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Hydrofoil Concussion Protection

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LakeMiKiter
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Hydrofoil Concussion Protection

Postby LakeMiKiter » Mon Dec 06, 2021 8:26 pm

Wondering if anyone has experince with helmets or protective caps for reducing Concussions in falls off the Hydrofoil? I have been riding the hydrofoil for 2-3 years but this fall took a few bad spills in big conditions.

I have been riding large waves this fall and have taken a few falls that have resulted in concussion's after hitting the water hard. First fall came from running down a 3m wave and falling frontwards and hitting the water hard with the top of my head. Got a pretty good concussion from that one. The second was more minor and came from the classic backwards hydrofoil dismount that had me smack the back of my head hard on the water. Useually just get a little whiplash from this type of fall but this fall resulted in a minor concussion too. They were about 3 weeks apart so the head could have still been healing from the first big hit.

Does anyone have experience with the new Mystic Impact cap or the classic Gath Surf helmet? I was leaning towards ordering a Gath but I would mostly wear it in cold weather and I think it could be tough fitting it over a 5-6 mill hood. Which lead me what appears to be the new Mystic Imapct cap that looks similar to a rugby type helmet. I would appreacite any feedback the community has to offer.
gath.jpg
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Mystic Impact Cap.jpg
Mystic Impact Cap.jpg (19.67 KiB) Viewed 1214 times

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Re: Hydrofoil Concussion Protection

Postby jakemoore » Mon Dec 06, 2021 9:05 pm

I'm wearing the Gath and although it looks a little goofy I think its the ideal surf helmet for no bucketing and reasonable impact protection both from water and board impacts. I guess you would have to get the right size to fit your neoprene hood.

I have tried a rugby scrum cap and the wind noise in the holes was out of control. I can't comment on the Mystic specifically. Ultimately a big wind blew the scrum cap away when I left it on the roof of my car for a moment. That little neoprene visor looks like a nice touch that would offer some shade and not torque your neck.

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Re: Hydrofoil Concussion Protection

Postby leeuwen » Mon Dec 06, 2021 9:42 pm

I am quite happy with the forward wip wiflex pro.
It’s a sort of sturdy foam material.
It is extremely comfy fit and works both with and without a hood for me (it is a one size fits all).

I did have some quality issues with the chin-strap velcro thing for softer feel but I just removed it.

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Re: Hydrofoil Concussion Protection

Postby Herman » Tue Dec 07, 2021 12:08 am

If you can, I would recommend that you try the Gath Gedi as well as the Gath surf hat with your neo hood. It will all be personal but I prefer the Gedi if I need a thick neo beanie.

In summer I wear the Gecko surf hat which is similar to Gath surf hat. The Gedi I have is an older model but I think the concept remains similar. The Gedi may have more protection but a little more bucket effect?

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Re: Hydrofoil Concussion Protection

Postby downunder » Tue Dec 07, 2021 10:09 am

is this a joke?

After so many pages (like 100), u asking for helmet experience... One search is all u need.

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Re: Hydrofoil Concussion Protection

Postby Flyboy » Tue Dec 07, 2021 5:38 pm

A concussion impact from hitting the water? Really? I always wear a helmet when foiling. I don't when I'm on a SB (unless it's cold). I've had my share of violent impacts from foiling - mostly face plants. I'm not sure whether a helmet helps in those situations ... I think it actually makes it worse due to the bucket effect. I have had a few instances where the board hit my head. It happens very rarely ... but it does happen. Those instances are why I wear a helmet. I will say that I was once hit hard in the face by the board - the helmet didn't help.

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Re: Hydrofoil Concussion Protection

Postby merl » Tue Dec 07, 2021 5:54 pm

Do you really mean concussion? From hitting the water? I got a lot of whiplash (unfortunately some chronic minor neck pain) so I moved from a helmet to a rugby hat to reduce the weight and volume.

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Re: Hydrofoil Concussion Protection

Postby LakeMiKiter » Tue Dec 07, 2021 8:26 pm

Absolutely, I recieved a concussion from hitting just the water. I would not have thought it was a probable outcome after kiting for 10 plus years but it happened twice in about 3 weeks. Now this is not in moderate conditions twirling around calm water in a sea breeze. I was out in 25-30 knot conditions riding a 4m kite in 3m waves. Speeding down a 3m wave face in these conditions I was probalby traveling around 40 kph fell frotward over the board down 1.5 meters to the water surface head first.

Now in relation to searcing the forum for helmets there is not one prior reference to concussions related to hydrofoil crash's so I believe this is a good new topic. In addition, I believe the manufactures see this as an issue / market as I see that both Mystic and Ride Engine have released these new soft type impact caps for foiling.

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Re: Hydrofoil Concussion Protection

Postby Flyboy » Tue Dec 07, 2021 8:49 pm

I know the impact from hitting the water off a foil is "surprisingly" hard sometimes ... but doesn't really seem like concussion hard. I've never really experienced a concussion effect in 30 - 40 knots of wind on a TT or SB when jumping high. I could certainly imagine it from mega looping impact that would be way more violent & concussion doesn't seem like a common outcome even there.

LakeMiKiter
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Re: Hydrofoil Concussion Protection

Postby LakeMiKiter » Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:48 pm

The conditions you reference are different. When riding a twin tip strapped in what are the chances you are going to absorb the impact of the crash with your head? When crashing from a jump you are most likely to break the water with your board or your shoulder. On a surfboard without straps you can certainly fall forwards and go face first but you are closer to the water and traveling at a considerably slower speed.

Concusions are a result of the deceleration of the brain within your skull. Certainly hitting a hard object will result in a quicker deceleration but hitting a hard object is not necessary for a resulting concussion. I think the concussion risk with hydrofoils is magnified due to a number of factors unique to hydrofoiling. I have ridden a surfboard and twin tip for a long time and suffered plenty of hard hits but have never had the neck snaping crashes that can be somewhat common on the hydrafoil. Up until recently I have only had minor whiplash as a result of these types of falls but in year 3 I finally found a crash severe enough to result in a concussion.

Now I'd be the first to admit that the likely hood of recreating the condition that resulted in my concussion from just hitting the water may not be routine but after it has happened I'd say the risk is greater than I would have imagined 2-3 years ago when I started foiling.


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