Always Wear a Helmet!

  • Just wanted to share a bit of common sense backed by real life experience.

    Yesterday afternoon, I was practicing some slow speed maneuvers, pushing myself to turn in tighter and tighter radii. Nothing crazy, no tricks, just honing my skills. I was right in front of my house. All of a sudden I lost my balance and my back foot lifted off the deck causing my board to fly out from under me.

    The back of my head came crashing to the pavement. I sat up, saw double vision for a few seconds while my eyes realigned. A neighbor saw what happened and asked if I was ok, I noticed that I slurred my response slightly. I went to the hospital as a precaution —turns out I have a minor concussion.

    I can’t ride for a while. It sucks—but my Bern helmet saved my life, or at least prevented some serious brain damage. Upon looking at the damage to the helmet, the ER doctors said without a doubt I would have been brought in as a trauma patient if I hadn’t been wearing it. But instead, I was home in time for dinner with my wife and daughter.

    Please read this. The OneWheel is AMAZING. I love it! And I can’t wait to be cleared to ride again in 7-10 days! But don’t be an idiot—ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET. They save lives at any speed. I was literally doing simple maneuvers under 4 mph and I could’ve died or gotten brain damage if I wasn’t wearing one. My wife would’ve lost her husband, my daughter would’ve lost her daddy, my parents would’ve lost their son, and my siblings would’ve lost their brother; all in front of my house, at under 4mph, in less than a second. WEAR A HELMET!

    Float on. Be safe. Be smart. Don’t be an idiot.

    And thank you Bern for giving me the opportunity to ride again!

  • @eckit Glad you're OK. I had a very very similar situation myself last night - just across the street in a parking lot, practicing direction reversals, lost balance and fell backwards to pavement rapping the back of my head real good. I didn't have any trouble walking, no dilated pupils, no slurring, so I didn't go to hospital, but I did have a decent headache, and I need to inspect my helmet (a Triple 8) today to see if it needs replacing.

    Always wear the helmet folks, at least if you will be on pavement not grass. Always, even if you're just messing around at slow speeds. Any other safety gear is negotiable because anything else you can do to yourself likely isn't permanently life-changing, but think of that helmet as non-negotiable. It is mandatory.

  • anything else you can do to yourself likely isn't permanently life-changing

    Being single, breaking both wrists will teach you that frustration is the key to unleash your inner uninhibited creative genius.

  • @Glyph basic rule of thumb is if your helmet hit the ground with your head in it—it should be replaced. These things are pretty much designed to be single-use and they also have a shelf life, typically about 3 years. The loss of structural integrity isn’t always noticeable.

    It’s worth the extra shillings. We all spent between fifteen and eighteen-hundred dollars for these boards. Another fifty to eighty bucks is worth the security.

    Be careful out there!

    Just went for my follow-up today. If I am symptom-free next weekend—I can ride on Saturday. My new helmet should be here by then, too. Can’t wait!

  • @eckit Ya know, I wasn't gonna get a new helmet - mine really does look fine (no cracks in shell nor EPS foam; EPS foam does not appear compressed at all), and skate helmets, unlike bike helmets, aren't meant to be strictly single-use, they are meant to take a few "minor" impacts (of course, we'd need to debate what is "minor" vs. "major") - but screw it, there's a MIPS version available for the one that I have, so I'm upgrading.

    I can always keep this one on hand as a spare, or for a friend - even if it's no longer 100% as effective as it was, it's def. better than nothing.

  • I would never wear a helmet. Style points matter to me.

    Helmets are a slippery slope. You start wearing them while riding your OneWheel then you wear them on your bicycle then all of a sudden you're driving in your car wearing a helmet, shopping for groceries in a helmet and having a few beers at a local brewery during the Super Bowl while on vacation in the Netherlands wearing a helmet.

  • @SkydiveJesus yeah but if you die you just come back in three days, it's not so easy for the rest of us

  • @SkydiveJesus

    If you go to space without a helmet you die. How many cool points does that get you?

  • @Achamian said in Always Wear a Helmet!:


    If you go to space without a helmet you die. How many cool points does that get you?


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  • As a follow-on to this, I got my new helmet today, and comparing it to the old one, it looks like the EPS foam WAS compressed in it, it was just hard to tell if you couldn't compare it to a helmet that's never taken a hard hit.

  • Remember the foam has a shelf-life too, if your helmet is more than 5 years old you should consider replacing it, even if you never had any impacts.

  • It’s been a week! Just took my first ride since. Man, I missed this board. So happy to be back floating again!

    Another thanks to Bern for keeping my skull in one piece.

  • @jonas epic.

  • Always wear a helmet and gloves with palm protection. I had a decent conversation with a OW rep, yesterday, about my nosedive experience. I was indeed being ignorant to the way the thing works and was pushing for speed after ignoring a gentle pushback cue. My fingertips got pretty badly torn up and I had small graze on my chin. It would have been far worse without any protection. If I had not been wearing my helmet, I would have had road rash on my head with chunks of hair possibly never growing again. If I had not been wearing palm slider gloves, I would have broken my left scaphoid or re-injured my already once-broken right scaphoid. Also keep in mind that when riding this, you are being entirely supported by high technology for the entire ride. Any random unpredictable failure can and statistically does occur.

  • I would advise you wear as much protection as you feel you need. 3 years of karate has definitely paid dividends for me as it has simply taught me how to fall better and tuck/roll when possible. So of my 3 nosedives (1 at 24mph like a bozo in a hurry to get home at 3am), my head has never touched the ground.

    Coming from a motorcycle safety enthusiast back ground they say "Don't dress for the ride, dress for the fall", but damn that wind feels good in the hair. I wear my motorcycle jacket every day though and that has certainly saved me some skin.

    I believe people should be free to live their life with whatever degree of apparent danger they feel comfortable with sans criticism.