You Should Be Wearing a Hockey Helmet.

My hockey helmet, and yup you can get stickers on it.

My hockey helmet, and yes stickers will fit.

I love telling you what to do, don’t I? Last week I was telling you to use dual-factor authentication. And this week I’m telling you what kind of helmet to wear. I’m giving skating another go (currently going through the Circle City Derby Girls new skater workshop), and I’m happy to see so many hockey helmets on these girls. (Korvin of Vital Skates is a big proponent of hockey helmets; he wants us to be safe). But I’m still seeing a few soft foam helmets. And sadly, I see even more of these at bouts. These helmets are not safety certified, and don’t belong in an impact sport.

For the new girls, it’s that they don’t know.  But I’m still surprised at the number of top-level skaters I see wearing soft foam helmets. Wicked Skatewear and the Windy City Rollers have both released studies showing the different types of helmets and how they protect your head. Windy City went as far as recommending all skaters wear hockey helmets. We know these soft foam helmets aren’t ideal for derby.

I’ve heard all kinds of arguments against hockey helmets. “They’re too hot,” which varies by model. I feel my hockey helmet is cooler than my skate helmet, but I also had a high-end Cascade M11 (now the Bauer IMS  11). “The helmet covers don’t fit,” which is crap. My husband wears a large hockey helmet and can still use helmet covers. There are plenty of jammers in hockey helmets. “They’re ugly,” which is the argument that bothers me the most. You’re an athlete, function should be the highest priority.

No helmet will prevent a concussion. But they can help. And with the money we spend on skates, wheels, knee pads, and even just workout apparel it seems silly we’re not focusing on our brains. Personally, I want to see the WFTDA and MRDA put helmet standards into the rules. I’d love to see them require a third-party certification on all helmets.

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