To helmet or not to helmet while bouldering?


Original Post
varunr89 Ramesh · · Bellingham, Washington · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 10

I started off as a sport/trad climber and have seen holds breaking, rocks tumbling from the top of the cliff and mistakes happening. Therefore, my default has always been to wear a helmet when I go climbing. Period. More recently, I've started bouldering outside and noticed that I'm the only one ever wearing a helmet.

Is there something wrong in wearing my helmet while bouldering?

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 15

"Do I want to protect my skull or not?" Does that help? :)

Edit: I think this is a personal decision that should not be influenced by what other people think. Including me!

Peter T · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 10

I don't think it's needed at all if you have a pad and a spotter but I guess it can't hurt if that's your preference... I think people will continue to give you funny looks though.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air · · Portland, OR · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 0

https://youtu.be/lVN_hQPalBo

Get some hi-top climbing shoes as well!

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 15

if you are going to boulder seriously just hit yourself in both ankles and feet with a hammer. get it over with. sTupid sport INMOP. know and seen too many injuries. you can't go climbing and have fun if you break your foot practicing for climbing...

Em Cos · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 0

Won't hurt to wear it, might help. Falls can be fatal from as little as 10 ft. when your head impacts the ground. You're not tied in with anyone else, so it's completely up to you. I suggest deciding based on your own personal risk tolerance and cost/benefit analysis, not on what others may think.

Will S · · Joshua Tree · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 998

People, including me, will make fun of you for regularly (as opposed to weird special cases)bouldering in a helmet. Don't listen to us, do what you need to feel safe.

I know of at least two people who died in short bouldering falls after smacking their head. That said, I've never worn a helmet bouldering, even though I rarely climb on a rope without one these days.

I ran into this guy out at Gunsmoke some years ago, so you're not alone in protecting your noggin when bouldering:

llanSan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 0

I also wear my helmet while bouldering; To compensate their lack of guts, Boulderers are natural bullyes.

I was used to get bullied by other climbers (that's how boulderes call themselves), hurtful words where daily yelled, getting spit in the face, and even old stinky climbing shoes threw to myhead was common practice.

I still needed their colaboration to cover my back and that is why I endured all the bullying. untill one day the cup was filled and i found a way to stop it. I laid on the crashpad and marked my body with sharpie. then I cut the crashpad all over the mark untill i got a prototype, a shadow of my body. to add movement to my shadow friend I did some cuts on every limb and tide some velcro straps so i can attach my shadow budy to my back and get 100% covered.

Every now and then when i´m bouldering on my own, we come across with some boulderers and they start to criticize my shadow budy (I now call him FRED), saying is to heavy and that it limits movement. I challenge them to climb a multipitch trad line and after a brief description of the how you do it (gear and limiting movement you have), they just silently back off.

llanSan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 0

Hey will, thats me before i created FRED. I think I still have the shoes you threw at me. FRED is now starting to climb, after years, he is tired of just spotting. he's been using your shoes.

keithconn · · LI, NY · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 0

Is this discussion actually happening? How do people ... forget it ...

kevin deweese · · Oakland, Ca · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 200
Nick Goldsmith wrote:If you are going to boulder seriously just hit yourself in both ankles and feet with a hammer. Get it over with. Stupid sport IMO. Know and seen too many injuries. You can't go climbing and have fun if you break your foot practicing for climbing...
FIFY
Alex Rogers · · Sydney, Australia · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 15
Sanllan wrote:I also wear my helmet while bouldering; To compensate their lack of guts, Boulderers are natural bullyes. I was used to get bullied by other climbers (that's how boulderes call themselves), hurtful words where daily yelled, getting spit in the face, and even old stinky climbing shoes threw to myhead was common practice. I still needed their colaboration to cover my back and that is why I endured all the bullying. untill one day the cup was filled and i found a way to stop it. I laid on the crashpad and marked my body with sharpie. then I cut the crashpad all over the mark untill i got a prototype, a shadow of my body. to add movement to my shadow friend I did some cuts on every limb and tide some velcro straps so i can attach my shadow budy to my back and get 100% covered. Every now and then when i´m bouldering on my own, we come across with some boulderers and they start to criticize my shadow budy (I now call him FRED), saying is to heavy and that it limits movement. I challenge them to climb a multipitch trad line and after a brief description of the how you do it (gear and limiting movement you have), they just silently back off.
Thank you sanllan - that was beautifully surreal.
Kevo · · South Lake Tahoe · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 0

I like to picture my baby Jesus wearing a golden fleece helmet bouldering... more like a golden fleece lined halo helmet

Gavin W · · Surrey, BC · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 23

If you're going to wear a helmet to protect against hitting your head, a climbing helmet isn't your best choice, because they are only designed to protect against impacts from above. Either get a helmet rated for both climbing and skiing (eg. Grivel Salamander) or get a BMX helmet.

TBlom · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2004 · Points: 95

If someone would develop a helmet that looks like a beanie it might be accepted...

RockinOut · · NY, NY · Joined May 2010 · Points: 0

Just get a beanie with D3o in it....best of both worlds. Climbing with a beanie on with no shirt, yet the protection of a big bulky helmet.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKQxDoXqc_I

Alex Bury · · Ojai, CA · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 1,873

If you feel it is prudent to wear a helmet bouldering, then surely you wear one when driving your car. Yes?

Ryan Pfleger · · Chico, CA · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 0
Alex Bury wrote:If you feel it is prudent to wear a helmet bouldering, then surely you wear one when driving your car. Yes?
If you wear your seatbelt will encased in thousands of pounds of protective metal and airbags while going a lifetime without crashing your car, then surely you see the wisdom in taking whatever precautions available when engaged in an activity where you fall to the ground many times in a day. Yes?

I don't wear a helmet bouldering. But yeah, its probably a reasonable idea. If you want to don't let anyone stop you.
Alex Bury · · Ojai, CA · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 1,873

No. Just because you drive like grandpa doesn't change anything. Driving is dangerous, and I've known a few people who died in auto accidents. Not a single person I've known has ever died bouldering (although it sounds like someone upthread has known someone).
I've seen some statistics on head injuries while driving, and the risk is quite high. So if you find it reasonable to boulder with a helmet, I'm assuming you find it reasonable to drive with one too.

Ryan Pfleger · · Chico, CA · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 0

Because I haven't wrecked my car I drive like grandpa? Can I assume you climb like grandpa?

I haven't looked at statistics of head injuries bouldering (I doubt reliable data exist), or driving, but I am willing to make a guess that the per hour of activity risk while bouldering is probably equal to or higher than that of driving. Willing to be shown evidence to the contrary though.

Alex Bury · · Ojai, CA · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 1,873

You can assume what you want, but downplaying the danger of auto accidents while providing your anecdotal evidence of "well Ive never crashed my car" is dumb. Like, wearing a helmet while bouldering, dumb.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply