Helmets are such a huge part of our lives, but we really never notice how many we actually own or see on a daily basis; yet helmets play a big role in protecting us from what could potentially bring harm. They are life saving accessories that we think nothing more of after purchase, like the rest of our gear we need to put on, for whatever it is we are doing.
Snowmobiling, bicycling, motocross, hockey, rock climbing, horse racing jockeys, demolition derby, sports players, parachuting, military, construction workers, welders…and the list goes on and on. Some are a necessity of life because of an injury or illness such as people who have Grand Mal Seizures.
This habit of protecting our noggin is carved in our minds at an early age when most parents tend to have a total meltdown about head gear…for example, our first ice skating lesson, or our first attempt at riding a bike. “Put you helmet on. Did you put on a helmet? Where’s your helmet?”
Helmets are definitely the first line of defense against injury and is such a much needed protective gear…but it’s also a personal accessory. A helmet can tell a lot about a persons behaviors, style, life and more.
I took this picture a few weeks back when I was snowmobiling with a group of friends from Nova Scotia who had come to experience a northern Maine ride; and we stopped to eat at a local restaurant, that is a major attraction for snowmobilers in Saint-Agatha, way up in northern Maine. It really got me thinking about how personal choosing head-gear really is. Not only must it fit correctly, serve a purpose, but there is so much thought that goes into choosing such a piece, such as: fit, function, color, extras such as visors, shields, warmth, ratings and I could go on and on. We spend hours researching what type, what kind, safety ratings, consumer comments…and in the end, it boils down to the question….Does this helmet serve the purpose and does it represent who I am?
There are so many questions that need to be answered when selecting a helmet. Do I need or want Full Face, Open Face, Modular, Off-Road, Flip-Up, Hi-Viz and so on. Then there’s color, style, function…it can be downright tiring trying to choose the perfect one. But once you find it, then it becomes a matter of personalization. I mean seriously, does this helmet make me look fat? Just kidding, but you get the picture.
Helmets have been around for centuries! They were used in combat and date as far back as 900 BC. Even back then they were formed, molded and shaped into symbols representing tribes, rank and loyalty. They served one purpose and that was to protect the head and serve as a piece of decorum for self-expression. Most family crests and coat of arms depict a helmet on top as part of the crest within the Mantling. Even our fictional superheroes adorn their costume with helmets…like Batman, Captain America and Iron Man to name a few.
It’s all about individual style and taste. This black and pink braids helmet belongs to John in New Hampshire. Yup, JOHN, who is 64 years old and describes himself as a young man in an old mans body who is thankful he can still snowmobile and states he wears this to raise awareness for breast cancer. It’s personal and begs people to question his choice, so he can rebel his cause.
Robert Gardiner from Team Maine Racing, and multi-title winner of the Iron Dog Snowmobile Race, the longest and toughest snowmobile race in our hemisphere, adorns a topo map of the north-west portion of the state of Maine and his race number on his helmet.
Tom from Maine loves his Maine made carbon helmet with his custom wrap from a company in Massachusetts. Says his helmet is lightweight and warm.
John and Diane, two good friends of mine from northern Maine, have similar helmets, but in order to tell them apart, she opted for a Betty Bop graphic and Marvin the Martian for John. The colors match their gear and sleds and its an expression of their personalities and humor.
Dan from Massachusetts likes his personalized, helmet which he customized and got it hand painted by Luke Dobie.
And then there’s my better half, who even on the job, is thinking about play, safety and protection all wrapped into one.
My good friend Chuck, well he doesn’t mix words.
It’s all about choice, style and performance. How many times do we see something in our daily lives and think nothing more of it then a fleeing thought of “Oh wow, that was a pretty cool” or it catches our eye for a split second and we wish we had been that clever or thought or found such a prize. When we see it, we never think or have a serious discussion about the safety rating of that helmet, or if it’s the latest and greatest, or the cost of it, and so on. Nope, we think, that helmet was really ‘COOL’.
So just like I wrap my sled to customize my look and my personality…Helmets are a great billboard display into the soul of an individual. It says a lot about what excites them, challenges them and so on.
Next time you see a really cool helmet, send me a picture, I just love the originality of individual choice.
Be safe, have fun and put on your helmet!