Skating is one of the most fun things you can do. Wearing a helmet can help you keep doing it. Finding the best skateboard helmet seems simple, but I can attest that it can be a bit confusing.
I’ve bought helmets for myself and my son, Kai, in recent time. In both cases, I struggled to figure out what I wanted. Here are photos of Kai and I in our respective brain buckets:
I’ll get into how to choose a skate helmet below. But first, in case you are just looking for a quick suggestion, here are some of the best skateboard helmets to choose from.
Recommended Skateboard Helmets
As skating has grown in popularity in recent years, a number of new skateboard helmet brands have come on the market. Here, I’ll focus on a few high-quality brands that are trusted by serious skaters to help you cut through the sea of knockoffs and low-end offerings to get to the good stuff.
Best Kids Skateboard Helmet
One of the challenges of finding a skate helmet for kids is finding the right size – and a design that stokes your kiddo. Below are several good options, designed with kids in mind and available in a variety of sizes, colors, and patterns.
S1 Mini Lifer
The S1 Mini Lifer is one of the best kid’s skate helmets recognized for being one of the safest, best fitting, and highest quality certified high-impact children’s helmets on the market. The helmet comes in multiple sizes and colors. S1 is one of the top helmet brands in the skate industry, used by a number of well know pro skaters – so, yeah, street cred.
Triple 8 Sweatsaver Junior Skateboard Helmet
The Triple 8 Sweatsaver helmet features a unique design, a hard outer shell, a soft sweat-wicking liner, and adjustable straps. This helmet comes in various designs and sizes to fit the heads of children of all ages. Like S1, Triple 8 is a well-established brand in the skate universe – endorsed by none other than Tony Hawk.
Bell Sanction Youth BMX/skateboard helmet
The Bell Span Youth helmet is designed for children for both BMX riding and skateboarding and comes in small and extra-small sizes. The helmet comes in multiple colors, with a comfortable liner, an extra-hard outer shell, and multiple vents to keep your head cool and prevent overheating.
Keep in mind, the most critical factor to consider when finding the right skateboard helmet for your child is safety. A proper helmet should pass at least ASTM F1492 standards (and ideally CPSC standards also) and fit snuggly and securely on your child’s head.
Best Adult Skateboard Helmet
Adults got responsibilities, right? You need to protect that brain to make money and enjoy life. Here are the best brain buckets on the market to protect your most precious asset.
Triple 8 Sweatsaver
The Triple 8 Dual Certified helmet meets both ASTM F1492 and CPSC safety standards (see below) to be the ultimate safest skateboarding helmet on the market. The helmet comes with two removable liners for a customizable and comfortable fit. The helmet comes in a wide variety of colors as well.
S1 Lifer Helmet
The S-1 Lifer dual-certified helmet features a unique design, a soft foam liner, and an adjustable fit system for a comfortable and secure fit. The S1 Lifer is a popular helmet among serious park and half-pipe skaters and is used by a number of pros. It comes in a wide range of sizes, colors, and patterns.
Pro-Tec Classic Certified
Pro-Tec has been making skateboard helmets since 1973, and many skaters have grown up wearing their helmets. The Pro-Tec Classic Certified Helmet is just what it sounds like: classic styling in a dual-certified helmet. The helmet features an ABS shell and an eps foam liner, that helps wick away sweat. It comes in a variety of sizes and colors.
BERN Summer Watts EPS Helmet
The Bern Unlimited Watts EPS summer helmet is designed to be used for multiple sports – skateboarding, biking, snowboarding, and skiing. It features a sleek design and a small bill, which helps keep the sun out of your eyes. The hard outer shell is built extra tough passing all US and EU safety standard requirements. The liner is extra comfortable and can be switched out with other Bern liners for a customizable and comfortable fit.
Do I Need a Skateboard Helmet?
The short answer is yes. Many of us have mastered the art of falling through years of experience attempting to skate a bowl or ollie down a set of stairs. But sometimes you have a hard slam, whether it’s while trying a new trick or having a rock get stuck under one of the wheels on our skateboards and the pavement.
You will see a lot of skaters riding without helmets nowadays, but it is wise you put your pride aside and make sure you wear proper head protection while skateboarding. Also, many skateparks in the United States often require the use of protective gear, including helmets, while in the park. So, if you want to be able to skate some of the best skateparks in the US, you should have a helmet anyway.
More than 245,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms after being injured while skateboarding (or riding scooters and hoverboards, which is how they group the data), according to skateboarding statistics collected by the National Safety Council. Some of those are no doubt concussions and other head injuries from skating.
How to Choose a Skateboard Helmet
There are a few things you need to consider when you are looking for a new skateboard helmet. Factors such as safety standards, fit, comfort, ventilation, and style all come into play when considering which helmet is right for you. When looking for your ideal skateboard helmet, there are five main factors you should consider.
First, and most importantly, does the helmet meet ASTM F1492 and/or CPSC safety standards? Safety standards like these are put in place to test the material quality of skateboard helmets. They were created to ensure that they can reduce the likelihood of serious injury and death as a result of impacts to the head sustained by individuals participating in skateboarding, biking, and other activities.
The CPSC Safety Standard for bicycle helmets is a mandatory standard that applies to all bicycle helmets sold in the United States. The standard specifies the minimum requirements for a helmet to be considered safe for use while riding a bicycle. The standard covers a range of factors, including impact resistance, strap strength, retention system effectiveness, and more. Helmets that meet the CPSC standard will display a CPSC sticker on the inside or outside of the helmet.
The ASTM F-1492 skate safety standard, on the other hand, is a voluntary standard (not required by law) that applies to helmets used for skateboarding, roller skating, and other similar activities. The standard specifies the requirements for the helmet’s impact resistance, retention system, and other factors that are important for safety. Helmets that meet the ASTM F-1492 standard will display an ASTM sticker on the inside or outside of the helmet.
Helmets that meet the ASTM F-1492 standard are designed with skating in mind. The CPSC standard was created for bicycle helmets and allows the helmet to leave more of the back of the head exposed than the skate standard. On the other hand, the CPSC standard requires the helmet to protect further down the front of the head.
If you get a dual-certified helmet, it will likely provide more protection front and back than a helmet that only meets the ASTM F-1492 standard. That said, dual-certified helmets are known for being a big bulkier and heavier than ASTM-only certified helmets. Some skaters prefer the ASTM-only helmets for their comfort and lightweight.
Remember, you should not compromise safety for style or comfort when it comes to choosing a skateboard helmet.
After ensuring that the skateboard helmets you are looking at meet safety standards, the next four factors to consider are fit, comfort, ventilation, and style.
When trying on a skateboard helmet, it should fit snuggly on your head without being too tight. The helmet should also cover your forehead as well as the back of your head. When you are wearing the helmet, the helmet should not shift or move around on your head.
If a helmet is uncomfortable, a skater is less likely to wear it. The skateboard helmet should feel comfortable when you are wearing it. The padding inside of the helmet should rest softly against your head and the straps should be adjustable and not irritate your skin.
Skating is exercise, which means you’ll warm up when riding. The skateboard helmet should have enough vents to keep your head cool and prevent you from overheating while you are skating.
When you skate hard, you sweat. Some helmets come with sweat absorption fabric to keep the sweat from running down your face. If you sweat a lot, these can be helpful. On the other hand, you’ll need to wash them.
When you look good, you feel good, and you skate good. There are many different styles, designs, colors, and graphics used for skateboard helmets. Find a helmet that matches your style.
Skateboard Helmet FAQs
What helmet does Tony Hawk use?
Tony Hawk wears the Certified Sweatsaver Helmet from Triple 8.
Why do many skaters not wear helmets?
Skateboarding has a long tradition of bucking authority, and not wearing helmets is part of that ethic. While skaters tend to wear helmets more often while skating bowls and vert ramps, it’s common to see street skaters go helmetless. This is really a cultural phenomenon and doesn’t line up with evidence that skating can cause head injuries. In recent years, some pro skaters – Andy Andersen is an example – have begun always wearing helmets while skating.
Where can you buy skateboard helmets?
It’s always a good idea to try and shop at your local skateshop. It’s good to suppor them and you can try on helmets to find one that fits well. That said, you can also buy helmets online, if you know what size you are looking for. We’ve linked to online retailers for each of the helmets above.
What skateboard helmets look good?
While the styling of a helmet is really a matter of personal taste, we think that helmets made by Protec, S1, Triple 8, and Bern look good. They also protect your noggin, which is the most important part.
Is skateboarding dangerous?
You can get injuried skating. Fatalities are very rare, but hospital visits aren’t. And head injuries are a possibility. Skateboard long enough and hard enough, and you’ll eventually hit your head. Head injuries such as skull fractures, concussions, and traumatic brain injuries can happen at any time when we are skating and these types of injuries can have serious and long-term negative consequences. That’s why I advocate wearing a helmet.