = 20 to 20.5 inches
Small = 20.5 to 21.5 inches
Medium = 21.5 to 22 inches
Large = 22 to 23 inches
X-Large = 23 to 24 inches
The helmet should fit comfortable and secure, not too tight or loose. Vision and movement should not be impaired if the helmet has been fitted properly. Also, the chin strip should fit comfortable, not too loose or tight.
Little care is actually needed for maintenance of a skating helmet. Clean the helmet with soap and water, no bleach or household cleaners which could impair the durability of the helmet. Visually check to see if all parts are working, not worn or broken. If there are broken parts, dents or cracks on a helmet, then a replacement helmet is recommended.
Replace the helmet after the internal pads are worn, the helmet has been outgrown, or if the helmet become damaged.
Skating helmets are essential to the enjoyment of the sport and protection of the rider. Proper care and maintenance of the helmet should give years of life to a vital piece of protective equipment.