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What Color Helmet is Easiest to See?
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14461

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Then there's the black helmets. Heck ... even the sail I cut in half because I didn't see it lying in the swell was black and white. And no kiter stands out like the guy who wears that blinding orange tank top over everything (including over the boardies he wears over his wetsuit).
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Riptide



Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 166

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a great visable drysuit from Kokatat GFE in Mango/Black.


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vikingsail



Joined: 12 May 1998
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In our fire dept we all wear yellow vests, and my windsurfing helmets have always been yellow. See www.vikingsail.com
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14461

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget one of these for when just being seen is not sufficient:

Actually, it's a blast ( Smile ) to surprise a bud with this doozy out on the water.
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Brian.bigfella@gmail.com



Joined: 11 Jun 2012
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a pretty crappy sailor, so I carry the following when I'm in the ocean:

A whistle

A bright green, 36" balloon

20' of rolled up neon ribbon weighs next to nothing and takes up no space and can be tied to a foot strap. Makes you visible from the air.

A waterproof, red, flashing LED keychain light

All this fits into a little waterproof container with my extra line and a couple of energy gels. I just stick it in the little pocket in the front of my "life jacket".

Of course, all of these require that you're concious and able to use fingers to tie things off, turn things on, blow things up, etc., in rolling, blowing seas. So a bright green or yellow helmet is also a good idea.

And if you're sailing further off shore or in strong currents think about a marine radio and some flares.

This little chart shows a bellcurve of the most and least visible colors to the human eye.

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windsrf



Joined: 01 May 1998
Posts: 182

PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started years ago with black, but quickly realized black is huge mistake as noted in this blog, and also white. Now have Pro-Tec yellow, but they seem to have ceased making their water sport version and also lack that color on available models?

I like the Bern, but having had two of my most serious WS injuries from trying to eat my boom (see Mike's post), I'm leaning towards the Wilson batting helmet with softball "cage". Not sure I'll like that vision impairment, but better than broken eye/orbital bones or teeth replacement? Turns out the boom is not your friend once you are falling onto it face first from any height....

Would appreciate hearing about how others find cages affect vision. The only other concern is that definitely want good chin strap. Wilson's website doesn't seem to indicate it, but there's a snap on the helmet?

Cheers, David
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Brian.bigfella@gmail.com



Joined: 11 Jun 2012
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is total speculation, but it seems that a hockey helmet would work better than a batting helmet. Batting hemlets aren't really snug and they don't come with the straps you need to keep it on in a crash.

When I played football the facemask never bothered me. After a few seconds you don't even notice it's their. In the casae of the hockey helmet, guys hitting a tiny puck with a stick going 30 mph wear them, so how much could it impare vision for windsurfing? Durability in the water may be an issue though.

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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14461

PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I quickly forget the softball/baseball/Protec bars in my field of view, relying on my subconscious to move a bar out of my way if I ever need to see a very small object. IOW, I fuhgheddaboutit very quickly. Even if it bothered me, it beats the hell out of the broken teeth, noses, and lips I've seen, the crushed orbits and eyeballs I'm certain mine averted, and the MANY facial dings I've averted over the years.

I've not tried the hockey screen pictured. It would interfere with facial access for munchies, eyeglasses, sunglasses, "nasal maintenance" Smile , picking bugs out of our teeth, fiddling with a hood, etc.

But while cages are important only when hit in the face, I love the batter's helmet visor every moment I'm on the water. Without a visor, squinting gets OLD, direct sunlight on crud on glasses or shades interferes more with vision than the cage bars do, driving rain and hail are just noise when wearing the visor, it blocks the low sun in mornings and evenings, and it adds very significant protection against skin cancer and cataracts, both of which are likely to become rampant as barefaced WSers age.

The downside: insecure people may worry because the visor and cage look dorky.

In >30 years of sailing with helmets, I have yet to have the snap-on chin straps come unsnapped, even the couple of times the helmet has gotten ripped off my head in full-speed, feet-first, skipping dismounts. The useless elastic straps on my Worth helmet, though, got quickly replaced with webbing.
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andrewc



Joined: 30 Jun 1997
Posts: 245

PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, if you are going to learn to loop wear a helmet. If you land "incomplete" it's real easy to slap the water hard and pop your eardrums.
I recommend Gath as it covers your ears and they don't fill with water if you are getting a working in the washing machine - only issue is noise from the slots if open. At least it makes 20 knots feel like 30!
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kirk



Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 158

PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:15 pm    Post subject: GREAT comments! Reply with quote

I'll probably go with a yellow windsurfing helmet. I don't loop so eating the boom, knock on wood, hasn't been an issue and I remove the ear protection as I like to hear.

I have crashed hard enough that I know I would have been knocked silly or worse but for the helmet. I cracked one open under the Golden Gate Bridge on a choppy day just from jumping off while holding on to the boom... mast came down on my head and cracked the helmet open.... would have been shark bait. Last year on an "easy day" I was working on high speed jibes at Coyote and caught an edge. The mast whipped around and slapped me on the temple and hurt a lot but the helmet caught the brunt of the impact so I was shaken but not hurt a bit. I suppose that could have been lost teeth or busted nose if I turned my head a bit differently, but those injuries don't prevent you from sailing back in. Being knocked out face down four miles from shore by the channel markers at Coyote is what I try to prevent....

For safety, I carry a marine VHF and a strobe so if I can get to my ORANGE colored hydration pack, I can get to the strobe and radio.

Around my neck I wear my car door key, a whistle, a downhaul tool and some thin, strong, coiled line to replace anything that breaks. If I lose the pack or dislocate a shoulder so can't get to the pack, I still have those where the whistle is handy to hail other sailors.

Great discussion! Thanks for all the comments.

_________________
Best Regards
Kirk Out
http://bayareawindsurfing.blogspot.com/
http://kirklindstrom.blogspot.com/
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