Old 16th July 2008, 09:08 AM   #11
GEM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 67
Default

This helmet is junk for windsurfing. As pointed out, it is designed for surfing.

If you go to the Snell Foundation and ask them what "watersports" helmets (kayaking/surfing) were designed for, you will find that it is for impact velocities of about 1/3 to 1/8 that of windsurfing. That's if you hit something. If you and another windsurfer hit head on, the Gath will not even hold the parts of your head together.

I didn't used to worry about it, frankly, until one day when some guy on an opposite course to me suddenly (and inexplicably) got launched and his mast tip landed about a foot from my front foot. Let's see....I'm doing 40 kph, he's doing 40 kph, relative impact of 80 kph, the Gath is rated for about 13 kph...when I asked the Snell guy why so low, he said the standard is based upon the fastest water velocity for level 5 kayaking. Windsurfing is not a consideration in those standards. Period. Have you noticed how little padding there is in a Gath? Suppose another sailor's mast tip hit your head while you were ripping along. Would you survive?

If you're gonna wear a helmet, wear a helmet for the risk you are taking. The Gath is pathetically underbuilt for windsurfing.

When I asked the Snell foundation about a helmet for windsurfing, they said there is nothing designed for that "standard". I asked for the best alternative, and they wouldn't supply an answer (I suspect due to attorney-think). I asked about a snowboarding helmet, and was told it's probably not a bad alternative.

I say again, if you really need a windsurfing helmet, the Gath is not it.
GEM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th July 2008, 09:53 AM   #12
steveC
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 639
Default

And you're some expert on helmet design? What do you know about surfing and the forces involved? I doubt very much based on your small thoughts here.

I think that you're missing the main picture here and inappropriately deriding a product that you have no real experience with. It might not be the product you want, but your characterization and judgment about it is just pure BS.
steveC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th July 2008, 10:20 AM   #13
GEM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 67
Thumbs down

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveC View Post
And you're some expert on helmet design? What do you know about surfing and the forces involved? I doubt very much based on your small thoughts here.

I think that you're missing the main picture here and inappropriately deriding a product that you have no real experience with. It might not be the product you want, but your characterization and judgment about it is just pure BS.
In fact, SteveC, I am a team physician and exercise scientist who, while not doing any work on helmets to prevent concussions / closed-head injury (medical jargon for a head injury that does not involve getting one's skull busted open), I studied under Karen Johnston at McGill University in Montreal, and do know people who do such work. You can do a Google search to establish my identity (Geoffrey E. Moore, MD).

For SURFING, I find the Gath quite acceptable. For kayaking, it is acceptable. For WIND-SURFING, it is not. It is a cool-looking helmet, but nowhere near capable of protecting your head in a 20 mph / 36 kph impact. One does not (should not) buy a helmet for the average accident, but for the worst-case accident. Unless, of course, you like drooling on yourself.

One remaining problem with high-speed watersports (wakeboarding is another example) is the bulkiness of the helmet suddenly being "grabbed" by the water on impact, and creating a strong torsional moment on the neck and head. This can lead to neck injuries in addition to concussions. Last I checked (just a few months ago) the Snell Foundation did not have a class of helmets for high-speed watersports. I do not know how much they are working on it, though.

SteveC, you normally have posts that are spot-on. This time, you don't know what you're talking about, and are advocating a product without knowing all the ramifications of head injuries and their prevention. Sorry to disagree so publicly, but you are wrong this time.

GEM

Last edited by GEM; 17th July 2008 at 10:23 AM.
GEM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th July 2008, 02:27 PM   #14
Philip
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 159
Default

The Gath helmet is not rated for snow sports and in any event does not have the warm liner required. That is what they told me. As for WS there is nothing else out there which is odd. Yes water flow through the helmet is important to spare us whiplash and to date even with some fast-ish wipe outs in the range of 40 km per hour I have not noticed any problem. For those travelling at ballistic speeds it could be different. For the moment it is all there is.

Are there any speed sailors out there with a comment please?
Philip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th July 2008, 06:10 PM   #15
fullmoon
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 10
Default

Have a Pro-tec helmet ,It seems slightly more bulky than the Gath and half the price.
They are skateboard helmet ,that is a skull versus concrete helmet.It has ventilation
and ear cutouts and seems to be quite robust.

Wish I was a speed sailor though!
fullmoon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th July 2008, 01:48 AM   #16
steveC
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 639
Default

Mr. Moore,

And what sort of head protection do you wear while windsurfing? I'm thinking probably nothing, and if so, how smart is that?

Having surfed for over 23 years before starting windsurfing over 22 years ago, I think you greatly underestimate the forces involved in surfing. How much surfing have you really done? I had a terrible surfing accident in 1983 (as a result of getting struck by my board) where I needed to have my smashed up right zygomatic arch and eye socket wired back together by a plastic surgeon. I was damn lucky that wasn't killed by the blow I received. In all my years windsurfing, I have never sustained any force type injury that comes even close.

To look at the situation a bit differently, it's pretty clear that seatbelts in cars offer fairly sensible protection for those traveling in them. However, can forces involved in an accident still cause significant injury or even death? Of course they can. No protection is absolutely perfect, and most sensible folks understand that. Notwithstanding any possible weaknesses in seatbelt design and their function, folks are vastly better protected wearing seatbelts.

Now you can imagine any catastrophic situation you want, and ultimately find weaknesses and possible disaster in it, but what does a bunch of contrived stuff really mean in the circumstances and risks we normally encounter in windsurfing? Rather than create a bunch of imaginary nonsense to deride an excellent product, you might think more practically about the situation. In my experience over the years that I've using the Gath helmet, there have been many situations where I have been smacked in the head. Without question, I was sure glad that I had the good sense to be wearing some protection.

Now, with many many years worth of experience using the product in windsurfing, you have gall to claim that I don't know what I'm talking about and that I'm wrong. Really, you might abandon your contrived armchair scientific nonsense and think a bit more pragmatically about the situation. Sensible protection is infinitely better than no protection at all. You might want to dwell a bit on that.
steveC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th July 2008, 02:28 AM   #17
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Smile

Here's a pragmatic thought - since most (99.99%) people windsurfing have never had a serious head injury, and we now know, based on GEM's informed post, that the helmets available would do nothing in the rare instance that there was actual risk, why would ANYONE wear a helmet in the first place?
  Reply With Quote
Old 18th July 2008, 08:10 AM   #18
steveC
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 639
Default

I'm up for a final comment, particularly because of poster #17's opinion here.

If following Mr. Martin's (GEM's) point of view, even with the possible protection that the Gath helmet might potentially offer, there's absolutely no real guard against a serious injury. What in essence he's saying is that windsurfing is too dangerous a sport to participate in, as that there's no sufficient life threatening protection can be provided in the activity. To be fair with Mr. Martin, the context was a serious life or death kind of situation.

Moving to poster #17's comment, the stats so liberally stated seem to suggest that there's a .01% percentage of chance that a windsurfer would sustain a serious head injury in the sport. Of course, that doesn't take into account a "non-life threatening" concussion, simple scalp or head injuries that might involve a hospital visit or any untoward or financial outcome that might be involved. One has to wonder whether a Gath helmet might sensibly mitigate this type of inconvenient result. This is a relative "no brainer" type protective measure in my opinion, particularly with an excellent and thoughtful product like the Gath helmet.

Frankly for the sport to gain interest and strength, folks don't want to be told that they're always facing a life threatening circumstance while participating. Quite honestly, I really don't think that they are. Nevertheless, with an untoward outcome possibility in the conditions, or even possibly risks coming out of the sky from careless kiters, I think that some real degree of sensible protection is offered by the Gath helmet.

Some might want to crap on the reasonableness that a helmet might offer (due to its perceived uncoolness), I have to emphatically say, screw the simple minded airheads that think sensible concerns and appropriate protection isn't a worthy practice and a resonable thought to consider.

I don't think a reasonable person would ultimately side with the fool on this.

Last edited by steveC; 18th July 2008 at 09:10 AM.
steveC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th July 2008, 08:56 AM   #19
GEM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 67
Default

I rarely do this, SteveC,...but it's DR. Moore to you.

Your posts have been unbelievably arrogant and based on your anecdotal experience and observations, and not facts. I retract my compliments to you as a poster.

I do agree with your views on surfing, and in fact wondered about / recognized that I know of no good data on the forces that waves (of various size) can impart on a surfer. I have no doubt that I'm not as good a surfer as you, but I have been driven to the bottom and been caught on the wrong side of a board as a wave crashed onto it and me and the shore. There is a lot of power there, not usually in velocity but more in inertia...and on a hard bottom (or object like a board) the right wave could ruin your day.

As to what I wear, it depends on conditions. Most of my sailing is inland lakes, often Great Lakes, and on lightly powered days I wear a Tilley hat (no protection except from sun). Above about 6.0 conditions, I wear a snowboarding helmet. Many people have expressed doubt regarding the 'whiplash' thing, and I've so far not experienced it - anecdotal report.

When I asked the Snell Foundation about helmets, as I said there said there is no windsurfing (or equivalent) standard. When I volunteered snowboarding as a surrogate, the reply was that it was probably as good as anything given the special needs of light weight, water resistance, etc.

You have adopted logical perspective, given that there IS NO STANDARD (including the Gath), which is that some protection is better than none. And some protection in this case is, I agree, very likely to provide some modest head protection against the majority of blows to the head. But the Gath has very little crush zone (which is the main factor in preventing concussion); it does have pretty good coverage, it does have a hard shell, it does have facial coverage (if you get the visor). So for light and/or glancing blows, it works. For heavy impacts like the one you had long ago, it's not going to do the job.

So stop your raging SteveC. None of us said that windsurfing is too dangerous (not likely on a board manufacturer website!). What those of us who disagree with you is that, based on the shock-absorbing characteristics of the Gath, it is not adequate to protect the head against high energy impacts involved in windsurfing, and possibly/probably not for surfing either. The Gath will protect the head from many, and probably most, bumps and scrapes in these sports. That view, not the one that the Gath is a great helmet for windsurfing and surfing, is the best opinion.

Is that "junk", as I said? Well no, perhaps I overstated the case. For minor and low kinetic energy impacts, the Gath is probably a good compromise with the other factors in surfing sports. But if you really get whacked, it's junk.
GEM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th July 2008, 03:12 AM   #20
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thumbs down

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveC View Post
I'm up for a final comment, particularly because of poster #17's opinion here.

If following Mr. Martin's (GEM's) point of view, even with the possible protection that the Gath helmet might potentially offer, there's absolutely no real guard against a serious injury. What in essence he's saying is that windsurfing is too dangerous a sport to participate in, as that there's no sufficient life threatening protection can be provided in the activity. To be fair with Mr. Martin, the context was a serious life or death kind of situation.

Moving to poster #17's comment, the stats so liberally stated seem to suggest that there's a .01% percentage of chance that a windsurfer would sustain a serious head injury in the sport. Of course, that doesn't take into account a "non-life threatening" concussion, simple scalp or head injuries that might involve a hospital visit or any untoward or financial outcome that might be involved. One has to wonder whether a Gath helmet might sensibly mitigate this type of inconvenient result. This is a relative "no brainer" type protective measure in my opinion, particularly with an excellent and thoughtful product like the Gath helmet.

Frankly for the sport to gain interest and strength, folks don't want to be told that they're always facing a life threatening circumstance while participating. Quite honestly, I really don't think that they are. Nevertheless, with an untoward outcome possibility in the conditions, or even possibly risks coming out of the sky from careless kiters, I think that some real degree of sensible protection is offered by the Gath helmet.

Some might want to crap on the reasonableness that a helmet might offer (due to its perceived uncoolness), I have to emphatically say, screw the simple minded airheads that think sensible concerns and appropriate protection isn't a worthy practice and a resonable thought to consider.

I don't think a reasonable person would ultimately side with the fool on this.
Actually, the point of my post (#17) was that WINDSURFING IS SO SAFE YOU DON'T NEED A HELMET. GEM's point was that, in the extremely unlikely situation where you DID need a helmet, the Gath would not protect you.

It's funny - I also gave you props for some extremely reasonable posts a few months ago (regarding surfing/stand up paddling). I thought perhaps I had misjudged you, but here you are reverting to the rambling incoherent hostile meltdown style that characterized your posts in the TVR thread. Guess I was right about you the first time.
  Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
None

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +7. The time now is 04:32 PM.