While many of us may instinctively want to say 'yes, you can easily use a bike helmet for skateboarding' - the answer is really not that simple. Biking is a far different sport than skateboarding, with its own risks and rewards.
Not to mention - different physical demands. Skating requires balance and a center of gravity, or risk falling off - while biking allows you to sit down and balance far easier.
Today we'll go over if you can actually use a bike helmet for skateboarding. We'll also cover lots of other related topics, and even give you the 10 best bike helmets on the market today.
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What Is A Skateboard Helmet?
A skateboard helmet is just what it sounds like - a helmet made to protect your dome when your skateboarding. While in the old days riders were not required to skate with helmets on - these days most skate parks won't let you enter unless you're wearing a helmet.
Skateboard helmets are also specially designed to have a thick shell, as manufacturers know it's possible you'll be crashing and burning quite a bit. Skateboarders are much more likely to crash a lot, compared to bikers, for example.
What Is A Bicycle Helmet?
A bicycle helmet is exactly what you'd think it to be - it protects your skull while you are out bicycling. They also can protect you from cars even - as they are designed to withstand a lot of impact and force.
Professional riders always wear helmets, as they know how serious the risks can be from falling off a bike while going at a fast speed. The Tour de France alone has seen some absolutely serious crashes - so learn from their mistakes, and always wear a helmet.<
What Is The Difference Between A Skateboard Helmet And A Bike Helmet?
For starters, bike helmets are designed to withstand extreme impact. Skateboard helmets are not.
This mainly comes in the form of cars, as manufacturers of bike helmets know that cars are one of the main dangers to bike riders everywhere. Skate helmets will protect you, but not in the same way.
Additionally, bike helmets can be aerodynamic, but skate helmets are not usually designed for speed. If you're worried about being hit by a car, go with a bike helmet - if not, a skate helmet may just be enough.
Bike helmets also tend to be single impact, whereas some skateboard helmets are made with recoverable foam (which means they're multi-impact. These helmets also offer better ventilation, but won't cover the back of your head like skateboard helmets will.
Different Types Of Foam
Another key difference between bike and skate helmets is the type of foam used. For example, some foam in helmets is made to withstand one hard force, while other foams are made for multiple, softer falls.
EPP and EPS foams are the most popular types used in helmets. EPP stands for Expanded PolyPropylene, whereas EPS stands for Expanded Polystyrene. EPP is what's used most commonly in skateboard helmets (it can withstand multiple impacts), whereas EPS is used for bike helmets, and is only made for taking one impact.
Differences In Design
Bike helmets will have better ventilation, as well as a more aerodynamic design.
Differences In Shells
Skating helmets have thick shells, whereas bike helmets have thin shells, made to withstand one serious impact. Skate helmets are made with the expectation that you'll have many soft falls, whereas bike helmets are made to protect against one big impact.
Differences In Helmet Shape
The main difference here is that a bike helmet does not usually protect the back of your head. Skateboarding helmets, however, will usually protect the back of your head, resulting in a different design altogether.
Can A Skateboard Helmet Save Your Life?
100% Yes, as taking a bad spill off a board could easily crack your head open. This is doubly true if you are skating on concrete.
If you are doing tricks or going off of vert ramps, a helmet is an absolute necessity. However, even those just cruising on longboards can easily be killed in a traffic accident, without a proper helmet on.
As you'll see when you watch the X Games, all the professional skateboarders wear helmets. This is no accident.
Professional boarders are not idiots, and they don't want any head injuries. The more intense and difficult the tricks they are trying to do - the more likely they are to be serious injured.
While a helmet isn't perfect, it's a very good layer of protection for you and your noggin. In fact, one day, a helmet might just save your life.
While in the old days many skaters tried to look cool by not wearing a helmet at all, nowadays most have wised up. It just takes one fall, after all, to seriously injure your brain - permanently.
Single Impact Skateboard Helmets
Single impact helmets are generally a little safer, though they don't last as long. This way, one big impact won't hurt or kill you.
Multiple impact helmets are good for soft blows, but who is to know when too much damage has already been done. While any helmet is better than no helmet, we think a single impact skateboard helmet is the best choice.
Multiple Impact Skateboard Helmets
A multiple impact helmet sounds good in theory, but it is very hard to tell if your helmet still has the ability to protect against damage, after a few hard falls. This makes the task of knowing when to get a new helmet, much more difficult - leading to our recommendation for a single impact helmet instead.
Can A Bike Helmet Save Your Life?
Absolutely it can. In fact, a helmet is absolutely needed for any type of safe riding or skating.
While you can try to be cool and avoid it, there are many deaths each year from just simply not wearing a helmet. If these riders (or skaters) had just simply put on any safe helmet - they would still be alive today.
Little kids, adult women, teenage boys - literally everyone should always wear a helmet. Bikers face numerous specific risks - especially if they are performing tricks or going over jumps.
A helmet will protect against all of these risks. However, you should also always wear pads - they'll protect the rest of your body.
What Helmet Should I Buy For My Child?
If you want the best helmet for your kid, look for one that is well-ventilated, as well as light and easy to put on. You'll also want to make sure the helmet meets the CPSC standards, and has protection in the back of the head.
Once your child is over 5, you can actually just buy a small adult helmet for them. If your child is less than 1 year old, do not ride with them - there are no helmets this size, and their brain is not fully developed.
If you're unsure about any questions around helmets and your child, talk to your normal pediatrician. Make sure you also do a deep dive on Google, to look carefully at ratings for different helmets.
You will definitely want a CPSC sticker on the helmet, as well. Let your own child pick out their helmet - that way they like it, and thus - are more likely to actually wear it.
What About Knee Pads?
Besides a good helmet, knee pads are also needed for safe skating. Without knee pads, you could get seriously injured, have long term affecting injurys, and be on the shelf for months.
Knee pads will protect you against crashes, bails, sliding down a vert ramp after a failed trick, or sliding out going downhill. They will also stop you from developing serious knee issues, which would otherwise occur quickly if you skate regularly.
If you don't wear kneepads, you'll likely injure your knee caps quickly. You could also seriously injure your knees in many other ways, if you skate without knee pads.
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The 10 Best Bike Helmets
This awesome bike helmet from Schwinn will help keep your noggin completely safe. With tons of five star reviews, it offers the perfect way to protect yourself.
It's also affordable, and we love that it comes in so many different colors. Highly recommended, and easily our top pick.
This well-reviewed bike helmet from Basecamp is another great selection. It's backed by many great reviews, and comes in at a very low price point.
Despite the low price, the quality here is fantastic. It also has a removable sun visor, as well as many other useful features.
This is another affordable-yet-awesome bike helmet. It's backed by tons of stellar reviews, and is perfect for kids and adults.
While sometimes it may feel cooler to wear no helmet at all, it's better to wear a helmet and stay alive, no doubt. Many reviewers have noted just how thick and protective this helmet is - and we definitely agree.
This sleek helmet not only looks great - it's aerodynamic and protective. Backed by many 5 star reviews, it's another excellent choice.
We like the grey color, but there are also many other options available. The MIPS technology alone definitely makes this a worthy purchase.
This awesome Retrospec helmet comes in a wide variety of colors, and has a very low price point. Many reviewers note that this helmet fits even the biggest heads.
As a helmet is supposed to do, this protected our heads easily. Another great choice, even if you're on a budget.
This Zacro helmet comes in at a very low price point, and is backed by tons of stellar reviews. This helmet is great for kids, women, and men, as well.
If you fall with this bad boy on, you'll likely emerge without a single scratch. Of course, it's also imperative to wear pads, or you risk seriously injuring another part of your body.
This awesome helmet from Thousand comes in lots of great colors. It's also very affordable, and will definitely protect your dome.
It works flawlessly, but it's also super stylish. If you care about how you look, in addition to protecting yourself - this is likely the helmet for you.
This sleek helmet from Moon comes with a nifty detachable visor. It's also very inexpensive, and is backed by lots of great reviews.
IMany reviewers have noted that this helmet also fits great, and is extremely lightweight. If you want to look cool while wearing a helmet, this is one of the best choices out there.
This bike helmet from JBM is not only affordable, it comes in a huge variety of different colors. It's also backed by tons of great reviews, and works great for both men and women.
IMany reviewers have noted that it can easily save your life. While you can certainly spend more, for most people, this is a perfect solution.
This deluxe helmet will provide a ton of safety, even though it costs a little bit more. It also comes in many different colors, and is backed by many great reviews.
IIt protects your entire face, but it also looks sleek doing it. Highly recommended, for any serious biker.
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Other Factors To Consider
Safety standards are another important thing to consider. Cyclists have different needs than skaters, so helmet standards and the type of helmet you wear all matter.
If you’re a mountain biker, you may need a different helmet than if you regularly go in-line skating, for example. A BMX biker may want a different helmet than someone riding a mountain bike.
And so on, and so forth. Amazon has a ton of great options for helmets - you can get a certified helmet, a dual certified helmet, a helmet with an outer shell, full-face helmets, motorcycle helmets - the options are truly endless.
Make sure you also wear the proper protective gear, along with the right helmet. If you are going to be doing high speed runs on your board - the last thing you want to do is fall off.
A road bike helmet and skate-style helmets will obviously be different, just as bike riding and roller skating are vastly different. The consumer product safety commission oversees many qualifying purchases, and the last thing you want is a skull fracture.
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So, Can You Use A Bike Helmet For Skateboarding?
Yes, you can use a bike helmet for skateboarding. However, you will likely be better off going with a skating helmet.
A skate helmet will provide protection for the back of your head, which is very important. A bike helmet usually will not, which is one of the key reasons why we recommend sticking to the right kind of helmet for each sport your partake in.