Choosing The Right Paragliding Helmet
The paragliding bug gets us all. If you are reading this then it has likely got you too.
You have bought your Wing, Harness, loaded it with a reserve and now to complete the set. A good quality and well looked after helmet will last you years.
Here is our Guide to Paragliding Helmets.
Do I need a Helmet?
Wearing a helmet while paragliding is absolutely essential, especially when ground handling. A small knock to the head can cause serious damage and most definitely will ruin your day out flying.
Technological advancements in materials and design have reached the humble paragliding helmet and they are much more sleek and lightweight nowadays. You barely notice you are wearing one after you wear it a little.
When we take off and land we are at our most vulnerable in paragliding. Getting dragged on take off is not a great experience and a helmet will save your life in this situation. Ask anyone that has been dragged to look at their helmet and they maybe surprised to see the scuff marks of rocks and the ground itself.
More than a self preservation exercise your Club and Association are more than likely to oblige you to wear a helmet when participating in the sport. This obligation may also state or stipulate the Safety Rating of the Helmet that you must wear while participating in that particular sport. The BHPA for example previously insisted on certain EN Rated helmets although seem to have relaxed that requirement by allowing other type helmets to be worn.
The BHPA states ‘A well fitting helmet must be worn on all flights. The helmet should be CE marked EN966 (HPG), EN 1077 Class A, ASTM 2040, or SNELL rs98 (Snow Sports).’
The EN 966 or EN966 is the specific certification for airsports helmets such as paragliding, hang gliding and paramotoring.
A well sized helmet will mean a big difference. In truth trying on the helmet is the best way to see if it fits. This image will help you measure and find your head size. If you don’t have a material measuring tape just use a string and then measure afterwards using a ruler.
Supair do a great adjustable helmet, primarily designed for tandem passengers.
Open Face vs Full Face
This debate really is a preference. Open face helmets offer better visibility, are lighter and easier to pack but offer reduced protection of the face. Some pilots prefer to remove the ear warmers and feel the air rush past their ears.
Apart from offering more protection, full face helmets just look great. With the added possibility of tinted visors. They are extremely lightweight and aerodynamic.
You might feel some pressure from the school to buy their ‘preferred’ or particular brand. That coupled with the fact that any pilot you talk to on the hill will tell you they love their wing and their brand. So, who do you listen to and which brands are the best?
We here at Paragliding Guide have no affiliation to one brand but of course we have our preferences. In fact, our shop is a reflection of our preferences, if we don’t believe in the product or the brand then we don’t sell it. Our advice to you would be to stick to the big well known brand names until you have more experience and have your own preferences.
For more information on any equipment here or in our Shop, anything paragliding related in fact, then please do not hesitate to get in contact with us. Even if it is some advice on some second hand gear you have found and would like another opinion. Contact Us
Here are some examples of Paragliding Helmets: