Helmet Technology: MIPS & WaveCel
If you wear a helmet when riding that’s great news, you only get one melon so you may as well treat it right. The bottom line is, a helmet can make the difference between a crash resulting in no injury instead of something more serious.
Depending on how often you use your helmet, you should replace it every 3-5 years since the materials can dry out and become brittle. If you've had a significant impact or see that it's cracked, that's another good sign to replace it. There are a few different options for tech when choosing a helmet, so we'll cover it all.
All modern snowboard helmets feature a hard outer shell with a protective EPS (expanded polystyrene foam) layer lining the inside. This standard helmet will protect against direct impact during a crash but lacks the extra tech to reduce rotational force on your brain. For extra protection against concussions, many newer helmets utilize a MIPS or WaveCel layer as well.
MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System)
MIPS is a low friction layer that reduces the rotational impact your head experiences in a crash by allowing the helmet to glide around a bit during impact. It was actually inspired by your brains own protective Cerebral Spinal Fluid layer. When snowboarders crash it’s typically at an angle and that’s exactly when you want that MIPS technology to kick in and glide to protect your brain from absorbing all of that rotational force.
You’ll know if your helmet has this tech if it has a little yellow MIPS circle on the outer shell. Like GORE-TEX, MIPS is proprietary technology that lends itself to many different brands for a variety of sports. Since it's commonly used in over 30 different helmet brands, they can be equal in price to standard helmets. We carry MIPS helmets from Anon, Giro, Oakley, Protec, Smith and Spy.
Different brands and styles of helmets will all fit differently, with various venting solutions & options for adjusting the fit. When shopping for a helmet it's best to try it on with the gear you'd typically be wearing with it, like a balaclava, beanie or goggles. It should fit snug but be comfortable enough to go unnoticed when you're riding.
WaveCel is the latest advancement in helmet technology, which can absorb up to 73% more rotational force than a standard helmet. WaveCel has been working for 20 years studying this rotational force and how to engineer helmets for better brain protection.
WaveCel behaves like a network of hundreds of interconnected shock absorbers connecting your head and the outer shell of the helmet. This distributes the impact energy through the network of flexible cells. The cells also absorb impact force similar to the crumple zone of a car & divert rotational forces by flexing and gliding. For 21/22, WaveTec can be found in select Anon Helmets, including the Windam helmet linked below.
If you're having trouble deciding which helmet is best for you, come visit us at the shop. Our team is always happy to nerd out on gear & bring out some options for you to try on.