If you’re a surfer, you will know that no matter how fun and exciting the sport can be, it is also extremely dangerous. With the risk of being wiped off your board and hitting submerged obstacles under the water, it is vital to protect yourself with the appropriate safety gear.
Head-related injuries are unfortunately quite common in both amateur and professional surfing. Such injuries can cause unconsciousness and drowning, which is why it is so important to wear a helmet.
By doing so, you are protecting yourself from the sort of irreversible, fatal injuries that in the past have affected pro surfers such as Owen Wright and Mercedes Maidana.
Not only do helmets protect you from collisions with objects and the impact of huge waves, but they provide essential protection from both the sun and the cold, depending on the weather conditions. Over the past few years, manufacturers have made helmets much more socially acceptable in their sleeker, more fashionable designs.
They are now worn widely amongst the surfing community with many professional surfers now championing their use.
When looking for a surf helmet, there are several factors to consider. We understand the internet can be overwhelming with the number of options available and that due to the nature of the product, how difficult it can be to make such a major decision.
To make the process slightly easier for you, we have put together some information about what to look for when buying a surf helmet, along with a list of our top 5 picks of surf helmets that are on the market today.
Top 5 Best Surf Helmets
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
The Vihir Adult Water Sports Helmet sets the standard extremely high when it comes to water-sports helmets. With a hybrid design that is composed of both cold-molding EVA foam and a hard ABS outside shell, we cannot fault the protective quality of this model.
This particular helmet is known for its universal adaptability. Suitable for all sorts of outdoor sports such as biking, skating, skiing, and surfboarding, this multifunctional helmet is brilliant value for money.
As a surfer with safety being your main priority, you will be glad to know that this helmet complies with the helmet standard safety standards and has passed the CPSC test. The intricately placed ventilation system which consists of 11 vents in total works to draw in cool air whilst pushing sweat and moisture out.
The low-profile fit, adjustable straps and quick release buckle makes this helmet one of the sleekest and most practical models on the market. With removable ear protectors, you can tailor your helmet to function exactly how you like, whether that’s keeping them for a snug, warm fit, or taking them off for a cooler, light feel. During the summer months, such an option can be a lifesaver when the temperature rises.
Another highly useful attribute of this helmet is that the outer shell is projected slightly further forward than most models. In direct sunlight, this is incredibly beneficial to protect not only your face and head from burning but your eyes from the direct sunlight.
Overall, this helmet is very hard to fault. In terms of price, quality, and practicality, this model ticks all of the boxes and is highly deserving of its impressive ratings.
- Impressive ventilation system
- Warm, waterproof earflaps
- Two-way adjustable straps
- True to size
- Limited color options
- 🚣♀️𝐄𝐀𝐑𝐒＆𝐈𝐌𝐏𝐀𝐂𝐓 𝐏𝐑𝐎𝐓𝐄𝐂𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍- the Hybrid design uses cold-moulding EVA foam inside and hard ABS shell outside to protect your head from impacts. Ear of water helmet protectors prevent ears from scratch and don’t affect hearing.
- 🚴♀️𝐒𝐀𝐅𝐄𝐓𝐘 𝐂𝐄𝐑𝐓𝐈𝐅𝐈𝐂𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍＆𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐂𝐈𝐒𝐄 𝐀𝐃𝐉𝐔𝐒𝐓𝐌𝐄𝐍𝐓 - Complies with helmet standard EN 1385 safety standards. And passed the CPSC test, certified with CPC. Internal headband adjusts with an adjustable dial so you can fine-tune the fit; the dial is easily operated with 1 hand. Adjustable strap and quick-release buckle for a secure, comfortable fit.
- 🚵♂️𝐒𝐈𝐙𝐄 𝐔𝐏𝐆𝐑𝐀𝐃𝐄- Our extra-large helmet adults are adjustable in size and the actual usable size is larger than the helmet size. S 19.7-22.01inches(50cm-56cm);M 21.6-23.7 inches(54cm-60cm); L22.4-24.9 inches(57CM-63CM).No pressure to your neck and head. Water Helmet suitable for both adults and youth.
- 🏊♀️𝐀𝐖𝐄𝐒𝐎𝐌𝐄 𝐕𝐄𝐍𝐓𝐈𝐋𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍 𝐒𝐘𝐒𝐓𝐄𝐌 - 11 vents in total has strategically placed that use channels in the front to draw fresh air in while sweat moisture is pulled out the back. Keep your head cool on hot summer days.
- 🏂１００％𝐑𝐈𝐒𝐊-𝐅𝐑𝐄𝐄 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐒𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐒𝐅𝐀𝐂𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍 𝐆𝐔𝐀𝐑𝐀𝐍𝐓𝐄𝐄𝐃 - We are always working hard to provide our customers with the best products. Passion and customer obsession is the key principle. We will give you a three-month 100% money-back guarantee and a one-year warranty. If you do not like it or you do not fit, you can always contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free return and free exchange.
If you’re looking for a top of the range, stylish and light-weight helmet that will provide ultimate protection, then this helmet would be ideal for you. Created by the excellent Tontron Sports, this helmet boasts an ABS outer shell and quick dry soft EVA absorption liner- satisfying the necessary criteria of both safety and comfort.
Available in over a dozen colors, the Tontron helmet is suitable for a wide range of not only surfers but canoeists, kayakers, rafters, sailors and water skiers of all genders and sizes.
This universal quality proves brilliant value for money as it allows for the possibility to try out another water sport that you may not have attempted before. With removable ear protection pads and an adjustable back-of-head dial, this helmet is not only adaptable but fits comfortably and snug around the head.
This helmet is rated as being extremely non-imposing due do its lightweight feel, which is exactly what you should be looking for as a surfer who wants no distractions.
You should feel reassured in knowing that this helmet has passed a security testing program which assures that the helmet will protect you against damage when being faced with impact.
Not only is this helmet perfect for keeping you safe, but with its sleek design, impressive air-ventilation system, and impact resistant shell, it proves to be an all-rounder in terms of satisfying your needs as a surfer.
- Adjustable straps
- True to size
- Handles elements very well
- Removable ear pads
- Plastic tension straps around the neck can be uncomfortable
- ABS outer shell for impact protection and quick dry soft EVA absorption liner.
- Removable ear protection pads and adjustable back of head dial.
- 11 Air-vents system for breathing.
- Meets CE EN 1385 water sports safety standard.
- Large(21.7-24.0in)|(55-61cm). Medium (20.9-23.2in)|(53-59cm). Small(20.1-22.0in)|(51-56cm).
This flexible and durable helmet is one of the best in today’s market. Built for a range of water sports, this piece of headwear is equipped to keep you looking great and feeling safe.
Whether you’re a beginner tackling your first wave or a professional looking to play hard, this helmet will provide you with the reliable protection you need.
From a brand known for their recognizable and unique style, this model comes in four finishes, including a ‘satin orange’ which will not only ensure you stand out but can be extremely useful in terms of lifeguard visibility with there are ultra-crowded line-ups.
With its high-density injection-molded ABS shell and its soft, quick-absorbing EVA liner, the helmet provides not only effective protection but comfort around the top of the neck and the ears.
For further comfort, the straps of the helmet are made of a soft, nylon, webbed material rather than the harsh plastic that many manufactures tend to use.
This helmet with its durability, ventilation, and practical composition is one that is known for its mass appeal amongst surfers and water enthusiasts worldwide. If you are looking for a high-standard, substantial value for money model, you will not regret choosing the Pro-Tec Ace Water helmet.
- Light and comfortable fit
- Closed-cell padding which prevents water build-up
- Safety Standard Certification verified
- Equipped with 15 open vent holes
- Universal and built for a range of water sports
- Non-adjustable straps
- High Density Injection Molded ABS Shell Dual Density Waterproof EVA Liner
- 15 Open Vents for Ventilation and Drainage
- 3 Shell Sizes for 6 Different helmet sizes
- Full Surround Interior Protection
- Soft Nylon Webbed Straps CE EN 1385 Water Sport Safety Standard Certification
The Triple Eight Gotham Water Helmet is one that doesn’t compromise between comfort and protection. With its high-density ABS outer shell and its foam-padded three-layer water liner, with this helmet, we can assure you that you will get the best of both worlds.
Created with medium to high impact water sports in mind, this model is highly commended in the water sports market for its flexibility and adaptability.
Available in four sizes and fitted with adjustable straps, the helmet is suitable for a wide range of people. The suction-like cushioned fit and the snug-fitting straps mean that you wouldn’t have to worry about the helmet moving around your head or coming off with the water.
The Velcro sweat-absorbing halo can be easily removed and washed which is not something that you are typically able to do with protective headwear.
Designed exclusively for water, this helmet not only meets the water sport safety standards but consists of several specific features that have the comfort and safety of surfers like you, in mind.
Overall, if comfort is something that you are particularly drawn to, we suggest you have a good look at this helmet when weighing up your options.
- Super comfy
- Reasonably priced
- Stylish, expensive look
- A removable, washable inside layer
- Sizing seems to be on the smaller side so be careful when ordering
- Super comfy Sweat saver halo water liner constructed with three foam layers wrapped in plush fabric
- Velcro removable Sweat saver halo for easy washing Care
- Dual-density closed cell EVA foam headliner and top crown
- High-density ABS outer shell
- Meets CE EN 1385-2012 water sport standard
This helmet is another amazing option for you to consider in your search. The Pro-Tec Ace has absolutely everything you need when it comes to protective headgear which is why is it no surprise that it is such a popular choice amongst surfing enthusiasts of all levels.
With a high-density injection-molded ABS shell and a dual-density waterproof EVA liner, this helmet is highly equipped to keep your head safe from all sorts of impacts in a wide variety of water sports.
As a surfer, I’m sure you will appreciate the helmet’s 15 open ventilation holes and the highly effective drainage system. Not only that, but its soft, thick cushioned padding and adjustable rear-fit makes for optimum comfort and practicality.
This layer provides an additional level of protection to the highly durable outer shell, allowing for maximum safety and reliability. The helmet also boasts removable cupping ear guards which can be essential to a surfer that is traveling at a high speed amongst the water.
If it’s style that you’re looking for, this helmet is great as it comes in a range of colors at both a matte and gloss finish. If you’re undecided, we think that the matte black option is particularly sleek, unless you want something brighter.
Tried and tested in all kinds of water-based elements and circumstances, this helmet is proven to protect within a range of dangerous conditions.
- Stylish appearance
- Proficient ventilation system
- Extra protection with the deep padding
- True to size
- Reviews state some issues with the ear coverings
- High Density Injection Molded ABS Shell with Dual Density Waterproof EVA Liner
- Multi-use Rear Mount Strap (Goggles, Head Light, Camera etc.)
- 15 Open Vents for Ventilation and Drainage
- Full Surround Interior Protection with our "Head Lock" adjustable rear fit system
- Removable cupping ear guards with water channels
Best Surf Helmets Buying Guide
Choosing a surf helmet is an important decision. As a surfer, you have to be able to put full confidence into the product, as ultimately, your safety will be depending on it. The ideal helmet will, of course, vary from one surfer to another, depending on performance level, age and size. This being said, there is a basic criteria in which every safety helmet should satisfy. Below, we have put together a small guide of the sorts of factors you should be considering when looking for the perfect, protective surfing helmet.
The fit of your surf helmet can make an enormous difference to the quality of its protection. A well-fitted helmet should cover your entire head, extending horizontally over the top of your forehead. This is not only essential in the protection of impact to your face but to protect you from direct sunlight exposure, which in extended periods, can be dangerous.
Whilst many brands of helmets will offer a wide range of sizing options, many will be more reliable on self-adjustment which is something to keep in mind. When buying your helmet you should be given a size guide which you can compare against your head tape-measurement. These guides should give you an accurate indication of what size to choose. If you are still unsure, it can be helpful to check the ‘customer reviews’ for comments that discuss sizing to get a better idea.
The design and construction of a surf helmet with vary with most brands and suppliers. Most, are built upon a serious of layered materials that are constructed with your safety and comfort in mind.
The outer shell of the helmet is what will absorb the impact energy. It is usually constructed of tough, resistant plastic which distributes the impact energy through the entire shell. This outer shell is what protects your head from the brunt of high-impact, blunt force.
Inside the exterior shell, you will typically find a tough, but comfortable non-water absorbent foam. Together, both layers work to prevent any sort of damage from aquatic activity. When buying a helmet, you should always check whether the product complies with the current helmet safety standards.
When it comes to surf helmets, you want something that is going to be tough and durable enough to protect, whilst being light and portable enough to be transportable and non-imposing. Wearing a surf helmet that’s too heavy can cause an imbalanced body posture which can hinder your surfing abilities and possibly, cause you to fall. With this in mind, it is best to look for a low-profile, lightweight helmet.
Whilst the aesthetic appearance of a surf helmet shouldn’t be a top priority. The color of the helmet is actually a lot more important than you may think. Whilst dark-colored helmets may look sleek, vibrant colors of yellow, orange or bright green are a much better option in terms of making you stand out in difficult or busy conditions. Especially if you are looking for a younger surfer, we would recommend considering going for the brighter as it means they will be much more visible if there were to be an emergency.
When looking for the right surf helmet, you should look for the models that offer ear covers for optimal protection. The more desirable helmets will have adjustable ear coverings that can be extremely beneficial when it comes to a change in the weather or temperature.
Whilst, all of our top picks are of a reasonable price, the surf helmet market is built up of a wide range of priced helmets ranging, from between $20 to $200. Whatever your budget, you will be able to find something that suits you. Just keep your safety in mind when making your decision.
Best Surf Helmets - FAQ's
How much can a helmet really protect me?
Whilst the helmet won’t protect you from injuries of the neck, spine, or extremely high impact collisions, it will minimize the severity of head injuries. Because the helmet is providing an additional layer for the head, it reduces the risk of severe injury by absorbing most of the impact energy.
Can surf helmets be used for other water sports other than surfing?
Well, whilst these surf helmets can also be used for other water sports such as water skiing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, and Kayaking, some models may be more suited to specific sports. You may want to check with the individual products, but the surfing helmets are generally designed to suit all water-based activities.
When should the helmet be used?
Ideally, the helmet should be used at all times when surfing, especially if you are a younger or less experienced surfer. Although it is not a legel requirement, due to the severity of head injuries that can be caused by surfing, it is not worth the risk to go without.
How do I store and care for my helmet?
Most helmets will come with a protective storage bag or box. Whilst you can and are often encouraged to decorate your helmet with reflective stickers, you should not paint your helmet in any way. You should keep your helmet out of direct sunlight and store it somewhere that doesn’t get too warm.