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Kit advice required!!

Info on rolling, river features, kayaking technique, advice on kit purchase...

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Kit advice required!!

Postby Alex B » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:21 pm

Hey, so my birthday is coming up and my parents want to buy me kit ( I was thinking a helmet?) and I have no idea where to start in terms of what i should be looking for/ make etc.

any suggestions?
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Postby box2k2 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:31 pm

Isaac asked this here: ... ght=helmet

box2k2 wrote:The usual answer to this question is something along the lines of:

"It's your head - is it worth more than £30 to you?"

As with any helmet - it must fit properly to do it's job. Best suggestion is usually to go to a kayak shop (RoHo) and try on helmets til you find something that fits properly, then buy it.


As a guide, the obvious choices in order of price and preference would probably be:
Protec (30ish)
WRSI (50ish)
SR Standard (50ish)
Sweet Wanderer (90ish)
Sweet Rocker (160ish)
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Postby Dárragh » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:05 pm

In my honest opinion, scrap any thought of a protec or Yak helmet, not worth buying one... you can borrow club ones...

Try out as many helmets as you can;

WRSI (Bryn used to have one)
Shred Ready Standard (Me, Jack and Alex O have them)
Sweet Wanderer (Beth + Lucy have em)
Sweet Rocker (Charley, Jake, Matt H... almost everyone else haha)

Others helmets to have a look at are Gath, Predator and Bern... seem like solid helmets but not as common and harder to find to be fair.

Sweet Rockers are going up in price at the moment as the new season colours are coming in last seasons are now extremely hard to find as they are very popular (for a good reason)...
The Ski version 'Trooper' which Rob Brown now has is exactly the same in almost every way, and can also be ordered through Roho or bought online/loads of ski shops.
(Handy if you're big into ski'ing too! :D)
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Postby Jamess » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:19 pm

so just on a side note, the sweet ski helmets suitable for kayaking also?
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Postby Dárragh » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:32 pm

Well technically the sweet ski helmets are not approved for white water use... and I'm guessing in theory you could be prevented from using them in certain places such as a stinky ditch in Nottingham or on a BCU assesment etc...

Coming back to the real world though, they're exactly the same, no-one will notice the difference, several raft guides use them at the Tryweryn, Lowri Davies from Flow Free coaching uses a Sweet Rooster (for the smaller sizes).

The decision is up you in the end though!
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Postby Jamess » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:34 pm

sorry to be slightly off topic still, but does that intail that kayaking helmets are not technically but completely suitable for skiing??
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Postby Rob » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:47 pm

I can only speak for Sweet helmets and i would not be confident on using any other brand as a crossover, only because i know sweet make both.

Sweet helmets have the same shell and are made in an identical way. The only difference is that they have different CE testing numbers. The ski helmets are tested for resistance to cold conditions and to comply with skiing headwear guidelines. This "technically" means that in a situation where you were using a sweet kayaking helmet for skiing and you wanted to sue the company you would not be able to because that is not what it is sold as!

This is the same the other way round, i imagine if i damage my head due to using my skiing helmet on whitewater i would not get much sympathy from sweet. However given they are the same design if i put my head in a situation that damages my trooper, a rocker would have broken in that situation as well.

I did look at all the skiing and whitewater helmet testing protocols last year as part of my course and they go through the same impact tests, just whitewater helmets go through immersion tests and ski helmets go through temperature tests. I am only really worried about the impact part and as the trooper/rocker is probably one of the best helmets in the world i figured it would not make much of a difference whether it has a goggle strap or not.

Sorry for the long answer, i can probably find the testing guidelines if anybody wants!
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Postby DanW » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:29 pm

I would have thought falling over skiing and hitting a solid ice slope was different to kayaking, where I tend to feel lots of little bumps and scrapes from submerged and sometimes sharp rocks. But if they are tested the same way then it doesnt matter.

Another point, materials get brittle at low temperatures, so if it was designed for kayaking then perhaps shouldnt be used for skiing.

Realistically, it's probably quite trivial in this case.

Also they are expensive so unless you have some good dry kit and paddles and boat etc I would save £100 and buy SR, WRSI or wanderer for a little more.
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Postby Luce » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:41 pm

My Sweet Wanderer was worth every penny!
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Postby Beth » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:53 pm

The most important thing is to get one that fits you...

I was fully prepared to splash out for a rocket but with a small head and them not doing smalls it didn't fit. Ditto Lucy though, the wanderer is brilliant, £100ish from RoHo, and definitely love it. And it fits really well.

If it hadn't fitted me I would've looked into the skiing sweet trooper, but it probably is better to have a helmet made for kayaking if possible.
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Postby peterH » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:05 pm

One think I would note is my helmet has a peak, which means that when I am carrying my boat I can’t see much more than 5~7m ahead. I am sure some (and thank goodness this is not river guidebook) would argue that it would protect my nose etc. personally I would prefer to see where I am going, so lift a boat up when you try them on.
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Postby jh_dempsey » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:09 pm

Im with martin (box2k2) in that you should go into a kayaking shop and try on as many helmets as you can.

Dont be afraid to take your time and play about in the shop with all the padding kits that come with the helmets. If for one model of helmet you find that one is too small and the next size up is too big, take the bigger one and play about with adding various parts of the padding kit to see if you can get yourself a good fit.
If you usually wear a skull cap on the river, then make sure you do all your testing with a skull cap on! Either take your own or ask if they will let you borrow one.

I wouldnt bother getting a helmet which is less that £50 RRP or is advertised as a "centre" helmet as these are at the low end of the market and you might as well use the club helmets. You will also find these are the least stylish helmets.
Pay over £50 and you should end up with a good quality helmet which has a lot more style than the club ones.
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Postby Paddy F » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:15 pm

I don't know much about the different pieces of kit, only getting a helmet due to a lack of club ones that fitted.
when everyone was giving me advice on what helmet to get it basically came down to these 2 pieces of advice:
1. how much are you paying for your degree? its worth spending very little in comparison to that to protect everything you learn at uni.
2. if it's uncomfortable you won't enjoy kayaking as much.
hope this helps
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Postby jack » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:31 pm

One of the most important things with helmets is the fit. A really expensive helmet is much less useful if it doesn't fit properly...... worst case scenario it comes off your head when your inspecting the bottom of the river

Go to Roho (or another paddling shop if you like) and try them on... then pick the one that fits best, and if two fit well pick the one that looks the coolest
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Postby brync » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:08 pm

The helmets Darragh's put up are your best bet. As has been said, get to a shop, try helmets on, find one you like.
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