Top 10 Best Surf Helmets | 2020 Reviews (Gath, NP, Pro-Tec)

For the majority of surfers around the world, wearing a surf helmet might seem like a ridiculous idea. However, what most surfers do not realize is that many deadly surfing accidents might be avoided with appropriate headgear. It’s not that different from wearing a helmet while on your bike if you think about it.

If you are a surfer, think about getting hit in the head with a surfboard or striking up against a shallow reef headfirst. These are the things that might knock someone out, leaving them susceptible to drowning and austerely injured.

Suffering severe head trauma might leave you with irreversible damages, which in comparison with looking cool out in the summer, are not worth it.

Surfing helmets have been around for a long time now. It has been used in competitions, especially in harsh conditions by professional surfers.

Having a surf helmet if you’re out in extreme weather is a smart choice.

Best Surf Helmets: Top 10 Picks

These are, in our opinion, the best surf helmets you’ll find out there.

  1. Gath Convertible Surf Helmet
  2. Gath Helmet and Retractable Visor
  3. Gath EVA Sport Hat Helmet
  4. Gath Neo Sport Helmet
  5. NP Watersports Surfing Helmet
  6. Tontron Adult Multi-Sports Helmet
  7. Pro-Tec Ace Water Helmet
  8. Pro-Tec Full Cut Water Helmet
  9. Aropec Watersports Safety Helmet
  10. Gath Gedi Helmet

#1. Gath Convertible Surf Helmet

Gath Convertible Surf Helmet

This is one of the most famous surfing helmets out there, and it features the most lightweight, UV stable, high impact resistant, and long-lasting plastic combined with multi-impact, and proof visors non-spongy foam lining.

The very same non-water absorbent foam is also being pressed in the comfort strips, which line the inside of the helmet for an extra cushion.

Furthermore, the quick-release buckles a great addition as they add secure retention and are coated with foam and nylon for strap comfort too. The helmet’s ear protectors might be detachable, which is perfect for those who are surfing in different weather conditions.

These space-age, sweet style helmets may come in a wide variety of colors and certainly make surging with a helmet way cooler than you may imagine.

Specifications: 

  • Its unique fitting system may provide an amazingly snug comfortable suction cap fit, which is ideal for punching through waves.
  • Designed for the surf –the lightest helmet available all over the world
  • 270 to 305 grams
  • EN 1385 Approved
  • SLSA Approved
ProsCons
Highly trusted surf helmetsSizing problems
Very durable
Reasonably priced

#2. Gath Helmet and Retractable Visor

Gath Helmet and Retractable Visor

Gath Retractable Visor Helmet –a surfing helmet, which easily crosses over into the sport of water skiing, kayaking, and whitewater rafting. This is an ultra-futuristic style of helmet, which comes in different colors for all the preferences.

Furthermore, it also has a substantially modifiable, shatterproof, and high impact plastic, transparent visor, as well as a non-water absorbent foam lining for great ease. The visor may offer 98% of ultraviolet ray protection from the sun and even protection from harsh ocean and saltwater spray.

Also, it comes equipped with similar quick-release buckles and detachable ear protectors as with some other kinds of Gath helmets.

With a fantastic fit, the Gath Retractable Visor surf helmet is an amazing choice for those who want all-around protection from different elements.

Specifications: 

  • Sleek design
  • High-quality, transparent visor
  • Ultra-futuristic style
  • UV, harsh saltwater, and ocean protection
  • EN 1385 Approved
  • SLSA Approved
ProsCons
Good for hot weatherSizing issues
Detachable ear protectors
Sorta pricey
Adjustable, shatterproof
Sleek, ultra-futuristic style
Highly trusted surf helmets

#3. Gath EVA Sport Hat Helmet

Gath EVA Sport Hat Helmet

This is yet another amazing Gath helmet –that prides its self on being very lightweight, simple, and low volume. Even though the helmet is essential mostly for surfing, enthusiasts of kayaking, skydiving, and some other extreme sports also enjoy it because of its protective, yet aerodynamic design.

The adjustable forehead foam protection and audio vets of it are just some of the auxiliary features, to this pro product. It is made from the very same high-impact, high-quality foam and plastic lining as the Gath convertible and is just the same in terms of toughness.

Furthermore, you may even get so creative with its flexible comfort strips, constituting them to your ideal feel and fit. With a range of colors, you’re bound to find a distinctive style, which will suit you the best!

Specifications: 

  • Aerodynamic design
  • Adjustable forehead foam protection and audio vets
  • EN 1385 Approved
  • SLSA Approved
ProsCons
Unique style
Sizing problems
Highly trusted surf helmets
Reasonably priced
Very durable

#4. Gath Neo Sport Helmet

Gath Neo Sport Helmet

This surf helmet boasts a UV stable, non-absorbent, high-impact, foam liner. It also comes furnished with a very distinctive thick Neoprene headband, which may adapt to the head and may keep water from flushing through the eyes while surfing.

Moreover, you might also detach the ear protectors easily, so much like the Gath Sport. This makes it essential for hot weather too.

The helmet has a very cozy due to the Neoprene band, as well as the foam lining. This is what gives you a sense of ultimate steadiness while still maintaining a seamless peripheral vision and lightweight comfort.

With the quick-release, secure buckles, this surf helmet is an overall winner, which provides protection, practicality, and comfort.

Specifications: 

  • Aerodynamic design
  • Adjustable forehead foam protection and audio vets
  • UV stable, high-impact, non-water absorbent foam liner
  • Thick Neoprene headband
ProsCons
Provides comfort, protection, and is practical
Sizing issues
Unique style
Reasonably priced
Very durable

#5. NP Watersports Surfing Helmet

NP Watersports Surfing Helmet

Just like the Gath surfing helmet, the NP surfing helmets are ultra-lightweight and comfy for all kinds of watersports. This is made from a soft EVA impact absorption liner and a high impact resistant ABS outer shell.

The inner part of it is amazingly soft, and non-water absorbent, as well as have a chinstrap twist tightening system, which is entirely adjustable so you may find the perfect level of cozy and comfort.

The EVA close ear protectors of the helmet may help in keeping any elements from getting into the helmet, yet you might also detach it upon preference. For those of you who are looking for a very safe helmet that is at a reasonable price, the NP watersports surfing helmet is an amazing choice of the fitting, which may be certain to keep your head intact for more years to come!

Specifications: 

  • Sleek design
  • Air-ventilation system
  • Incredible quality, style, and fit
  • CE Permitted EN 1385
  • ABS Outer Shell
  • Soft EVA impact-absorbing liner
  • Adjustable chin and back of the head closing system
ProsCons
Reliable surf helmets
Ear cover might break easily
DurableFitting problems
Good reviews

#6. Tontron Adult Multi-Sports Surfing Helmet

Tontron Adult Multi-Sports Surfing Helmet

The Tontron Adult Multi-Sports Helmet is made of high-impact ABS shell and ear protection set and has passed the security test program, in order to prevent any damage when hitting the water even at high speed.

This is also made of waterproof, soft EVA liner that provides a comfortable experience for surfer when surfing. Furthermore, it is also equipped with a modifiable back or the head closure system, which helps provide minor adjustment for different head size.

Specifications: 

  • ABS outer case for effective protection and swift-dry, soft EVA absorbing liner
  • Detachable ear guard pads
  • 11 air-vents scheme for breathing
  • Modifiable back of the head system
  • Approved CE EN 1385 water sports safety standard
ProsCons
Good fit around the head
Hard plastic tension straps on the ears cause discomfort
Detachable ear protectors
Long rubber across the chin area
Affordable
Modifiable back head dial

#7. Pro-Tec Ace Water Helmet

Pro-Tec Ace Water Helmet

If you are looking for the ultimate head protection in the water, this surf helmet has everything that you need. It is equipped with a high-density injection molded shell, which has an interior fit system that may offer different head sizes and shapes, the Pro-Tec Ace Water Helmet is known for its mass demand for any kind of watersport.

Whether you are surfing, kayaking, or wakeboarding, you’ll appreciate the 16 open ventilation holes for ventilation and its amazing water drainage, as well as its CE EN 1385 water sports safety certification and ultra-light shelter for your head.

This dependable surf helmet might bring you style and color with protection that you expect from Pro-Tec. Keep your head safe so that you may keep playing hard with this helmet!

Specifications: 

  • Stainless steel rivets
  • Soft nylon webbed straps
  • CE EN 1385 Water Sports Safety Standard Certification
  • Full surround interior protection
  • 16 open ventilation holes for drainage and ventilation
  • Dual-density waterproof EVA liner
  • High-density injection molded ABS Shell
ProsCons
16 open ventilation holes for drainage and ventilationFitting problems
Detachable ear protectors
Adjustable back head dial
Sleek design

#8. Pro-Tec Full Cut Water Helmet

Pro-Tec Full Cut Water Helmet

The Pro-Tec Full Cut Water Helmet is made of high-impact, very durable ABS shell and ear protection set, and has passed the security test program. Hence, it is essential to prevent any damage when hitting the water even at high speed.

Further, it also comes with 11 open vents, and an extensive range of styles to find your own fit. This is also made of waterproof, soft EVA liner that provides a comfortable experience for a surfer, and other water sports enthusiasts. Additionally, it is also equipped with an adjustable back or the headlock system, which helps provide minor adjustment for different head size.

Specifications: 

  • ABS outer case for effective protection and swift-dry, soft EVA absorbing liner
  • 11 air-vents scheme for breathing
  • Approved CE EN 1385 water sports safety standard
  • Full surround headlock interior fit system, which supports the back of the head for maximum safety and comfort
  • Hard protection ear guards with padding
ProsCons
Detachable ear protectorsUncomfortable helmet head
Detachable ear protectorsSizing issues
Great fit

#9. Aropec Watersports Safety Helmet

No products found.

Protect your head while you are surfing with Aropec Watersports Safety Helmet. This safety helmet has an ABS plastic shell, which ensures maximum durability. The inner portion of it has a waterproof EVA pad, which might provide comfort and additional protection against any impact.

Further, it also comes with a removable ear protector that you can engage and disengage anytime, anywhere.

Specifications: 

  • ABS outer case for effective protection and swift-dry, soft EVA absorbing liner
  • 11 air-vents scheme for breathing
  • Approved CE EN 1385 water sports safety standard
  • The removable close ear protector
  • A special headlock system
  • Quick-release buckle
  • Ideal for water sports where conditions are dangerous, and head protection is necessary or might be sensible
ProsCons
Reasonable priceUncomfortable for long use
Gets the job done

#10. Gath Gedi Helmet

Gath Gedi Helmet

This is a low profile, a high-performance helmet that is built for medium to high impact watersports. It is designed for water and land use and features a low rounded profile fit in order to prevent drag when hitting the water at high speed and also possesses an increase in padding, in order to absorb much higher impacts.

This is more of being a water sports helmet than a water helmet like the Pro surf helmets. Nonetheless, the Gath Gedi Helmet features full head coverage, bill options, multiple visors, removable ear protection, as well as multiple impact resistant liner.

This stands out from the rest of the Gath line up with its detachable pivoting bill, higher impact rating, cross-sport capacities, and optional visors.

Specifications: 

  • ABS outer case for effective protection and swift-dry, soft EVA absorbing liner
  • Approved CE EN 1385 water sports safety standard
  • The detachable close ear protector
  • Maximum coverage, including the lower cranium, ears, and temple area
  • Lightweight
ProsCons
Designed to avert water from draining over the eyes
Visors not designed for extreme speeds
Full outlying vision with no blind spots
Smooth, round ABS shell
Removable ear protectors

Why do you need a Surf Helmet?

Head injuries are the worst kind of injury, and this is specifically true in the sea, where unconsciousness might easily lead to drowning even with no added impediment of large surf. Furthermore, the head of the surfer is a greatly exposed area; once the latest study that’s carried out in southwest France found out that about 51% of the injuries sustained in surfing affected the head –this includes nasal fractures, facial lacerations, etc.

High-profile cautionary tales are not difficult to find. Owen Wright, former world number 3, suffered bleeding on the brain after hitting his head on the reef at the Pipeline in December 2015. After the incident, he had a hard time learning how to surf again –in fact; he learned it almost from scratch. Ten years beforehand, at the very same spot, Malik Joyeux, a Tahitian big wave surfer was unconsciously knocked –perhaps by his surfboard –and drowned.

Some surfers, quite a few professionals amongst them, choose to wear a specifically designed surf helmet, especially when surfing over the reef or in heavy crowds.

At present, the number of surfers who wear surf helmet is so small, and it seems dubious that helmets may ever become a standard surfing attire –either among laymen or professionals –yet then the same predictions were perhaps made about cycling some 20 years ago, when helmets in peloton, now compulsory, were an infrequency.


When Should You Wear Surf Helmets?

The following are the possible circumstances or situations where you must wear your surf helmets:

  1. Big wave surfing. In extreme surfing spots, the energy and the weight of the wave are enormous. If a giant rapid lip hits you, the consequences might be tragic.
  2. Surf lessons and beginner surfing. If you are learning how to surf all by yourself, or if you are starting to catch your first waves with the guidance of a surf instructor, you need to consider the option of wearing a surf helmet.
  3. Reef breaks. Wearing a surf helmet might save your life if you wipe out and hit a rocky seafloor. Professional surfers have hurt or died after hitting sharp reeves.
  4. Ultra-crowded line-ups. Fins and surfboards are dangerous guns. They might kill a swimmer, a beachgoer, or a surfer. The possibilities you are going to hit by a board in a crowded, urban surf spot are very high.
  5. When you are surfing all by yourself. We all like our solitary moments, yet if your surfboard hits you in the head during a four feet off-shore moment, your life might change for keeps.
  6. Young surfers. Due to the fact that the skull of a kid is very fragile, a surf helmet might protect him or her from a few less rational decisions in the surf.
  7. In extreme weather conditions. If it is windy and cold, a surf helmet might prevent the development of exostosis or surfer’s ear. If it is sunny and warm, a head protector might prevent headaches, as well as defend the scalp from harmful UV rays.

If you are a smart surfer, wear a helmet. That being said, below is a buying guide that you can use in purchasing your surf helmets.


Buying Guide for Surf Helmets

Buying surf helmets is not a simple task. It is because the safety of the surfer almost depends on it. Below are the things that you should remember when looking for surfing helmets online or even in the market:

Colors

You may think that the color of the surf helmet does not matter, yet it might be just as important as the helmet itself –especially in a rescue situation. Specific colors are more possibly to stand out than the others. The brightly colored helmets, like orange, pink, neon green, yellow, or red might be more visible on the water, rather than dark or muted colors.

Think about where you will be surfing when bearing in mind the color of your helmet. If you are in blue water, blue-colored surf helmets tend to stand out as much in the conditions as, neon green, for instance.

In case of an accident, a brightly colored surf helmet might mean that the rescuers are able to see you even more promptly.

Reflective Stickers

Just as you might want reflective stickers on your bike helmet for added visibility, it might be beneficial as well to have some on your surf helmet. A reflective sticker on the surfing helmet might assist you in becoming more noticeable in low light conditions, specifically if a search team, for instance, is trying to find you with flashlights.

Decals or stickers, which have high visibility colors, may also be essential on helmets, which aren’t brightly colored. Just like when you opt for a white or black helmet, you might add some neon-colored stickers into it –this might help in keeping you noticeable on the water.

Drainage

A lot of helmets, which are designed for surfing, may commonly have ventilation holes in it. This may allow water to drain out much faster if you take a drive. However, these holes are also designed in letting air in so sweat does not accumulate and make you uncomfortable.

Furthermore, some helmets, specifically those that haven’t been designed for water, might lack this feature or might offer limited ventilation. This might not be as convenient if you find yourself in the water, as the helmet may not be as fast to dry or drain.

Fit

If you are looking for a good surf helmet, find the perfect fit –it is so important. While a lot of helmets out there have a wide range of sizes, you may also find that many of them offer extra adjustments.

Some surfing helmets may have an adjuster system on the back portion of it. This may allow you to secure the fir of the helmet all over the head. This might assist in preventing the helmet from moving while you are wearing it.

This particular adjustment style might also be essential in keeping the helmet securely on the head if you happen to end up in the water, since the force of the water may frequently try to push the helmet off of the head.

A very well-fitting helmet must cover the whole head, including the forehead, and must extend at the front past the length of the nose.

Purpose

If you are going to buy a helmet, make sure that it is really for surfing. There are certain helmets that are designed for specific sports, like biking or some other sports. Helmets designed for water may commonly have water-resistant construction, like stainless steel rivets, which will not rust after submersion.

Construction

Most surfing helmets are commonly constructed with multiple layers of materials, with every layer adding another level of protection. The outer shell of it may often be a hard plastic, which is also occasionally reinforced using carbon fiber.

The outer shell of the helmet is the part that’s designed in providing the impact protection and is commonly built to spread the impact’s force all over the rest of the helmet’s outer shell.

Inside the shell, you will commonly find that there is a kind of tough, closed-cell foam liner, which is designed in absorbing the impact via its shock-absorbing core. This is designed in preventing the head from suffering from damage from an initial impact.

Occasionally, some helmets come with extra and additional liners or layers, which may allow you to get a better fit from the helmet. This might give you an option to add some more layers during the colder weather, as long as the helmet still properly fits on the head.

Price

You should always consider the budget before you buy any materials, not just with surf helmets. That is already a given feature.

Helmet’s Weight

You should buy a surf helmet that weighs just right for you. Well, obviously, it is so hard to surf well if you are wearing a heavy helmet. This might cause an imbalance in your body posture, and worse, cause you to fall from your surfboard. You should choose a lightweight surf helmet.

Portability

Since beaches are everywhere, surfing helmets should be transportable as well. It should render more space for some other surfing stuff.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How do you choose the right size of surf helmet for optimal fit?

Gath and some other manufacturers have their sizing charts for almost all head sizes, although you must be careful in taking a measurement around the head, just above your ears with the use of measuring tape or a string. You will want your helmet to fit comfortably atop of your head. There is nothing worse for the balance than a loosely fitting helmet that moves over the head out on the water. A lot of surf helmets also come with modifiable straps to fit the head best.

Q: How can a lightweight surf helmet really absorb all that impact?

Great surfing helmets utilize the very same principle as a lot of car manufacturers. If a car was designed to be very strong and rigid, a high-impact accident might transfer the energy all over the car. A car that has a more lightweight design may partially crumble when the impact occurred, dispersing and absorbing energy from the blowing force. That’s exactly what the surf helmets do. They may be put to the test in terms of durability and strength as they can absorb a blow of a force.

Q: Will the helmet with visor possibly shatter while surfing?

Those surf helmet with visors like the Gath Helmet and Retractable Visor has above 20 years of history without any shattering. Gath RV’s 98% polycarbonate plastic is so strong and has proved to be very safe for the sports visor material. A lot of people also fear bucketing of water with the visor style helmets due to their design, yet that’s another common misconception.

Q: What is the difference between the EVA headband and the Neoprene headband?

The EVA headband is a bit thicker at 10 millimeters and is made from similar material as the foam liner on the inside of the surf helmet. It’s way better for longer or higher-shaped heads since it allows for a more custom-style kind of fit. Due to the fact that it is thicker, it may also act as additional forehead protection in case of a severe impact. On the other hand, the Neoprene headbands are approximately 3 to 4 millimeters thick and are made from similar material as the normal wetsuit. It’s the original design for the Gath surf helmets and makes for a cozy and comfy fit for those with common head sizes and shapes.

Q: Can these helmets be used for some other sports aside from surfing?

Of course, these surf helmets may be used for some other sports apart from surfing. Whether you are an avid surfer, whitewater rafter, extreme sports enthusiast, or wakeboarder, having a helmet is an amazing choice. You may want to make sure that you make the right choice, contingent on the sport that you wish to use it for, as the surfing helmets are designed in suit water activities more than anything else. For instance, having ear protection, which is great for water, might become irritating or uncomfortable if you are out doing dry sports. Base the decision on the amount of stability, comfort, ear protection, peripheral vision, and coverage, which you need and see what helmets offer these features.


The Bottom Line: Which one should I buy?

If you are really into surfing, your safety in the water should be a priority. That being said, having a surf helmet is essential.

For me, there is no surf helmet than that of Gath helmets. The surf helmets from Gath are of the best quality for both water and air sports. Extreme sporting professionals in withholding intense weather conditions, as well as sporting situations have tested these. Ever since 1988, Gath has made a reputation for being one of the best-fitting helmets, which offers a good balance between flawless performance and impact protection.

We highly recommend Gath helmets as they help in reducing the risk of injury from extreme sports. Furthermore, Gath helmets are also approved by CE EN 1385 water sports safety standard.

With that, the rest of the best surf helmets may also bring comfort, power, and high-quality performance. Do not forget to read the features carefully and also provided the pros and cons.

Did we miss any points?

Share your surfing memories with your surf helmets by writing your comments below. You can also drop any recommended surf helmets that are not listed above. Thank you!

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