Ski Helmet Standards
When purchasing a helmet, read the accompanying literature to see if the helmet meets one
of the three following helmet standards:
The Common European Norm (CEN) is a large European standard organization that develops
hundreds of standards for various products used by the European Union. The CEN 1077
standard is the European ski helmet standard; it was issued in 1996. This European ski
helmet standard was almost identical to a pre-existing ski helmet standard used in the
1980s. Compared with the other ski helmet standards, the CEN standard is the least
demanding in impact management requirements.
The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), a not-for-profit organization that
provides a global forum for the development and publication of voluntary consensus
standards for materials, products, systems, and services, adopted a United States'
recreational snowsports helmet F2040 standard in May 2000; it has become the standard to
which helmets should be manufactured in the United States. Ski and Snowboard helmets
manufactured in the United States should conform to the ASTM snowsports helmet
standard. For more information about ASTM, log on to www.astm.org.
Lastly, the Snell Memorial Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to research,
education, testing and development of helmet safety standards, develops helmet standards
and operates test labs for testing and certification. Since its founding in 1957, Snell has
been a leader in helmet safety in the United States and around the world. (For more
information, log on to www.smf.org). The Snell RS-98 standard is the most stringent ski
helmet standard in the world.
Note: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) endorsed the use of
snowsports helmets in January of 1999. (For the document, go to www.cpsc.gov, under
library/FOIA, click on consumer-related statistics, then click on skiing helmets, at bottom).
The CPSC noted that while the then proposed ASTM standard (the ASTM Standard wasn't
adopted until May 2000) and the CEN standard may differ in test parameters, a helmet that
meets either of the standards "will provide adequate protection to reduce the risk of head
injury." The Snell standard, presumably, would be considered adequate as well since it's the
most stringent of the three standards.
Information courtesy of LidsonKids.org.