5 Best Skateboard Helmets
If you're gonna spend money on anything in skateboarding, helmets are a good investment. Spend a little more and do what you can to avoid head injuries and skull fractures. Got it? Good.
It's worth noting here that we are only looking at the half shell helmets here - the classic helmet shape. These are the most common and most likely to be worn on the daily.
- Features ⭐
- Is it basic af or loaded with features? 1-5 stars. ⭐
- Safety 🩹
- How safe¹ is the helmet? 1-5 bandaids (more bandaids is better). 🩹
- Kook Factor 😅
- How lame² will I look wearing this helmet? 1-5 kooks. 😅
- Price 💲
- How much money is this thing going to cost me? 1-5 dollar signs. 💲
How we graded the helmets
Triple Eight Sweatsaver
- Why it's rad: Great reviews, very safe.
- Features: ⭐⭐⭐
- Kook Factor: 😅
- Price: 💲💲💲
- Buy at Amazon
Thousand Helmets Heritage
- Why it's rad: Stylish AF, excellent reviews.
- Features: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Safety: CSPC, ASTM, CE
- Kook Factor: 😅😅😅
- Price: 💲💲💲💲💲
- Buy at Amazon
- Why it's rad: Will protect your dome with style.
- Features: ⭐⭐⭐
- Kook Factor: 😅
- Price: 💲💲💲💲
- Buy at Amazon
1. Triple Eight THE Certified Sweatsaver Helmet for Skateboarding
Tripe Eight is know for making top quality helmets that are worn by the pros like Tony Hawk. This Sweatsaver model is dual-certified to comply with both CPSC and ASTM safety standards, so you'll be riding with ultimate protection in any situation.
We love the fun designs that his helmet comes in - from rainbows to stripes to Glossy Red - there is something for everyone. It also has a ton of great 5 star reviews, so you can't go wrong with this choice.
Kook Factor: 😅
2. Triple Eight Dual Certified Helmet
Another great, and slightly cheaper, option from Triple Eight. This helmet has a a classic skateboarding design and two removable liners so you can find the best and most comfortable fit and ventilation holes on top.
This helmet is not only great looking, but meets all the safety requirements to give you ultimate protection - ASTM F1492 & U.S. CPSC Safety Standard. It comes in a variety of colors as well.
Kook Factor: 😅
3. Thousand Skateboard Helmet - Heritage Collection
One of the newer brands on the market, Thousand Helmets are on a mission to save 1000 lives. Since 2015 they have manufactured helmets through a human-centered design process that places style, safety, and convenience as essentials for their line.
Their helmet has a very stylish design, so if you don't mind spending a little more - we highly recommend the Heritage Collection. There are some unique color choices including Terra Cotta, Rose Gold, and Willowbrook Mint.
Besides the great style, this helmet is lightweight and comfortable. We love that it comes with a secret poplock to make it easy to secure your helmet when you are on the go. They also give you free helmet replacement if you are in an accident.
Kook Factor: 😅😅😅
4. S-One Lifer Helmet
One of our favorites. This is certified Multi-Impact (ASTM), Certified High Impact (CPSC) and is 5x more protective than regular skate helmets. The Lifer comes in a few different versions including one with a visor, a Mini Lifer (smaller), a Mega Lifer (larger) and a retro style.
Kook Factor: 😅
5. Pro-Tec Classic Certified Skate Helmet
Founded in 1973, Pro-Tec is the original skateboard protective gear brand. It basically shaped every other helmet on this list. The Classic Certified Skate Helmet features an ABS shell, EPS lining, and is fully CPSC 1203, ASTM 1492 and CE EN 1078 Certified.
Kook Factor: 😅
(Bonus) Retrospec Dakota Helmet
Retrospec is an Amazon-forward brand that makes affordable skateboard products. Their helmet is not up to the same safety standards as the others on this list, HOWEVER, if you truely do not have $40 to spend on the Triple Eight Dual Certified helmet (above) this has a solid ABS outer shell with EPS foam to ensure safety, and make it a comfortable fit.
It comes in eight matte colors with 10 top vents, for a trendy, professional look. We think this is an ideal choice for commuter skateboarders out there.
Skateboarding Injuries (Stuff to Hide from Mom)
When it comes to skateboarding, it's very important to be safe. While some try to look cool, we instead look to wear the best skateboard helmet possible. Take a leaf out of Andy Anderson's book and wear ya helmet kids!
If you are skating ramps, we recommend you also wear pads. This means elbow pads, knee pads, shin guards even, along with wrist guards if you can. ESPECIALLY if you are new to skateboarding.
Skateboarding injuries were up 20% from 2020 to 2021 and 4th in overall ER visits overall from 2013-2021! We recommend taking a read through our guide to ensure you get a new skateboard helmet to avoid head injuries while out skating.
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In this article, we will cover our top skateboard helmets, what to look for, how to size up your new helmet and more. Scroll on, let's get into it.
Skateboarding Helmet Types
There are four main types of helmet, when it comes to skateboarding: half-shells, full-cuts, full-face and aerolids.
A classic (or low profile) helmet will only protect the top and back of your head, whereas a full helmet will cover your ears as well, and a full face helmet is pretty darn close to a motorcycle helmet. Full face helmets are mainly used for downhill skateboarding and not something you'd typically see at the skatepark.
- Half-shell helmets
- The classic skateboard helmet. It will be good for every discipline. Compared to bicycle helmets, they are not as well vented and somewhat heavier; bicycle helmets do not cut it for skating as they are designed to take direct hits at certain angles – they do not protect the back of the head very well for example. Helmets designed for skating will protect you just fine from most angles.
- Full-cut helmets
- Full-cut helmets are reminiscent of baseball helmets, but again, stick to things designed for skating. Half-shells do not protect the side of the face and jaw well enough, full-cuts make up for this by covering the ears and the back of the jaw. They are (in the writer’s humble opinion) just as comfy as half-shells and offer increased protection. They can, however, be hotter.
- Full-face helmet
- Full face helmets are a good option for advanced downhill or freeride riders since they offer full protection to the face, sides of the head and chin. Full face helmets are not cheap but it is a necessary piece of equipment for any serious downhill and freeride rider. Always make sure to buy full faces from known and trusted longboard brands such as TSG; snowboard, dirt bike or motorcycle helmets are not designed for skating – the lower visibility and the high weight can be a hazard.
If you’ve been skating for a while you might have heard of, or even seen, aerolids. Aerolids are full face helmets with fairings for greater aerodynamics.
Most of the time, aerolids lack chin protection which makes them not as safe as other full face helmets. Aerolids are only for professionals; they’re not meant to take abuse and are completely out of price range for most intermediate riders, not that it’d even make sense for them to get one. They’re not rare to see at more known downhill events and professional races.
What the deal with certifications? It sounds complicated
It’s not. Certifications assure you your helmet won’t fail you when you need it the most; there’s no way to know when you will fall and hit your head hard. If it hasn’t happened to you, you probably haven’t been skating long enough. Apart from their odd number and letter names, certifications are fairly easy to understand.
The most common certifications used in skate and longboard helmets are CE, ASTM and CPSC. It’s just three, you have no excuse to not know them.
The bare minimum is to at least be certified. The weakest certification a helmet should have is ATSM F1492 for skateboard helmets. It can have others, it may not have an ATSM certification at all, but that is the least it should have.
The hard black foam inside a helmet is called expanded polystyrene or EPS. EPS absorbs the majority of impact force should a fall happen, so it’s important to know that it will hold up and it’s not just some cheap copy. Also keep in mind that helmets are meant to be single use, meaning that one direct hit to the head should be enough to get a new one. Even if the fall doesn’t seem bad the EPS could have been damaged. Indirect hits will cause abrasion damage to the shell, this is not necessarily a deal breaker. If the EPS is exposed throw it out, otherwise you will have to make the call. Being conservative with this is not a bad thing.
Buy helmets from known brands, trying to cheap out on helmets is a terrible mistake. Unlike other parts of your body, you only have one head – and the rest of your body can’t function without it. Do what you must to protect it.
Most skate helmets are certified for skateboarding; seems logical but, for some disciplines, falls can be quite more unforgiving and more safety is welcomed. While a helmet certification for skateboards for dancing, LDP or most other disciplines is enough, for faster riding it’s better to look at bicycle certifications since they’re held to a higher standard.
For example: an F1952 certification for downhill mountain bike helmets is held to a higher standard than F1447 for skateboard helmets. If you plan on going faster, an F1952 certification assure a lot more safety.
CPSC only cover bicycle certifications. A dual certified helmet with CPSC is bound to withstand whatever you throw at it.
Writer’s note: my own half shell is CE and CPSC certified. Notice the "EN-1078" underneath the CE marking.
How Long Are Skateboard Helmets Good For?
Surprisingly, helmets will last over 3 years, sometimes up to 5 years IF you can avoid a major crash.
If you cannot, you won't have a helmet that lasts nearly as long as 3-5 years. Any major crash means you should replace the helmet ASAP.
If there are any issues with your helmet at all (even small cracks or bumps), you may want to look for a new one. Even if you can't see it, small problems can ruin the entire viability of your helmet.
All this to say, look after your helmet. Don't throw it down on the ground, place it carefully. Treat it as you would your new phone.
Proper Comfort And Fit For A Skateboarding Helmet
The trick for finding the right comfort and fit for a skateboarding helmet is to make sure it's tight - but not too tight. A snug fit. You'll want the helmet to stay in place on your head when you shake your head side to side.
If you can go into a store and purchase this would be our suggestion. It allows you to work with the store to get the best possible fit.
If you are only able to order online, brands have really upped their game in terms of sizing charts. Just make sure you measured and cross reference to the size chart. If you are upsure, it might be also worth purchasing a couple of sizes to try them on at home. Most e-commerce stores (or amazon) have at least a 30 day return policy, provided you didn't use the product.
How to size up your skateboard helmet
You'll need the following:
A flexible tape measure
OR a string and flat ruler
To measure, wrap the tape (or string) around your head circumference, just above the eyebrow. As a guide you should be between 18.5" (46.99cm) and 25.5" (63.5), with most people landing in the 20.5" (52 cm) to 22.5" (57.15cm) range. Once you have chosen the helmet you wanted, navigate to the size chart to compare your head circumference to the helmet size (each brand will vary slightly).
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Frequently Asked Questions:
What Is A Skateboard Helmet?
A skateboard helmet is just what it sounds like - a helmet to protect your dome while you're skating. Unlike a bike helmet, a skateboard helmet is meant to withstand constant small falls / multiple impacts - rather than one big one.
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s It A Law To Wear Skate Or Bike Helmets While Skateboarding?
In skateparks, wearing a helmet is usually required. Or, if you live in California, anyone who is a minor must wear a helmet on basically any type of transport with wheels.
A lot of other states will have laws that are similar. Electric skateboards often have even more regulations, as they can be even more dangerous.
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Why Do Some Skaters Not Wear Helmets?
Simply put: They're more comfortable without it. Helmets, despite many marketing efforts, are just not seen as "cool". Skateboarders enbrace the danger of the activity and helmets get in the way of that.
But this is not a great idea. It only takes one fall to get serious brain damage. 🧠
About 1 in 5 skateboarding injuries involves the head, so it's just downright foolish not to wear a helmet. I know some people think it's "cool" to not wear a helmet - we can assure you that it's not cool.
You don't want to end up in the hospital. You should always wear a helmet, along with the proper pads - elbow, knee, wrist, and maybe even shin guards for the real nerds out there.
How Much Should A Skateboarding Helmet Cost?
We recommend skateboard helmets that aren't completely cheap. This means spending at least $30 or so.
However, if you go above $50, you'll start to get some extra, useful features. More ventilation, better materials, extra padding, MIPS, etc.
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Skateboarding Helmet Compared To A Bike Helmet
A bike helmet is a little different than a skateboard helmet. The main difference is that bike helmets are designed for aerodynamics and looking like a weekend warrior.
Skate helmets are designed to protect you while also looking decent. They usually have better coverage on the backside of the head. Skateboarders have a tendency to roll on their backs when they fall, so it's important to have that spot covered.
Can you use a bike helmet for skateboarding? While you can do this, we're not sure why anyone would want to. Skate helmets are pretty specifically designed, so you'll generally feel better skating with a skateboard helmet - and biking with a proper bike helmet.
Pros Of Wearing A Skateboarding Helmet
There are a ton of upsides to wearing a skateboarding helmet. The most obvious, of course, is that you'll be protected from falls.
We don't know if you've ever seen gnarly skateboard falls on YouTube, but we have - and they don't look good. Be sure to wear a helmet, and you'll properly protect your dome.
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Cons Of Wearing A Skateboarding Helmet
Many riders think helmets are inconvenient and uncool. The "cool kids" don't wear them. It's more rebellious and dangerous to not wear a helmet and that fits with an attitude of many skateboarders.
Ironically, not wearing a helmet has become so normal that some riders (we're looking at you Andy Anderson) wear a helmet to be the "counter-culture" skateboarder.
We think that it's better to wear a helmet and just own it. Skate well and no one is going to care.
Proper Comfort And Fit For A Skateboarding Helmet
The trick for finding the right comfort and fit for a skateboarding helmet is to make sure it's tight - but not too tight. You'll want the helmet to stay on your head, but not be too snug.
However, you'll also want the helmet to be a little loose, as it will need to move around just a tiny bit. Don't have it falling off though, or you could (obviously) have other problems.
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Are Expensive Skateboard Helmets Worth The Price?
There are a ton of expensive options out there. While usually you can rely on more expensive options providing better value, when it comes to skateboarding helmets - that's not always the case.
More expensive helmets will definitely provide extra features. You may get extra ventilation, some better straps, or more padding.
However, this won't be that much better than helmets that cost a little less. You can certainly spend more on a helmet - but after a certain point, it won't make much difference.
That magic price point seems to be around the $50 mark. Anything more, and you may get some extra features - but nothing game-changing.
Another key difference, is certified helmets. If a helmet is certified, usually it will be recognized as safe for absorbing damage.
Non-certified helmets can also be fine, but you're taking a little bit more of a risk by going with one. No matter what you do, buy a helmet with lots of great reviews, and don't skimp on the price.
Is It Weird To Wear A Helmet While Skateboarding?
No, it's not weird to wear a helmet when skateboarding. We'd argue that it's weird not to wear one, in fact.
A helmet will protect your dome. It will also protect you from colossal injury.
Of course, a helmet isn't a complete fail safe. But it could stop you from being completely brain dead, or horribly injured.
Over 20% of the injuries in skateboarding impact your head, so it makes no sense to not wear a helmet. However, it's not the only protective gear you could wear to save your skin.
What Protective Gear Should I Wear For Skateboarding?
A helmet is not the only thing you need to be wearing when skating, to stay safe. You'll need elbow pads, knee pads, wrist guards, and maybe even shin guards.
It's also vital not to skimp on the price, here. Cheap pads won't protect you - and you'll end up in the hospital, instead.
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Other Factors To Consider
There are many factors to consider, when choosing the best skateboard helmet. You will want to look at the following factors, if you’re a stickler for detail: CPSC certification, ABS shell, dual certified, EPS foam, sweatsaver technology, ASTM certification, a hard shell, a dual certified helmet, possibly getting a multi-sport helmet, and ultimately whether or not the particular helmet you choose can withstand high impacts.
Brands like Triple Eight offer great helmets, and hard outer shells, which will help protect your dome. You will want a solid chin strap, and beginners should look even more carefully at the helmet they choose - as they are likely to fall a lot more often.
Amazon alone offers millions of great choices, whether you want a Triple 8 helmet, a BMX helmet, roller skating or rollerblading helmets, a Pro-Tec classic helmet - or just a simple helmet that meets minimum safety standards.
Most quality helmets will offer adjustable straps, as well as air vents. Increased airflow will make the helmet more comfortable, as well as provide that elusive perfect fit.
There are also cycling helmets of course, and plenty of different color options. Bicycle helmets will of course be different than longboard or popsicle board helmets - but they still offer solid head protection.
Depending on your head size, you may need a more detailed buying guide - or if you care about specifics, like an EPS foam liner. High-quality helmets will always provide good impact resistance and good impact protection - and some even offer interchangeable pads.
If you are riding a scooter, you are probably better off with a bike helmet, but any helmet is better than no helmet, really. There are a ton of quality options out there, like OutdoorMaster skateboard helmets, JBM skateboard helmets, and sweatsaver helmets.
Lots of people like the certified sweatsaver liner, because it stops you from feeling gross. Any shock-absorbing helmet will do in a pinch, however.
Removable pads and liners will allow you to adjust the fit of your helmet, and some helmets even offer adjustable dials. Safety gear has come a long way since we were kids - we would have been lucky to have soft foam inside a helmet.
There are now sweat wicking systems, as well as dial systems, helmets specifically made for inline skating, helmets that have the MIPS system, and even high density PVC helmets. There are also lots of cool colors, like matte green - whereas we really just had black or white to choose from.
The Bottom Line On The Best Skateboard Helmets
There you have it - all the information regarding the best skateboard helmets out there today. We love staying safe - and it's crucially important to stay out of the hospital.
If you liked this article, be sure to check out some of our other guides. And next time you hit the ramp or skatepark, be sure to wear the proper pads - and of course, the proper helmet.
¹No helmet can protect from all injury. Our scoring for safety is based on helmet features and 3rd party certifications.
²Unless I am really good at skateboarding.