Helmets are a vital piece of equipment for every Roller Derby player. Whether playing a game or merely a practice session, helmets are a must-wear as it protects against falls and high-impact collisions.
The best and safest helmets for Roller Derby are those that have a hard plastic shell, plus a fixed (non-removable) liner made of hard-foam, plus a thin, soft foam (removable).
Hockey helmets are often seen as the best helmets to buy because they protect against big-impact and many small impacts. The only problem with Hockey helmets is that the hard-foam liner makes it a little harder to fit it to the head. One more thing to remember is never to buy a second-hand bicycle helmet because they are single impact helmets. Even with second-hand hockey helmets, it is hard to tell if their ability to withstand impact is damaged.
It is always best to buy a skating helmet over a bicycle helmet because it has a soft round body to support the head from taking a direct hit from the ground.
Reviews of The 3 Best Roller Derby Helmets
|Product Image||Product Name||Certifications||Ratings||Latest Price|
|S-ONE S1 Lifer||ASTM F1492, CPSC 1203||4.8/5|
|Triple Eight Helmet||ASTM F1492, CPSC 1203||4.7/5|
|Pro-Tec Classic Helmet||ASTM F1492, CPSC 1203, AS/NZS 2063:2008, CE 1078||4.7/5|
1. S-ONE S1 Lifer
This helmet is often called the best helmet available, the S1 Lifer. It is a high-impact, light-weight helmet. It has a fantastic fit (has additional liners that are easy to replace) and offers superior protection. The helmet fits low on the head. There is some criticism on the ear cuts being too low down for comfort. The helmet comes with antimicrobial moisture-wicking pads to control sweating.
This Lifer Helmet uses high-impact EPS Fusion Foam to protect against multiple low-intensity impacts and high impact.
It combines the design, impact, and safety of certified helmets, with the form and fit of non-certified helmets. Looks-wise, it follows the traditional old-school look, with circular air vents.
2. Triple Eight The Certified Sweatsaver
The Triple 8’s claim to fame is that it is the only helmet which fully integrates high impact EPS foam with a thick dual-density foam, plus Sweatsaver fabric. The helmet, therefore, claims to provide the ultimate in protection and comfort. The helmet has both the CPSC and ASTM certification stamps. It has thicker (adjustable) and thinner liners (removable and washable), making it comfortable to wear. A sticker on the inside helps you wear it correctly. Adjusting the liners and the straps help to make it a snug fit. The helmet also has many ventilation holes, which add to the comfortable feel.
Given its admirable composition, the Triple-8 helmet does not need anything more to recommend it. Yet it is still worth mentioning that a portion of its sales is donated to the Tony Hawk Foundation to support its mission to empower youth. The Triple-8 is also known to offer good customer service.
3. Pro-Tec Classic Certified Skate Helmet
This skate helmet ranks number one in terms of style. Some of the helmets even have a glow-in-the-dark option. The Pro-tec is a certified helmet (CPSC/CE). It has a high-impact, durable shell, with eleven ventilation holes, EPS liner, and compression molds.
However, in terms of comfort, it lags a bit, as it is super stiff and puts pressure on different parts of the head simultaneously. Also, the helmet does not sit low as its previous non-certified version.
The Pro-Tec Classic Certified Skate helmet comes in a range of sizes from S – XXL. Ranging from $40-$60, it is a very affordable, good looking helmet. Also, the sleek style makes it a super option for those needing large-sized helmets.
Choosing a Helmet for Roller Derby
There are numerous points to consider when picking out your Roller Derby Helmet, and so your safety and well being depends on you making an educated and informed choice.
1. Safety Certifications
Top on the list of things to confirm before you buy your helmet is the safety certifications listed on the product. Skate helmets must go through a rigorous testing process before approval for use. Roller Derby does not require certification of helmets. However, certification gives evidence of the safety offered by the particular helmet.
The CPSC (U.S. Consumer and Product Safety Commission). The Snell’s Certification Safety Standards; and the ATSM (American Society for Testing and Materials). Certifications from one or more of these three well-recognized organizations indicate that the helmet is deemed safe for use.
2. Type Of Helmets
Roller derby helmets differ in the types of liners used, manufacturing process, helmet design, and the ability to withstand impact.
SXP From ProTec
This light-weight helmet is stylish and fits well. It uses SXP liners that are multi-impact with built-in memory and rebound control and absorbs impact. They are the only helmets in their category (light-weight) that have CE/CPSC certification. These are made from polypropylene that is surface activated and expanded.
SEPP/EPP From POC
The primary advantage with both SEPP (means polypropylene that is super expanded) and EPP (Polypropylene that is expanded) helmets there is no permanent deformity on impact. These helmets absorb multiple shocks/impacts. Typically, the SEPP/EPP liner has higher stress limits and will break only with an impact with maximum force.
Hard Hat Brock Foam
This helmet uses a soft, comfortable foam, which means it sits better and feels nicer. Brock Foam is an interior, multiple impact foam. The foam is a compound of tiny little beads. On impact, one bead pushes two adjacent beads, and this diffuses impact. When hundreds and thousands of beads react this way, it creates kinetic energy, which allows the helmet to absorb impact more efficiently than standard foam. The hard protective layer over the polypropylene bead has superior heat and moisture-wicking qualities.
It is important to note that the Brock Foam Hard Hat does not have any of the certifications mentioned above.
A critical element of all Roller Derby Helmets is that they must be able to withstand much beating! Until recently, the Single Impact Roller Derby Helmet was the only available option and had proven its ability to protect many times. Safety norms at Roller Derby mandate that a helmet needs to protect the wearer from a single impact only. Typically Single Impact helmets have a hard foam liner that crashes when impacted. How much damage will result from the hit depends on the force of the impact. Usually, it is possible to see the extent of damage to the hard-foam liner. Whether the helmet should be replaced or not is a call that the wearer has to take for herself.
These helmets are relatively new and use harder and advanced (scientifically tested) materials. Given that multiple impacts are an inherent part of the sport, the Multiple-Impact helmet sounds ideal. But are they realistic? These helmets often survive multiple, low-intensity shocks. It is up to the player to determine when to replace the helmet. The player needs to check the liner post every game and assess the extent of damage to it.
3. Sizing and Fitting
A well-fitted helmet is critical for player safety and protection. To ensure a good fit, the circumference of your head must match that of the helmet, as close as possible. The easiest way to do this is to take a string (shoelace) and wrap it around your head, just above your eyebrows. Measure the point where it overlaps, and check it against the circumference of the helmet. Try on the helmet before buying it. Ideally, it should fit just above your eyebrows. Adjust the straps till it stops moving around/titling on your head. You can also use thick liners to make the fitting more snug. Besides, keep room to fit a pair of glasses. Watch the video below to know how to measure your head for a helmet.
4. Price Range
Roller Derby helmets are not very expensive. They range from $25-200. The most expensive ones come with the latest features. Remember that the most expensive helmet is not always the best, and it may not even fit your needs. The price of the helmet is not a critical determining factor in the choice of helmet. Fit, strength, material, etc. all weigh in higher.
Roller Derby is one of the fastest-growing sports, and even within itself, it has evolved considerably over a short time. As the sport has got more professional, wearing helmets has also become the norm. Focus on the effectiveness and the style of the helmet is also a new feature and steadily gaining importance.
A well-fitting helmet offering maximum protection ranks higher than expensive helmets with high style features. Besides, helmets with ventilation, moisture-wicking, and multiple removable and washable liners improve hygiene and keep you with a clear head through the game.
To leave you with a final thought, when choosing a helmet, remember that the S1 Lifer Helmet comes highly recommended as the number one helmet, and for all good reason. It has a great fit, light-weight feel, and certified protection against multiple impacts is what makes it the helmet of choice for Roller Derby skaters.
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