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A simple question: Helmets

 

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Master_Yoda  (D License)

Jul 30, 2010, 11:21 AM
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A simple question: Helmets Can't Post

One thing I've noticed in pics and videos these days is that frap hats seem to have gone away in favor of hard helmets. Unsure I can understand using them for camera flying or maybe speed star but for everything else it seems like they'd be overkill.
I kinda liked my old frap hat... but no helmet is even better when jumping with people you trust aren't going to cream you in a no-lift dive.

So what's the deal today? Is this just a cultural safety thing gone excessive or are DZs requiring helmets? WTF, over???


kkeenan  (D 22164)

Jul 30, 2010, 11:27 AM
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Re: [Master_Yoda] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
WTF, over???

No requirements that I know of. There are still folks using frap hats. I think it's mostly just a personal preference thing.


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Jul 30, 2010, 11:30 AM
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Re: [Master_Yoda] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
One thing I've noticed in pics and videos these days is that frap hats seem to have gone away in favor of hard helmets. Unsure I can understand using them for camera flying or maybe speed star but for everything else it seems like they'd be overkill.
I kinda liked my old frap hat... but no helmet is even better when jumping with people you trust aren't going to cream you in a no-lift dive.

So what's the deal today? Is this just a cultural safety thing gone excessive or are DZs requiring helmets? WTF, over???

If I were you, I'd go with a full face helmet that covers your jaw. Depending on what kind of jumps you plan to be doing, I think it would be a good investment. You never know when you're going to get the inadvertent kick or elbow in the face (I have gotten both a few times) hard enough to see stars and find hairline cracks on the helmet afterwards. You'll be thanking yourself for protecting your face. Wink


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Jul 30, 2010, 11:56 AM
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Re: [Master_Yoda] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

You may want to reconsider after you see how fast a 50 jump wonder can go with booties.Pirate


Master_Yoda  (D License)

Jul 30, 2010, 12:16 PM
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Re: [chuckakers] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

Interesting thoughts. I guess I'll find out when I get to the DZ and see what's going on. Cool


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Jul 30, 2010, 1:11 PM
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Re: [Master_Yoda] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

Helmet fashions change with the times.
Sometimes helmet fashions are driven by perceived risks in skydiving, but often are driven by changing fashions in other sports.

The sad thing is that many jumpers blindly follow fashion without bothering to understand the "WHYS" of fashion.

Back when I started jumping - in the late 1970s - Bell motorcycle helmets were fashionable because Capewells had a nasty habit of whacking you in the side of the head during opening and backwards PLFs - under round canopies - often "rang you bell."

As sport gear got more comfortable (e.g. 3-Rings), and landings got much softer (under ram-air canopies) skydivers started to believe that they needed less protection and fashion shifted to the soft leather helmets invented by the French back in the 1950s.
Some of the coolest skygods even went bare-headed in the late 1980s!

French leather hats remained fashionable until 4-way (belly-flying) sequential RW teams tried turning 30 pounds per 30 seconds. Then the risk of getting kicked in the face caused people to flinch, adding time to build the next formation. Full-face helmets took the sting out of getting kicked in the head and skydivers adopted full-face helmets originally designed for down-hill ski racers.

Yong skydivers - realizing that they had no hope of competing with the likes of professional 4-way sequential teams - like Arizona Airspeed - switched to freeflying en mass. Freefliers adopted open face helmets from Australian surfers. Free-fly-friendly helmets are the exact opposite offering almost no facial protection and precious little cranial protection, but they are COOOOL!.

A few years later, improvements in canopy technology allowed pro pond swoopers to jump smaller and smaller and faster and faster canopies and they felt the need to hear how fast they are going, so open ear, half-shell helmets fell into fashion. The fact that many pro pond swoopers die from getting the front of their skulls crushed in has not dampened to fashion of half-shell helmets (adopted from the insignificant, "peanut shell" worn by rich, posers riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles).

These days helmet fashions are dictated by the perceived risk of getting whacked in the head. Young, bullet-proof, free-fliers only wear helmets to support electronic gadgets that cost more than their parachutes.
Meanwhile, professional tandem instructors wear hard-shell helmets to protect thier skulls from door frames or getting crushed between main risers. Depending upon how many times they have been head-butted, some TIs even wear full-face helmets to protect their jaws.
Meanwhile tandem students tend to wear soft leather hats to satisfy a legal requirement and prevent dreadlocks.
And - depending upon how many times they have had to stop spinning students - some AFF Instructors even wear full-face helmets.

I have worn most of the different hat fashions over a 33 year skydiving career.
I found jumping hat-less to be way too LOUD!
I wore hard-shell Pro-Tecs on-and-off for years and now wear a slightly smaller HR2 open-face, hard-shell helmet for most of my jumps.
At one point, I conned my boss into buying me a full-face HAVOC helmet by saying "I am not jumping with that student anymore unless you buy me the most expensive helmet on the market!" Sadly, my boss was never bright enough to comprehend that that student had scared every other instructor (including bloodying the nose of one instructor) on the DZ and was "a crater in search of coordinates!"
I kinda like my old "frap hat" but only wear it when jumping on the front of tandem instructors in training.


AggieDave  (D License)

Jul 30, 2010, 2:46 PM
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Re: [riggerrob] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
The fact that many pro pond swoopers die from getting the front of their skulls crushed in has not dampened to fashion of half-shell helmets


Name 2 that died from getting the front of their skull crushed that would have been saved by wearing a different helmet. Now, name 5 out of the nearly 50 pro-level swoopers competing at nationals last year that wore a half-shell helmet (since the PST is no more). Or since you're in Canada, name 5 at worlds.

Since you're up to speed on current trends in the pro-swooper world.Wink

The half-shell has kind of fallen out of fashion for a little more protection or better aerodynamics.


(This post was edited by AggieDave on Jul 30, 2010, 2:50 PM)


sundevil777  (D License)

Jul 30, 2010, 3:06 PM
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Re: [riggerrob] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Yong skydivers - realizing that they had no hope of competing with the likes of professional 4-way sequential teams - like Arizona Airspeed - switched to freeflying en mass.

Well said, like it, like it. LaughSly


ILikePizza  (A 58143)

Jul 30, 2010, 4:13 PM
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Re: [chuckakers] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
You may want to reconsider after you see how fast a 50 jump wonder can go with booties.

This is a comment I've not heard before. I understood booties to have impact on your fall rate. Is there more to think about with booties before I put a suit on that coves my feet?


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Jul 30, 2010, 4:28 PM
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Re: [ILikePizza] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
You may want to reconsider after you see how fast a 50 jump wonder can go with booties.

This is a comment I've not heard before. I understood booties to have impact on your fall rate. Is there more to think about with booties before I put a suit on that coves my feet?

At that experience level they haven't learned to control their speed and maneuverability with booties, for the most part.


headoverheels  (D License)

Jul 30, 2010, 4:29 PM
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Re: [Master_Yoda] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

Full face helmets keep your face from getting so cold in the winter, and decrease chapped lips. They are generally less noisy that frap hats.


Andy9o8  (D License)

Jul 30, 2010, 6:50 PM
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Re: [ILikePizza] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
You may want to reconsider after you see how fast a 50 jump wonder can go with booties.

This is a comment I've not heard before. I understood booties to have impact on your fall rate. Is there more to think about with booties before I put a suit on that coves my feet?

Absolutely, and you should discuss this with experienced jumpers at your DZ before you make the switch-over. Among other things, booties give you a lot more forward drive derived from your legs. So newer, lesser-skilled jumpers not yet accustomed to their new booties sometimes over-amp their forward motion and crash into other jumpers.


Andy9o8  (D License)

Jul 30, 2010, 6:55 PM
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Re: [Master_Yoda] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

To my thinking, jumping without a hard helmet is like riding a motorcycle without a hard helmet. Unless you're doing a water jump, anyone - even an experienced jumper doing a solo jump under a docile canopy - can have a hard landing, any time.


Premier faulknerwn  (D 17441)
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Jul 30, 2010, 7:26 PM
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Re: [Master_Yoda] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

I actually hate wearing helmets, but only do so because I always seem to have a camera I need to stow somewhere :-)

Anytime I'm not needed to do video, I much prefer jumping helmetless, but the only people you tend to see that doing that these days are the old farts..

The helmets many people wear are not much actual use in protecting your head in a collision (Gath anyone?) but are fashionable.. I actually practice defensive flying - I'd much rather miss a point or go slow and not get clobbered than take the kick in the head. I've got 7000ish jumps and never been dizzy or anything of the sort in freefall..


Master_Yoda  (D License)

Jul 30, 2010, 9:32 PM
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Re: [faulknerwn] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I much prefer jumping helmetless, but the only people you tend to see doing that these days are the old farts..

COOL! I'm 44... qualified for POPS. Does that mean I'm an "old fart" now? Sly I want to feel the relative wind in my hair! Oh wait... what hair?!? Tongue


(This post was edited by Master_Yoda on Jul 30, 2010, 9:34 PM)


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Jul 31, 2010, 12:56 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry if my sarcasm does not translate well into the written word.


pinkfairy  (C 85665)

Jul 31, 2010, 1:25 AM
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Re: [Master_Yoda] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

I got my Factory Diver because I needed my own headgear, was at a 4-way training camp, and Skysystems were right around the corner.

It has a hard shell, so it's definitely better than nothing, but protection isn't the main reason why I'm wearing it, it holds my dytter, keeps the wind out of my face and is comfortable. I like it.

What about I keep my factory diver and you wear your frap hat?

Smile


danornan  (D 11308)

Jul 31, 2010, 3:52 AM
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Re: [pinkfairy] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

After using a frap hat for years (just retired my second or third) and now jumping a Z-1, I don't want to go back to the frap hat because of the noise.

Last year, jumping with a friend doing a tandem, for some odd reason, I wore my old frap hat and was really distracted by the noise. I just simply prefer the less noise of the Z-1. A few scrapes on the top of the hard helmet too, make me realize that it is safer.


AggieDave  (D License)

Jul 31, 2010, 4:17 AM
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Re: [riggerrob] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Sorry if my sarcasm does not translate well into the written word.

Gotcha.


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Jul 31, 2010, 5:36 AM
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Re: [riggerrob] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Yong skydivers - realizing that they had no hope of competing with the likes of professional 4-way sequential teams - like Arizona Airspeed - switched to freeflying en mass. Freefliers adopted open face helmets from Australian surfers. Free-fly-friendly helmets are the exact opposite offering almost no facial protection and precious little cranial protection, but they are COOOOL!.

Pretty big assumption on your part to say young skydivers started freeflying because they they had no hope of competing with pro teams. I guess you don't remember how a "young" guy named Olav inspired a new generation to stand on their heads.


A few years later, improvements in canopy technology allowed pro pond swoopers to jump smaller and smaller and faster and faster canopies and they felt the need to hear how fast they are going, so open ear, half-shell helmets fell into fashion. The fact that many pro pond swoopers die from getting the front of their skulls crushed in has not dampened to fashion of half-shell helmets (adopted from the insignificant, "peanut shell" worn by rich, posers riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles).

Hey ol' timer, let's be careful what we're putting into people's minds here. I don't know a single swooper who chose his or her headgear based on wanting to hear how fast they are going. And I'm not sure what fatality report you are reading, but I haven't seen one that reports a pattern of swoopers killing themselves by crushing the front of their skulls.

These days helmet fashions are dictated by the perceived risk of getting whacked in the head. Young, bullet-proof, free-fliers only wear helmets to support electronic gadgets that cost more than their parachutes.

Also not true. Freeflyers are as aware as everyone else that they can take a hit to the head.

Meanwhile, professional tandem instructors wear hard-shell helmets to protect thier skulls from door frames or getting crushed between main risers. Depending upon how many times they have been head-butted, some TIs even wear full-face helmets to protect their jaws.

Of the very, very few TI's I know that ever wear a fullface helmet, none do so to avoid a "jaw strike".

You know, the original poster wanted some simple advise on helmet choices. The least we can do is give him accurate information. Opinions are welcomed, but you penned your words as though they are facts - which they clearly are not.



phoenixlpr  (D 3049)

Jul 31, 2010, 5:50 AM
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Re: [Master_Yoda] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

I've seen a guy with a nice impact rated helmet. It was big and safe and he looked like a guy from Space Balls. Sooner or later he is going to have a nickname like Lord Helmet. Wink


davelepka  (D 21448)

Jul 31, 2010, 6:07 AM
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Re: [Master_Yoda] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
So what's the deal today? Is this just a cultural safety thing gone excessive or are DZs requiring helmets? WTF, over???

Hard helmets, mostly the full face ones, did come out the increase in speed in competition RW. If you haven't seen it yet, go check out Arizona Airspeed on Youtube, and you'll see the speed and proximity that requires full face protection.

As for the rest of the helmets, I think the real change was in helemt design and technology. The old Bell helmets were not made for skydiving and a little on the bulky side. This new generation of helmets are made by skydiving companies for skydiving, and are very light and low profile.

As far as protection goes, they offer good protection from a variety of minor impacts. When i say minor, I mean minor as comapred to going in, no helmet will protect you from that. But for general bumps and scrapes, the new generation of helmets will go a good job of keeping you happy.

They most likely will not offer significant protection in the event of an impact capable of causing serious injury, and they were never designed to. Bouncing your head off a door frame, a low level impact in freefall or even just a tubmle in the wonrg spot on landing can leave you with a knot or cut/abbrasion on your melon. Not the worst thing in the world, but it might ruin your jump day. One of the these helmets will help you in those cases.

Be preparred to wear a hard-shell helmet on your re-currency jump. The DZ will have them available, and your instructor will want to see one on your head, along with a much bigger canopy than you were used to jumping on your back.


jimmytavino  (A 3914)

Jul 31, 2010, 6:39 AM
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Re: [davelepka] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

i jumped for quite a few years without a helmet..
then began to think better of it...
i had a couple of pairs of eyeglasses fly away,, and did not wanna have that happen, with someone Above me... who was diving down to the formation...UnimpressedUnsure
and MY glasses are flying UP past them... Yikes!!!..
anyway switched back to a helmet when i started video ( '95) and have worn one ever since...
Where ELSE would i stow my Pro Track ????? ...
today i think of it as sensible , for protection, from take-off through a safe landing...
( Old skydivers,, Bold skydivers sorta thing )
jmy
A 3914
D 12122


shropshire  (C License)

Jul 31, 2010, 8:38 AM
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Re: [Master_Yoda] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

Frap hats went the way of Bell Bottom trousers and Cabbage Patch dolls ... Ugly one and all


kallend  (D 23151)

Jul 31, 2010, 8:39 AM
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Re: [riggerrob] A simple question: Helmets [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Free-fly-friendly helmets are the exact opposite offering almost no facial protection and precious little cranial protection, but they are COOOOL!.

I see the teams doing serious VRW are mostly wearing full face helmets.


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