Snow Helmet FAQs
- Q:How are helmets made?
Most helmets are made with two basic components: an outer shell and an interior liner. With In-mold helmets, the shell and the liner are fused together with pressure and steam in a single mold. With injection-molded helmets, the shell and liner are formed separately then bonded together. Regardless of how a helmet is made, each part contributes to the overall effectiveness of the helmet.
The Outer Shell – Some models use a lightweight In-molded shell made of polycarbonate plastic; some use a hand-made fiberglass or carbon fiber shell; some use a combination of materials. But they all have the same basic mission:
1. Help distribute impact energy.
2. Help protect against penetration by sharp objects.
3. Help protect the liner from abrasions and knocks during day-to-day use.
The Interior Liner – There are many materials available for liners. Giro helmets feature EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam liners because EPS is a proven, high-performance material that is incredibly light and performs in a wide variety of temperatures and conditions. The main purpose of the liner is to help prevent or reduce brain injury by absorbing the energy of an impact through its own compression or destruction.
- Q:How does a helmet work?
During impact, the helmet’s EPS foam liner compresses, like an airbag, to absorb energy so that the brain doesn’t move around the inside of the skull with as much force. By absorbing this energy, a helmet significantly reduces the likelihood of the most common brain injuries, such as concussions and hemorrhaging.
- Q:Why doesn’t Giro offer “multi-impact’ helmets?
There are two reasons why we do not claim that Giro helmets are “multi-impact”. First, no helmet, regardless of the liner material, can offer unlimited multiple-impact protection and second, there is no way to predict how hard you might hit your head the next time you fall.
The bottom line is that if a helmet is involved in any serious impact, the chances are that any liner, including an EPS liner, has given a part of its life to protect the wearer. That’s why it should be replaced, even if it appears undamaged.
- Q:What do the standards mean?
Helmet standards help to govern the design and integrity of helmets so that riders get products that are safe and well designed for the type of riding they enjoy. When it comes to standards for snow sports helmets sold in the U.S., there are only 3 things to know:
1. Currently there is no mandatory standard requirement for ski and snowboard helmets sold in the U.S.
(Some racing bodies do require that you wear helmets that meet specific standards during competition).
2. The ASTM F2040 standard originated in the United States. It is the most comprehensive, up-to-date standard governing ski and snowboard helmet design and performance, and it is based around the most thorough analysis of rider injuries. Helmets designed for ASTM F2040 typically have skate-style shapes, good ventilation, removable earpads and lighter weight.
3. The CE EN1077 standard originated in Europe. It is an older standard intended to govern the design and performance of alpine ski helmets. Currently, the CE EN1007 standard is in the process of a review that would allow helmets with removable earpads and real ventilation. But in general, helmets designed for CE EN1077 have race-style shapes, little or no ventilation, and hard earpads. You can determine which standard a helmet meets by looking at the box label and inside the helmet.
While helmets are proven to be effective, no helmet can prevent all injuries. So we encourage riders to use care and good judgment whenever they ride. Follow the code. Since the liner is designed to compress in the event of an impact, a helmet should always be destroyed and replaced after any serious crash – even if it appears undamaged!