The wearing of snow sports helmets has become increasingly popular season after season over the past decade. Helmets are now compulsory in competitive skiing and snowboarding and increasingly being worn by high-profile skiers. With a huge range of colors and designs available ski helmets are fast becoming considered as a trendy and essential fashion accessory.
Currently it is not a requirement for adults or children to wear a ski or snowboarding helmet while participating in recreational skiing. The exception to this is one of the most fashion conscious countries in the world; Italy, where the wearing of helmets became compulsive for all under-14s on 1st January 2005.
Italy is the first European country to legislate that children must wear helmets on the ski slopes. Those caught without helmets will face a fine of £ 100. In addition to the helmet requirement for children, off piste skiers are obliged to carry an electronic page and ski police will be able to fine skiers for excessive speeding. All Italian resorts are expected to attend to these rules and some ski schools offer free ski helmets to children taking lessons.
With the Italian legislation now in place it is likely that other European countries will be seriously considering following suit.
The wearing of ski helmets in general has become much more acceptable. No longer are skiers or boarders considered as 'uncool', on the contrary helmets are becoming more and more cool. Today's ski helmets are functional, attractive, light and less restrictive than their helmet cousins of the early nineties.
With the growing popularity of safety gear, not only in winter sports but in many other sports, and the fact that more skiers are looking for extreme conditions, helmet sales have soared over the past few years. According to http://www.skihelmets.com , 44% of skiers currently wear a helmet and 42% are intending to wear the next time they visit the slopes.
Helmet manufacturers have noticed the rise in the use of helmets by skiers and snowboarders and are thus developing new types and designs every season. The focus for manufacturers is making helmets lighter, more durable and more fashionable in an attempt to reduce the resistance with first-time buyers. Certainmore, some helmet companies are trying to construct helmets which can be used for multiple activities such as climbing, skating and cycling theseby increasing the usage of a helmet for a consumer.
All ski helmets should carry a CE, ASTM or Snell RS-98 certification. ASTM standards have been determined by a range of tests on helmet models. These tests include testing the strength of a helmet's retention system under simulated hot, cold and wet conditions and multiple impacts and velocity forces against various sections of the helmet to determine performance in skiing accidents.
Source by Gill Ruck