10-18-2007, 09:43 AM #1
GATH's LEVEL OF PROTECTION LETTER
this was posted on another site as a responce from gath on their helmets use ...(this may be more suitable in the protection forum...)
Thank you for your email - and for writing directly to us to get a "heads
up" on the level of protection provided by a Gath.
I have attached a "Level of Protection" document, which may help explain the
considerations from our point of view.
After you have read this document you will understand :
1) There is only one internationally recognized Standard for a watersport
and that is EN1385. This Standard is a whitewater standard for canoeists
and paddlers in water classes 1-4, Classes 5-6 being outside the scope of
the Standard. It is inappropriate to apply this Standard for all
watersports - and we have given some of the reasoning for this in our
2) Gath helmets are not designed for high speed impacts against fixed
solid objects - like a seawall - nor, for that matter are most helmets which
are designed primarily for use in and on the water. It is also true to
state that whilst some may have higher levels of direct head impact
protection, they may fall down in other vital areas - such as fit - and
therefore stability. A helmet that does not afford a stable fit, will
shift more on impact and may fail to protect the rider, or indeed it may be
hazardous for other injury mechanisms.
3) By nature of design in today's marketplace - a helmet that affords
higher levels of direct impact protection will be heavier and more
voluminous than a Gath. For many riders, particularly those in surfing
sports, this is entirely unsuitable. Such a helmet will have more drag,
with continuous wear often resulting in neck ache and head "wrenching".
The helmet could also be potentially hazardous for the "scoop" or "bucket"
effect - widely know to cause neck and spinal injury upon impact with the
water - particularly from height or at speed. This is what we mean by a
"trade off". A measure of impact protection, for a lightweight snug
fitting helmet with maximum stability, that still offers a reasonable degree
of protection from a wide range of injury mechanisms likely to be
encountered in and on the water, without by its own design causing
additional concerns for safety.
4) It may be of interest to to note that many surfing, kitesurfing and
windsurfing riders are still choosing not to wear any head protection
whatsoever because they do not like any amount of extra drag nor even the
most minimal head wrenching, claiming that even the wearing of a Gath can be
problematic in this regard. Whilst we strive to give that balance of
protection, and our helmets are claimed by many to be just the perfect
combination.......it seems to be impossible provide the answers for all.
5) It is also pertinent to state that it should not be assumed that
because a helmet shell cracks upon significant impact, it is less than
optimal for impact protection. Impact protection is primarily afforded by
the liner system of a helmet, the extent of coverage, fit and retention -
all these criteria work together to determine the ability of a helmet to
protect the head from injury. Today's plastics are tough, lightweight and
resiliant. For this reason, they are used widely by many helmet
manufacturers - including the makers of helmets for the snow, which are
accredited to higher levels of impact standards testing. It is also
relevant to note that many of today's car bodies are manufactured using high
impact plastics, which are design to deform upon impact, performing better
in impact testing than some of the earlier, more rigid bodied cars, produced
from metal compounds.
10-18-2007, 11:53 AM #2
Full Face Snell/FIA/DOT approved for me.... imo the Gath does not offer enough protection
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