Don't Be Headstrong: Rent A Ski Helmet With Your Other Ski Equipment

Alyssa Murray

If you ski regularly, you probably appreciate being able to rent all your equipment at a new destination, rather than lug everything through airports and into taxis or other ground transportation. Good quality discount ski rentals can be found at most U.S. and Canadian resorts.

But not all discount ski rental packages include a helmet. And wearing a helmet is one of the best things you can do to prevent serious injuries while participating in winter sports, including skiing and snowboarding. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which tracks deaths and injuries from accidents across the country, more than 350,000 injuries happen each year from winter sports activities.

Do You Really Need a Helmet?

Okay, so a lot of injuries happen from winter sports. But not all those injuries are to the head, right? 

The National Ski Areas Association has been encouraging helmet use since the 2002-03 ski season, and has seen helmet use rise from 25 percent of skiers and snowboarders to 73 percent in 2014. Serious head injuries -- the kind that result in permanent damage or death -- have been reduced by 50 to 80 percent, according to one study.

It's particularly important to wear a helmet if you are:

  • A beginner. New skiers don't have the experience to avoid falls and situations where they could be injured.
  • A child. Kids are particularly vulnerable to head injuries because they are learning or tend to be more reckless.

Finding a Helmet that Fits

In order for a ski helmet to properly protect your head, it must fit right. Measure around your head with a flexible measuring tape, at about a quarter-inch to a half-inch above your eyebrows. Most helmets are sized by centimeters in circumference, so use that measurement rather than inches.

When you are renting, try on a few styles of helmets to find the one that best fits your head. Some brands fit women's or children's heads better than others, and some are better suited to different head shapes.

Bring Your Own or Rent?

If you have your own, professionally-fit helmet, it may be worthwhile to pack it with your clothing and personal items. Remember, though, that helmets should not be subjected to excess pressures and damage so they lose the ability to absorb maximum shock in an accident. If you do pack a helmet in your luggage, pad it carefully with clothing or packing materials so it doesn't get banged around in transport.

In most cases, renting a helmet is the best answer. You don't have to worry about packing yours and you can choose from a variety of different brands and types at your discount ski rental shop.

For more information, contact Rebel Sports Frisco or a similar company.