Get thick headed: Skate helmets

Not all helmets are made equally. While any helmet is better than none, there are some cheap ones on the market that won’t stand up to the impact of a fall. Your old-school bike helmet probably isn’t the best choice to protect your noggin, but there are plenty of hybrid helmets that are CPSC safety certified that you can take from your board to your bike and from the street to the park. If you don’t ever ride a bike, you can go with a true skate helmet. Whatever you’re in the market for, be sure that the helmet you settle on is comfortable enough that you won’t mind wearing it for hours.

When looking for a skate helmet, chose one that is made from ABS plastics, fiberglass compost carbon fiber, or Kevlar. These durable materials will not crumble at impact. The interior of the helmet should also be lined with cushiony foam to slow the force of an impact. If your helmet does not have both of these components, it won’t be able to get the job done and it will most likely be tossed in the trash after your first fall. But just because a helmet is high quality doesn’t mean it will last a lifetime. After a fall, be sure to inspect your helmet for any damage and replace it if there is anything more than a scrape.

Not all helmets will be STM F1492 certified, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should skip them. Some companies just forgo the certification to keep prices down, so do a little research on quality brands or ask around to find out what brands are good bets. Once you’ve found a brand and style that works for you, make sure it fits. If the helmet is too big, it will be useless. No matter how skilled a rider you are, you’re going to fall. And if you think you don’t need a helmet, you’re going to need all the brain cells you have left. So take our word for it and invest in a good one.