Climbing Helmets/Hats

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nicolaasdekker
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Climbing Helmets/Hats

Postby nicolaasdekker » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:34 am

I would like to make a suggestion concerning climbing helmets.
Climbing helmets seem only to be worn by Bigwall and Trad climbers, the helmets I assume serves two purposes:

1) protect the lead climbers noggin in case of a high factor fall.
2)protect the belayer from all sorts of objects, ranging from gear to loose rocks, reaching terminal velocity just before rendezvousing with said noggin

Although the risk in sport climbing 'seems' neglect-able, surely it is wise for the person who controls the life of the lead climber to wear suitable headgear. Again I assume that the problem is a similar one as to the one that the USA army faced in the first years of its invasion of Iraq i.e. huge amounts of eye injuries caused by shrapnel due to the spec military goggles being uncomfortable and more importantly uncool... they solved the problem by getting a company to produce smaller/cooler looking safety goggles.

I propose the same thing, there has been a recent development in industrial 'bumpcaps' it offers first base protection and is allowed for certain applications instead of a full helmet i.e. it would for instance be allowed inside ships engine compartments instead of a full helmet. It comes in the form of a plastic inner on a baseball cap (see pic) I have removed my inner and can used it with almost any type of hat (peak cap naturally the best) it does not smother the air flow on your head and it almost like wearing no protection at all.

I think that this cap will work very nicely as a purely sport climbing belayer's alternative head protection, see pics on how nicely it fits in my sharks cap.

P.s If you feel that my earlier assumptions about helmet usage were wrong feel free to correct me.
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sharks cap 2
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‎"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure, life is either a daring adventure or nothing" - Helen Keller

zabullet
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Re: Climbing Helmets/Hats

Postby zabullet » Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:02 pm

Everybody knows you NEVER go FULL retard!

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Mark
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Re: Climbing Helmets/Hats

Postby Mark » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:56 pm

:lol: N n n n n n n nice chirp... But I dont think its full retard, the idea has merit (it just needs to be polished a bit)

GBM
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Re: Climbing Helmets/Hats

Postby GBM » Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:27 pm

I called some mates to get a perspective on this, here are their replies:

Sport climber - could work, we have so little gear at the crags that most of us will buy anything to add to our limited arsenal … it would be good to at least feel like a trad climber …

Safety conscious politically correct climber: Yes, I believe we should exhaust every avenue to ensure that climbing in all forms is as safe and secure as possible,

Fashion conscious / other climber … look, I would wear it provided it had a Prana logo and was advertised in magazines … I want recognition … and a sponsorship … will do anything for it …

Rugby fan … if you support the sharks you will need it more then if you sports climb (we all know that they won’t win the Super 14 … not a difficult one really)


Trad climber: … I agree with the sport climber on this limited issue …

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Nic Gear
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Re: Climbing Helmets/Hats

Postby Nic Gear » Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:25 am

GBM wrote: Rugby fan … if you support the sharks you will need it more then if you sports climb (we all know that they won’t win the Super 14 … not a difficult one really)

want to put money on that?

Great Idea Nic, some protection than none.
and you are supporting the best Rugby team, no cheating and no bull!!!!
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GBM
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Re: Climbing Helmets/Hats

Postby GBM » Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:53 pm

Look money is so inconsequential, hell, to be honest I don’t want your Rands it will probably have depreciated by 25% by the time I win ... lets make it a BD cam rather ... I need another one ...

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nicolaasdekker
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Re: Climbing Helmets/Hats

Postby nicolaasdekker » Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:00 am

Thanks for all the input. Yes, it would only be useful for a safety conscious sport belayer. The point of the sharks cap was to show that it offers protection without being overtly noticable, and comfortable to boot. I agree i would probably not buy one, now that i think about it, but i would wear it instead of a full helmet just because i have it, as i do go full retard all the time in the name of safety:)
‎"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure, life is either a daring adventure or nothing" - Helen Keller

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DAcaveman
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Re: Climbing Helmets/Hats

Postby DAcaveman » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:00 pm

I think its a great, great idea!!!
Finally I can now wear my Bulls cap at newlands again!

Where do I sign up, erm, get one...
:eye:

j

Obes
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Re: Climbing Helmets/Hats

Postby Obes » Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:40 am

i think we just need to make the retard helmets less retardy. for example, remeber when you were small and your mom told you to wear those ridiculous skate board helmets when you were roller blading? i do. they were silly. but, now if you flick onto espn and watch these apparently 'cool' skateboarders, they all have such helmets, just with a bit more style. ok, they are not the bright yellow that i had, but they are kind of 'blinged' up. And as such they have become less retard.
So, what i propose is this (are you listening petzl and BD?): make helmets cooler. Put cool designs on them for sports climbers. make them the new chalk bags, if you know what i mean. Then not only will we not feel like idiots while belaying, but we may even climb with a helmet now and again... maybe.

Heinrich
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Re: Climbing Helmets/Hats

Postby Heinrich » Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:18 am

Well, wearing a helmet is about as uncool as wearing a seat belt, but guess what? seat belts have time and again proven to work. Same same with helmets. I have a friend with a titanium plate in her head because of a sport climbing accident - if she wore a helmet she wouldn't have had so much explaining to do every time the metal detectors go off at customs. Having done way more tradding than sport climbing lately, wearing a helmet is second nature by now. Given, there are spots where a helmet is really not necessary, like Wave cave, but that's about the only spot I can think of.

In terms of cool designs, check out the edelrid Madillo, even cooler is the Targa with a skull wig. Then there's the Petzl Meteor III and BD Tracer - all of these are pretty cool.

Honestly, I think the cool/uncool argument for helmets is a bit high-schoolish. You're only bluffing yourself if you claim you don't need a helmet.

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Justin
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Re: Climbing Helmets/Hats

Postby Justin » Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:05 pm

GBM love your list of reasons :P

Wearing a helmet is wise thing to do, that said, unless I'm at an area that is: know to have loose rock, multi pitch or trad I generally will not wear one.

I know of a story where a climber fell whilst starting a climb from a couple of meters (bouldering height), fell backwards and passed on from the injury sustained (I'm sure there are many instances where helmets/seatbelts would have saved a life).

When I am wearing a helmet, I wear a Meteor III helmet - love the thing and wrote a review review about it here
FYI: they come in green and orange colours with funky designs.
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