Helmets have come a long way since the 1980’s. At that point, the only skiers wearing helmets were either gapers or world record speed-skiers. However as helmet use sky-rocketed in the 90’s, the result was unsurprisingly– less severe head injuries.
Pros and Cons: Hats Vs. Helmets
That is all changing in the 21st century. According to an updated study penned by a group of Norwegian researchers, the decrease in severe head injuries has leveled off since 2002 and although more skiers and snowboarders are wearing helmets than ever before, head injuries are largely remaining the same.
Researches believe the onset of freestyle and freeriding in popular culture is having an equalizer effect when it comes to traumatic head injuries. Their findings indicate that traumatic head injuries have a stronger connection with a skier’s ability and familiarity with risk than they do with the skier’s choice of headgear.
And although the effectiveness of helmets is being put into question by these findings, experts still believe that helmets greatly improve the chances of skiers and snowboarders avoiding traumatic injuries to the head. Dr Steinar Sulheim emphasized that point telling Reuters, “Wearing a protective helmet reduces the risk of head injuries in alpine skiing and snowboarding. It should be noted, though, that a helmet do not prevent head injuries, only reduces the injury severity.”
Find the entire Reuters article here: For skiers and snowboarders, helmets still offer protection