Do we really need to wear helmets?

Inland paddling
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Paul S Jr
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Post by Paul S Jr »

Are you sure you havent had a whack to the head?

Ive been paddling just over a year and my helmet has saved me from a nasty injury at least once.

Paul.

Dave Manby
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Post by Dave Manby »

chrisps wrote:
Dave Manby wrote: The case for bike helmets is not proven.
Sorry, but when I was younger I had a crash on a bike (idiot driver knocked me off) and I got severe concussion - if I hadnt been wearing a helmet I would have been far more seriously injured or worse. That was just a random day on a quiet road and completely out of the blue. I really dont see why anyone wouldnt wear a bike helmet. In a car you have airbags and head restraints etc to cushion the blow. You have nothing on a bike, so I really dont agree with that argument

As for kayaking, I refer to my earlier point.... accidents happen. If theres rocks in the river, why take the chance, regardless of grade (ok, flat water excluded)?
You are quoting a specific incident and THAT does not prove anything. Just because I read my horoscope today and it said you will meet a tall blond beauty and I did does not prove that Horoscopes are reliable. Lets have some science here. You are only guessing that the helmet prevented injury. I am not saying that it didn't but you can't prove that it did. Were you doing around or above 20mph when you were knocked off? If so the normal bike helmet has no effect.

People have done research that car drivers drive closer to bicyclists with helmets than those without helmets. (Also if the cyclist has long blonde hair without a helmet it effect the drivers distance ... but I digress)

KieranM
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Post by KieranM »

I've worked with somone who got hit on his bike, he was wearing a helmet, he had pretty bad amnesia for about a year, and then he had slightly less severe amnesia (for new things and for his past), which is enough to convince me to wear a helmet, although I would stress the importance of a good helmet, as this guys wasn't!

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capsized8
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Post by capsized8 »

HAM wrote:You are clearly an idiot, what on earth are you going to attach ur nose clip to!

Hugo
His Ear-ring of course!
peace and good padlin.

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wezzzy
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Post by wezzzy »

It's better to have one and not need it than to need it and not have one.


This can be used for helmets, seatbelts, insurance, condoms, torch, spare wheel,.............

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Big Henry
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Post by Big Henry »

Dave Manby wrote:In the 80's the BCU did some research on this The road research agency refused to test the strength of ACE helmets because they were worried about the damage to their equipment! They acquiesced to testing a Protec which failed all the test they had for helmets - including safety helmets for site work.
What about the Protec Ace?

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chrisps
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Post by chrisps »

Dave Manby wrote: You are quoting a specific incident and THAT does not prove anything.
My specific incident was not all that uncommon though - its the type of thing that happens quite a lot and frankly anything between your head and the road is going to help. Ok sure, if you hit something too fast, then I would agree, there is a limit to how much you can be protected, but thats like saying brakes cant stop a car if its too close to the obstacle, therefore we arent going to bother with brakes!

I guess its someones own decision whether they want to wear reasonably priced and unobtrusive protection, but if they dont, then they wont get any sympathy from me when they end up mentally disabled from a crash!

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paddledragger
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Post by paddledragger »

This has GOT to be a wind up right??!!!!!!!

Have to agree wholeheartedly with the majority on this. Having had several head bashings on various rivers-and a couple of very hard bashings at that, I would NOT EVER be seen without my beloved head protector!! Granted my old one is a real mess but just goes to show how often it saved me when I swam everything. Did Tees one trip and went over, husband stood on the far side thought what he heard was my paddle scraping along the bottom, it was actually my head. I don't even want to think about what a mess I'd have been in if I hadn't been wearing one. It's the same idiot argument as those who don't want to wear a motorcyle helmet, your brain is a delicate thing (if you have one) so keep it protected.

Just don't ever get on anything without one!! And if you do please don't paddle with me!!!!

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Edwindle
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Post by Edwindle »

So what are peoples views on helmets on flat water? At my club we have to wear them on grade I and even on the canal. Probably for the 1/1000000 chance that you some how injure you head on a canal. But my lids comfy so I'm not overly bothered.
Edwin Runagle.

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rob.b.666
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Post by rob.b.666 »

Watch this and tell me helmets aren't a good idea :

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=TruLFYijL6U

Would he have been okay if he'd not had a helmet on ?!!!
"There is no try. Only do or do not. If you try, you will fail" - Yoda

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wezzzy
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Post by wezzzy »

Edwindle wrote:So what are peoples views on helmets on flat water? At my club we have to wear them on grade I and even on the canal. Probably for the 1/1000000 chance that you some how injure you head on a canal. But my lids comfy so I'm not overly bothered.
Everyone at Hereford wears a helmet, no matter what water we are on.
Better safe than sorry.

Robson
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Post by Robson »

I cant believe this thread has reached two pages.

Wearing a helmet is of course your personal choice.

However, looking at the number of people that take part in moving water paddling, and the percentage that wear helmets (I would guess 99.99%) can they all be wrong? I would guess not.

If people choose not to paddle with you I would consider them pretty sensible.

Its a no brainer and that is what you will end up as if you dont wear your helmet.
Can't think of anything to say in less than 50 cha

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Gavin Shedden
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Post by Gavin Shedden »

Do people wear helmets on the river ?
You can do it water boy

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wezzzy
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Post by wezzzy »

g man wrote:Do people wear helmets on the river ?
No, on thier heads

Access Lloyd
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Post by Access Lloyd »

I have 3 helmet's and up until 8 weeks ago i only ever had 2.

The reason i brought a 3rd was because i lent a guy called Ian who belongs to Stirling canoe club and he showed me why he needed to borrow one.

He hit his head so hard the helmet almost split in 2, i will get a picture and trust me mate you will thank your luck stars you head has yet to meet that fatal blow.

Most of the guys i meet have chipped elbows and apparently again it's another common problem so now i wear elbow guards. I feel silly some times but it's comforting to me that if i go over hard i know i can lead with my elbows and not worry about my head.
The harder you work, the Luckier you become!!

edhunter
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Post by edhunter »

Access Lloyd wrote:=
Most of the guys I meet have chipped elbows and apparently again it's another common problem so now I wear elbow guards. I feel silly some times but it's comforting to me that if I go over hard I know I can lead with my elbows and not worry about my head.
I bangecd my elbow in wales the other week. It wasnt hard but the rock came keen enough to let me know if i went over hard it would REALY hurt.

gibbo
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Post by gibbo »

What a nob. Everyone stop replying to this post, its just ridiculous. Go and head-butt a rock at 25mph and see what happens. Idiot...

edhunter
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Post by edhunter »

gibbo wrote:What a nob. Everyone stop replying to this post, its just ridiculous. Go and head-butt a rock at 25mph and see what happens. Idiot...
i suppose obvious troll is obvious

rich gunton
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Post by rich gunton »

Leave him alone hes into two pages of replies, mint!!!! he is clearly super Gnarly, heads up and all that stuff.

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Gavin Shedden
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Post by Gavin Shedden »

What a nob. Everyone stop replying to this post, its just ridiculous. Go and head-butt a rock at 25mph and see what happens. Idiot...
Is that with a helmet on or not
You can do it water boy

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Ross W
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Post by Ross W »

It all boils down to how much your heads worth.

Not only the river obsticals youhaveto worry about, its otherpaddlers that may accidently hit u with a paddle, or something like that

Dont be foolish, .. Wear a helmet
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God
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Post by God »

i always wear my helmet kayaking cos i have it, it lives in my bag and its shiney.

However I havent invested in a bike helmet and have been knocked of my bike twice and I was fine just to balance out the 2 people who have been knocked of wearing a helmet and been fine

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capsized8
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Post by capsized8 »

edhunter wrote: I bangecd my elbow in wales the other week. It wasnt hard but the rock came keen enough to let me know if I went over hard it would REALY hurt.
Just goes to show -- had you been in Scotland you would have ended up in A&E the rock up there is so much harder
peace and good padlin.

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Phil@kukc
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Post by Phil@kukc »

I thought this was a wind up but I have just been looking at some photos and I found these.

Flick through them and you will find a raft in the process of flipping while its occupants have no helmets. The raft is a hire from the noc centre.

There a loads of photos like them. Why would a company let people out on a river with no helmets. Especially somewhere like america where sueing is a favourite hobby. Its beyond belief to me.

Go out without a helmet at your own cost but don't expect me to come.

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Mission
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Post by Mission »

This post IS a windup, but in answer to Phil@kukc's question:

Apparently this is common enough with rafting companies. I applied to several rafting companies in Turkey etc and turned them down because they said they cater primarily to russian customers who dont like wearing helmets. Basically if the customers didnt want to wear a helmet I would be expected not to as well.

Being nearly an inch shorter than i was originally involving an accident where my helmet unquestionably saved me from getting very badly injured I declined the job!

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wezzzy
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Post by wezzzy »

God wrote:I always wear my helmet kayaking cos I have it, it lives in my bag and its shiney.

However I havent invested in a bike helmet and have been knocked of my bike twice and I was fine just to balance out the 2 people who have been knocked of wearing a helmet and been fine
I work the blind and visualy impared, we have a 2 students that wish they were wearing helmets when the were knocked off/fell off thier bikes.

Donna B
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Post by Donna B »

To add a new dimension to this thread - spatial awareness, as was mentioned in the original post, genuine or otherwise.

I agree that it is wise to wear a helmet if the likelihood of accidents is high, such as cycling off road, but as Dave Manby has pointed out the case for the average road cyclist for wearing a helmet is very much unproven. They are not designed for high speed impacts, and do upset the balance of the head making it more likely that you will damage your head than if you are unencumbered. My own experience of falling off was a broken arm and elbow and a bashed chin - a heavier head would have made it worse.

I have tried wearing a cycle helmet for a short time, but felt much less safe than without it as, yes, my spatial awareness and traffic awareness was affected. (As well as the surprising and uncomfortable discovery that traffic gave me less road space than when I wasn't wearing it!)

Translating this to kayaking - risk of injury on white water rivers is high, therefore I would wear the helmet. However, if the helmet is not balanced properly on your head spatial awareness can be affected. It is the design of some helmets which is therefore at fault as being "back heavy". Anyone with experience of Alexander Technique should understand what I am talking about here, as if the helmet causes the head to tip backwards slightly it will upset the balance of the body. I now wear a Sweet Strutter which I am very happy with, the balance point being over my ears.

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geyrfugl
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Post by geyrfugl »

It's hard to concentrate on rolling up when your head is bashing
along the bottom. Imagine how much harder it is going to be
without a helmet - even if you remain uninjured. So not
wearing a helmet makes it more likely you will swim after a
capsize, which increases your risk of other injuries, too. I
know a lot of people who have upgraded their helmet
after an injury to a part of the head that was not adequately
protected by a cheapo helmet (or, in one case, by an
expensive, but fashionable helmet).

I was once advised by a respected sea coach at Plas Menai
that "if we need helmets, we shouldn't be there". But I do a
lot of rock hopping in places where I wouldn't want to rely on
others coming to fish me out (and neither would they!). I
capsized once among rocks without a helmet and found it very
unnerving, but it did concentrate my mind wonderfully on that
occasion and I rolled up very carefully to be sure it only took
one attempt. I DO NOT recommend this approach - take a
helmet and wear it if you are playing in rocks.

I often wear a helmet, and always wear a buoyancy aid for
pool sessions. Not because of the terrible risks in my local
pool, but what's the point of practicing a technique using
gear different from what you use on the river ? Wearing the
safety gear has to be reflexive - feeling naked without it - so
form the habits early - that's why we wear helmets on flat
and easy water.

I don't wear a cycle helmet on roads - far too hot, and no
cooling water to roll in :-) But I do wear a helmet mountain
biking, on the flat or downhill only (still too hot for uphill). I
wear a climbing helmet though, not a flimsy cycling helmet, and
not one with holes. Having headplanted in a peat bog, I know
I don't want that stuff oozing into my hair...

And for exploring sea caves you gotta have a helmet - unless
you fancy bolting a lamp bracket to your head !!

Andy

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madjbs
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Post by madjbs »

To be honest, I think the whole spacial awareness and "people are more sensible when without helmets" theory is complete nonsense. I live in Thailand where 50% of people don't use helmets when on motorbikes (and there are a lot of motorbikes). There are a huge number of low speed accidents where people should survive but don't, due to head impacts at low speed. If these people would have been wearing helmets, they would have survived.

It may be true that the first day or two of wearing a helmet your body takes a while to adjust itself, which may effect your balance etc.. for a while, but you WILL get used to it. And once you do, you will be safer for it.

Also, people probably do drive safer without helmets......for a short amount of time. As soon as they get used to riding without one they drive just as crazy as they do with one. This can be seen quite clearly in Thailand where all the craziest riders don't use any kind of protective gear at all.

I would never consider kayaking without a helmet (even though I have riden motorbikes on the road without one), due to the fact I have hit my head a load of times. They weren't serious knocks but they would have caused some damage or knocked me out. The likelyhood of knocking your head is just too great to not wear one.

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janet brown
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Post by janet brown »

What happens when someone whacks you on the head with their paddle?

Himself saved from head injury right forehead by helmet last week: nasty hit to R temple, cheekbone and lip. No actual cuts, unlike 2 others on same course, one ended up with stitches, other a black eye; possibly due to helmet not being as well adjud as his.

Do you have a "titanium head": if not, wear a helmet.

f you want to find out more about sporting head injuries, I suggest you read "The Totem Pole" by Paul Pritchard. OK its a climbing injury, but I think this shows how bad things can be. Do you really want to have the same as a stroke?

Janet

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