Helmets: read if you are “not a hat person”

Helmet catHelmets do not suit me. At all.

When I first tried on my derby kit and skates, I felt amazing – my skates stopped my legs looking short, and all the pads meant that I got away with my blinding-white skin in shorts. Even the gum shield was alright – it looked kinda badass. And then I put on my helmet. Even my oversupportive boyfriend laughed, it looked that bad.

Now, the ‘look’ of a helmet really shouldn’t matter, right? But given the choice, you’d obviously choose one that suited you. Having bought mine online I didn’t really consider that there’d be other types of derby helmet that would look different – so for any newbies out there who are still to get a skate helmet, I present to you:


– If possible, try on a helmet before buying it. I wish I had! Your helmet will be in every derby photo where you can see your face. (i.e. most of them). If your head looks like a mushroom sitting on a potato then you will always fixate on that, rather than the awesome moves you’re pulling in the shot.

– Get a helmet that suits your face shape. Don’t get a tall/wide helmet if you have a round face or a tallish head, or this happens:

This is the Bullet helmet. Now where's my horse?

This is the Bullet helmet. Now where’s my horse?

Pro Tec Classic Helmet

Pro Tec Classic Helmet

(Note: The Bullet helmet is not a bad helmet at all. It’s comfy and protective in all the right places. I just happen to look crap in it.)

– Shorter-fronted helmets are great for weird-shaped heads. The Triple-8 Brainsaver, Pro-Tec Classic, and S-One Lifer helmet all appear to be small, super-protective, and look, well, skater-ey.

This >> is the ProTec Classic helmet which is fairly easy to get in the UK, but is apparently colour-limited to black or white. I can’t guarantee the shape or colours of the Brainsaver or the Lifer, but based on Youtube product reviews they are very similar. And by that I mean equally flattering to the round-of-face-and-tall-of-head.

The SFR helmet is also supposed to be quite short and sit low, but I’m not certain that it has the same CPSC safety rating as some of the more expensive ones. This may be wrong – but I can’t find a straight answer online with limited mobile internet!

I think that concludes my rubbish guide. If it can be called a guide. I think what I’m trying to say is partly ‘get what suits you, and is comfortable and safe’, but also ‘get something that makes you feel badass’, because I truly believe that self-confidence is the first step to being fearless and awesome on wheels.

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