If you are a US citizen, you know one thing about skateboard helmets that they are designed differently than bike helmets. However, skate helmets are less frequently used than bike helmets. There is even a smaller number of helmets designed for line skating and roller skating.
The main difference among the various skate helmets and full face mountain bike helmets lies in their safety requirements and in design criteria. There are also some compulsory federal regulations for each type of sports which needed to address in helmet design.
According to the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) of the United States, all the bike helmets are needed to comply with CPSC safety measurement standards. Other types of helmet may need to comply with different voluntary standards of other individual organizations. According to the Bike Helmet Safety Institute, you need to look for a skateboard helmet that also meets with the ASTM F1492 standard. A lot of skateboard helmets you can find that only comply with the bicycling helmet standard. These helmets are not for skateboarding as it will fail to provide the safety required for various types of skating.
Difference in Design Criteria
A bike helmet varies according to materials and design. As it bikers are less expected to be crashed than skateboarders, bike helmets are designed with less resilient material and thinner, but harder foam compared to the skateboard helmet. A bike helmet is designed with a sound ventilation feature because bikers tend to do a lot of urban riding and different mountainsides and they need ventilation to their head to keep it cool while protecting from possible impact damage. These helmets are designed to the safe top, forehead, as well as the back of the head as the impact, may come from many sides to any places.
Skateboard helmets are designed to provide full coverage of your head and individual coverage to the back. These helmets are designed with solid construction with less or no ventilation feature as skateboarders do not require much ventilation to their head.
One of the main differences between a skateboard helmet and the bike helmet is impact resistance. Skateboard helmets are made with solid materials with softer foams inside which are good enough to tackle multiple impacts before you need to replace it. However, these helmets are not sturdy and hard enough to repel extreme force. Bike helmets are made from hard materials with hard EPS grade foams shells inside to repel one impact of extreme force. This accident can happen, and the effect may come from other motor vehicles. For this reason, you may replace your bike helmet after that single collision.
If you are a line skater or a roller skater you need a CPSC certified helmet. Line skating and roller skating are quite similar to bike riding, and they crash less than skateboarding but might get more severe injuries.
Another important feature that differentiates skateboard helmets and bike helmets are the helmet padding on the back for back head coverage. Skateboarders are more risked to have an impact on the back head multiple times. That’s why all standard and ASTI certified skateboard helmets have an extra helmet padding on the back to protect the back of the head.
Is It Ok to Wear Only One Helmet?
Simply the answer is yes if you chose the right one for your need. From the above information, it is clear that, if you ride on the bicycle a lot you need a CPSC certified helmet and if you skateboard a lot then you better choose a helmet that is certified by ASTI. However, the question here is what a person should do, if he/she loves to ride a bike as well as loves skateboarding? Well, if that is the case, then that person does not require buying two different helmets. Instead, he/she can buy a helmet that is certified by both ASTI and CPSC. Certification from both ASTI as CPSC means you are good to go with riding and skateboarding as much as you want!
From the above discussion, we believe you have understood the actual difference between a skateboard helmet and a bike helmet. So, when you go for buying a helmet, you can choose more wisely. However, whatever type you want, make sure you are getting a certified one. A certified helmet will protect your head from impact damage, and you will be safer on your skateboard or bike.