The brain is one of the most complicated and least understood things in the universe. No seriously, they reckon we know more about the surface of the moon than the human brain.
Scientists are only just beginning to understand its inner workings and there is still so much that we do not know including how memories are stored and accessed, perception, consciousness and a whole host of other things way beyond the knowledge of a non-neuroscientist like you and I (apologies to any neuroscientist reading this).
As an electric skateboarder and owner of a mostly functional brain I do know one thing – It’s a pretty important part of me and I understand how much it needs looking after.
A quick story.
During my time at University I was assaulted in a bar. An unprovoked and unannounced punch to my face saw me fall back and hit my skull on the tiled floor. I was unconscious for around 5 minutes and spent the next week in hospital. My skull was fractured at the point of impact on the back of my head as well as a second fracture near my inner ear. The second fracture allowed blood in to the cochlea (The snail shell shaped part essential to hearing and balance) which killed all of the cilia (the cells which do the hearing and the balancing).
Since that day I have been left permanently deaf and without balance in that side of my head. It took around 2 months to get to 70% of my balance and around 2 years to get to 95% of my balance. Audiologists and Doctors said I was lucky to have only damaged one side of my hearing and with no other effects to my brain.
But yet I started an electric skateboard company!
Enough of the sob story, get to the point.
I know how important and fragile the brain is, from minor concussions in my rugby career to the aforementioned assault. My brain is important and I never step on an electric skateboard without a helmet. Whether I am doing a lap around the block or going on a long ride.
The damage and recovery I have gone through over the last 5 years and struggle I have had, why would I want to risk that all again, or risk worse.
Typically, electric skateboard users are sensible and wear helmets but we see plenty of people riding without helmets. Yes, we can’t force anyone to wear a helmet but if we make people aware of the risks then hopefully we can save just someone from serious injury or death.
Most people aren’t used to riding up to 25mph (although perhaps on a bike) stood up. You may think you’re a competent rider and you may well be. But no one can predict the future, the dog that runs out, the stone on the smooth road, the gust of wind which unbalances you.
It simply isn’t worth it.
It’s great to see within the electric skateboard industry, people being called out for not wearing helmets, or using photos showing unsafe riding. I think as an industry we are in a good place in that sense, better than skating or scootering where not using a helmet is quite common and ‘cooler’. Alright, maybe a helmet, full set of pads, high vis, gum shield and cup (exaggerating my point) doesn’t look ‘cool’ but it’s my preference to a photo from a hospital bed.
Pisspot (Half Lid) or Fullface (Full Lid) helmet.
The main difference in these 2 styles is that a full face helmet offers protection to your jaw area but the style doesn’t appeal to some eboarders. They can be a little restrictive on your vision and usually have a visor. Pisspot helmets do protect the skull but not the jaw as much as a full face, however they do offer better visibility which is extremely important on an electric skateboard. At the end of the day, they both do a job, arguably a full face is safer in terms of a greater protected area. Whatever you’re most comfortable in and most likely to ride in is the best option.
What to buy and how much to spend.
Helmets are available from our site here and there are plenty of other brands out there. Buy from a reputable brand with the correct safety certification and make it a habit. Beware of electric skateboard brands selling their ‘own brand’ of helmet, they’re typically uncertified knockoffs without the proper safety certification. Store it with your eboard, customise it, just make sure it’s on your head when you shred.
Like most most things, you can buy cheap or buy expensive but as long as the safety certification is available to see, you should be good. These Standards are necessary European Standards to check: CPSC, EN1077B, EN1078
Happy safe shredding!