0
daniel52587

Skydive helmets are useless

Recommended Posts

Quote

Quote

Quote


BTW, you know who Bonehead's biggest customer is?


The US Military.



Detail please...what product, what application?


http://www.boneheadcomposites.com/military.htm


Thanks for the link. That tells me Bonehead tries to sell their helmets to the military, but it doesn’t mention anything about meeting any specific military standard, nor does it include anything about actual military sales. That all may be there, but the site doesn’t really speak to the issue of impact standards or acceptance under military contract. There may be some Bonehead sales to military customers, but that the military is their biggest customer isn’t reflected in their web promotion.

As an alternative, take a look at the GENTEX site at http://www.gentexcorp.com/default.aspx?pageid=98, then take a look at the specifics regarding energy absorption and penetration http://www.gentexcorp.com/assets/gentex/PDFs/HGU-55P.pdf as follows:

• HGU-55/P series Performance: The HGU-55/P series will meet the performance
requirements of MIL-H-87174 “Helmet, Flyers, HGU-55/P”.

• Impact Energy Attenuation: The HGU-55/P series helmet assembly with a TPL,
SCL, or X Liner installed, limits the acceleration imparted on a test head form to
less than 400G with an input energy of 35 foot-pounds, single impact,
hemispherical anvil, using ANSI Z90.1 methodology as specified in MIL-H-87174.

• Penetration Resistance: The helmet assembly with energy absorbing liner limits
penetration of a 16 oz. test bob into the shell to not more than 0.250 inch from a
drop height of 10 feet when tested in accordance with MIL-H-87174.


I’m not suggesting here that a skydiving helmet should meet the specific standards for a military pilot helmet, but rather that there are standards for helmets, and the military will generally purchase based on performance to a specific standard. In the above specifications the GENTEX helmet meets a specific standard for helmets, and the helmet has separately been shown to reduce impact forces and penetration by a specific amount as defined in a ANSI test standard.

Bonehead may be a good product (probably is), but it appears the helmet still lacks certification for any application, and there is still no public record of significant military use. If a variety of military units have actually purchased the Bonehead line of helmets for skydiving applications, then I’d say Bonehead has proved themselves to a discerning customer. Likewise, if the helmet was marketed with any level of energy absorption based on a recognized test standard, then I’d say there is a reasonable claim for use in a skydiving application.

Simply advertising the helmet to military users doesn’t say much of anything. Bonehead seems to be a good company with the potential to really change the way skydiving helmets are designed and marketed. I’d like to see them take the next step and provide real product specs that show some level of demonstrated protection.
Tom Buchanan
Instructor Emeritus
Comm Pilot MSEL,G
Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah but look at that helmet. It is thick, real thick. That is completely different to a mindwarp. Mindwarp may be carbon fiber, but it has no impact absorbing material. I can squeeze what little padding there is right against the shell. They may protect against minor bumps, but that is it. A poster here said he bumped his head on the airplane and was unconscious for 4-5k. If he had been wearing a protec, he probably wouldnt have been knocked out at all. I have never held a fullface. This was mainly directed to open face skydive helmets. I wasnt specific so it is my fault. But if I would choose between a nice protec and an open face skydive helmet. I will go protec.

Edit: Also, I highly doubt that helmet meets the military standards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm curious what you're trying to protect yourself from by wearing say a motorcycle helmet, versus a skydiving helmet.


-Kick in the face, both will work.
-Riser slap, both will work
-Smashing your head on the airplane during exit or loading, both will work
-Hitting an object in freefall, both will work
-Messed up landing...unless you're landing on jagged rocks, they'll both work

-Bouncing...neither will do anything
-Gunshots, neither will do anything


So again, my question is this, What will a motorcycle or similar protect you from that a skydiving helmet will not, while skydiving? I can't think of anything.

The advantage of having a skydiving helmet versus a motorcycle helmet can only be understood after you have your first slammer. 1 lb versus 8+ lbs being pulled down, ding, we have a winner!

Chris

EDIT: I jump a fullface Z1 and it is phenominal. There is lots of padding on the inside, lots of wind protection, lots of warmth, very secure, and personally I think it offers me quite good protection.
<--------See Picture

I do however agree with one point the original posted stated. Skydiving helmets are WAY too expensive considering they don't have any type of certification. I mean, the markup is insane. I highly doubt that my fullface Z1 costs $250 to make. It's a heat molded plastic shell ($15?), some foam padding ($10?), a buckle with strap ($1?), a visor with mounting hardware ($20?), plus some various other parts (glue, string etc..), say $5. So there, I just made a Z1 for approx $50. Hmmm...anyone interested in a new skydiving helmet for, say, $100? (Includes shipping spare visor etc...?)
Haha
"When once you have tasted flight..."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey Daniel,

you're the one who stated that the present helmets are useless. Many people have offered you insight, based on many years of experience, why they are not useless. They're not SNELL or DOT rated, and no one claims them to be. I know I would NEVER want a motorcycle type helmet on my head while skydiving: too heavy, too big, too many blindspot.

Skydiving helmets do what they are meant to do: protect form minor scrapes and bumbs, and reduce the pain when getting an elbow of knee to the face while doing a 14. Beyound that: you are jumping off an airplane. You pay your money, you take your chances.
Remster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I have a better idea. How about I hit you in the head with a baseball bat wearing a protec. Then let me hit you wearing a mindwarp. Then tell me which offers better protection........if your not unconscious.



:S


You asked for opinions but seem to want to argue yours as the only right one...again it's a matter of personal choice.

If you think so highly of Protec helmets, WEAR ONE.B|

But you'll get along much better and go farther - faster in the sport if you take it down a notch.:)

Protec helmets ARE a good standard to measure other head gear by, in some certain areas of protection.

They are light and cheap and do have a good amount of padding, that is unless you are a fathead skydiver like I am.;)

To get one to fit me comfortably I have to cut 3/4 of the XL sized padding out making the 'thickness' close to or the same as the bonehead helmets you dislike so.

In 'my' case with the padding being about the same, the shell integrity is more important.

A CF helmet will take a blow and spread the impact force over a greater area than that the plastic of a protec, and a CF helmet has much more puncture resistance.

Another option is the all Kevlar lid, light weight and even more resistant to puncture and also spreads the force of a blow out, lessening the damage.


If there was a single product that totally out-shined all others in performance, it would become the industry standard...
ie. the 3 ring release.

If a product fills a niche in the market, functions well, looks good and is affordable to enough people...
it become a personal option, a matter of choice.
ie. jumpsuits, helmets, altimeters.

It's bad form to 'instruct' people with 4 or 5 HUNDRED TIMES as many jumps as you that their CHOICE is incorrect.

I haven't used an RSL (for safety reasons) since it was a 6 foot rope tied to a front mounted reserve handle, but I would never tell you that YOU shouldn't use one.


Edited to add:
If you have a better idea as to a safe, reliable, affordable helmet that would work for everyone and be considerably better than anything else available, go into the business, or contact a current manufacturer and get it on the market!

You'll be RICH! ;):ph34r:










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You can say useless but all the scrapes and marks on my helmet tell me different. If I was so afraid of bashing my head into something I don't think I would be jumping out of planes.

Some risks you just have to accept. The only place I can see better rated helmets helping is with swooping and even then the visibility tradeoff would prevent me from wanting to wear one.
~D
Where troubles melt like lemon drops Away above the chimney tops That's where you'll find me.
Swooping is taking one last poke at the bear before escaping it's cave - davelepka

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
During AFF I paid a visit to the wind tunnel at Bedford. I got pretty badly unstable at one point and spun into the wall hitting it with my head. I carried on, after the session when I took off my helmet it had a huge graze down the side of it :| That was from striking concrete so I don't think you can say they offer no protection. I don't think they do a good job of absorbing impact strength but they do distribute it across a larger area dissipating that energy (albeit into your body but not on one concentrated area) kind of like how a bullet proof vest works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I guess I was being a little pushy and maybe arrogant. Sorry guys. I was just shocked how skinny that helmet was. I just thought when I was holding it "$200 for this skinny thing." It was a shock. I expected the skydiving helmets to feel solid. Then my rigger told me one time he was swooping and had a real bad landing. He said if it wasnt for the protec he was wearing, he could have been seriously hurt. It was just a shock, and still is. Sorry, I just couldnt believe it. Something so dingy feeling for such a high price. The companies are making huge profit. They can sell it for that much because there isnt much competition in the skydiving industry. I just dont know if I can bring myself to pay that much money for that tiny skimpy helmet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

You can say useless but all the scrapes and marks on my helmet tell me different. If I was so afraid of bashing my head into something I don't think I would be jumping out of planes.

Some risks you just have to accept. The only place I can see better rated helmets helping is with swooping and even then the visibility tradeoff would prevent me from wanting to wear one.



Not to change the subject, but did you see the new ROK from Cookie Composites? Made for swoopers, has ear vents to better hear, and greater facial clearance for a wider perspective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

The companies are making huge profit. They can sell it for that much because there isnt much competition in the skydiving industry.



The companies are not making "huge profits." They have to sell them for that much to make a profit at all.

Unlike motorcycle, snowboard, skateboard, etc. helmet manufacturers, whose markets number in the millions of potential customers, skydiving helmet manufacturers sell to a very small market. When you're likely to sell several hundred thousand units you can afford to make less profit per unit than can someone who is only likely to sell 20,000 units. Simple economics.

Quote

I just dont know if I can bring myself to pay that much money for that tiny skimpy helmet.



Then don't.

Or if it bothers you that much, you could always design, build and market a skydiving helmet that you think is worth the money...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
>How about I hit you in the head with a baseball bat wearing a protec.
>Then let me hit you wearing a mindwarp.

How about I kick you in the face with your protec, then kick you in the face while you are wearing a Factory Diver . . .

Choose the right tool for the job. Some helmets have very good impact attenuation, some have good facial protection, some have excellent visibility, some never fog. The helmet you will need for demos will be different than the helmet you need for 4-way - and the sort of helmet you need for high altitude record attempts may be something else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

>How about I hit you in the head with a baseball bat wearing a protec.
>Then let me hit you wearing a mindwarp.

How about I kick you in the face with your protec, then kick you in the face while you are wearing a Factory Diver . . .

Choose the right tool for the job. Some helmets have very good impact attenuation, some have good facial protection, some have excellent visibility, some never fog. The helmet you will need for demos will be different than the helmet you need for 4-way - and the sort of helmet you need for high altitude record attempts may be something else.

Touche.:o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

You can say useless but all the scrapes and marks on my helmet tell me different. If I was so afraid of bashing my head into something I don't think I would be jumping out of planes.



That's my opinion too. I don't expect my full face helmet to be much use in a high speed impact. I do look at all the gouges and scrapes on my Z1 and am happy it was the helmet that absorbed them and not my head.
Owned by Remi #?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I have a better idea. How about I hit you in the head with a baseball bat wearing a protec. Then let me hit you wearing a mindwarp. Then tell me which offers better protection........if your not unconscious.



I have a much better idea... you can wear your protec, and I will smash your computer over your head. :S
"The restraining order says you're only allowed to touch me in freefall"
=P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think many relevant points have already been made in this thread about what a skydiving helmet is designed for. With that said, no helmet will absolutely protect you, no matter what it is designed for. I have several friends who's ballistic helmet didn't stop a bullet and I know several people who's motorcycle helmets did nothing more than keep it all in one place after the wreck. Skydiving helmets are designed for simple incidental contact and or for mounting other devices. If you want increased impact protection then modify the interior of an existing skydiving helmet with a tested insert from another helmet. The military authorizes Pro-tec type of helmets for HALO use ONLY if it has the insert from Oregon Aero. Other helmets can and are used but at the discretion of the chain of command.
"It's just skydiving..additional drama is not required"
Some people dream about flying, I live my dream
SKYMONKEY PUBLISHING

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I bought a Bonehead Rat Hat last spring after using a pro tek for most of my short jumping career. I'm not saying that a $200 brainbucket is any better than a $50 one but I do know that on my second jump with my brand new shiny Rat Hat I had to do a down wind landing in aprox 17 mph winds. When I quit rolling and was able to get back to my feet there were some very nasty gouges and scrapes in my new helmet. The first thing that went thru my head was FUCK, lookit my new helmet. Then I realized that it could've been my head bouncin off the rocks in that cow pasture. I fought the Legislation in my state against the mandatory helmet law for years. (We still don't have one.) But the older I get the more I think it's not such a bad idea. I guess I just didn't like politicians telling me what was good for me. I still ride my Harley most of the time w/out a helmet and maybe I'm a hypocrite, but I wont jump without one.


I may be getting old but I got to see all the cool bands.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My helmet has protected my ears from the lines during bad openings, my head during PLFs and RW. It also protects my audible altimeter and goggles and lets me use my cam . . .
Gonzalo

It cannot be done really means I do not know how to do it ... yet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What you may have figured out by now from all this truly expert advice is that your melon isn't subjected to the same potential injury during jumping as say, dirt biking. So what you really need a helmet for is not to keep your head protected from serious cranial impact, rather you need cover from the wind, noise, cold, and the kicks, bumps, scrapes and bangs. If the really serious impact to the head ever comes, hopefully a lightweight, comfortable, great visibility helmet will be the least of your worries. During all the other skydives where you live to jump again, that same helmet will be an ASSET.B|

Just burning a hole in the sky.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Not me. I would like to know if someone collides with my canopy or I have a rough landing; at least my head will be ok.:S



Oh, so you want something that ensures an open-casket funeral. Why didn't you say so in the first place! ;)

-Blind
"If you end up in an alligator's jaws, naked, you probably did something to deserve it."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Gosh, thanks for your valuable opinion. All these years of skydiving and we never figured it out.


BTW, you know who Bonehead's biggest customer is?


The US Military.



You know that does make sense. A rep from Relative Worksop once said that the skydiving sport market is now the testing ground for future military free fall equipment devlopement.
Divot your source for all things Hillbilly.
Anvil Brother 84
SCR 14192

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have been kicked in the face a couple of times while wearing a full-face helmet. That is pretty much what the helmet is for. Protects your head against inadvertent knocks in RW or on exit from aircraft, as well as from riser slap. That's all they are meant to do. They just "might" hold your head together if you hook it into the ground or something, but you are still gonna fuck yourself up in that scenario.
"Mediocre people don't like high achievers, and high achievers don't like mediocre people." - SIX TIME National Champion coach Nick Saban

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Another good use for a full face..You are rear floating, the jumper in front of you (not wearing a full-face) has a sinus blowout. Only thing worse than someone elses blood & snot on your full face helmet is to have it on your face.



There should be a brotherhood for those that have experienced this, it is quite a feeling; especially helpfull if the count has already begun and are trying to see the pulse
The CLF

On break off turn and track as far and as fast as possible....
Because not only your life depends on it but so does mine!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

0