Everyone knows how important it is to wear a helmet when you are taking part in activities such as biking or skateboarding.
However, not a lot of people are aware of the fact that there is more than one kind of helmet which have been specifically designed for such things, and wearing an unsuitable helmet could be the difference between a minor scrape and a trip to the hospital.
This article will talk about the difference between a bike helmet and a skateboard helmet so that you can better understand why they are designed the way that they are and why you should use this information to pick the right helmet for you.
The Difference Between a Bike Helmet and a Skateboard Helmet
To begin with, we will talk about the different areas in which the bike helmet and skateboard helmet are different.
The form of the helmet is one of the most noticeable distinctions.
Bike helmets, you may imagine, are more aerodynamic. While this is logically correct, research demonstrates that it has minimal influence in normal settings.
This is because cyclists rarely fall backward off their bikes. During a collision, a cyclist is significantly likely to carry on in a forward direction due to the momentum. owing to momentum than to fall backward.
Helmets for BMX and mountain bikes, on the other hand, provide protection that covers the back of the head as well as the entire face.
Jumping and moving at fast speeds over uneven terrain need extra protection since falls can occur in any direction.
Skate helmets, on the other hand, often cover the lower part of the back of the head since skaters are more likely to fall backward.
Typical child bicycle helmet design from Schwinn
A full-face helmet for BMX and Mountain Biking from Rock Bros
A multi-sport helmet suitable for skating by Outdoor Masters
The type of foam utilized is most likely the most significant difference. Foam within helmets is mostly utilized for energy management.
There are several varieties of foams; some are intended to survive a single really harsh hit, others to endure a few tougher strikes, and yet others to withstand numerous gentler impacts.
Expanded Polypropylene and Expanded Polystyrene are the most often used materials in helmets.
- Expanded Polypropylene is a rubbery material that is regularly used in skateboard helmets to withstand many collisions. Unlike expanded polystyrene, expanded polypropylene can be restored due to its rubbery composition.
- Because expanded polystyrene is only designed for one hit, it is commonly utilized in bicycle helmets.
All helmets can get a bit too warm after a while of wearing them for long periods of time, especially if you are doing strenuous activities.
This is due to the foam that is used in helmets that provide a lot of needed protection but also hold on to a lot of the body heat.
This is where ventilation comes in as they keep your head nice and cool as you wear it. Depending on what kind of helmet it is, the vents will be placed at different locations.
A bicycle helmet has vents on the front and back so that the air can be fed through as they move quickly through the air as cyclists tend to do.
On the other hand, skateboard helmets have vents that are smaller and not able to take in as much air but don’t tend to need as much ventilation anyway compared to cyclists.
While safety should be most important when choosing a helmet, style is also crucial. It is completely understandable why people want to look and feel nice when biking or skating.
A helmet can become a part of your personal style as you ride.
If appearance is significant to you, it should be noted that skate-style helmets are typically believed to seem younger and street-looking.
Skate helmets may also be more adaptable. They may also be used for snowboarding and in-line skating, for example, often described as multi-sport helmets.
Can You Use a Skateboard Helmet for Biking or a Bike Helmet for Skateboarding?
A helmet that may be used for both cycling and skating must be certified by the CPSC (the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission) and fulfill the ASTM F1492-15 standard; this is called being “dual-certified“
CPSC 16 CFR 1203 is the standard certification necessary in the United States for bicycle helmets. When used appropriately, helmets that satisfy this standard protect against skull fractures and serious brain damage.
This safety standard also applies to scootering and inline roller skates but especially excluded downhill biking.
The international standard ASTM F1492-15 governs the design and performance of skate helmets and trick roller skating. They adhere to testing protocols for skateboarding and trick roller skating helmets.
Note that there is still no US-specific safety certification for skate helmets, which is why you should look for the international standard.
Many skate-style helmets only fulfill the CPSC standard and are therefore unsuitable for skating. They may resemble skate helmets, but they may not provide appropriate protection.
Helmets built just for skateboarding (meeting only ASTM F1492-15) are not strong enough to resist the severe force that might occur in a high-speed bike collision.
This is why we recommend for any wheeled sports you choose a dual-certified helmet:
- We share our favorite kids’ roller skating and inline skating helmets here
- These are the best dual-certified kids’ helmets for skateboarding
Bicycle helmets are built to withstand high-velocity impacts. After one mishap, these helmets should be replaced.
Skating is analogous to biking in those collisions are less common than skateboarding, but the injuries are more severe.
For BMX biking and downhill biking, there are higher safety standards that should be met and you should look for a helmet specific to your sport.
- For BMX Cycling ASTM F2032-15
- For Downhill Mountain Bike Racing ASTM F1952-15
Choosing the Right Helmet
So as a parent, how do you know you’re choosing the right product for your child?
A bike helmet can potentially save a child’s life by drastically lowering the odds of a head injury in the event of a bike, scooter, or skateboard accident. However, in order for the helmet to protect you properly, it must fit to be snug and secure.
Allow your youngster to try it on. A helmet is similar to a pair of trousers in that two helmets of the same size might fit differently. We teach you how to properly fit a kids bike helmet here.
Examine for certificates. The label should bear the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s accreditation (CPSC). This indicates that the helmet has undergone safety testing and fulfills government safety standards.
Do not buy a second-hand helmet since you may not be able to determine whether it has been in a collision and will not be able to protect your kid as well.
The straps on the left and right sides should create a “Y” and connect just below the ear. When the helmet is off, it is easy to adjust these straps. To prevent slippage, roll the little rubber band as near to the side straps as feasible.
Tighten the chin strap until it is comfortable. Only one finger should be able to fit beneath the strap.
Replace it immediately if it has taken the brunt of an accident or has been dumped hard into the ground. A helmet only protects against one type of impact. If in doubt, replace it.
Recheck the fit and size up as your kid develops. Any bike helmet should be replaced every five years. Sunlight and weather can cause internal components to wear out over time.
If your child is undertaking more extreme bike sports such as BMX tricks or downhill racing on a mountain bike, make sure they are wearing a safety helmet that meets a higher safety standard.
Summing It Up: Bike Helmet vs Skate Helmet
- Designed for single impact
- Protects the head by compressing the foam upon impact
- More aerodynamic
- Better ventilation
- Designed for Multi-impacts
- More coverage at the back of the head, as riders tend to fall backward
- Generally considered more stylish
The most crucial aspect of wearing a helmet is to wear the correct type and wear it properly. Bikers ride quicker and are more likely to collide with the top or front of their heads. Skateboarders, on the other hand, run the danger of banging the back of their heads in an accident.
Frequent falls are expected on a skateboard whereas a bike helmet is designed to protect your child’s head in the unlikely event of an accident where their head hits the ground.
Each helmet is developed with diverse purposes in mind to provide the best possible protection for the user. When going on a bicycle or skating excursion, it is very important that you wear the proper helmet.
In the event that you do have a fall, being able to bounce right back instead of spending the night at the hospital – or worse – will make it all worth it.
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