Spawned by the incident thread, it's time to think about using protective helmets for skydiving. Obviously this has been covered in great detail before, but it's a topic that wouldn't suffer from a little redundancy.
If all of the "helmet" posts from the incident thread get broken off into their own thread, merge or delete this one.
We all know that skydiving helmets just don't offer real protection. They'll save you from bumping your head on the door or getting a foot in your face but nothing more. They are designed for comfort, style, audible altimeters and cameras.
Here are a few links to consider. I'm sure that others will have more input.
The classic ProTec is the good 'ol standby. It's cheap and designed for protection. It's not the biggest, best helmet... and you won't win too many style points... but it works. Yee haw.
Oregon Aero makes upgraded padding to be used with various kinds of helmets... including the ProTec. Relevant to Skydiving is the upgrade for the Z1 or "any skydiving helmet". I'm sure that it won't make a huge difference, but it won't hurt.
Paragliding helmets are another good place to look. They are designed to be snag-free and fairly aerodynamic. They have pockets for in-air communication systems [audible would probably fit] and they actually have solid protection. They aren't DOT approved, but they'll still help. The Charly Insider is one of the more significantly padded helmets. The Charly No Limit is a solid full-face helmet with a visor and the Charly Air Control will blend right in with normal skydiving helmets. A company called Icaro makes several helmets as well, though the padding is apparently not as significant. The Icaro Blue Velvet is one viable option.
Beware of purpose-built hang-gliding helmets, as they are probably extremely dangerous for skydiving.
On the ground, the motorsports industry has more helmets than anybody else. They're also DOT approved, so they'll really keep your noggin' about as safe as can be. The bummer is that they can weigh a ton and have peripheral vision restrictions. Motocross helmets [with their visors] can have numerous significant snag points. The visors can be removed, but the helmets are still generally quite "angular" to look more "extreme".
A handful of these companies make DOT approved mountain biking helmets. When helmets are designed with foot-propulsion in mind, they're generally lighter. A DOT approved helmet weighing under 1.5-2lbs can be had for less money than a normal skydiving helmet.
Hopefully more people will post more links and helmets that they recommend. I'm not trying to pretend like I know something here, I'm just linking away. Hell, it's just something to think about. I'm sure next to nobody will pick up a protective helmet, but if most of your jumping consists of hop & pops for high-performance approaches, well...
(This post was edited by MB38 on Jul 26, 2006, 12:11 AM)