For most people, wearing surf helmets may seem a bit silly. However, surfing actually poses way more dangers than a lot of people may think. Just like riding a bike at high speeds, there are risks involved with surfing. Protecting your head is always a smart move.
Although most people focus on the more obvious risks with surfing like drowning or shark attacks, it’s important to remember the dangers for your head. You could hit the water at high impact speeds, dive headfirst into a shallow reef, or get hit on the head by a surfboard. Many serious surfing injuries take this path – and having a protective helmet can absolutely save your life.
Surfing helmets are actually not that uncommon. They have been used for many years now, and have been seen regularly in competitive surfing. If you are riding a foil, electric surfboard, charging big waves or shallow breaks, then being equipped with a helmet is always a great idea.
Interested in taking your safety to the next level? Here is our full guide on the best surf helmets, and how to choose the right one for you.
What Is a Surf Helmet?
A surfing helmet is a pretty straightforward piece of protective gear. These are specially designed helmets that provide optimal protection for your head, while still being effective in the water. If you had to wear a regular bicycle helmet while surfing, you would really struggle with duck diving and keeping your performance up to scratch. Luckily, surf helmets have been designed to make sure that work well in the water.
The most important thing about a surf helmet is that it keeps you well protected. In a fast-paced sport with many potential dangers and knocks, this is key. These helmets need to be able to absorb big shocks while still remaining lightweight and comfortable. Many surfing helmets are also designed to be used in other watersports – such as white water rafting and wakeboarding.
Simply put, a surf helmet protects your head while still giving you total freedom in the water. This is a valuable piece of equipment that should always be considered in dangerous situations.
When Should You Wear a Surf Helmet?
Surf helmets are not a very common sight in the lineup, so you may be asking “when will I actually wear one of these?”. Surfing poses more risks than many people realise, and having a helmet is one of the best ways of protecting yourself. Any injury to the head could result in losing consciousness – something that could lead to drowning. So if there is the danger of a head injury, then you should consider wearing a helmet.
Some situations where you will want to be wearing a surf helmet include shallow reef breaks, rough rocky breaks, and any particularly risky conditions. Surfing big waves or new spots are also good occasions to bring out the helmet.
Surfing helmets are great for keeping safe in other watersports too, making them pretty versatile pieces of equipment. They are also a good call to have when using a foil or electric surfboard, as falling from these can involve some serious knocks.
One of the main causes of head injury during surfing is being knocked by the surfboard. This means that you can wear a surf helmet at any time – being safe is always a good idea!
What To Look Out For When Buying a Surf Helmet
There are so many benefits of wearing a surf helmet, so it’s essential to choose the right one. When buying protective gear, you need to know what you’re looking for. This will enhance both your experience of surfing, as well as your safety in the water. Here are some things to look out for when choosing the right surf helmet.
The Helmet Style
Helmets come in a variety of different shapes and forms. These can be divided into three main categories: half-cut, full-cut, and full-face.
Half-cut helmets sit above the ear. These are lighter, easier to wear and offer slightly more convenience while surfing. However, their shape limits their protection. You do not get as much coverage around your head.
Full-cut helmets provide more protection around the rest of the head and ears. These are obviously safer to wear, but they are a little bit more restricting than half-cut helmets. Another benefit of these is that they often provide extra warmth around your ears too.
Full-face helmets are the safest option out there. These are like motorcycle helmets, where the entire head and face is protected. While you get maximum protection, you will also be most restricted wearing one of these.
Unlike cycling helmets, these models need to be used in the water. When buying a surf helmet, be sure to check out its drainage system. This is achieved through ventilation holes in the helmet. Not only does this let water out, but it also lets air in. This helps with cooling off your head and makes going underwater a whole lot easier.
Different surf helmets are made out of various materials. These different materials cover the outer shell, the inner lining, padding, and the retention system. You will want to choose one that is strong and durable while being comfortable and lightweight.
At the end of the day, it’s all about quality. A helmet made using quality materials will last longer, as well as provide better support.
How the helmet fits is an essential consideration when buying one. Helmets need to fit perfectly in order to evenly distribute the force of any knocks. There should be no loose pressure points, and the helmet shouldn’t slide around at all.
Different helmets come on different sizes and fits. Choosing the right one for your head is an important part of keeping safe.
8 Best Surf Helmets
Interested in finding the best surf helmet out there? Here are 8 of our top product picks on the market right now.
Gath Gedi Surf Safety Helmet
- Includes removable ear protectors
- Available in a range of colours
- Additional accessories available
- Perfect for river rafting and surfing
This surf helmet by Gath is a simple solution to your safety in the water. The helmet is a half-cut design that sits above the ear. However, there are additional ear protectors that come with the helmet. These ear guards are removable and well ventilated to make sure that they don’t prohibit your hearing. The option of having the ear guards on if you want them is a nice touch too.
If you would like more from this helmet, then you can still add extra accessories. This includes peaks and a visor for those wanting to take the helmet to the next level. Overall this is a great starter helmet, as it is a simple design, but can be customised based on your needs.
The helmet has a tough outer shell, a highly absorbent EPS foam inner, and good ventilation. It is recommended to order one size up though, as finding the perfect fit can be a slight challenge.
NP Surf Watersports Helmet
- Non-water absorbent construction
- ABS outer shell
- Impact-absorbing EVA inner lining
- Twist tightening system
NP Surf offers one of the best quality helmets out there for any kind of watersports. This product is lightweight, comfortable, and incredibly durable. While still offering a fairly simple design, this helmet has a number of great features that make it stand out.
The fit is easily adjusted with the twist tightening system on the adjustable chin straps. There are soft ear protectors that are well ventilated, as well as a well ventilated outer shell. This design is really effective when submerged in water.
The helmet is made from a tough outer ABS shell, complete with a soft EVA inner lining. This easily absorbs shocks, while still managing to remain super comfortable. Although you get some solid protection, the helmet still manages to be very lightweight.
Gath Helmet (With Retractable Visor)
- Full face helmet
- Features a retractable visor
- 98% UV protection
- Available in a range of colours
If you are serious about protecting your head, then this surf helmet by Gath would be a wise choice. The helmet covers your entire head, making sure that you get complete protection for any dangerous situations. There is even a retractable visor complete with 98% UV protection. This is great for surfing in the sun.
The helmet has a tight chin strap and is made to fit snug. This helmet is designed for a wide range of watersports – from surfing, to kiteboarding or wearing on a jetski. With its lightweight construction and water-friendly design, this helmet is an excellent all-rounder.
Not all surfers want a full-face helmet, but those interested in the best possible safety should definitely give this one a try.
Pro-Tec Ace Water Helmet
- A half-cut helmet
- Adjustable chin strap
- Ventilation system
Any watersports enthusiasts looking for a helmet often just want something simple and strong. This surf helmet by Pro-Tec ticks all the right boxes without overcomplicating things. You get a solid but lightweight helmet that sits just above the ears. Sure, it may not provide as much protection as other helmets, but it still manages to provide enough cover for a totally safe surf.
The helmet is nice and light thanks to its hard plastic outer shell. The inside lining is soft and shock absorbent, making for a comfortable fit. To make sure that the helmet is suitable for the water, it has a great ventilation and drainage system.
This helmet by Pro-Tek is an easy solution to your safety in the waves. It’s easy to wear, convenient to surf with, and is available at a great price too.
Pro-Tec Full Cut Water Helmet
- A full-cut helmet
- High-density injection moulded
- Multi-use rear mount strap
- Ventilation and drainage system
Those wanting a step up from Pro-Tec’s Ace helmet will love this full-cut model by the same brand. This surf helmet offers more protection, as well as a couple of exciting extra features.
The shell is a high-density injection moulded ABS product in a cool retro style. There is a dual-density waterproof EVA layer to make things more comfortable while surfing. Between the moulded design and quality materials used, this helmet manages to blend safety and style perfectly.
There is a handy rear mount strap on this helmet that can be put to a range of different uses. This could be putting on a camera, goggle, a headlight, or holding any other attachment. With 11 open vents across the helmet, you get excellent drainage and ventilation. The protective ear covers are also well ventilated to help with hearing.
This helmet is a solid design that meets every requirement for a quality product. It’s safe and protective, it looks good, is lightweight, and offers some good value for money.
Tontron Surf Helmet
- Removable ear protection pads
- ABS outer shell
- 11 hole air vent system
- Half-cut helmet
Just because you will be wearing a helmet while surfing, it doesn’t mean that you cant show off some style! The Trontron surf helmet is available in a range of exciting colours and prints – making it fun to wear in the water.
This half-cut helmet includes removable ear protection pads. This allows you to slightly customise the helmet based on your preference. This is also one of the most comfortable helmets out there, as it has a head dial with increased protection pads inside, as well as a thick and soft EVA liner. This liner quick-drying – perfect for watersports.
The helmet also has 11 ventilation holes to make drainage easier while in the water. The ABS outer shell is tough and durable, and it meets CE EN 1385 water sports safety standards. This helmet also offers some of the best value for money on the market.
NRS Chaos Full-Cut Helmet
- ABS plastic shell
- A full cut helmet
- AVA impact foam inner
- DialFit adjustment system
This ergonomic helmet is a fantastic all-around option for watersports enthusiasts. The helmet offers complete protection around the head, ears, and back of the neck. This will keep you safe through any knocks or bumps to the head.
The helmet is made with a hard ABS plastic shell, and a soft AVA foam liner. This can comfortable absorb high impact knocks. With an easy to adjust chin strap, this helmet offers a great fit and superior comfort.
While being very safe and durable, the downside to this helmet is that it can be a little bit restricting while surfing.
Gath Convertible Safety Surf Helmet
- Removable ear protectors
- Adjustable audio vents
- Smart ventilation system
Gath has produced a premium helmet with the needs of surfers in mind. This product uses some of the smartest design features in order to create a helmet that is as safe as it is functional in the waves.
This specially designed surfing helmet is fully convertible with its removable ear protectors and adjustable vents. It allows you to create a setup based on the temperature, how fully covered you want to be, and your listening needs.
This helmet also stands out for how lightweight it is. Although you get some solid protection, the helmet won’t affect your surfing. The design is fairly thin and well ventilated, allowing you to use it comfortable underwater.
Where You Can Buy a Surf Helmet
The easiest place to buy a surf helmet is online. All of the top products mentioned above are available for purchase online. However, if you would prefer to try them on in person, surfing helmets should be available at any good watersports shop.
When it comes to action-packed sports like surfing, you can’t compromise on your safety. Head injuries can be incredibly serious, and there are many opportunities for them to occur while surfing.
If you are concerned about this, then getting a surf helmet is a great idea. These helmets will keep you safe while still providing a seamless surfing experience. Once you try them, you will realise just how easy it actually is to surf with a helmet on!
Do you need a surf helmet?
If you are serious about safety, then wearing a helmet is a good idea. Many people don’t wear them, but in a dangerous situation, they can be incredibly helpful.
Are surf helmets really worth it?
Surf helmets are actually a lot easier to wear than many people realise. These helmets should be a must in any risky situation as they could end up saving your life.
Are surf helmets expensive?
These helmets are available in a wide range of styles and prices. Getting a simple quality surf helmet does not have to be expensive at all.