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You are here:Home > AllSportProtection Advice Center > Skateboard Protective Gear Advice Center > How to Choose a Skateboard Helmet > Types of Skateboard Helmets

Types of Skateboard Helmets

                        



Protective Materials in Skateboard Helmets

Skateboard helmets come in a variety of styles and protective materials. These different styles and protective materials for skateboard helmets also require different safety standards and certifications or non at all, depending on what the helmet will ultimately be used for in skateboarding and the skateboard protective gear manufacturer.

EPS

EPS (Expanded Polystyrene). Low-profile and light in weight, EPS foam liners are the industry standard for action sports. EPS liners are not multi-impact, but they do meet CE/CPSC standards.

SXP from Pro Tec

SXP (Surface Activated Expanded Polypropylene). Patented multi-impact material that is ideal for aggressive riding style. Multi-impact SXP liners have built-in rebound control. Once the liners have been compressed, multi-impact SXP memory kicks in and the liner rebounds, maintaining its impact-absorbing qualities. Multi-impact SXP are the only lightweight multi-impact helmets to be CE/CPSC-certified and still deliver the style and fit that customers deserve.

SEPP/EPP from POC

SEPP (Super Expanded Polypropylene) / EPP (Expanded Polypropylene). The difference between the materials is that SEPP and EPP, unlike EPS do not deform permanently on impact and is therefore suitable to absorb repetitive shocks. Meaning, essentially that an EPS liner will break, distributing the force from the impact throughout the helmet. The EPP and SEPP are similar in that they will also break when the maximum force of impact occurs, but SEPP and EPP have higher stress limits when it comes to breakage and flex.

Hard Hat Brock Foam from Bern Unlimited

Bern Hard Hat is an interior foam called Brock Foam. Brock Foam is a soft, very comfortable foam that is rated as a multiple impact foam. When an impact occurs on a Brock pad, each bead moves the adjacent two beads laterally which diffuses the impact. Friction between the beads turns much of the force into kinetic energy. Multiply this by the thousands of beads in each pad and you have the essence of why Brock absorbs impact better than standard foam pads. It is made up of a polypropylene bead that offers a firm protective layer and has excellent moisture and heat wicking properties.

Brock foam is not certified ASTM or CE for skate, snow or bike. The helmet is still a great helmet, but you do need to be aware of this fact.





Multiple Impact and Single Impact Skateboard Helmets

Skateboard helmets are able to take a beating. They are designed to protect your head and will do so if worn properly, see the section on The Proper Fit of a Skateboard Helmet in AllSportProtection's Advice Center. Single impact skateboard helmets are the most common and realistic as to their ability to thoroughly protect. Multiple impact skateboard helmets are a relatively new design that feature harder and more scientifically advanced protective materials.

Multiple Impact Skateboard Helmets
Although this sounds like the best idea, a skateboard helmet that can withstand multiple impacts without being replaced, it's not very realistic. Yes there are helmets that do go the extra mile such as POC's SEPP (super expanded polypropylene) liners featured in the POC Receptor + skateboard helmet or Pro Tec's SXP liner featured in the Pro Tec B2, but after any hard impact to the head you should check for cracks or abrasions in the shell and liner, any sign of damage means it's time to replace the helmet no matter what.

Single Impact Skateboard Helmets
Skateboard safety standards require that a skateboard helmet protect a rider from a single impact only. Usually a hard foam liner that crushes to absorb the force of an impact. Since the foam is crushed at the point of impact the helmet will no longer have as much protection in the area of that impact. The protection lost depends on the force of the impact in general, how hard you hit, the area damaged within the helmet, etc. Helmet manufacturers recommend that you replace your helmet after any significant impact. A significant impact is basically any impact that cracks the shell or you can see that the foam has been crushed. If you feel you have had a significant impact and there is no damage it is really your call. Skateboard helmets are meant to take a crash, and be used so expect to use them again if you do crash, just be aware that it is your call as to the replacing of your skateboard helmet.





Skateboard Helmet Construction

Skateboard helmets are constructed with a variety of liners, EPS, SXP, SEPP, Hard Hat, soft foam, etc. The difference is in the manufacturing technique and skateboard helmet design.

In Mold Skateboard Helmet Construction

 

The in mold skateboard helmet manufacturing technique is where the interior liner of the helmet is made along with, connected to, literally blown in to the hard outer shell while it is still in the manufacturing mold.

In Mold skateboard helmets are lighter, stronger and include a wider variety of venting options when compared to traditional skateboard helmet designs. In mold was originally limited to the higher end skateboard helmets but now, due to its popularity and protective features in skateboard helmets, in mold construction is frequently seen in many mid range to high end skateboard helmets.




Traditional Skateboard Helmet Construction
 
Traditional skateboard helmets are not made with in mold construction and have their own foam liners taped or glued in to the exterior hard shell after the shell liner are manufactured.

Skateboard helmets made in the traditional technique are usually heavier, may not be as strong and typically have fewer vents.





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