Do we really need to wear helmets?

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NickB
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Re: Do we really need to wear helmets?

Post by NickB » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:37 pm

Oli Sharp wrote:Hi there guys,

I have been kayaking for about 3 years now and I have NEVER hit my head. So about 6 months ago I stopped wearing my helmet. I found it may have even improved my paddling as my spacial awareness seems better on the water.

I've been in Nepal paddling some of the rivers round Pokhara like the Modi khola and bumped into some UK boaters who kicked up a fuss about my choice, one of them even refused to go paddling with me! He was a bit obnoxious, but it got me thinking...

Is this what the normal reaction would be in the UK?

I personally don't see the problem with it.

Thoughts?

Oli
I wonder? http://www.takeafriendfishing.co.uk/you ... /?story=34
Cheers
Nick Benny

Arguments are extremely vulgar, for everybody in good society holds exactly the same opinions!

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GrandmaNasty
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Post by GrandmaNasty » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:52 pm

As a lady, it is perfectly reasonable for me to wear a hat, particuarly indoors and at weddings. Personally I've not looked up from my knitting to read four pages of debate on the subject.

Clearly, the thread starter has not heard the story of my dear old Albert's Scandanavian cousin Alberge.
Alberge was a simple peasant living in Norway in the 1970s, scratching a living making helmets for professional zebra trainers. Usually he would travel down to the river at the bottom of his garden and collect water to mix with resin to make the helmets. One sunny day Alberge was feeling a little more chipper, perhaps due to his sunny disposition, or perhaps due to the crystal meth he was set to hit later that day. Narcotics aside, Alberge decided to forage further afield for his water.
For nearly an hour he journey through fantasic meadows of lush green grass and before long he was in a valley he didn't recognise. As luck would have it, in the distance he saw a stream winding its way through the vale, and it was this water that Alberge collected, and it was that water he used to forge a new helmet of his own designing. The new water provided a magical quality to the helmets, and people came from far and wide to gaze upon them. These visitors, while quite a hinderance to Alberge and his small shed based industry, did provide the inspiration for the name after remarking "Why, that helmet strikes me as being mighty sweet!".

And that, dear grandchildren is the story of Sweet helmets.

Granny, chillin' wi' her homies.
xx

Glyn B
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Post by Glyn B » Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:04 pm

Now that was worth trawling through the rest to get to!

I presume these are what Corran was referring to when he referred to "ball caps"

If so, I suggest you have a look at mine.

I took the interesting line on a bit of French water and dropped off the edge onto a pointy rock head first.

Result? A slightly stiff neck but no extra ventilation/ drain holes in my otherwise empty head.

Thankyou Alberge!

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Jim Pullen
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Post by Jim Pullen » Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:12 pm

I would always wear a helmet whenever kayaking anything more than flatwater and in the surf. In the last year I've also started wearing elbow pads for grade 4 and above after taking a few knocks. Having said that I've found I have become a bit reliant on them - if I forget them I end up knocking my elbows more than before!

I have always worn a helmet when cycling. I spent 8 years in London, dodging people determined to kill you. I have had three notable accidents in the last ten years - all of them were beyond my control (unless I had chosen not to cycle that day!) I have never landed on my head whilst cycling, but in any of those incidents if I had and I wasn't wearing a helmet I wouldn't be typing this now. After recent events I'm considering adding body armour for my daily ride when I do eventually get back on my bike!
Corran wrote:This whole thread is almost moot, as the MAJORITY of paddlers wear helmets which are so ineffective that its just AS IF they were not wearing one.
[troll]Would that be ones that haven't passed european safety standards like the Gath?[/troll]
Done any NE/NW rivers not on the site? PM me!

Kayacb
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Re: Do we really need to wear helmets?

Post by Kayacb » Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:31 pm

NickB wrote:
Oli Sharp wrote:Hi there guys,

I have been kayaking for about 3 years now and I have NEVER hit my head. So about 6 months ago I stopped wearing my helmet. I found it may have even improved my paddling as my spacial awareness seems better on the water.

I've been in Nepal paddling some of the rivers round Pokhara like the Modi khola and bumped into some UK boaters who kicked up a fuss about my choice, one of them even refused to go paddling with me! He was a bit obnoxious, but it got me thinking...

Is this what the normal reaction would be in the UK?

I personally don't see the problem with it.

Thoughts?

Oli
I wonder? http://www.takeafriendfishing.co.uk/you ... /?story=34
'It was brilliant' thanks Mum - oli sharp

I couldn't believe the day out we had at the Glebe in Leicester last week!
I was doing the ironing and thinking what to do with my 11 year old daughter the following day, when on the radio I heard about National Fishing Week Ladies day and Take a freind fishing.
I quickly scrambled to find a pen, got a note of the website and started planning a day that I firmly believe will change my daughters life for ever.
We arrived at the Glebe the next day to be met by some enthusiastic coaches and organisers and about 25 ladies, all who had similar ideas to myself and Lauren. Well just look at these pictures to give you an idea of the great time we had. Lauren caught 13 fish, the biggest being an 8lb Carp.
Needless to say I think fishing will be a major part of this years Summer holidays!

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Lancs_lad
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Post by Lancs_lad » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:15 pm

I can't believe this thread is still going! Did you seriously believe it was a serious question?

Glyn B
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Post by Glyn B » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:18 pm

No, but it's been interesting reading some of the answers!

See 'Grandma Nasty' if you don't believe me!

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Adrian Cooper
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Post by Adrian Cooper » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:30 pm

I see Mr Sharp still has only one post to his name yet this thread is up to 4 pages. Talk about hooking a fish.

DaveB
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Post by DaveB » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:32 pm

Qoute from page 3 of this thread:

Life insurance/accident insurers will not payout if you have been deemed to: Fail in your duty of care to your self and others, eg by not following current best practice/guidelines.

This is nonsense!It is precisely because there has been negligence of some sort that the insurers have to pay out. If the Insurance company can prove that the accident happened without the leader/coach being at fault then the victim gets no compensation and marks it down to experience.

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janet brown
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Post by janet brown » Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:27 pm

So was this a phishing post?

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Croft
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Post by Croft » Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:54 am

Grumpy old man wrote:Hi
Was it not on a Pyranha promotional video? I think it was Bill Mattos of Nookie fame, that advocated not wearing a helmet in the surf because it intimidated the boardies. Can anybody remember that or am I dreaming?

Grumpy
Indeed it was a quote from the ground breaking Pyranha Video Catalogue (Watt/Simpson) from about 1996. Having said that, these were heady days and Bill Mattos also seemed to think that Nookie gear was produced for and by space aliens who beavered-away night and day in the west country equivalent of a Peshawar sweat shop.

Maybe they all had thicker skulls than the rest of us!!

Oli Sharp
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Post by Oli Sharp » Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:16 am

Wow!

Quite a response. I haven't been on the internet for a while. Been moving around, so haven't had chance to read all the posts. I'm sure I'll get round to it tho.

It sounds like the general feeling towards not wearing a helmet is negative?

I'm gonna be in New Zealand soon so I'll see if those guys are more tolearant like the americans seem to be

x

Ps.

Oh, I met someone who wore a helmet all the way down the bhote khosi the other day and nearly knocked himself out walking up some stairs. Haha! C'est la vie

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Croft
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Post by Croft » Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:09 am

Oli - great to have you back. You should be fine without a helmet in NZ and the southern hemisphere coz when you capsize and your unprotected head rotates southwards it actually moves skywards and away from all those nasty rocks. Or so a man in a pub told me.

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wezzzy
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Post by wezzzy » Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:04 am

Croft wrote:Oli - great to have you back. You should be fine without a helmet in NZ and the southern hemisphere coz when you capsize and your unprotected head rotates southwards it actually moves skywards and away from all those nasty rocks. Or so a man in a pub told me.
I think I have met him as well, was he drinking snakebite through a straw, while smoking a large spliff?

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Will.S.
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Post by Will.S. » Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:40 pm

There has been quite a lot of personal opinion on this thread and very little fact.

Here are some evidence based facts I have learned from the Advanced Trauma and Life Support which I have trained in.

80% of serious head injury admissions to hospital can be prevented by cyclists wearing a helmet.

In states which have passed law enforcement of motorcycle helmets there has been a 30% reduction in the number of fatal head injuries, and states which have removed these laws have seen head injury fatalities increase back to the previous normal incidence.

On my personal note, having worked as a doctor in Trauma and Orthopedics - Its a very sad thing when you look at an intubated 16year old who was knocked off his bike without a helmet, and see the extent of injury to his brain on a CT head scan.

I don't quite know how this translates to my weekends spent on Dartmoor - but how many times does someone say: I hit my head the other weekend and thank god I wasn't wearing a helmet!

AllanJ
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Post by AllanJ » Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:14 pm

Jim Pullen wrote: I have always worn a helmet when cycling. I spent 8 years in London, dodging people determined to kill you. I have had three notable accidents in the last ten years - all of them were beyond my control (unless I had chosen not to cycle that day!) I have never landed on my head whilst cycling, but in any of those incidents if I had and I wasn't wearing a helmet I wouldn't be typing this now. After recent events I'm considering adding body armour for my daily ride when I do eventually get back on my bike!
As Dave Mamby said earlier on, the case for helmets when cycling on the road isn't as clear cut as 'common sense' would suggest. If it was it would show up in population-level injury statistics, but in places when helmet wearing has increased dramatically there hasn't been a decrease in cyclists' head injuries.

I don't know why this is. Possibly risk compensation, rotational injuries or the fact that in a really serious crash the forces are way beyond anything the helmet can mitigate. Helmets are designed for max 12mph impact, but my average on my commute to work is about 19mph - which would mean about energy levels around 2.7 times greater (and that's if I crash on an 'average' bit rather than the 40mph descent).



On the other hand I always wear crash hat paddling WW as it certainly does provide some protection against sharp bits of rock.

Allan

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Post by Dave McCraw » Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:53 pm

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morsey
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Post by morsey » Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:07 pm

You have not taken into account the rise in inconsiderate drivers!


If you are certain you can identify and reduce the risks to an acceptable level for you then you may not need a helmet for cycling, canoeing or whatever. If you are asking whether others should be forced to share your opinion then it would be a bit arrogant to think they should always agree. If you are happy that you have reduced the risks enough to not need a helmet then I would suggest that you have reduced the risks enough not to need any paddling buddies and so the question is redundant!


Anyway there is one thing that normally makes me wear my helmet and it has nothing to do with rocks or injury. It is simply ICE CREAM HEAD, it can make you cry in public and that is not a pretty sight!

benedict
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Post by benedict » Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:43 pm

I'd be very interested to see the reports on the use of bicycle helmets.

From the previous responses, I assume that people have already studied them and would be able to let me know where I could view (reliable) reports.

Cheers

Benedict

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Post by davebrads » Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:57 pm

My father is a very keen cyclist and a hardened critic of helmet wearing; I wear a helmet, and generally disagree with him on this subject. I did spend an evening doing some on-line research, only to find that there is a lot of contradictory research into the subject - if you want to do the same you could do worse than to start with the Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation website.

My personal experience involved a collision with a car in which my helmet was smashed and I was knocked unconcious, but I could not say conclusively that the helmet prevented more serious injury.

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Post by Jim » Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:55 pm

morsey wrote:Anyway there is one thing that normally makes me wear my helmet and it has nothing to do with rocks or injury. It is simply ICE CREAM HEAD, it can make you cry in public and that is not a pretty sight!
Hurrah, some sense at last!

Choice about whether or not to wear a helmet and what type is personal, we will always disagree about it. As far as I can tell the stats and tests don't really prove the case either way (who invented CE testing? it seems pretty arbitrary to me)

Choice about whether or not to paddle with someone who doesn't wear a helmet is also personal. If you really believe they are in danger of suffering a head injury that you don't particularly want to clear up, then feel free to not paddle with them. If you have a real desire to not wear a helmet then you have to accept that some people are not going to want to paddle with you.

Of course all of the above goes out the window with respect to under 18's, someone else has the responsibility so it becomes someone else' choice. Of course under 18's will tend to migrate to whomever will make the choice for them which is the same as the one they would choose....

As for cycling, I cycle no less defensively for wearing a helmet, I mainly wear a helmet because it keeps my head warm and because the accident where I need it will be a motorists fault. In the buggy I wear a helmet because it is one of the few racing rules we have, and because I have been over 50 several times so the possibility of colliding with another large chunk of stainless steel at closing speeds of around 100 is quite real.

In the kayak, I wear my helmet to keep my head warm, it has saved me from some scratches and bashes but I find staying upright normally works well for that. I like Clarksons idea that there would be less crashes if instead of airbags cars had a metal spike fitted to the steering wheel.... there may be a parallel?

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Post by AGS » Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:01 pm

I personally wear a helmet in every aspect of my life, just in case I topple over.

pierre
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Post by pierre » Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:31 pm

i wear a hemlet on my helmet

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rafiki
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Post by rafiki » Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:55 pm

A little birdie told me that on the Scotland Student Safety Camp last year one of the river leaders/coaches paddled without a helmet on the Etive - except for right angle. The "reasoning" was that their helmet would not fit over their woolly hat.

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adrian j pullin
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Post by adrian j pullin » Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:25 pm

A lot of open boaters don't wear helmets on rapids that most people here would do in a kayak...discuss.
Cheers

Adrian J Pullin
-------------------------------------------------------
"No! Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try." - Yoda
Kayak lore: "He who capsizes must also roll".

Duncan S
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Post by Duncan S » Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:27 pm

You fall out of open boats?

Glyn B
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Post by Glyn B » Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:30 pm

Perhaps the beard is enough protection?

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Post by pierre » Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:34 pm

Dr Evil's hench men dont wear helmets, and look what happened when they were involved in a fracas with a sea bass (ill tempered)

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geyrfugl
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Post by geyrfugl » Wed Dec 10, 2008 2:59 pm

80% of serious head injury admissions to hospital can
be prevented by cyclists wearing a helmet.
For that to be true, a lot more than 80% of serious head
injury admissions to hospital would have to be cyclists.
Having cyclists wear helmets is not going to save a kayaker's
head in a capsize in a rocky river if the kayaker isn't wearing
one :-(

It has, however, been conclusively shown that 100% of
helmet-cam videos show the inside of a rucksack or the
back of a car if the helmet isn't being worn ... which must
be a good reason for putting it on :-)

Andy

Dave McCraw
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Post by Dave McCraw » Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:28 pm

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