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GAjumper84

First helmet

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I know I am a little late in asking for advice on this as I just bought the helmet, but I will ask anyway as I have the option to return it. Is there anything wrong with the cheapo Benny helmets for a new skydiver like me? I realize there are advantages to the more expensive ones, just want to make sure I am not putting my head in something that offers no protection or something. On sale for under $40 I couldn't say no and jumped on it, just wanted to check what everyone's opinion of this helmet is. Thanks in advance!

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GAjumper84

I know I am a little late in asking for advice on this as I just bought the helmet, but I will ask anyway as I have the option to return it. Is there anything wrong with the cheapo Benny helmets for a new skydiver like me? I realize there are advantages to the more expensive ones, just want to make sure I am not putting my head in something that offers no protection or something. On sale for under $40 I couldn't say no and jumped on it, just wanted to check what everyone's opinion of this helmet is. Thanks in advance!



Buy the Benny.
it actually offers more impact protection than a lot of more expensive helmets:)
You are not now, nor will you ever be, good enough to not die in this sport (Sparky)
My Life ROCKS!
How's yours doing?

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dwhenline

I dont understand why skydive helmut makers dont use better materials and make a certified helmut.
doesnt make sense to jump a non impact proven helmut.
Other than the idea of fashion over safety???
what am I missing as a newbie???



Before asking for "certified" helmets, educate yourself as to what a "certified" helmet is.
Remster

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IMO, a good choice. You likely will buy a more trendy one in the future if you stick with the sport, but it's good to have a back up in case something like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1YXV0Ve9Nc) happens to you.

(Same thing about buying a basic analog Galaxy Alti II altimeter now: you may later get a digital, but good to have a spare/backup in your gear bag.)

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I am in the same position as you are and did a lot of research before also deciding to go for the low priced option. I actually bought a Protec because I knew from using them at the DZ that the size "small" was a nice comfy fit for my head and because they really do provide excellent protection should it be necessary. I wanted an open face for sure, after seeing visor issues firsthand around the DZ. I don't have the skill to deal with something like that right now and have no desire to add complications while I'm still working on the basics. My Protec and I have been very happy together so far. I figure that when I'm much more advanced and feel in need of a fancy helmet (if that day comes), I'll also have a lot more knowledge about what I really want to spend that chunk of money on.

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Please, stop being rational, careful and smart about your helmet decisions. You're really not making any sense at all.
I'm standing on the edge
With a vision in my head
My body screams release me
My dreams they must be fed... You're in flight.

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The liner/padding in the Benny is replaceable and is what is used to size the helmet. This works out well as your skills increase and your head gets bigger. Just get a new liner the next size up, and you are good to go.

I have a Benny and it works well for me.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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GAjumper84

I know I am a little late in asking for advice on this as I just bought the helmet, but I will ask anyway as I have the option to return it. Is there anything wrong with the cheapo Benny helmets for a new skydiver like me? I realize there are advantages to the more expensive ones, just want to make sure I am not putting my head in something that offers no protection or something. On sale for under $40 I couldn't say no and jumped on it, just wanted to check what everyone's opinion of this helmet is. Thanks in advance!



Just about anything makes for a skydiving helmet. You will learn in time which features you like and which ones you don't.

If you care to do a search here on this forum you will see one of my lengthier posts and some other knowledgeable folks as well about skydiving and using helmets the real reasons behind some of these choices.

Here goes a short version:

For minor bumps and forces, all you really needed is something to cushion your face and ears. In the old days and in some new rigs the metal connectors could really slap the side of your face. This led to the rise of the "Frap" hat, it is like a leather condom for your brain. Good for some protection and it kept your hair in place.

Ok now what happens if you fall from 0 to 20 feet and are travelling at a speed from 0 to 25 mph? Many of us want some protection for our Brain bag and the Pro-tec does offer some good impact protection. The Pro-tec is used in many sports and has been around for some time. Many Pro-tec helmets meet some ANSI standard. This particular standard has a lot to do with manufacturing, consistency, and a lot of stuff that doesn't have a lot to do with how much force can be distributed in an actual impact, but the helmet does do a great job for those forces involved in sports like skiing, skateboarding, some bicycle uses, and used to support kayaking.

Do not confuse a Pro-tec helmet with a motorcycle helmet which has to pass exhaustive specifications. Motorcycle helmets are frequently made to be used once, one impact that is. They can dissipate much greater forces. Such as the forces from higher speeds and more solid objects. Like telephone poles. They are able to do this because they are relatively heavy and constructed for actual impacts. This is why you don't see a lot of motorcycle helmets in the air, because whilst jumpable helmets can bounce around a bit hitting someone else with a motorcycle helmet can take them out,...permanently. Nevertheless Bell motorcycle helmets were used almost exclusively in the 70s' and 80s' for students.

As you can see helmets offer protection from impact, but even a motor cycle helmet has limits. Once you start to hit higher speeds it's pointless to wear a helmet, they just don't work for those higher speeds and environments where there is nothing to run into. Except the ground at the end of a really long skydive. Pointless.

So everyone has a decision to make about the helmet they use. And in this skydiving environment with everyone signing waivers, many manufacturers have caught on to the fact they really don't have to offer any protection whatsoever. Gath is one company that exploits this to an extreme. If you see one, you will completely understand.

The Benny Helmets are helmets that offer protection considering the extremes of the forces that most skydivers are going to find in the environment that they operate in. They do a great job at this as many manufacturers do.

The newer Benny helmets are making great attempts at making a snag resistant helmet incorporating a Go-Pro, but this is really a discussion for another day. See the X-3 for a more responsible skydiving helmet / company.

The Gath, to use tham as an example is a manufacturer that has exploited a scratch and bump type helmet that really doesn't offer any impact resistance and crossed over into pushing their products on an unsuspecting public and market their products to anyone that doesn't know any better.

Theree is a range of forces that if you do in fact sustain an impact your helmet will do a good job. But this range can be greatly extended by purchasing a helmet that is more skydiver friendly such as a Benny!

C

So it isn't a simple question to ask what you have asked and it's not a simple answere either. You have made a great choice as long as everything goes according to plan.

You will wish you had a motorcycle helmet if God forbid you ever strike something solid.

And your Benny could save your life if you ever hit part of the aircraft or slide into a fence post on a botched landing.

Gath helmets by the way just basically explode on impact. They are decorative and useless...

so yes yo have made a good choice. I know the Benny marketing stress's the "economical" aspect of their helmets. You can go to almost every skyports, skysystems, Paragear, whomever, and they all mention the economic advantage. this doesn't equate with totally cheep in my book though!

Your also going to see a lot of students wanting to have a more robust helmet anyways. Students can get into some very dicey situations because they are learning and practicing their landing skills. It doesn't take much and in fact I have been present on more than one occasion when "individuals" have tripped on the steps of an aircraft and their choice of a Pro-tec / benny have in fact saved their heads. I have seen the same exact fall from some very experience individuals and they were carted away in an ambulance, unconscious. It doesn't take much for injury to rear it's ugly head. But the stereotype is we are all a bunch of "Rocke'ys and a combination of Jean claude Van Damms." Again it doesn't take much force to do major injury, you want every factor in your favor.

Something to consider to all of those swoopers out there that associate helmets with something only "those students" need. Considering the frequency of swooping and speed and proximity to the ground you would think they would factor this into the equation but alas your going to find out that cosmetics and attitudes frequently are way more cool and anyways "It can't happen to me."
But what do I know, "I only have one tandem jump."

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Thanks for the information. That is exactly what I wanted to make sure of, that I was putting something on with decent low speed impact protection (> 25mph). Got the Benny in the mail today and I really like the fit, as well as the fact it has closed ears (my rental protec at the dz has open holes for the ears, not a fan). It offers decent protection from what everyone is saying, is comfortable, and very economical. Glad I lucked out and picked a good one, what you said about the Gaths is scary!

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Funny you mentioned the alti II as that is what I am looking at getting down the road. A person gave me some advice though about buying an altimeter before I decide to buy a rig. They said it comes with the rental rig anyway, and the person selling a used rig might throw in something like an altimeter, so you might as well wait until you buy a rig. Made sense to me, so I'm holding off on that. Its just things like a helmet, goggles, and a jumpsuit that I don't really like wearing the rental stuff. When I do get an altimeter, it will be a basic analog model, although I would prefer a glowface model, as I have already ended up on a jump where once I got under canopy it was difficult to read my altimeter. Let me know if any of that doesn't make sense:P

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Cmon! I'm already in an XL, before long I will have to have one custom made if it gets any bigger!:S

On a more serious note, I hope to never be "that guy". I always try to remind myself of a quote (which I will probably butcher). Something about a container that's full cannot hold anything more. Tells me to always keep your mind open to receiving more knowledge, if you think you know it all then you will learn nothing.

Thanks for the laugh!

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http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/fmcsr/fmcsrruletext.aspx?reg=571.218

An 11 mph impact. That is realistic in driving / riding conditions as the Vertical Speed your falling head will reach is about that from 6' high. It has no relevance in skydiving.

And no reporting requirements.

PS: educating yourself works much better than having someone else educate you.

PPS: If you think that was harsh, you need to grow some skin.
Remster

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GAjumper84

They said it comes with the rental rig anyway, and the person selling a used rig might throw in something like an altimeter, so you might as well wait until you buy a rig.



I never encountered this when I was renting gear, but it could be different where you are. I would recommend that you buy one because then you don't need to worry if it comes with rental gear and you can get a used one at a reasonable price. And if the person you buy a rig from throws in an altimeter, then you have an extra one.
"I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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True its definately not guaranteed to get an altimeter thrown into a deal for a used rig, but not outside the realm of possibility. As far as rental gear, my DZ includes jumpsuit, helmet, goggles, gloves, altimeter, and rig. The only extra is the $5 pack job. They make it very reasonable, $25 for all of that. I have seen as much as $50 for the same at other DZs. Thanks for the input though. I have been juggling around the idea to buy an altimeter soon just so I know that the equipment I jump with is the same all the time.

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GAjumper84

. Glad I lucked out and picked a good one, what you said about the Gaths is scary!



I'm apprehensive to respond because if I feed him he will never leave but don't go on thinking that everyone on here is an expert. Advice is fine but follow that advice up with some research of your own. Clearly this is some form of prejudice as I'm sure they don't "explode" in a minor impact. I don't know if the owner of gath helmets somehow wronged him or what but he may not be a reasonable objective reviewer...just saying :S
www.facebook.com/FlintHillsRigging

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Overall I'm satisfied with my Benny. I bought the "advanced" version. For one thing it's not as commonly seen as the ubiquitous ProTecs, so I can feel just a little bit unique as a beginning skydiver. My one complaint about it is the teensy velcro tabs that connect the liner to the shell aren't quite up to the job. On mine the tabs holding the ear pieces were attached to the end of the chin strap where the strap is riveted to the shell. Those failed as soon as I removed that liner section to see how to install an audible. I was able to reinstall them using contact cement and they've held up well after about 20 jumps. However, I don't fiddle with the liner now and so don't know how it will do long-term.

Oh, and forget about trying to route your goggle strap through the channel on the helmet - you can do it if you remove the liner, but at least with my goggles the helmet doesn't allow them to seal to my face. Just put your goggles on your noggin before you put your Benny on!
My Dad used to ask me if someone jumped off a bridge would I do that too? No, but if they jumped out of an airplane, that's a different question...

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I agree. Only looking for advice on here as a follow-up as I knew I could find some people on here who had actually used them. You are right that you have to take everything with a grain of salt. So far though I've gotten some pretty solid advice on here though. Thanks to everyone for contributing!

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Those are the two things I noticed right off when I got the helmet today. First that the liner is not attached 100% solid and second that the external routing channel seems to be useless for my goggles. I was pleasantly surprised the helmet came with a bag and that it has a chin strap velcro cover for some padding. Just in case anyone was wondering where to get these helmets at that price it was on chutingstar. $39

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