darin shapiro

Are helmets necessary for kids who wakeboard? By Darin Shapiro World Wakeboarding Champion

darin shapiro

Darin Shapiro wakeboarding
Pic: Meddock

Should kids wear helmets while wake boarding? This is a much more debatable topic than you might think!

Their are some risks for kids wearing helmets wake boarding and for this reason several brands no longer make them for water sports.

First, this article is meant to shed some light on the issue and help the parent decide whats best for their child.

With the idea that your child may bang their head against something a helmet is a fantastic idea. With cable parks using kickers, rails and other wakeboard obstacles it makes a lot of sense to have a brain bucket on.

Thats all pretty straight forward but, here is the debate.

It is possible for a rider to fall and have the helmet bucket over the back of their head while the chin strap gets pulled to the front of the throat and chokes them. This is called bucketing and is a pretty scary thing to see happen to a kid!

Kids who ride behind the boat primarily are not forced to wear helmets as it is a rule at the cable park.

Small children are more susceptible to hitting the board with their head because the boards are much bigger compared to them than adults. Adults and bigger kids have more distance form the board so it is less common that they get struck in the head by the board.

As a rule I have kids that are shorter than the height of their board always wear their helmet.

I have my child wear a helmet that is quite snug with little play on his head. I keep the chin strap snug as well. A loose helmet and chin strap I believe lends itself to easier bucketing.

Put the helmet on your child on dry land and play with different sizes and adjustments to figure out the best fit that helps you avoid bucketing.

Again this is an argument that is highly debatable and I don’t have an answer. I hope you having more information may help you make safer choices for your child.