Surf Helmets

Dec 9, 2016
132
130
43
South Bay CA
Recently saw a couple of local news outlets reporting on the increase popularity of surf helmet.
What you think?

[ A ] News outlets have nothing better to report
[ B ] Just another surf industry money maker
[ C ] Good idea

I'm gonna surf either way.
 

Muscles

Michael Peterson status
Jun 1, 2013
2,201
2,914
113
California/Hawaii
There probably are a lot of undiagnosed concussions from wipeouts in bigger surf. A lot of people seem to be wearing them now. Two of my friends wear them because of TBIs from their military service and their doctors told them they need to take precautions when participating in activities.
 

flyinraptr

Michael Peterson status
Dec 18, 2008
2,491
798
113
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
I think if you surf at a spot that is crowded on a regular basis .... a helmet is something that should be seriously considered. Whether it be another loose board, sup or foil that you are unable to avoid while paddling out or having to bail in order to avoid a collision - with the increasing crowds probably not a question of if but when something out of your control will happen.
 

Sharkbiscuit

Duke status
Aug 6, 2003
16,708
8,134
113
Jacksonville Beach
I'd only want one in a crowd of SUP/log/foil or some such. I'd avoid surfing in a crowd like that.
Personally they look like zero fun duck diving a bunch on a head high 8-10sec day.

Every few years at Mayport someone will go straightoff Adolf a closeout right on top of my head. Normally people going just to catch a wave will pick one direction or the other and I'll be minorly annoyed at the relatively minor inconvenience of having to move but it's all good. One in a hundred, I'll have someone right in front of me take off right at me on a pointless closeout and make zero effort to alter their line or do anything with their board. I sounded the first person or two who did this; last time I made an effort to grab the board and they found some motivation to leash-yank their sh!t back to themselves.
 
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r32

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 1, 2005
14,795
4,164
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Cambria
Way back in mid 90s, my buddy and I were out at a reef around here. Only about 6-8' but pretty heavy day with thick little barrels. He got bashed pretty good on one and came up dizzy. Turned out he had a concussion. After that day, he started having rando dizzy spells for a year after, and occasional nausea while surfing. He ended up wearing a helmet at all times, and eventually quit.
 
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santacruzin

Phil Edwards status
Oct 17, 2007
7,170
5,228
113
valley purgatory
I have surfed One of the most shitshow crowded breaks for 30+ years now. Never thought about wearing a helmet .

I have thought about one for Indo . Tried a friends Gath back in the day and did not like it at all though. could be mental but not sure I can do the helmet.

saw a dude on what seemed to be a lighter type than gath the other day , didn’t ask him what it was
 
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rowjimmytour

Kelly Slater status
Feb 7, 2009
8,658
3,022
113
Rbeach
I can see the benefit when I surf beach break. People bailing boards, closeouts, taking off late, and sucking low tide.

I may consider it.
Barreling reef "coral or rock" low tide or slab like reef maybe but truth be told worse knock out punch was waist to chest super low tide drainer at local beach break upper cut "under chin" by rail towards nose so helmet would not have helped.
 
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One-Off

Kelly Slater status
Jul 28, 2005
9,476
3,950
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33.8N - 118.4W
I was out on a small but dredging beach break day....a wave came in, probably not even shoulder high, but I knew the lip was going to slam me and it was too shallow to do a deep duck dive. So for some reason I thought I'd turtle it (who even does that right?). When I did my back was immediately on the sand and I was being dragged towards the wave. Then BAM! the lip hits my board and my head gets sandwiched between it and the sand. It's the only time in my life where I saw stars. I came up and the horizon was spinning. I stood up in the knee deep water and fell. For a second I thought I was going to drown because I couldn't get my balance. Finally the world stopped spinning and I made it to the beach. Mamma O can slap you hard at any time... but helmets are for pussies...and Pipeline.
 
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Bullnutts

Nep status
Nov 14, 2004
915
130
43
Hawai'i
After being hit and almost hit countless number of times in a kook filled line up, as well as surfing here in Hawaii and G Land, i use the Gath convertible helmet. Tried the Gath with the ear enclosure and everyone sounded like Charlie Brown's teacher. Get so used to it that I don't even realize I'm wearing it.

To each their own.
 

CutnSnip

Michael Peterson status
Sep 11, 2018
3,526
3,343
113
Probably dropping in on you, California
only one head ding in all my years of surfing. Maybe 5 or 6 years ago, super low tide at Ramps and I got stuck in the lip and pitched attempting a late spin and go. not sure if it was the rocks or my board but instant blackout for a few beats and popped up on the rocks in knee deep water seeing stars and bleeding right above my ear. 15 stitches or so. First time I thought about a helmet but I havent thought of one since.
 

CutnSnip

Michael Peterson status
Sep 11, 2018
3,526
3,343
113
Probably dropping in on you, California
Helmets help mitigate concussions? I fail to see how since a concussion is a brain acceleration injury. I can see the benefit of wearing one to prevent skull or ear injury though.
Agreed. Helmet isnt going to prevent a concussion in alot of cases. just will prevent the hole in your head. Ive been concussed skating vert with a helmet on.
 
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TeamScam

Miki Dora status
Jan 14, 2002
4,482
409
83
Mid-Atlantic
I've gotten walloped a couple times. To this day my nose is really crooked from a bottom bash, last thing I remember is pulling in to what was going to be my final backside chooburr of the day. A couple on the beach spoke to me as I was stumbling out of the water, blood pouring down my face. My next memory was at the truck, toweling the blood off, still stumbling and an after hours life guard had been called and he was assessing my trying to fill out an accident report.
This was only head highish tropical swell beachbreak.
Helmets a good idea, this is coming from someone who only ever wore a helmet skating when I had to.
I've had a lot of knocks. BMX racing my facemask was caved in by another racers' pedal once, saved me for sure.
Truth is you can get ruined any time on anything. False sense of security? Maybe.