Skimo Helmet Hacks

Man has it been a long time for this blog. My apologies. It’s ben a ho-hum Winter in a lot of ways. But never mind that, Winter is returning, racing has been in full swing, and it’s time to get back on the horse.

This past weekend was Skimo National Championships at the Wasatch Powderkeg in Brighton, UT. Race report is to come soon, but in the meantime, I thought I’d share a few small hacks for goggles and helmets in skimo. Enjoy!


Skimo Helmet Mods

Helmets for skimo in the US tend to be lightweight climbing or bike helmets being repurposed for racing. These meet norms UIAA 106 and/or EN 12492, which are ratings for impact from above. In Europe, the ISMF now requires ‘dual certification’ helmets that are certified for both climbing and skiing impacts, adding EN 1077 standard for side and rear impact.

Regardless, most helmets kinda suck for skimo racing. Most helmets don’t hold goggles well, and if the helmet is adequately ventilated for racing, then they’re basically¬†made to fog your goggles.

These are my two solutions for the problems of fog and of holding goggles:

Goggle Shield

It’s imperative to create a space on your helmet where your goggles can rest during climbs. Keeping them on your face isn’t usually on option, as sweat will fog the goggles. Yet, on most helmets, lifting the goggles onto the front of the helmet places them over vent holes that will fog them nonetheless.

My solution is to create a shield over the front holes of my helmet, here a Petzl Meteor III, with tape.

Leukotape coverig the front vents of a Petzl Meteor III to protect goggles from fogging during skimo climbs.

I cover the front holes using a very sticky and durable tape. Pictured is Leukotape, a non-stretchy physiotape that is crazy sticky and conveniently wide. I’ve also used Gorilla Tape with success. Cover just enough vents to provide a vent-free zone for your goggles to rest.

Goggle Attachment

What can’t zip ties do? Our goal is to fix the goggles to the helmet so that the strap doesn’t slide off at a bad time, and we can be sure that our goggles will remain in our possession when we crash spectacularly.

I like to fix my goggles to my helmet with zip ties in 4 places. When placing the zip ties, I like to make sure that the sharp cut ends will end up outside of the helmet.

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After sizing my goggle strap and centering it across the back of the helmet, I fix the rear in two places using 8-10″ zip ties.

Zip tie attaching goggles to the lowest and most posterior vent possible.

Then, I fix the goggles to each side with another zip tie. I use the lowest vent on the side, which conveniently is also the one closest to the back. Placing the zip tie too close to the front of the helmet makes for an awkward angle when you put the goggles on your face. The further back, the better.

NO! Don’t trap the hemet suspension system with the zip tie. This tie should be behind the plastic suspension.

When sneaking zip ties onto the helmet, be sure not to trap the helmet suspension system. Slip the zip tie behind the plastic so that the suspension moves freely.

Finally, snug the zip ties so that they lay flat to the helmet and cut the tails leaving 1-2 mm free as insurance. Then go out and have fun racing.

The author, having fun at the end of a long teams race, with goggles fog-free.

Category: Gear & ReviewsSkiingSkimo

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