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To helmet or not to helmet while bouldering?
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Sep 19, 2016
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?
varunr89
From Madison, Wisconsin
Joined Aug 7, 2014
10 points
Sep 19, 2016
"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!
FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Joined Nov 19, 2009
284 points
Sep 19, 2016
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. Peter T
Joined May 1, 2016
16 points
Sep 19, 2016


Get some hi-top climbing shoes as well!
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
From Portland, OR
Joined Sep 26, 2013
1 points
Sep 19, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: bouldering
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... Nick Goldsmith
From Pomfret VT
Joined Aug 23, 2009
352 points
Sep 19, 2016
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. Em Cos
From Boulder, CO
Joined Apr 21, 2010
11 points
Sep 19, 2016
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:

Will S
From Joshua Tree
Joined Nov 15, 2006
1,377 points
Sep 19, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: snow peak
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.
Sanllan
Joined Aug 21, 2014
142 points
Sep 19, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: snow peak
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. Sanllan
Joined Aug 21, 2014
142 points
Sep 19, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Sitting on Rock
Is this discussion actually happening? How do people ... forget it ... keithconn
From LI, NY
Joined Jan 1, 2015
35 points
Sep 19, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Birds and Beards
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
kevin deweese
From Oakland, Ca
Joined Jan 14, 2007
304 points
Sep 19, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Avatar
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.
Alex Rogers
From Sydney, Australia
Joined Sep 9, 2010
39 points
Oct 7, 2016
I like to picture my baby Jesus wearing a golden fleece helmet bouldering... more like a golden fleece lined halo helmet Kevo
From South Lake Tahoe
Joined Aug 25, 2012
6 points
Oct 7, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Summit of Tiffany Mountain, Okanogan County, WA.
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. Gavin W
Joined Feb 19, 2015
129 points
Oct 8, 2016
If someone would develop a helmet that looks like a beanie it might be accepted... TBlom
Joined Jun 29, 2004
426 points
Oct 8, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Gear
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.....


RockinOut
From NY, NY
Joined May 8, 2010
106 points
Oct 8, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Gyroscope (photo: Bryan Wilson)
If you feel it is prudent to wear a helmet bouldering, then surely you wear one when driving your car. Yes? Alex Bury
From Ojai, CA
Joined Jun 29, 2012
2,037 points
Oct 8, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Myself on top of Niblock in the Canadian Rockies
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.
Ryan Pfleger
From Chico, CA
Joined Sep 10, 2014
5 points
Oct 8, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Gyroscope (photo: Bryan Wilson)
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.
Alex Bury
From Ojai, CA
Joined Jun 29, 2012
2,037 points
Oct 8, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Myself on top of Niblock in the Canadian Rockies
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.
Ryan Pfleger
From Chico, CA
Joined Sep 10, 2014
5 points
Oct 8, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Gyroscope (photo: Bryan Wilson)
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. Alex Bury
From Ojai, CA
Joined Jun 29, 2012
2,037 points
Oct 8, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Gyroscope (photo: Bryan Wilson)
Bouldering is fun, no need to denigrate it... Alex Bury
From Ojai, CA
Joined Jun 29, 2012
2,037 points
Oct 8, 2016
Alex Bury wrote:
If you feel it is prudent to wear a helmet bouldering, then surely you wear one when driving your car. Yes?

Lots of people slip and fall every day on wet or slippery floors, sidewalks, etc.
SO..maybe everyone should just wear a helmet all the time so they don't get concussed?
cragmantoo
Joined Mar 5, 2015
170 points
Oct 8, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Gyroscope (photo: Bryan Wilson)
cragmantoo wrote:
Lots of people slip and fall every day on wet or slippery floors, sidewalks, etc. SO..maybe everyone should just wear a helmet all the time so they don't get concussed?


Somewhere on here there was a recent post on just that. Hopefully someone can find the link. The main idea was this: pedestrians are statistically at higher risk of a head injury than bicycle riders, so pedestrians should be encouraged to wear helmets. It was a serious article.
Alex Bury
From Ojai, CA
Joined Jun 29, 2012
2,037 points
Oct 8, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Gyroscope (photo: Bryan Wilson)
"At long last logic prevails....Intense promotion of walking helmets for pedestrians has begun".

copenhagenize.com/2009/08/walk...
Alex Bury
From Ojai, CA
Joined Jun 29, 2012
2,037 points
Oct 8, 2016
Alex Bury wrote:
"At long last logic prevails....Intense promotion of walking helmets for pedestrians has begun". copenhagenize.com/2009/08/walk...

Lots of injuries occur indoors as well, so should just wear a helmet all the time.
What if you fall out of bed or getting up to pee? Maybe you should sleep in a helmet, too....
cragmantoo
Joined Mar 5, 2015
170 points


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