Tony Hawk once said, “I won’t quit skating until I’m physically unable.”
Hawk knows that wearing a helmet is key to his longevity and everlasting coolness. That’s why he never skates without one. For almost four decades, Hawk has been one of the biggest supporters of helmet safety in the world of extreme sports.
From watching videos of him breaking world records in the tallest half-pipes around the world to how he is depicted in the PlayStation game series that bears his name, just about the only time you see Tony Hawk without a helmet on is during interviews. Just last year he released his signature model helmet, designed with all the specs he’s sure skaters will find useful.
Of course, not everyone is as gifted as the likes of Tony Hawk or Stacy Peralta. But people have a much better chance of aiming to be great skaters for a long time if they just make the rational choice of wearing a helmet.
And not just any helmet. One that will actually make a difference between being in the air and thinking, “this helmet will shatter once it hits the ground” and “what’s my next trick after I dust myself off?”. Before revealing the ten best skateboard helmets on the market today, let’s take a look at what makes a good skateboard helmet.
- How to Find the Best Skateboard Helmet
- Top 10 Best Skateboard Helmets 2021
- 1. Best Overall Pick: Pro-Tec Classic Skate Helmet
- 2. Best Premium Pick: Triple Eight Dual Certified Skateboard & Bike Helmet
- 3. Best Budget Pick: JBM Skateboard Helmet
- 4. Best Youth Skateboard Helmet: Razor V-17 Youth Multi-Sport Helmet
- 5. Most Stylish: Flybar Dual Certified Skateboard Helmet
- 6. Best Ventilation: Punisher Skateboards Pro Series 13-Vent Dual Safety Certified
- 7. Best Helmet With a Bill: Bern Unlimited Watts EPS Summer Helmet
- 8. Best Multi-Sport: OutdoorMaster Skateboard Helmet
- 9. Most Fun Design: Krash! Youth Mohawk Helmet
- 10. Best Helmet with Built-In Bluetooth System: Vigor Audio Helmets
- A Guide to Buying the Best Skateboard Helmet
- Find the Best Skateboard Helmet for You
How to Find the Best Skateboard Helmet
Helmets are the most important safety element in any sport that requires head protection. Over time, helmet manufacturers have started taking more aspects of riding into consideration. Helmet technology has advanced and there are now many features that set the top helmets apart from the competition.
What to Consider Before Buying a Skateboard Helmet
The most commonly used type of helmet is the classic skateboard type. This type can also be used in other sports if it is dual-certified. Bearing this classic type in mind, let’s briefly go over what makes a good skateboard helmet.
First and foremost, skateboard helmets have to meet CPSC safety standards. The most secure skateboard helmets on the market are also ASTM-approved. There’s more on safety certification further down in our full buyer’s guide.
There are many materials helmet shells are made of, such as ABS plastic, carbon fiber, or fiberglass. As long as it meets the right certification, all of these materials deem a helmet safe enough to use while skateboarding.
The most important comfort feature is a helmet’s ventilation. You will be skating out in the sun a lot of times, which means sweat will become a discomforting factor.
In order to prevent sweat from making your hair feel soaked or even dripping down your face while you’re trying to concentrate, you need a helmet with plenty of vent holes and good breathability. Some helmets even use a special removable padding layer that wicks moisture away.
The fit of a helmet is a mixture of safety and comfort. A helmet shouldn’t be too tight on the head that it can’t breathe and not too loose so that it shifts its position in case of a fall.
The perfect balance is provided by a good retention system, as well as the straps. Straps shouldn’t have to be removed if you want to get a drink or even talk, but they should still feel like they hold the helmet securely on your head. Some helmets even have extra padding for a better, more comfortable fit.
Size and Weight
None of the features above matter if the helmet is too big or too small. Check out our helmet sizing guide to know exactly what size perfectly fits your head, as well as directions on how to measure your head for size. A good amount of ventilation holes usually make a helmet lighter and more aerodynamic.
We don’t recommend using other types than the classic skateboard-style helmet. Skateboard-specific helmets are designed based on the angles and gravity of impacts, so they cover parts that other helmets, such as time trial or open-face mountain bike helmets don’t.
Other helmets, like the full-face ones, cover too much. This can affect the visibility and swiftness of a rider, as the ventilation is limited and the weight of the helmet can strain the neck.
We scoured the internet for the best helmets skaters are using today. Whether you are a young amateur or a more experienced skater, these helmets are the best choices money can buy.
Top 10 Best Skateboard Helmets 2021
Aside from having CPSC and ASTM F1492 certification, this helmet also meets AS/NZS and CE standards. The hard ABS exterior is made from a PE shell that has been injected at high density, which withstands any major cracks and chips. The interior has a thick 2-stage EPS foam liner that increases protection in case of impacts.
Besides the increased protection, the EPS foam liner also wicks sweat away. The 11 vent holes offer a decent airflow, but not enough to keep your head cool on their own, on hot summer days. That’s why the plush wrap on the liner is perfect for sweat absorption.
The helmet stays securely on your head with the help of the adjustable chin strap. Even if you’re wearing protective gloves, it is easy to fasten or release the straps thanks to the quick-release buckle.
Size and Weight
At one pound, the helmet is the lightest it can be, given the weight of the EPS liner and the thick ABS shell. The helmet is suitable for heads ranging between 20.5 and 24.5 inches, which covers the size spectrum between XS to XXL. Although 8-year-olds fall into the lowest of these sizes, the Pro-Tec Classic Skate helmet may feel a little loose for such tiny heads due to the straps not fastening too tight, so it is recommended for people aged in the double digits.
The design of this helmet epitomizes what anyone pictures when they think of classic skateboard helmets. Its simplicity is directly proportional with how safe and comfortable it is.
Those who want to give it a little extra pizzazz will be pleased to know that Pro-Tec endorses many other skateboard brands. This means that you can add other cool brand logos on the helmet to make it stand out and associate yourself with the best brands out there.
The price of the helmet increases in tandem with the chosen size. This is a pretty high-end skateboard helmet, which is clear once you see all 14 attractive color choices it comes in. You’ll save quite a few bucks if you’re looking for a smaller size and don’t care about the color. The helmet comes with a 1-year guarantee, so you’ll have plenty of time to test its durability.
This helmet is the safest on our list due to its MIPS liner. MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System, so this inner shell drastically reduces the risk of the impact caused by rotational forces when the fall occurs at an angle.
Aside from being the only skateboard helmet that includes an MIPS liner, the helmet is also endowed with CPSC and ASTM F-1492 certifications. The exterior is made from durable ABS and the inside also benefits from an EPS liner, which adds even more protection, as well as comfort, to the head.
Skating can get sweaty on hot summer days. The Triple Eight helmet comes to the rescue with two removable sets of Sweatsaver Pads. These pads wick moisture and prevent sweat from adding up and causing bad odor due to their antibacterial properties.
When it starts to get worn, you can remove the Sweatsaver and purchase a new one, separately. These also help you to get a custom fit of the helmet, as they come in different shapes and options.
The helmet will sit securely on your head due to the adjustable chin straps. Most of the models have differently colored straps on each side, and they can be easily fastened and released from the plastic buckle. The fit of the Triple Eight helmet has a low profile, which gives it a close fit.
Size and Weight
The size spectrum of this helmet ranges from 18.9 inches to 24 inches. This means the available sizes it comes in are XS/S (18.9 to 21.25 inches), S/M (21.5 to 22.75 inches), and L/XL (23.25 to 24 inches).
The XS/S size can even fit children as young as 5 years old, so it can be a helmet the whole family uses. It weighs one pound, which is considerably light for all the liners and padding that are attached on the inside.
The Triple Eight looks like a classic skateboard helmet, but what sets it apart is the side cut. This allows the ears to have more space and not get mushed by its weight, and also provides more breathability for the head.
The range of colors can suit both boys and girls, regardless if they use the helmet exclusively for skating, or also take it out when they rollerblade or ride their BMX bikes.
Depending on the size, this helmet falls under a mid-to-high price point. The manufacturers also include a 180-day warranty on the helmet, which leaves plenty of time to test its durability.
The outer shell is made of durable PVC and PC material, while the soft inner EPS foam further enhances the protection your head needs. You can try your new flips without worrying about the fall. The CPSC and ASTM certifications make the JBM helmet safe in case of minor or moderate impacts.
You won’t have to worry about riding on a hot day, as the vent holes will provide enough breathability. The two large vents in the front, two in the back, and the seven arranged in the shape of a flower on top, will make you feel like you’re not even breaking a sweat.
The EPS foam is soft enough to make your head feel like it’s riding without a helmet on. The straps also feature a padded chin guard for extra comfort.
The soft straps can be easily adjusted from the sides until you find the perfect snug fit. After that, you just secure the helmet on by using the side buckle. The straps may become flimsy after too much wear, unfortunately. The foam pieces on the inside can help customize the perfect fit for you, and you can remove them anytime you want to wash the interior.
Size and Weight
The JBM helmet comes in three sizes:
- S (18.1 – 19.3 inches circumference)
- M (19.7 – 21.7 inches circumference)
- L (20.9 – 23.2 inches circumference)
It is perfect to wear for kids as young as four years old, and for adults as well. However, with the helmet measuring a little over one pound, it may not be the lightest choice for a young child to wear.
JBM opted for a classic skateboard helmet look. No bells and whistles, just the necessary features to make any ride as safe as possible, while still maintaining an aerodynamic feel. You can choose from seven classic colors that both boys and girls will find cool.
This is one of the most affordable helmets on our list. The price doesn’t vary according to the size, and JBM also includes a one-year warranty. It’s a good value for the price.
The V-17 is CPSC-certified. The outer shell is durable enough to use when making a drop in a quarter pipe, whether you ride a skateboard or a bike. The exterior is molded to the inner EPS foam liner, which provides enhanced protection by eliminating any gaps in the construction.
This helmet has excellent ventilation. The 17 vent holes provide a steady airflow on the hottest of days, with minimal-to-no sweat. The additional padding prevents your head from feeling mushed by a tight fit.
The helmet can be easily adjusted on the go, thanks to the adjustable straps and side-release buckles. An extra set of interior padding helps to find the perfect snug fit for your little one. The straps don’t have any padding so they might cause some discomfort for kids who wear the helmet for too long.
Size and Weight
The ideal age range for wearing this helmet is between 8 and 14-year-olds. More specifically, for children whose head circumferences measure between 22 inches to 23.5 inches. Luckily, the helmet weighs under one pound, which is ideal for young children, whose neck strength hasn’t fully developed.
The helmet has a sort of hybrid design, between an open-face bike helmet and a classic skateboard helmet. This makes it safe to wear for both sports, as well as others, like scooter riding, inline, or regular roller skating.
To make it even more appealing, you can choose out of 14 colors and designs. Whether you choose a matte dark color for your boy or a glossy bright color for your girl, they will be sure to pop out anywhere you take them to ride.
The price for the Razor V-17 falls in the mid-range category of helmets. Unfortunately, the helmet does not come with any warranty.
The Flybar helmet has dual certification, meeting both CPSC and ASTM standards. The outer shell is made from ABS and if you choose a bright color version of the helmet, it will make it more visible for passing vehicles. The inside of the helmet is cushioned with a soft EPS foam liner.
The Flybar helmet is suitable for all seasons. During the summer, sweat won’t be a problem, thanks to the 12 vents that ensure great ventilation. When the cold sets in or if you go out skating at night, the EPS foam padding also keeps your head cozy.
The helmet can be easily set to fit your preferred head size by using the spin dial adjustment system in the back. The dial can be twisted in one direction or the other to tighten or loosen the helmet.
The straps can also be adjusted on the go, and the chin strap even has padding on it, for extra comfort. The straps can start fraying after too much wear, but this is the case with most nylon straps.
Size and Weight
This helmet comes in three sizes, ranging from S/M to L/XL. If your head circumference is anywhere between 20.8 and 24 inches, this helmet is perfect for you. It is a bit on the heavy side, as your neck has to support almost one and a half pounds of weight.
We found this to be the most stylish helmet on our list. While the shape is that of a classic skateboard helmet, the positioning of the vent holes make it look almost futuristic. They also allow the helmet to be more aerodynamic so you can make swifter moves while you’re in the air, attempting to land that hard trick.
Any of the 9 different color combinations and designs make this helmet a great fashion accessory as well. We personally prefer the camouflage design the best.
This helmet is priced in the mid-to-high range category, and it is worth every penny only for the design alone. Fortunately, the durable materials and comfort features make it one of the safest choices as well. The Flybar does not include a warranty.
Because the helmet is suitable for more than just skating, it complies with both CPSC 1203 and ASTM F-1492 standards. The shell is made from a strong ABS material, whereas the interior is padded with a thick liner of EPS foam.
The Punisher helmet has 13 vents to ensure good air circulation. While some of the helmets on our list have more vent holes, it is their effective positioning that makes this the most breathable helmet on our list. You won’t feel sweat building up while you ride your deck. There are three interior soft foam pads that you can add or remove to customize your comfort.
The helmet can be easily adjusted from the soft, embroidered nylon straps on the sides. The strap material is heavy-duty but the turn-lock adjustment mechanism may wear out after some time. Use the quick-release buckle on the side to fasten or release the helmet.
Size and Weight
The helmet only comes in one universal size. But the three removable foam pads mainly have the purpose of adjusting the size, so it will fit S, M, and L head sizes. Be careful, as the pads tend to fall off after a while. Adults will find a very tight fit with this helmet, therefore it is mostly recommended for children and teenagers. It’s a little heavy, weighing a little over one pound.
The unisex design of the Punisher helmet has some very sleek and interesting curves that make the helmet ideal for skateboarding, as well as BMX bicycling. The curvy design also contributes to good airflow. You can choose out of 9 neon colors, which all look really cool with the Punisher logo on the front and back of the helmet.
For a mid-range priced helmet, it has everything you need to grow with it and be the next Tony Alva. The colors are made with anti-flake sparkle metallic paint so they won’t fade after being exposed to the sun too often. This means your helmet will always look brand new.
The Bern Unlimited Watts is one of the safest helmets on our list. The ABS shell and interior EPS foam liner offer maximum protection without making the helmet look bulky, thanks to the ThinShell technology.
The interior has an EPS Block foam technology, which makes the foam revert to its original form, in case of an impact. It meets CPSC, EN1077B, and EN1078 certifications, which make the helmet suitable for skateboarding, snowboarding, and bicycling.
Since this is an all-seasons helmet, you will always feel cool in the summer and cozy during cold days. It has 11 vents that provide good breathability and head dryness. Included in your purchase is a winter upgrade kit to make it adapt to even colder temperatures if needed.
The helmet has a low profile even though the foam is thin, making the fit utterly perfect. The dial adjustment system makes it easy to find the right fit for your head.
Size and Weight
This helmet is available is sizes ranging from XS to XXXL, which all depends on the mold. The largest size fits heads that measure up to 25 inches in circumference. Make sure you try one out at a store first, so you won’t be forced to return it if the chosen size proves to be different than expected. It is a pretty lightweight helmet, weighing only one pound without the winter upgrade kit.
Bern has one of the most unique patented designs. The helmet has a bill, much like a baseball cap, over which a visor or winter goggles can easily rest. The visor is also good for keeping snow or drizzle out of your eyes, so you can focus on riding. The design also accommodates a separate pair of ear flaps for your music device.
This is a high-end helmet and is priced accordingly. But given its all-season safety and comfort features, you are basically purchasing two separate helmets for different sports. It also comes in many attractive colors and designs you can choose from, as if it needed anything else to make it look cool.
The OutdoorMaster helmet meets CPSC and ASTM certification, making it also suitable for other sports such as bike riding and roller skating. The exterior is made out of ABS material whereas the interior EPS foam liner is great for shock-absorption in case of an impact.
This helmet has 12 vent holes that keep your head cool and dry during the summer. Once the foam lining accumulates sweat and odor, you can remove and wash it. The chin strap is padded so it doesn’t cause any uncomfortable friction. It has a cushioned chin pad for optimum comfort.
To find a snug fit, you can adjust the dial system in the back of the helmet. The straps are of decent quality, though after a while, the tightening buckles will tend to loosen.
Size and Weight
The helmet comes in sizes S, M, and L and fits heads ranging between 18.1 and 23.6 inches. You don’t have to worry about it straining your neck, as the helmet weighs under one pound.
OutdoorMaster opted for a classic skateboard design. The positioning of the vents set this design apart from other classic helmets, which adds to the coolness factor. You have a variety of matte colors to choose from, which all look like what a pro skater would wear.
This helmet comes at an affordable price point. Not only do you get a durable, stylish, and comfortable helmet, but the manufacturers also include a 1-year warranty and an extra foam liner for additional comfort or a better fit.
The helmet meets CPSC and ASTM safety standards. This makes it alright to use for other sports too, such as scooter riding or bike riding. Its EPS foam liner is shock-absorbent for extra protection in case of an impact.
The helmet has six cooling vents on top, which don’t provide too much breathability on hot days. There are soft cushions on the inside, which are meant to keep your head extra comfy.
The adjustable sliders on the sides allow you to find a snug fit even on the go. The straps are made of nylon and don’t have any padding, which may cause some discomfort after wearing the helmet for hours on end.
Size and Weight
There is only one available size, namely Universal Youth, which fits kids between ages 8 – 14 (21.2 to 22.8 inches in circumference). The soft inner pads contribute to a snug fit. Even with the mohawk on, the helmet weighs well under one pound. The mohawk itself is made from a durable and elastic thermoplastic rubber, which doesn’t weigh the helmet down.
The main attractive feature of this helmet is its non-toxic 3D rubber mohawk, whose spikes are soft to the touch. It looks great, but you can also take it off, and you get a classic style skateboard helmet. It does look a bit bulky and resembles something a World War 2 soldier would wear. The designs themselves are very cool and are sure to attract attention even without the mohawk on.
This helmet comes at an affordable price, regardless which of the bright and complex designs you choose. The downside is that the molding between the EPS foam and the outer shell will start to bubble and wear off if it is exposed to heat too often.
This helmet is certified with CPSC, ASTM, and CE safety standards, making it ideal for other sports as well, such as bicycling, scooter riding, and roller skating. The built-in speakers are located behind the ears, but make sure you don’t turn them up too loud, as that may cause a distraction from your surroundings. The EPS foam protects the head from low force, as well as high impacts.
The helmet comes with a USB cable and you can charge it to last for up to six hours of continuous playback. Besides music, you can also use the speakers to talk on your phone, listen to audiobooks, and even use GPS-navigation systems.
All of this is possible while you keep your phone somewhere safe from getting damaged or stolen. It is a multi-season helmet, and the 14 vents keep you cool during the summer.
The helmet stays securely on your head thanks to the durable nylon straps, which can be adjusted from the cam locks on the sides. Instead of using a generic plastic buckle, the manufacturers opted for a magnetic buckle that clasps on without the risk of pinching your skin.
Size and Weight
The Vigor Audio helmet comes in two sizes, namely S/M (21.6 – 22.8 inches) and L/XL (23.2 – 24 inches). Inside the helmet, there are two interchangeable cushion pads to help you find a custom fit.
The helmet has built-in Bluetooth speakers right behind your ears, which don’t interfere with its classic skateboard helmet look. On the downside, the surrounding noise may interfere with your listening experience, which reduces the benefit of having an integrated audio system.
The helmet comes in 3 color options (grey, blue, and black) and has the big Vigor Helmets logo on the helmet’s right side.
This is a high-end helmet and isn’t for everyone’s budget. But what you get for its value is a super safe helmet, an integrated pair of 4.0 Bluetooth speakers, and the ability to multitask on the go if you need to make a phone call or use a navigation system. The helmet also includes a USB cable for charging purposes.
A Guide to Buying the Best Skateboard Helmet
Now you have a clearer idea of what the skateboard helmet market has to offer. It is time to decide which helmet is best for you. So let’s take a closer look at the criteria and features that set the helmets apart from each other.
The most important safety assurance you should look for is the helmet’s certification. Bike helmets have to meet CPSC regulations, whereas skateboard helmets are regulated by ASTM. Usually, if a bike meets ASTM standards, it is also CPSC certified, but not vice-versa.
Some helmets, like the Triple Eight even have a removable MIPS liner. This feature reduces the impact in case of an angular fall since the probability of falling straight on your face or flat on your back are slim.
The more certifications a helmet has, the safer they are. Some of the better helmets will specify the certification codes, such as an F1492 in the case of ASTM regulation or 1203 for CPSC standards.
On the interior of every helmet, there is an EPS foam liner that reduces impact when accidents occur.
The material helmets are made of varies between ABS plastic, fiberglass, carbon fiber, or even Kevlar. All the helmets on our list are made from durable ABS material since this is what the most popular and trusted brands opt for. As long as a helmet meets the required certification, it has already passed the safety tests regardless of the material.
We’ve established that all the helmets on our list meet the necessary safety standards to keep you safe. What sets them apart is how you feel while wearing them. The ideal helmet makes you feel like you are not even wearing one.
Where there is a sport, there is sweat. When you are on the verge of kickflipping off that sidewalk and a drop of sweat makes its way down in your eye, it can ruin the whole trick and even cause a fall. Look for a helmet that has good airflow.
A helmet with many vent holes does not necessarily mean it is more breathable than others with less. Some helmets have a design that fits fewer vent holes than others but pushes the air in and out of the helmet more effectively due to their efficient placement. Some helmets use an extra foam liner that wicks and absorbs moisture, to always keep your head dry.
Helmets have an EPS foam padding that not only reduces the risks of impact, but also provide a comfortable, snug fit on your head. We recommend opting for a helmet that also has a padded chin strap, since the skin around your chin area can get irritated after too much wear in a day.
The fitting system is what combines your safety and comfort while wearing a helmet. If a helmet is too wobbly, it will serve as an even bigger impediment in your protection. If it is too tight, it can disrupt your focus on skating.
A good retention system consists of side straps – usually made from nylon – that can be adjusted from the side cam locks. Look for a helmet with a system that forms a V-shape beneath your ear lobes that buckles beneath your chin or on the side. Some helmets have a magnetic buckle instead of a regular plastic buckle, to prevent pinching your skin.
The straps shouldn’t be adjusted too tightly on. You’ll still need to move your mouth to speak, eat, or drink. Some helmets have a dial adjust system, which you can tighten or loosen by spinning a dial on the back of the helmet.
All in all, a good fitting system should make the helmet have a low profile on your forehead, have protective padding that can also customize the fit, and not move while you are skateboarding.
Size and Weight
If a helmet meets all the safety requirements, provides maximum comfort, has a good fitting system, but is not the right size…there is no use for it. Shopping online is tricky when you are purchasing objects that involve multiple sizes. Helmet manufacturers base their sizes on the following dimensions:
- XS (18.1” – 19.3”)
- S (19.4” – 20.5”)
- M (20.6” – 21.3”)
- L (21.4” – 22.0”)
- XL / XXL (22.1” – 24”)
Each brand’s size chart has slight variations so it is important to know your exact dimensions before committing to buy. For example, people with narrow heads should also consider going one size lower, or if your child has a wide head, you should look into going up a size.
Skateboard helmets usually weigh around one pound. The lighter the helmet, the less strain on your neck. That doesn’t mean you should go for a cheaply-built helmet just because it is light. You can find helmets on our list that weigh under one pound that are still extremely safe.
Although they carry out the same task, designs differ based on the sort of impact they reduce.
There are different types of helmet designs when it comes to riding.
If you ride a bike, whether it be BMX or a mountain bike, you may already own a helmet that is also suitable for skateboarding. Some helmets have an open-face design, which are mostly used for uphill riding. Others have a full-face design, which are great for downhill and enduro riding.
There are also time trial or aero road helmets, which have an aerodynamic shape and design, to allow for higher speeds.
We chose to focus on the classic design, since the types of impact in skateboarding differ in speed, distance, angle, and injury level from biking. A classic skateboard helmet is designed specifically with these risks in mind.
A classic design doesn’t mean a boring design. You can customize your helmet with stickers of your favorite skate gear brands, or even opt for a cool take on the classic design.
Styles of Skateboarding
Besides the board being used as a means of transportation, there are different styles of skateboarding. Falling off a skateboard is a scary thought in its own right, but falling after a failed bench nose stall sounds way less threatening than not landing back properly in a 10-foot halfpipe.
Skateboarding styles usually depend on what sort of surface the board is used on: horizontal or vertical. Let’s take a brief look at the main different skateboarding styles:
- Freestyle: This style was first conceived by surfers in the 1960s, who would incorporate music, gymnastics, and surf movements when the waters were not fit for surfing. All that was needed was a flat surface and a board.
Gradually, freestyle skaters got more technical and creative with their choreographies and how they used the actual ground as part of their tricks. Here is a video of Rodney Mullen, one of the most revered freestyle skaters, to give you a better idea of the style.
- Street: Another flat ground style like freestyle, street skateboarding implies the involvement of obstacles in the skating routine. Street skaters jump or grind over street furniture and elements such as benches, stairs, and handrails.
- Vert: The abbreviation of the term “vertical” means the board is used on vertical surfaces such as halfpipes, quarterpipes, and other ramps. The first forms of ramps skaters used in the 1970s were pools they would drain out and ride inside of.
Naturally, entire parks and international contests were designed for this style. The most renowned representative of vert skating is Tony Hawk.
- Park: Skate parks have been designed to satisfy the needs of vert, street, and freestyle skaters alike. Park skateboarding is a mix of all three styles, as skate parks are equipped with ramps of all shapes, angles, and sizes, stairs, handrails, and a mandatory smooth surface for flat ground skating.
Other styles such as cruising, downhill skating, and big air skateboarding all derive from the aforementioned styles. Cruising and downhill skating don’t rely on tricks, while big air skateboarding implies launch ramps, 50-foot gaps, and 25-foot halfpipes.
Best Skateboard Helmets F.A.Q.
How Can I Measure My Head to Find Out My Size?
Be sure to consult online reviews of your chosen helmet before buying, as some sizes have a different fitting than you would expect.
Measuring your head circumference is easy:
- Place a flexible measuring tape around your forehead, right above your eyebrows, and on the same level as the top of your ears. Use a mirror or ask someone to confirm the tape is kept at the same level. The tape shouldn’t be too loose nor too tight.
- If you can’t find a measuring tape but you find some sort of string or shoelace, you can apply the same technique. Make a mark and measure it next to a ruler.
- Jot down the number of inches shown where the two ends of the tape meet. Make sure that number is found in the size range of your desired helmet.
When Should I Replace My Helmet?
Besides growing out of a helmet, you should consider replacing it if:
- Your helmet takes a major fall. If you hear a loud crack once it hits the ground, check the internal liners for any damage. Any cracks will threaten your safety for the next fall, so it might be a good idea to look for a replacement.
- You take a few falls over a short period of time. Once scratches start to add up, they can develop into cracks, which will endanger your head safety.
Luckily, most of the helmets on our list have a one-year warranty. This should be plenty of time to test out its durability, so make sure you ride as much as possible during those 12 months. If you hang the helmet up once you have it, you will lose the chance to get a free replacement in case of a fall.
Can I Use Any Bike Helmet When I Skateboard?
Some bike helmets don’t cover the back of your head well. This is what skateboard-specific helmets are good for, good back coverage. So if you own an open-face helmet, it is not a good idea to use it.
A full-face helmet can also be used for downhill longboarding since the risks are greater, and the helmet has full coverage, including the back. But it will feel heavier, bulkier, and with a limited vision in comparison to a classic skateboard helmet.
Is It Mandatory to Wear a Helmet While Skateboarding?
Consult the skateboard helmet laws in your state. Some states require you to legally wear a helmet while riding regardless of your age, while in others like California, you are only required to wear one if you are under 18 years old. In some states, it is not at all mandatory, but the risks don’t pick victims by state.
Find the Best Skateboard Helmet for You
We covered different styles of skateboarding, different styles of helmets, and the correlations between the two. Regardless of your age and experience level, we are sure you can find the ideal helmet in our top 10 list.
Don’t forget to measure your head first before settling on a helmet. Once you put it on, it should feel like a natural shelled extension of your head. A helmet should also optimize your riding experience, and with the right certification, it should even give you an extra boost of confidence when trying out new tricks.
Even if you consider yourself an expert skater, you never know when your wheel can catch a small rock and throw you off. Helmets protect you from the unpredictable. So you might as well be protected in style.