Surfing with a Helmet: Safety First

Hey wave riders! Ready to rock the gnarliest swells while keeping that noggin’ safe and sound? It’s time to dive headfirst (literally!) into the wonderful world of surfing with helmets. Follow your epic guide as we tackle reasons to ride with a protective dome, bust some helmet myths, and give you the inside scoop on the coolest gear on the surf scene. So, strap up and let’s get rolling on this tubular ‘Surfing with a Helmet

Surfing with a Helmet: Safety First

Surfing with a helmet significantly improves a surfer’s safety by providing head protection against potential impacts with the board, reef, or other fellow surfers. Wearing a helmet can also create a sense of confidence, aiding in enhancing the overall surfing experience. In recent years, advances in technology have made surfing helmets more comfortable, stylish, and user-friendly, making them an essential piece of gear for wave riders who prioritize safety and performance.

Why Rock the Helmet?

For some, the thought of wearing a helmet while surfing might seem a bit offbeat or even dorky. But let’s get real for a second: the waves don’t care how rad you look, and neither does the ocean floor when you get a little too acquainted with it. When it comes to safety, it’s all about taking the essential precautions to keep riding those swells for years to come. So why should you rock the helmet?

Preventing Head Injuries

Top on our list is preventing head injuries. From gnarly wipeouts on shallow reefs to a wayward fin making contact with your melon, there’s no shortage of ways to get injured while chasing that epic ride. Bumps, bruises, and scrapes aside, a strong impact to your head can lead to concussions, skull fractures, or other severe injuries that could cause lasting damage. A helmet provides an essential barrier, absorbing and dispersing the impact energy, significantly reducing your risk for serious head injury.

Boosting Confidence

Helmet? Check. Confidence? Double-check. Knowing you have that extra layer of protection can make all the difference between going for that big drop and hanging back in fear. With your brain bucket firmly secured, you can worry less about unseen hazards and focus on what really matters: riding those awe-inspiring waves and immersing yourself in the adrenaline-pumping world of surfing.

Leading by Example

Being a trendsetter isn’t just about sporting the latest gear or having the sickest ride. Sometimes, it’s about being part of a revolution: a movement towards a safer, more progressive surf culture. By wearing a helmet and advocating for proper safety measures, you’re not just looking out for yourself – you’re influencing others to step up their safety game, too. So go ahead, strut your stuff out there, and you might just be surprised at how many people will follow suit!

Choosing the Perfect Surfing Helmet

Before you slap a big “SOLD” sign on that used surfboard for sale, it’s essential to know what to look for in a top-quality surfing helmet. After all, your gear is only as great as the sum of all its parts, and when it comes to choosing the perfect surfing helmet, the stakes are high. So, whether you’re rocking a brand-new stick or a seasoned favorite, here’s what to consider when selecting your new noggin-guardian:


A helmet that doesn’t fit properly is about as useful as a wet towel in a wipeout. To get the snug fit that ensures maximum protection, you’ll want to measure your head’s circumference just above your eyebrows. With your measurements in hand, follow the sizing guide provided by the manufacturer. If possible, test the helmet before you buy – it should fit snugly without any movement or pressure points, leaving enough room for a comfortable neoprene hood if needed. And of course, always opt for adjustable chinstraps and padding to dial in that perfect fit.


Gone are the days of bulky, cumbersome helmets that felt like dragging an anchor while catching waves. Today’s surfing helmets are made using lightweight, high-performance materials that deliver the perfect balance of comfort and protection. Look for helmets that incorporate an outer shell made of ABS plastic for strength and durability, with an inner liner made of either EPS (expanded polystyrene) or EPP (expanded polypropylene) foam to absorb impact energy.


Lets face it, surfing with a steamy head is never fun. To avoid overheating, look for helmets with proper ventilation, including strategically placed vent holes and channels that allow airflow without sacrificing protection. Some helmets even have removable ear flaps for added ventilation and ease of hearing while riding.

Compatibility with Other Gear

Before purchasing a surfing helmet, make sure it plays well with the rest of your gear, including wetsuits, hoods, rashguards, vests, and even action cameras. In a perfect world, your helmet should easily integrate with these items and work harmoniously, allowing you to focus on scoring those sick tubes instead of constantly readjusting your setup.

Top Surfing Helmets on the Market

Years ago, finding a stylish, functional surfing helmet would’ve been like searching for a needle in a haystack. But with the growing surf safety movement, advancements in technology and increased demand, we now have a broader and more appealing range of helmets to choose from. Here are some of our favorites:

Gath Gedi Convertible Helmet

As one of the most popular choices, the Gath Gedi Convertible Helmet comes with all the bells and whistles for the ultimate in comfort, protection, and style. With its ABS plastic shell, EPS foam liner, multiple vents, adjustable ear guards, and compatibility with action cameras or other accessories, this helmet is perfect for the surfer who wants it all.

Pro-Tec Ace Water Helmet

Dishing out a sleek, retro design while providing high-quality protection, the Pro-Tec Ace Water Helmet features an ABS plastic shell, EPP foam liner, adjustable chinstrap, 16 ventilation holes, and removable ear flaps. Both functional and stylish, this classic design is perfect for those looking for a streamlined option that doesn’t skimp on safety.

Slyde Soft Top Surf Helmet

If you’re after a minimalist and feather-light approach, look no further than the Slyde Soft Top Surf Helmet. While it might not provide the same level of protection as a hard-shell helmet, its EVA foam construction is designed for soft-top surfers and smaller waves, with a focus on comfort and user-friendliness. With its low-profile design and soft, flexible foam, this helmet is perfect for riders that ease into safety gear without sacrificing mobility and comfort.

Don’t Forget the Leash!

A helmet might be the star of the safety show, but it’s crucial not to forget about the unsung hero of surf safety: the leash. From keeping your board always within reach to preventing collisions, a quality leash is essential to staying safe in the surf. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when choosing the right leash for your needs:


As a rule of thumb, your leash should be approximately the same length as your surfboard. For example, if you’re riding a 6-foot shortboard, opt for a 6-foot leash. This will provide enough space to prevent the board from bouncing back at you during wipeouts while preventing the dreaded ankle drag when you’re out in the lineup.


Leashes come in various thicknesses, with beefier leashes being more durable and suited for larger waves or reef breaks. Thin leashes are lighter and less cumbersome, better suited for smaller waves and performance-oriented surfers who want the least possible drag in the water.


Nothing disrupts your flow like a tangled leash. Make sure your leash features a swivel (or two) in order to prevent kinks and twists, maintaining a hassle-free session and reducing the likelihood of leash breaks.

Ankle vs. Calf Attachment

The decision to attach your leash to your ankle or your calf really comes down to personal preference. Ankle leashes are more common, but calf leashes are often preferred by longboarders, as they move the leash further up the leg and out of the way during footwork maneuvers.

Surfing Safe and Style – A Match Made in Surf Heaven

Safety doesn’t have to be boring or uncomfortable – and if anything, surfing with a helmet should be the epitome of cool. By choosing the right gear, prioritizing your protection, and evaluating your equipment, you’re paving the way for a lifetime of stoked-out sessions, knowing you’re putting your best (and safest) foot forward. So, whether you’re rocking a killer board you scored on used surfboards for sale or sporting top-of-the-line gear, always remember: safety first, shred on!

Additional Surfing Safety Tips

While helmets take center-stage in the surf safety game, it’s important to remember that there are other ways to level up your safety and ensure you can keep carving those waves for years to come. When you’re not browsing for used surfboards for sale, take a moment to check out these additional surfing safety tips:

Surf Safely with a Buddy

There’s an old adage that says, “there’s safety in numbers” – this rings true for surfers, too. Not only is surfing with a buddy a lot more fun, but it also ensures someone is there to lend a helping hand should anything go wrong. So, grab your surf pals and hit the waves together, knowing that you’ve got each other’s backs!

Stay Aware of Your Surroundings

Situational awareness is your BFF when it comes to surf safety. Be mindful of rips, currents, and other surfers in the water. It’s important to educate yourself on the local surf spot, potential hazards, and local marine life. Respect the ocean and its power, and never push yourself beyond your limits.

Know Your Limits

We get it – it’s tempting to push yourself to ride that big, juicy wave. But knowing your capabilities and limits (and sticking to them!) will help keep you safe in the water. As your skills progress, gradually venture into more challenging conditions with confidence and restraint.

Always Warm Up Before Hitting the Waves

Surfing puts a lot of stress on your body, especially when you’re attempting those more advanced maneuvers. To prevent strains, sprains, or any other unwanted ouchies, give your body some good TLC with a proper warm-up and stretching routine that targets key muscle groups. This pre-session ritual is sure to keep you feeling limber and relaxed on the waves.

Conclusion: Life’s a Wave, Ride with Confidence and Style

There you have it, our complete guide to ‘Surfing with a Helmet: Safety First.’ By now, you should be well-versed in the importance of head protection, how to choose the right helmet, essential leash tips, and an arsenal of additional surf safety pointers. So go ahead, ride the wave of surf-safety wisdom and share it with friends, as there’s never been a better time to catch neat rides with confidence and style. And remember, whether you’re sporting a gently-loved treasure from the used surfboards for sale or the latest and greatest performance board, keep that head protected, and surf safe!

FAQ: Surfing with a Helmet and More

Still have some burning questions about surfing with a helmet, safety, or general surf gear? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Check out our frequently asked questions to have all your surfing safety concerns answered.

1. Are helmets really necessary for surfing?

While not required, helmets are highly recommended for those who want to prioritize safety while surfing. They provide protection against head injuries that could occur during wipeouts or collisions, and can significantly reduce the risk of serious head trauma.

2. How do I know what size helmet to buy?

Measure the circumference of your head just above your eyebrows and consult the sizing chart provided by the helmet manufacturer. It is important that the helmet fits snugly and securely while remaining comfortable.

3. Can I wear a helmet at surf competitions?

Yes, most surf competitions allow the use of helmets during competition heats. In fact, many events, particularly those involving young surfers or more hazardous conditions, actively encourage helmet use for increased safety.

4. Will a surf helmet affect my performance?

A properly-fitted surf helmet should have minimal impact on your performance, providing an optimal balance between protection and mobility. Modern helmets are designed to be lightweight and comfortable, allowing you to focus on catching waves and improving your skills.

5. Can I attach a camera or other accessories to my helmet?

Many surf helmets are compatible with action cameras and other accessories. Check with the specific helmet model or brand to ensure it meets your needs and requirements for attaching accessories.

6. How often should I replace my helmet?

It’s generally recommended to replace a surf helmet every three to five years, or sooner if the helmet has experienced any significant impacts or sustained visible damage.

7. Can I wear a hat or hood under my surf helmet?

It is possible to wear a thin neoprene hood under a helmet for added warmth or sun protection. However, pay attention to the fit, ensuring that the helmet stays snug and secure on your head, and there’s no interference with its overall protective capabilities.

8. Are surf helmets only suitable for beginners?

No, surf helmets are suitable for surfers of all skill levels, from beginners to advanced riders. Everyone can benefit from the added safety and protection provided by a helmet in the surf.

9. Do I need a different type of helmet for different surf conditions?

While some helmets may be designed specifically for certain conditions, most surf helmets are versatile and provide protection in a variety of surf environments. Select a helmet based on overall protection, comfort, and personal preference.

10. Can I share my helmet with friends?

Although sharing helmets is possible, it is generally not recommended, as helmets should fit securely to each individual’s head. Moreover, sharing helmets may lead to hygiene concerns or risk damaging the helmet’s components.

11. How do I clean and maintain my surf helmet?

Clean your surf helmet with fresh water and a