Wear Your F***ing Helmet
Kincade Pavich // September 6, 2019
Ripping Bikes in Rotorua, NZ with Protected Domes
It’s difficult to title this article without a crude adjective before the word “helmet”, as it’s just so ridiculous that I live in a world where this article even needs to be written. We live in a society where many athletes are choosing “what’s cool” over their own safety. There are a lot of different studies regarding helmets and their effectiveness, but the general consensus seems to be helmets reduce the risk of brain injury by somewhere within the ballpark of 80% versus not wearing one.
So why on earth are some the world’s greatest athletes setting an example for the new generation by posting rad edits with nothing more than a beanie and goggles? Why does Nyjah Huston’s most badass skate edit showcase him slamming his dome on the concrete in slow motion as if it’s awesome? Why do I feel like the odd one out when I go to the skate park and decide I want to protect my brain?
There are some sports that have it right. If I showed up at the bike park or the motocross track without a helmet, I’d get called out for not having one. This is how it needs to be in every sport. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve slammed my head so hard snowboarding that I may not be here had I not been wearing a helmet. I remember the one time I did go to the skate park without a helmet I had a silly fall that ended up with my head on the concrete.
This may be harsh and controversial, but when I hear of an athlete who sustained a serious head injury without a helmet on, it always feels like a “well what did you expect..?” type of moment. Sure, it sucks, it’s sad, and I’d never wish that upon anyone. But by not wearing a helmet, athletes are directly acknowledging the increased risk in the sports they do. I don’t want to see my friends or anyone else hurt pursuing the sports they love due to not wearing a helmet. I’m tired of seeing articles about athletes who suffered brain trauma or worse because they were too stupid to protect their dome. Yes, that’s harsh. But apparently it has to be as nothing and nobody else seems to be getting the point across.
The sad part about the lack of helmet wearing is that there never seems to be a good reason for it. I’ve heard from a couple people “it’s not as comfortable”, but for the most part it truthfully seems to be a matter of either lack of thought or because it’s not the cool thing to do. For some it’s a matter of cost, as helmets can undoubtedly be pricey. It’s always hard to make an investment you don’t see the immediate return on. When buying a helmet, the thing people need to realize is the investment truthfully is your brain. If you value your ability to walk, talk, eat, laugh, love, do the sports you love and just live your life the way you want to, put a helmet on your head and call out the next person you see who doesn’t have one on.
As for professional athletes, they need to realize they have a responsibility as role models. They aren’t just competing and filming at the highest level of their respective sports – they are directly influencing the younger generations of athletes. I can assure you there’s a correlation between the number of pros wearing helmets and the number of amateurs wearing helmets. Protecting your head is the “cool thing to do”, and everybody needs to realize that.
This is one of those topics that’s really tough to change, but change has to start somewhere. One helmet at a time… I hope to see a day when everyone’s head is protected – from the ski hill to the skate park to the road.
Please, please, please do yourself and your mom a favor and wear your f***ing helmet.