Buy a Flyaway Helmet, Get a Free Concussion!
or How To Look Cool in a Helmet.

helmet teaser

Not that kind of concussion. Yeah, you aren’t cool if you wear a helmet. If you have to wear one, you want to try to look cool right? There are a couple ways to approach this, but before I get sidetracked. This post was supposed to be about yesterday when I watched my friend Steve take a hard slam that rung his bell but good. In the middle of an otherwise ordinary session he bailed in a medium sized bowl and did the classic “land back on your board to Wilson” which resulted in his head slamming back into the bottom of the concrete transition. I could tell by the way he hit that his helmet wasn’t going to help much. Keep reading to find out how to look cool in a helmet and how to get a concussion while wearing one.

It's a parade of helmets!

How to look cool in a helmet.

Method One: The Corporate Billboard Skateboarding’s dichotomy: Corporate America sucks, but it’s cool to plaster stickers and stencils of skateboard corporations on everything you own as well as stuff other people own. Buy a helmet with a graphically arresting corporate logo or put a ton of stickers on it. Pretty much the path of least resistance.

Method Two: FTW! That’s right. The man wants me to wear a helmet, but I don’t have to buckle it. I don’t care! I’m crazy. Watch me man, I’ll do it! I don’t care how stupid I look clutching my head after I slam and my helmet has whipped off.

Method Three: The Dork Session. Wherein you use helmets that weren’t made for skateboarding such as the construction hard hat, the odd hockey helmet, the toy helmet or some other bizarre accoutrement with negligible safety values. Note, the bicycle helmet does not count. No matter what. You will look like a complete ass without any sense of irony. Unless you are Peter Hewitt or somebody. Also part of the dork session method is putting ridiculous stickers on it or otherwise modifying it with plastic toys, spikes or whatever.

helmet wackiness

Method Four: The Fake Dork Session. Helmet companies have have started to capitalize on the dork session by manufacturing helmets that look like you are ready-mades. See the fake baseball batting helmet and the genius, but rare fake German infantry/biker helmet that is hard to pull off (not literally..) Thanks for the picture tip on the Bad Lieutenant MC.

German Helmet

Method Five: OG Flyaway (with free concussion!) This will only make you look cool in an already uncool circle of people. You’ll be king of the geeks though. Getting back to Steve, he slammed on the back of his head, an area noticeably deficient in the design of the Flyaway. It’s almost as if the helmet was designed to let you hit the back base of your skull on purpose. These helmets showed up some time in the late 70’s full of airbrushed fiberglass glory. They looked excellent, in the Bill and Ted sense. Some time in the eighties they underwent a slight form factor change, but were still made from fiberglass. This model was not quite as short. Later still in the 80’s they got even rounder and made switch to ABS plastic for the shell. These tend to look like a bowling ball. Rumor has it that they were bought by a rollerblade company and/or disappeared in the 90’s. As late as 2004 you could still coax some N.O.S. out of Mike McGill’s skate shop but it was a process that took months.

I’ve gotten at least one, but possibly two concussions, both wearing my trusty Flyaway helmet second generation fiberglass model. The first one I woke up as I was being walked into my house. Seems I had hit my head on my backyard ramp and my roommates walked out there to discover me laid out. As thoughtful as they were, they still let me go to sleep on the couch right away. Thanks guys. The second one was after a horrific slam in Klamath Falls that would have surely left me a drooling vegetable or dead had I not been wearing a helmet. In any case, the Flyaway probably disappeared because it wasn’t very functional in protecting the back of the head. After seeing Steve’s slam I think I am going to buy a different helmet. Of course, my Flyaway was sitting on the deck as I skated yesterday. Don’t tell my mom.

Method Six: Let your skating do the talking Don’t worry about what their people think. Take Dan Huges who recently appeared in as a punch line in an article in Thrasher, with the caption “Skatenerd”. Whatever. He doesn’t care and rides harder and higher than a lot of you, even in his full face helmet. That’s not him in the small collage above, but he is below. Dan, send me a better shot and I’ll post it.

Dan Hughes in Thrasher -Skatenerds article

36 Comments

  1. Day Reah on August 4, 2006 - Reply

    Conformists trying to be “core” by going helmetless. If you really are core you wear whatever the fk you want. Can I get a “hey what”?

  2. Think of it as evolution in action.

  3. I hope Steve is okay though. I wondered why he didn’t show at West Linn this morning. Head injuries are no joke. People who are good skaters occasionally die from head injuries. Just put the damn thing on every time and pretty soon you’ll forget about it.

  4. Yeah, he’s ok. A better helmet might have protected him better. That’s kind of the point of this post, believe it or not. If you can’t laugh at death though, what can you laugh at. My defense mechanism in cases like this is inappropriate humor.

  5. dude i skate wearing a giro bad lieutenant snowboarding helmet and ive only had people say dope things about it. its just a bad-ass looking helmet. other than it gets hot cause its got no airholes it rocks!

  6. mc, you are living your own words right there after that Newberg concussion yesterday. Imagine that situation sans helmet! Or how about with chin strap unbuckled, like the cool guys out there? All the inconvenience of wearing a helmet and none of the protection when it flies off their head during a slam. But at least they’re sticking it to The Man, right?

    –SKot

  7. sometimes it’s nice not wearing one. other times i will wear one regardless of rules (donald).

  8. No helmet is designed to prevent a concussion so flyaways are just as good as any other helmet in that area.

    They’re theer to prevent you from cracking your skull.

    Flyways do cover the back of your neck when your head goes back, check one out (protec style helmets hit your shoulder!)

    Fiberglass is stonger and lighter than plastic.

    Go to rip city to see the new Kanoa Flyaway now made in California

  9. Hmmm. I stand by my satement that the old Flyaways are not the best of designs. If you are falling backwards your head tends to be tilted towards your chest, exposing the lower part of your skull in the old flyaway.

    I’d like to see the new ones. What/where is Rip City?

  10. marshall on October 29, 2006 - Reply

    Well I, tested a Kanoa Flyaway helmet for coverage (again). It covers your skull entirely ! It hits the ground, not your head. You just have to test these out for yourself .

    Rip City is in Santa Monica (dogtown)in CA 310 828 0388
    They’ve got 3 in stock or … you can order one custom at no extra charge! Choose your color(s) including all pearls and metallics and regular, medium or super slim side foam (my favorite). You can even get a custom “airbrush” too. Turnaround is now 9 days

    All custom order customers have been very happy with their helmets

    If you’ve been waiting for a brand new flyaway call Rip City and order one, the wait is over.

  11. my dad makes me wear 1, and its so uncomfortable and i feel like a dork wearing one. But, i only have 2 wear it around the house because when im at a skate park or skating somewhere else, my dads not there and i just ditch my helmet in the woods or sumthin, and i dont feel like a dork anymore.but when i am at the house skating, i use method 1 and cover my helmet with a bunch of stickers.

  12. nweyesk8 on July 15, 2007 - Reply

    you will really feel like a dork when you crack open your head and spend the rest of your life with a nurse wiping the shit from from your ass and the drool from your lips.

  13. Marshall on July 17, 2007 - Reply

    Believe it or not.

    Folks who have flyaways are so comfortable in them they forget to take them off.

    They wear them driving their cars!

    They actually feel cool in their helmets, not like dorks.

    I sayed it!

  14. Alex Sanchez on August 18, 2007 - Reply

    To begin with; The concept of being cool is the dumbest most crippling concept society could have come up with. So many people limit their actions, taste, and entire life just to fit in a mold that does not allow you to truly enjoy skating or even being yourself.
    How about just putting a lid on and protection and being able to really push your own limits. Most pros wear helmets at least when they are trying something new.
    Brake the mold peeps, create your own style.

  15. nweyesk8 on August 18, 2007 - Reply

    your just saying that to be cool….

  16. I just came back from skating the new Vancouver park and I was the only guy there wearing a helmet out of like 20 other people (skaters and bmx-ican).
    pros and good skaters don’t wear helmets (and mags don’t show skaters with helmets) so kids don’t want to wear one.

  17. Keith Richards is cool, Sanchez I bet you are really un-hip.

  18. Marshall on August 24, 2007 - Reply

    Lots of vert pros wear helmets and will take them off for photos.

    I

  19. Van den broeck Stephaan on October 26, 2007 - Reply

    In 84, I dared a friend into learning a sweeper. He went 1st, put too much weight on his back foot, flipped over and fell head first to the floor. 4 days in coma was the result and he was wearing a helmet! A couple of days later, another pall fell while bailing on a frontside air..brought him to the hospital with a severe concussion.He was wearing his helmet too!!Both times I had to call the parents to inform them about the accident, big fun!!
    Now, 2007, I still skate with both guys, something that surely wouldn’t have been possible if they hadn’t been wearing their Protecs! To me, skating unprotected isn’t cool, it’s just plain stupid! I rather skate another day as a dork, than look cool in a cast or worse, a wheelchair.

  20. valdemir on January 19, 2008 - Reply

    pessoal é sensacional saber que esse capacete voltou a ser fabricado.podem me passar inderessos aonde o tenha pra vender?obrigado!

  21. I don’t wear my helmet because of so much pressure. But now my parents are forcing me to wear one, and therefore I’m not skating. How am I supposed to get a girlfriend (that i actually like) wearing helmet. I’d be the only one wearing one. I don’t know what to do. Please help.

  22. well, things like that may matter alot to you, but its not until youve actually seen one of your buddies go down and fall into a coma, happened last month to a friend of mine, and I witnessed it. It was enough to make me and the other 7 of us buy them.

    Just act confident, and use it when you need it, if you’re skating down to a friends house you dont need it, but if you’re going shredding with all your friends. you need it no exceptions bro

  23. yeah Dan nice Ballard Shirt.. Just saw Tobin wearing one of those the other day.. I got the Ballard hat, but missed out on the Ballard Per shirt!!

  24. I was wearing a skatepark rented shortbus lookin helmet when I ended up going head first doing a simple roll in I’d done easily before. Probably about a 6 foot drop with all my weight centered right on the center of my skull. Like a human dart. I got up and shook it off and realized how lucky I was. If I wasn’t wearing that goofy ass helmet, I’d be dead or goofy. I hated it and it looked retarded but it saved me and I never complained about it again. That being said, I rarely/never wore one if it wasn’t enforced. I don’t believe in rules but I wonder how many more people feel like this.
    Is there ever some way to make it cool to wear a helmet?
    No one wants laws but if your gonna ollie a stair or something couldn’t that be ok to wear a helmet?

  25. Miguel C on March 14, 2011 - Reply

    I am pretty sure that if it keeps just 1 person from getting seriously hurt OR It keeps just 1 person from looking uncool then everyone should continue to argue their respective points of view regarding whether you should or should not wear a helmet while skateboarding. Skate or Don’t!

  26. Miguel C on March 14, 2011 - Reply

    My avatar forgot to wear his helmet in that picture. I may or may not have to talk to him about that?!

  27. masterochicken on March 15, 2011 - Reply

    It’s no wonder nobody wheres a helmet. Recently I fell going down a hill going at least 30 mph. Wrecked my body, but luckily I was wearing a helmet. Now my two friends who were there with me were giving me shit all night over that helmet. And you know what? They were still giving me shit.

    Next week at the skate park one of them falls on the 3 ft. transition and receives his SECOND concussion. When I mention how a helmet probably would have prevented that, they start telling me how helmets are for pussies. Geniuses.

  28. It the helmet companies pooled together and started offering photo incentives to pros and the magazines, I wonder how quickly perceptions would change?

    • masterochicken on March 16, 2011 - Reply

      Pretty quick. It’s pretty uncool NOT to wear a helmet in longboarding because of this.

  29. Hey, in the late 70’s early 80’s i had a subscription to
    skateboarder magazine and every pro skater in the mag was wearing helmets and they made it look cool. which got me to wear a helmet, BUT,,,,!
    yes the pro skaters always wore their helmets, knee/elbow pads,and gloves etc.and still looked cool wearing them but when i was looking at the pro skaters in skateboarder magazine, the Coolest thing i was focused on was all the pro skaters Boardslides,Aerials,handplants,rock n rolls,alley oop etc..
    that.
    i dont care who you are, if you wear a helmet and if you can pull off a nose blunt to a fakie on a 20 foot vert wall, no one is gonna be looking at your helmet ill tell you that. they will be blown away by the tricks a person pulls off and to me THATS COOL!

  30. Had a high speed downhill wreck last weekend…..
    ….and my FLYAWAY Helmet SAVED MY LIFE!!!

    Pulled a Coleman Slide @ 40+ (frontside powerslide ish), with a stinkbug stance going way to fast and lost control. Flipped mid air and landed on the back of my head.

    Because of the FLYAWAY design, the fiberglass flexed and absorbed the energy from the hit. IF I HAD BEEN WEARING A HARD FOAM HELMET, I WOULD HAVE BEEN HOSPITALIZED.

    I am very grateful for Marshal @ FLYAWAY for making a quality, safe product.

    DONT BE A CHEAP ON CRAP HELMETS!!!! NOT WORTH YOUR LIFE!!!

  31. if youz fall on your head hard enough, no got damn helmet is going to save yer floppin’ by the drain ass.

  32. nickys68chevy on July 2, 2014 - Reply

    in the spring of 96 or 97 i was practicing backwards
    criss-cross slalom when i clipped my left front wheel with my right rear wheel (rollerblades) and did a backwards swandive, i hit the back on the flyaway on the pavement, then got up and went home. i managed to put a crack in the helmet shell, but no damage to me.

    they work for me, but on the gripping hand some people might be too aggressive for the helmet.

  33. Bryce reynard on July 4, 2015 - Reply

    I’ll vouch for the Flyaway. I had one back in the eighties. Got a new one about 3 years ago. It’s always been WAY more comfortable than the alternatives ( especially sine I need a XXL ). If it’s in your budget- I recommend it.

  34. Comments about a vintage helmet style on a post that is almost vintage by now. I’ve actually been thinking about picking one of these up.

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