What is the safest helmet?

(helmet choices will follow)

Chosing the proper helmet for the ultimate safety in hang gliding is a choice best left to the individual who will hopefully ignore hype.

There have been accidents where wearing a full face helmet probably saved the pilot from facial injury. There have been other accidents where if the pilot had worn a full face helmet, their neck would have been broken. In all accidents there is conjecture that a different helmet could have changed the outcome.

Some pilots use their hearing as such a primary instrument that any interference with air around their ears would seriously affect their flying and possibly create an accident do to loss of air speed sensitivity.

When chosing a helmet, look at all possible data, look at the probability that certain types of accidents might possibly occur to you, look at what makes you the most comfortable and then chose.

Hang glider pilots should consider a host of issues including the following (some of which I personally feel are not of significant importance BUT that is only my feeling. It is your head):

  • Any restriction of vision--can the helmet be seen with peripheral vision
  • Restriction of air and sound--everyone is a different sensory instrument What senses do you use?
  • Possibility of the back of the helmet striking the neck
  • Helmet weight--will a heavy helmet be uncomfortable and stop you from looking around for traffic? Are you concerned about inertia?
  • Shell materiel and strength--do you anticipate the possibility of contact with sharp rocks?
  • Security of strap attachment to helmet
  • Possible velocity in any anticipated incident
  • It has been suggested that the slits in a bicycle helmet could pose a threat in the case of impact with tree branches or a glider's keel.
  • Moment arm of face protector exerting force on neck
  • Holes allowing branches to hit head
  • Add your own items
    One final thing to consider in your general behavior is that if you would feel that you would be taking a significant risk flying without a helmet or a parachute, you are not flying as safely as you could be.

    Now that we have complicated your making a simple choice

    Half Helmets

    Boeri: We stock and sell various Boeri Helmets (primarily Shorty, Axis Rage, and the Chameleon) with price ranging between $100.00 and $135.00 depending on model and color. They are a hard shell ski/snowboard helmet. Weight 14-16 oz.
    The Shorty weighs slightly more and ears are covered by external padding.

    Boeri Helmet and and color info.

    Full Face Helmets

    Charly Insider: Wills Wing is the US distibutor for Charly Insider helmets which we sell. They are light and well constructed and have a high back to minimize the chance of the rear of the helmet hitting the pilot's neck.

    Prices: $192.00 for white of $204.00 for colors.

    Helmet info. (Wills Wing)