August 1

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Can you Use a Bike Helmet for Kayaking ?

By Steve

August 1, 2022


You may be a kayaking enthusiast and want to go kayaking every chance you get. Or you are starting your kayaking journey and want to get set for it. Since kayaking is a risky sport, you will need the proper equipment before you start out. A helmet is a crucial gear for white water sports. If you have a biker’s helmet, you may wonder if you can use it for kayaking as well. After all, all helmets protect the head.

Biking and kayaking are two different activities. They have different risks involved in them. Hence the helmets developed for biking may not be useful for kayaking. Though both protect your head from any injuries, biking helmets are designed to protect you from road accidents. Kayaking helmets are designed to protect you from white water-based accidents. Hence you should not interchange these helmets.

Safety is paramount in any sporting activity. Head injuries are the most fatal injuries in these situations. Hence protecting your head is the most important task.

You may be new to kayaking or planning to use your biking helmet for your next kayaking expedition. In such cases, this is the right article for you. We bring to you the differences between both these helmets and if you can interchange them.

Biker’s helmet

A biker’s helmet is to protect your head when you have a crash on the roads. Since the roads are made of solid bitumen, the crash effects can be devastating for your head. Hence the biker’s helmet has a solid outer shell with a high amount of internal padding. When you wear a biker’s helmet, it fits tightly over your head. Biker’s helmets are of several types. The major ones are:

Full face helmets

The full face helmets cover your entire head, the back of your head, ears, cheeks, and chin. The cheek and chin cover is permanent and non-movable. They have a transparent face shield or visor for you to look through. They provide maximum safety while you are on the road.

Flip-up helmets

These helmets are similar to full-face helmets except for the fact that the chin and cheek cover can be flipped up and down. Depending on the helmet, you can ride it with the chin guard in the flip-up position. They too have a visor or face shield.

Open face helmets

They are like the full face helmet except for the chin bar. These helmets may or may not have a face shield. Open-face helmets are used for slow-speed leisure rides.

Half helmets

These helmets cover the upper part of the head. They remain above your ears and usually don’t have a face shield. You need additional eyewear to protect your eyes.

All the biker’s helmets are designed for heavy impact on the surface. They are made of bulky material and are designed for dry use. They provide excellent protection for road or surface accidents.

Kayaking helmets

These helmets are designed for white water sports. They have a hard shell with a soft lining inside. These are lightweight helmets with proper ventilation for any water to dry out. These helmets are primarily of two types:

  • Full-cut helmets: They protect the crown of your head, its back, and your ears.
  • Half-cut helmets: They primarily protect the top of your head and leave your ears uncovered.

Kayaking helmets are lightweight helmets and are meant to protect your head from water-based collisions, or from protecting your head from branches and rapids. They also have a special lining inside them that give them buoyancy. In other words, if they fall in the water, they will continue to float. The plastic versions of these helmets are low-cost. However, if you are looking for better protection, you may use the carbon fiber version or the Kevlar version of the kayaking helmets.

To Conclude – Can biking helmets and kayaking helmets be interchanged?

By now, you would have understood the differences between a biking helmet and a kayaking helmet. As you can make out, these helmets have different construction and are for a particular use. For kayaking, you should get yourself a kayaking helmet. A biker’s helmet during kayaking will be both unsafe and uncomfortable.

If you fall in the water, the padding inside a biker’s helmet will absorb water and become heavy. Also, they are not designed to protect your head from the rocks in the water. In several places, it is illegal to do kayaking without proper gear. You may be fined by the authorities to do kayaking with a biker’s helmet.

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