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If you’re planning to go kayaking for the first time, you may be probably asking yourself, can you use a bike helmet for kayaking? This article has the answers.
Can you use a bike helmet as an alternative for a kayak helmet? Can a bike helmet provide the same level of protection as a kayak helmet?
You can’t and you shouldn’t use a bike helmet for kayaking. The design, coverage, shape, and sturdiness of kayaking helmets and bike helmets are too different, for a bike helmet to protect your head properly and effectively when you are kayaking. So, always stick to a kayaking helmet.
In this article, we will explore the possibility of using a bike helmet as an alternative for a kayak helmet when kayaking. So, if you are going kayaking for the first time and you are wondering whether you can use a bike helmet, then this article will answer all your questions.
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Very few outdoor activities provide a complete experience and adventure as kayaking. It provides an opportunity to get closer to nature. While kayaking, you will be able to explore various sights and enjoy stunning sceneries, which are mainly inaccessible via other means.
Also, kayaking will help you to relax and unwind. Whether you are exploring a hidden shoreline or kayaking off a high waterfall, kayaking will allow your mind and body to relax and unwind. Furthermore, kayaking provides you with a chance to get away from your normal busy and chaotic lifestyle, meaning it can also help to alleviate stress.
So, whether you are looking for peace and serenity or you are after a heart-stopping, roller coaster of an experience, you can never go wrong with kayaking. And, it’s ideal for people of all walks of life.
However, even as you enjoy the amazing benefits that kayaking offers, it’s important to ensure you are wearing safety gear at all times. And, a helmet is one of the key safety equipment that you should wear while kayaking.
Importance of Wearing a Helmet when Kayaking
Kayaking is a high-intensity and risky water-based activity. And, safety is paramount when participating in such activities. Wearing a helmet is one of the most effective methods of protecting yourself while kayaking, if you happen to get involved in an accident.
Just like wearing a personal flotation device or PFD, you should never go kayaking without putting on a helmet. And, you should always have one on, regardless of the kayaking you are doing, whether it’s touring, adrenaline kayaking, whitewater kayaking or simply relaxed kayaking.
If properly worn, a helmet can be a life-saving piece of equipment, in the unfortunate situation when you capsize, fall overboard or even get hit by another kayaker accidentally.
Accidents can happen anytime when you are out there in the water. And if you accidentally capsize and hit your head against a blunt or hard object, you may suffer a serious head injury, if you don’t have a helmet.
And, head injuries aren’t something you should play around with. You may end up getting disoriented, making it hard to safely get back to your kayak. Also, the injuries may end up putting you out of commission for a couple of weeks, if you suffer a serious one. Simply put, it’s important to ensure you invest in a well-fitting helmet and wear it all times whenever you are kayaking.
Can You Use a Bike Helmet for Kayaking?
Wearing a helmet is a vital safety requirement whenever you are kayaking. But can you wear a bike helmet when kayaking? No, it’s not advisable to wear or use a bike helmet when kayaking. And, this all comes down to the nature of risks a kayaker will face compared to a cycler.
Both cycling and kayaking can lead to serious head injuries, whenever a serious accident occurs. And as a result, it’s recommended to wear a helmet during both activities, to protect both from the potential head injuries they may get when engaged in these two activities.
However, the nature of head injuries that the participants of these two activities can get are slightly different. For instance, if a cyclist is moving at high speed and they happen to be involved in an accident, the helmet will allow the cyclist to slide along the surface, without scraping or seriously injuring their head.
Usually, this type of helmet is designed to take only a single blow. After that, the helmet should be replaced. In short, cyclists mainly face getting injuries to the side of the head during an accident. Also, their helmets are designed to take a single blow, after which they should be discarded.
Kayakers, on the other hand, face potential head injuries from almost all directions. For instance, they may be injured by rocks falling off a cliff as well as submerged rocks and various other rugged elements present in the water, if they fall overboard or the boat capsizes.
Also, kayakers face potential head injuries inflicted by low-hanging tree branches. So, even if the kayaker may not fall in the water, they still face other serious risks, which could lead to head injuries.
To this end, helmets designed for kayaking are built to take repeated blows from various directions. And for this reason, they are built to be tougher, compared to conventional bike helmets.
Therefore, you should never use a bike helmet for kayaking, under any circumstances. Bike helmets are not properly equipped to provide comprehensive head cover and protection during kayaking.
Types of Helmets Used for Kayaking
Without a doubt, it’s important to wear the right type of helmet when you are kayaking. So, if you are planning to go on a kayaking expedition, you need to purchase. Currently, there are three main types of helmets for kayaking that you will find on the market. They include half-cut helmets, full-cut helmets and full-face helmets. Each type of helmet is designed for specific kayaking activities. Let’s take a closer look at each of these helmets.
Half-cut Kayaking Helmets
When worn, this type of helmet will sit above your ears. It’s mainly designed to provide head or skull protection. Also, its design allows easier and faster water drainage. Half-cut helmets can be used in almost all types of kayaking, including sea kayaking, light whitewater kayaking and kayak touring.
As its name suggests, a full-cut helmet will provide more head protection, compared to its half-cut counterpart. It covers the entire head as well as ears. Also, this type of helmet offers a secure fit.
The main issue with this type of helmet is that it will reduce your ability to hear those around you, since it will also cover your ears. Hence, it’s not ideal for kayaking as a group.
Full-cut helmets are mainly designed for whitewater paddling. Also, they are the ideal type of kayaking in an area that poses various risks and hazards, since it offers more protection.
These kayaking helmets are designed to provide maximum protection. This type of helmet will cover and protect your entire face, your jaws, and ears, as well the crown. If you will be kayaking in dangerous and risky conditions where there’s a possibility of injuring your face or head, then you should get this type of kayaking helmet.
How to Wear a Helmet Properly and Safely when Kayaking
A helmet will only provide you with adequate protection when you are kayaking if you have worn it properly. Here are some tips on how to wear a helmet properly when you are kayaking, to ensure maximum protection.
First, you need to wear the helmet in such a way that it leaves a maximum width of around two fingers above the eyebrows. This way, your temples and forehead will be adequately protected.
Second, you should ensure the chin strap is securely tightened. Ideally, you shouldn’t fit more than two fingers between the strap and the chin.
Wearing the right kayaking helmet will considerably increase your chances of having a safe trip. And, this means you should never use a bike helmet or other alternatives for kayaking. So, if you are planning to go on your first kayaking trip, make sure you invest your money on a high-quality, kayaking helmet.