I’ll admit it: For the first nearly 20 years of my snowboarding life, I never wore a helmet. Back in the day, while the benefits of head protection were obvious, the construction was still a little wonky for me; heavy and huge, helmets made me feel like a cross between a bug and an astronaut. Or maybe a bobble-head doll. Plus: nerdyyy.
About three seasons ago, though, I came in extra hot at the bottom of a run, caught an edge in some spring slush and rang my bell so hard I seriously worried I had a mild concussion. (I did not, thankfully, though the ego was plenty battered.) Once I calmed down and called it a day, I immediately went on a hunt for a lid.
While the one I wound up with was as light as my mountain bike helmet, and had a great top-of-helmet dial system for tightening and loosening the fit and made me feel way better about bombing a hill, it didn’t quite mesh with my goggles, and trying to have a conversation even on the chair was almost impossible; the ear flaps just weren’t perforated enough to hear.
Super dangerous, n’est-ce pas?
This year, it was time for an upgrade to the Smith Pointe helmet. It’s light as a feather, integrates with my Giro Field goggles seamlessly and is constructed with a Bombshell PLUS shell plus a Multi-Impact EPP liner — the MIPS technology that helps to reduce rotational forces when you smack your dome at an angle.
Plus, Smith offers a three-year Crash Replacement Program: If you have a nasty slam and need to trash your helmet (which you should even if you can’t see visible damage), you can contact the company and they’ll send you a new one. While this shouldn’t be taken as encouragement to ride recklessly just because you’re wearing head protection, it speaks to Smith’s commitment to keeping riders safe, which, personally, really resonates.
The 13 vents in the Pointe should keep all systems comfortable while riding, with the two slits just above the brim — lacking in my previous helmet — providing that little extra airflow needed to help keep fog at bay.
To top it off, the liner is made with Smith’s X-Static material, which is 99.9 percent pure silver (i.e., anti-microbial as hell, and therefore on the barely-there end of the stink spectrum). If you don’t want to gag every time you put your helmet on, this is key.
Besides, less static means better hair when you hit the mid-mountain bar for après, amiriteguyz?
More from GrindTV