Kayaking has a slight chance of having you encounter a steep river or even the ocean. A popular way to prevent injuries is by wearing a climbing helmet. However, can using them for kayaking be dangerous? Kayakers across the globe have given their opinions on this, and many share their experiences.
A climbing helmet is designed to protect our head from impacting objects when falling at any height and can also create an air pocket that reduces the shock of hitting something below us as we fall. Helmets are designed like a V-shape to protect your head from falling off your body and receiving any sort of injury whatsoever. However, it can still be very dangerous as the same goes with kayaking if the water isn’t calm enough (which has happened in the past).
PROs of Climbing Helmet
- No matter how big or small, helmets are going to protect your head from injury.
- Good for those who don’t like to wear headbands.
- Lightweight Helmet
- It’s just a matter of knowing how to buy, wear and maintain it properly.
- Makes you look cooler (which is always a plus).
- They’re also very useful when hiking.
CONs Of Climbing Helmet
- Because of their shape, they can be very uncomfortable as the jaw moves.
- You might realize that they make your face look smaller and could impair your vision on the water.
- Sniffles are possible with the full-face helmet, but it gets worse the more expensive it is.
- If you lose the helmet, they can be pretty expensive to replace.
- Prolonged use can cause a sore neck and possible headaches.
PROs Of Kayaking Helmet
- It’s affordable and handy for those who don’t like to wear headbands.
- When it comes to washing, they’re easy to wash with a towel.
- It can also be worn for a while without having the same problems as those described above.
- The chin strap is straightforward to use.
- You don’t need to take it off when you eat.
- It can minimize head impacts from accidents and if it doesn’t, you can use it for an ice bucket.
- If it gets lost, it can be replaced easily.
CONs Of Kayaking Helmet
- They’re quite heavy, making kayak paddling a lot heavier and more difficult.
- You still have to take the helmet off when eating and drinking.
- They tend to slide off easily, so it’s important to tighten the straps.
- They might create pressure on your neck area when you’re paddling.
- It’s not the most comfortable since the helm is open.
- You might realize that your face looks smaller and could potentially impair your vision.
- If you have long hair, it could get caught in the helmet and become a problem.
Several factors can influence how easily one can use a helmet. Some of these factors are the amount of padding, ventilation, and weight.
1. Multiple Impact Helmet: The helmet’s visor is made from expanded polystyrene foam and polycarbonate plastic. It provides excellent protection for your head but has trouble with ventilation.
2. Hybrid Helmet: This helmet is a mix of two other helmets, the full-face and open face. It has excellent protection, ventilation, and great vision but poor weight.
3. Aero Helmet: Designed to reduce wind drag, this helmet is designed with a low profile and uses a softer foam liner on the inside while your head must sit in the outer shell.
4. Half-Cage Helmet: It has a half-cage or star visor, which provides excellent protection but is less aerodynamic than other helmets.
5. Full-Face Helmet: This helmet features a visor that extends to the back of the head and covers your entire face. This provides great protection, but they’re usually heavier to wear.
6. Modular Helmet: This one is a mixture of an open-face helmet and a full-face helmet. It provides great protection and has good ventilation but isn’t as aerodynamic as the full-face helmets.
7. Hard Hat: It’s an open-face helmet designed to protect your head from lumps and bumps and has excellent ventilation but isn’t as aerodynamic as full-face helmets.
8. Roll Cage: Designed to protect your head from flying debris, this type of helmet has excellent impact protection but is generally less aerodynamic than open-face helmets.
9. Snell Rating: The Snell Foundation tests helmets for impact, retention system effectiveness, resistance to penetration, and shell penetration resistance.
10. Multi-purpose Helmet: This one is designed to be used in different sports, including skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, and more.
11. Bouldering Helmet: It’s designed to protect your head from heights.
12. Modern Helmet: This helmet is designed with an aerodynamic shell and protective face covering. It provides good head protection but is more expensive than other helmets.
The two most important tests that a helmet has to pass are the standard impact (Snell) and retention system testing. Other helmets also have additional tests as well.
Snell Impact Test: The helmet is dropped on an anvil made of steel and the impact needs to be distributed evenly across the helmet. If it doesn’t, then the interior liner can crack, letting your head hit the hard surface. Also, the S&S sticker on the helmet is usually destroyed.
Retention System Test: After your head is placed inside, it will be dropped onto a solid surface from the same height as it was dropped when testing the impact. The system should hold your head firmly in place. If it doesn’t, then your head could move inside the helmet and cause brain injury.
These Are the Different Types Of Helmets For Sports Activities:
- Skiing Helmet
- Kayak Helmet
- Scuba Diving Helmet
- Bicycle Helmet
- Paddling Helmets
- Rock Climbing Helmet
- Hockey / Lacrosse Sticks and Goalie Helmet
- Diving Mask
- Motorbike Helmets or Super Motocross (SEM)
- Horse Riding Helmet
- Skateboard Helmet
- Snowboarding Helmets
- Whitewater Helmets
- Motorcycle Helmets
- Mountaineering Helmet
Common Kayaking Accident Causes
I can think of many reasons why you would trip or even fall while kayaking and the proper protection from any accident can be the difference between living a long life and not being able to return home from being out on the water.
Falls are something that we have all experienced. You’re walking, you step wrong and you fall. Falls can be a very dangerous thing, especially when kayaking because you could just fall off your kayak and into the water. If you’re in the ocean, this could cause hypothermia or drown at best. When climbing mountains or hiking, falls can be even more dangerous because falling from a higher surface means a bigger drop and far more injuries. Falls on uneven ground is what we should always watch for because our foot may slip out from under us and send us tripping down the side of a hillside or mountain quickly.
2. Lost Kayak
When you’re kayaking and lose your kayak, you could be in a risky situation. What I mean by that is that you have no way to get back to the shore or onto your boat since you’re currently on the water. If an important piece of equipment (such as your kayak) were to fall off, it would cause even more harm if something else were to fall off it at the same time.
3. Errant Kayak
This could be a result of losing your kayak or falling into one yourself. Whenever kayaking, you have to make sure that your kayaks are together at all times. If one of your boats were to turn around and collide with another kayak, then it could cause major damage. It can also be a bad situation when you’re both trying to pass each other and one of your boats would hit the others.
Waterfalls are usually a common thing in the oceans, but they do happen in lakes and rivers too. Waterfalls tend to be extremely dangerous because if you were to fall off of it, then you would go into the water where there is no way to get back out as it’s a large drop.
Rapids are also extremely dangerous in the water. If you’re on a creek or river and your boat gets caught in a rapid, then it could cause damage to your boat or even pull your kayak out of the water completely.
6. Being Hit By Other Boats/Kayaks
This is something we should always be on the lookout for because when boaters collide then there is a possibility that one or both of their boats could be destroyed while another boat may be badly damaged as well. Kayaks cannot stop collisions from happening to them like cars can and kayakers need to always be aware of other boats around them before making any turns- or even just while they’re paddling.
7. Falling Over The Side
Kayaking in the ocean can be a bit scary because if you fall over the side of your boat, then you are just floating around in the water waiting for help to arrive or hoping that one of your friends comes back from a dive quickly to save you.
8. Exposure To Dangerous Weather
It could be that you get caught out in the water during a terrible storm and it’s extremely windy and cold- not only is this very dangerous for kayaks but also for people as well. Wind can push boats into rocks or other boats or even topple your boat over entirely, so it’s always important to watch out for dangerous weather conditions while kayaking.
What Kayakers Think About Climbing Helmets for Kayaking
Kayakers are always very concerned with safety, and that’s why they tried many different things to make kayaking safer. For example, many of them wear helmets when kayaking or do other things to prevent themselves from injury in case they fall out of the boat.
The main reason why kayakers wear helmets is that they feel that it’s safer, so they don’t get injured from other objects. For example, if a kayaker fell out of the boat while going down rapids, the helmet would prevent them from getting a head injury.
Many kayakers think that wearing helmets is fashionable, and many choose different colors to match their kayaking outfit. Some even wear funny helmets to make the experience more enjoyable and fun for everyone.
But kayakers believe that helmets protect them from getting injured because they are certified to be safe and effective. Helmets are specially designed not to hurt the wearer when there is a fall out of the boat.
Can I Use A Climbing Helmet For Kayaking? YES! But just be careful and keep your head on a swivel. It’s best to wear a helmet for kayaking when you go over an area of rapids or when you’re in a low-tide area doing a tidal-type river. If you fall, your head is more vulnerable but it’s a bad idea to turn your back on the water when you’re kayaking. That’s how most kayakers get hurt. Also, it might be a good idea to learn rescue techniques and how to roll your kayak. Practice in an area where it’s safe to do so and wear a helmet and lifejacket when you’re trying to learn how to roll. Another idea in line is to use cycling gloves for kayaking. Go ahead and read this article – Can You Use Cycling Gloves for Kayaking? Tips and tricks to make kayaking fun and enjoyable.