10 Best Skateboard Helmets For Safety & Protection

A helmet is the most essential piece of safety gear for skating. No matter whether you're a beginner or advanced ripper, a protective helmet is key to riding with confidence. In this guide, we go through our 10 top picks and get into the nitty-gritty of skate helmets.
Young man with safety gear and helmet riding down a hill on a skateboard
Best Overall
triple Eight THE Certified Sweatsaver Helmet for Skateboarding thumbnail
Triple 8 Sweatsaver
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Best Premium
Triple Eight Gotham Dual Certified MIPS Skateboard helmet thumbnail
Triple 8 Gotham MIPS
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Best Value
Pro-Tec Classic Certified Skate Helmet thumbnail
Pro-Tec Classic
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Skateboarding is a fun, exhilarating experience, but it can be dangerous, too. Falling on hard pavement, losing your balance during a trick, or getting swiped by a passing car can all lead to injuries. The right safety gear can save you from expensive medical bills and in certain circumstances, your gear can even save your life. A helmet is arguably the most important thing. It protects you from skull fractures, concussions, and other serious head trauma.

How do you choose the best skateboard helmet? In this guide, we’ll take a close look at ten of our favorite picks, including the best overall, best premium helmet, and best budget helmet. We’ll also cover buying considerations to keep in mind and frequently asked questions. We love skating and want everyone to have the best, safest experience possible.  

Top 10 Skateboard Helmet Picks 

There are lots of skateboard helmets, but which are the best ones? Here are our top 10 picks. 

1. Triple 8 THE Certified Sweatsaver

Best Overall
Triple Eight THE Certified Sweatsaver Helmet for Skateboarding

This helmet from Triple Eight has all the essential features and safety certifications necessary for a safe, fun ride. It meets both the U.S. CPSC Bike and ASTM F-1492 Skate safety standards, which means you can use it for cycling, skateboarding, or roller skating.

The classic design is low profile, so if you’re concerned about a bulky appearance, don’t be. Inside, there’s EPS foam designed to handle high impacts and a Sweatsaver liner. This boasts extra thick and soft padding for great comfort. The thin liners are already installed. Thicker removable aligners are also included.

You can get two different sets of removable liners to ensure a customized fit. If you want more in different colors or a different size, Triple Eight sells Sweatsaver replacement liners on their website. This patented material is designed to reduce the stains and smells that come from sweat. Adjustable straps with side release buckles also ensure the right fit. The skateboard helmet is available in four sizes and a variety of colors.

Pros

  • Certified helmet for both biking and skating 
  • Sweatsaver liners reduce discomfort from sweating 

Cons

  • A bit on the pricey side 

2. Triple 8 Gotham Dual-Certified MIPS Helmet

Best Premium
Triple Eight Gotham Dual Certified MIPS Skateboard helmet

This Triple Eight helmet offers impressive features if you have a few extra bucks at your disposal. The outer shell is vented ABS plastic, which is lightweight but durable. ABS shell lids are molded, not glued, which improves the quality.

Inside, you’ve got the patented Conehead EPS liner, which provides great airflow and protection. Combining an ABS outer shell and EPS foam liners creates a very tough helmet that stays lightweight. The helmet meets both CPSC and ASTM safety standards, so you can wear it for biking and skating. The other noteworthy feature? It uses MIPS, which stands for “multi-directional impact protection system.” The idea is that MIPS helmets help reduce dangerous and harmful rotational forces during a crash.

If maximum safety is your primary concern, the Gotham Triple Eight helmet is a good choice. It also offers two sets of washable and Sweatsaver removable pads. To adjust your helmet, use the dial system and adjustable chin strap with a side release buckle.

Pros

  • Dual-certified (CPSC and ASTM) for biking and skating
  • Has MIPS for extra protection
  • Lightweight, but tough 

Cons

  • As a premium pick, the helmet is around $100 

3. Pro-Tec Classic Certified Skate Helmet

Best Value
Pro-Tec Classic Certified Skate Helmet

Don’t want to spend a lot of money on a skateboarding helmet? This option from Pro-Tec provides the protection you need in a fairly affordable package. It has a high-impact ABS shell with a certified EPS foam liner.

It’s certified to ASTM F1492/1447 standards, which means it’s acceptable for skating and skateboarding. This Pro-Tec classic is also certified for CPSC 1203 and CE 1078. It can handle multiple impacts.

For added comfort, there are compression-molded liner pads and 11 vents. If you tend to sweat a lot while skating, those vents will help keep your head nice and cool. Adjust the fit with the helmet straps and secure-locking buckle.

Pros

  • Meets all the necessary safety standards
  • Has 11 vents to keep your head cool
  • Affordable 

Cons

  • The helmet can feel a bit stiff and bulky 

4. Triple 8 LIL 8 Dual-Certified Sweatsaver

Best For Kids
Triple Eight LIL 8 Dual Certified Sweatsaver Kids Skateboard Helmet with Padded Chin Buckle

Designed especially for a child's head, the LIL 8 has all the features you’d expect from Triple Eight in a smaller (and cheaper) size. It meets CPSC and ASTM F1492 standards, so it’s acceptable for cycling, skating, and skateboarding.

It’s built from a durable but lightweight ABS shell and EPS foam liner. The Sweatsaver fit pads help with the helmet’s fit, so your child will feel comfortable wearing it for long periods of time. These interchangeable pads also help reduce sweat stains and smells. Thinner liners come already installed in the helmet, while the removable thicker ones can be added or removed as desired.

The fit dial at the back of the helmet and “Pinch Saver” padded chin straps ensure you get a comfortable, snug fit. The Triple Eight LIL 8 will fit kids with a head circumference between 18-20 inches. Generally, that means kids up to 5 years old. 

Pros

  • A kids' skateboard helmet
  • A CSPC and ASTM certified helmet
  • Affordable 

Cons

  • Kids may grow out of the helmet quickly 
  • Some kids might find it too heavy 

Are your kids new to skateboarding? Here’s our guide on how to get better at skating

5. Bell Sanction Full-Face Helmet

Best For Electric Skateboards
Bell Sanction Adult Full Face Bike Helmet

The Bell Sanction is a full-face helmet, which makes it stand out on this list. Why did we pick this for electric skateboarding? It's more dangerous than regular skateboarding. Because of the high speeds, crashes can be much more severe.

You want to protect your whole head and face. While it’s technically certified for cycling and BMX bikes, it will work for electric skateboarding, too. It’s got a durable ABS shell, so it stays lightweight at 850 grams. It’s got a lower profile, too, so if you usually find e-skateboarding helmets too big, this is a good option.

The other neat feature is the adjustable visor. On clear days, you can shield your eyes from the bright sun and reflective surfaces like cars. There are some vents, but some reviews say there aren’t quite enough if you sweat a lot. Sizes range from extra-small (49-50 cm) to large (58-60 cm). 

Pros

  • Offers full face protection 
  • Lightweight 
  • Good for people with smaller heads 

Cons

  • A bit pricey 
  • Not always comfortable on hot days 

6. Thousand Heritage Collection Adult Helmet

Most Unique-Looking
Thousand Adult Bike Helmet - Heritage Collection

A beautifully crafted helmet, this is a great choice for riders looking for something less sporty and more sophisticated. It’s a unisex helmet, too, so it fits everyone’s style. Colors include navy, coastal blue, daybreak red, and rose gold.

The “leather” straps are vegan and made from sustainable microfiber. Continuing in this vein, the company has partnered with Climate Neutral to offset its carbon emissions. They strive for a mindful supply chain and sustainable packaging.

This helmet isn’t only good-looking and environmentally-minded, however. It’s got all the needed certifications like CE 1078, CPSC safety standards, and ASTM F1492, so it's a good bike helmet as well as a skate helmet. If you need to leave the helmet behind somewhere, there’s a patent-pending PopLock.

This is a great feature for city-dwellers. To get the perfect fit, use the Dial Fit System at the back of the helmet. Three cooling channels and seven air vents keep you cool. 

Pros

  • Very unique-looking with several sophisticated color choices 
  • Designed with the environment and animals in mind 
  • Helmet complies with necessary safety standards for multiple sports  

Cons

  • A bit on the pricey side 

7. Bell Sport Segment Helmet

Classic Design
BELL Sports Segment Helmet

We picked the Bell Sport Segment as the best skateboard helmet with a no-frills, classic design. It has the bowl-style you’d expect, but with important updates that help the helmet fit more comfortably.

It has more flexibility, so it won’t feel as rigid as classic helmets of the past. Why? It uses interior EPS foam segments connected by a reinforcing skeleton. It’s comparable to how a cap would fit on your head. As for safety, it’s certified for both skating and biking.

It weighs 410 grams and comes with 8 vents for a cool ride experience. There aren’t any fancy features, but if you’re looking for a very simple and affordable helmet, this is a good choice. 

Pros

  • Upgrades a classic design to be more comfortable 
  • Affordable
  • Rated as both a cycling helmet and skate helmet

Cons

  • Very basic 
  • Doesn’t have any interesting features that stick out 

8. Thousand Chapter Collection Helmet

Best For Low-Light Riding
Thousand Adult Bike Helmet - Chapter Collection

Another unique product from the Thousand brand, this skateboarding helmet for men and women offers a handful of great features. It’s built with MIPS, which adds an extra layer of protection against head trauma and brain injuries. MIPS works by reducing rotational forces during a crash. To reduce glare and increase your field of vision, the helmet has a visor.

You can choose from a hand-painted tortoise shell, metallic rose gold, or a simple matte black. The other feature we really liked (and that made this helmet our pick for best low-light riding) is the multi-use magnetic light. The 30-lumen USB rechargeable taillight turns on automatically when attached to the back of the helmet. Skateboarding at night is inherently riskier than in the daylight, but if you need to do it, this light is extremely helpful.

Riding on a warm day? You’ll appreciate the 8 vents that keep your head cool. For riders who leave their helmets behind on their bikes, there’s the convenient PopLock. Behind the logo mark, there’s a hidden channel where you can thread your U-lock or chain lock. 

Pros

  • Comes with a magnetic taillight 
  • Built with MIPS technology
  • Premium visor to reduce glare 
  • CE 1078 and CPSC certified as a multi-sport helmet

Cons

  • Expensive 

9. OutdoorMaster Skating Helmet

Most Color Options
outdoormaster skating helmet

Available in a wide range of colors, this skateboard helmet is a great pick for kids, teens, or adults. It’s got a dual ASTM and CPSC safety rating, so it’s acceptable for biking, skating, and skateboarding.

It’s made from an ABS outer shell and EPS core, ensuring the helmet’s durability and ability to protect you from trauma. It also comes with two removable liners so you can get the exact right fit. When the liners become sweaty, you can pop them in the washer. Speaking of sweat, the helmet also comes with a smooth ventilation system with an impressive 12 vents.

If you live in a hot climate and hate helmets because of how hot they get, the Outdoor Master is a good choice. Choose from colors like subtle black and gray or bolder shades like lemon, orange, mint green, or pink. The price is pretty affordable at around $50 or so. To adjust the helmet, use the adjustment dial and adjustable chin strap.

Pros

  • Dual certified for biking and skating
  • Comes with two removable liners
  • Lots of color options
  • Proper ventilation

Cons

  • No noticeable weaknesses with this helmet 

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10. Triple 8 Gotham Skateboard Helmet

Honorable mention
Triple Eight Gotham Dual Certified Skateboard and Bike Helmet

This helmet is almost the same as the other Triple Eight Gotham on our list, but it does not have MIPS. As a certified helmet with the CPSC standard and ASTM F1492 safety standard, it's still very safe. That makes it acceptable for biking, skateboarding, and skating.

It features a Conehead liner construction made from unique collapsing cones that absorb energy and distribute force sideways. The outside is made from an ABS plastic shell with vents, which gives you a cool, lightweight experience. The foam inside is EPS. For added comfort, there are two sets of removable, moisture-wicking Sweatsaver Fit Pads.

You can be confident that this skateboard helmet protects you and gives you a comfortable fit. To make sure the helmet fits perfectly, use the Adjustable Fit Dial System with a reflective dial. Choose from colors like Baja light blue, Black, Blue Matte, Cream, White, and Gun (gray).

Pros

  • Fairly affordable
  • Certified for biking and skating
  • Comes with Sweatsaver Fit Pads

Cons

  • Doesn’t have MIPS 

Buying Considerations 

We picked ten great skateboard helmets, but what are the most important traits to consider when shopping for the best skateboard helmet? Knowing what features matter most in terms of style, safety, or construction helps you make a better decision. Here are seven buying considerations: 

Style

helmet types for skating

Most helmets don’t vary too much in design, but there are three main kinds: classic, full-cut, and full-face.

Classic skate helmets are the most common and what most people imagine when they think of helmets. They cover your head from the middle of your forehead back to your neckline. They have cutouts for your ears and proper ventilation holes at the back, top, and front. These tend to be lightweight.

Full-cut helmets offer more coverage, so they’re a bit heavier. They fully cover your ears and further down your neck.

The last type is the full-face helmet. These offer the most protection and are generally recommended for fast electric skateboards or downhill skating/longboarding. In this category, you'll find motorcycle-style helmets, but we recommend a mountain-bike downhill type of helmet like the Bell Sanction instead as it is better vented, lighter and provides better vision.

Safety certifications

Skate helmet certifications across the world infographic

Helmet safety is very important. Some cheap helmets won’t have certifications, so while they can protect from minor falls and skull fractures, they don’t protect against concussions or more serious trauma. The safest skateboard helmets comply with standards.

In the United States, you’ll see CPSC 1203 Certified (a skate/bike helmet certification), ASTM F-1492 Certified (a skate/roller helmet certification), and ASTM F1447 (a bike/roller certification). In Europe, CE EN 1078 applies to skate and bike helmets.

There is no skateboard standard in Australia and New Zealand, but AS/NZS 2063:2008 applies to bike and scooter helmets.

To receive a safety certification, helmets have to pass certain tests. If a helmet is rated for single-impact, it means it can protect during one impact and then needs to be replaced. Multi-impact helmets protect against a few low impacts.

Fit 

Before buying a helmet, you want to be sure it fits. Even the best skateboard helmets will have limited head protection if you're wearing the wrong size.

If you’re at a store and able to try on a bunch of helmets, you probably don’t need to measure your head circumference. If you’re ordering online, however, you'll definitely want to measure your head circumference.

  1. Get a flexible measuring tape
  2. Wrap the measuring tape around your head so it lays across the middle of your forehead, about one inch above the eyebrows
  3. Adjust the measuring tape so it stays level all the way around your head
  4. Mark where the tape meets the other end with your fingers
  5. Keep this measurement on hand when shopping for helmets
Tip
Check to see how they measure small, medium, and large sizes. There’s usually a range within one size, so you have some room to play with. Head shape matters, too, which is why an adjustable strap and fit dial system are good features to have.

Sizing matters for other essential safety gear, like knee and elbow pads. Check out our guides here and here for more information on choosing skateboard elbow and knee pads. 

Outer and inner shell

Most good skateboard helmets will use a hard-shell exterior. ABS plastic is probably the most common outer shell material in the world thanks to its durability. On helmets, ABS is injection-molded to the inner foam, which protects the foam from scratches and other damage.

EPS foam liner is the standard. Lightweight and hard, EPS foam liners take on most of the impact of a crash, dissipating and protecting your skull from the resulting energy. These foam liners are found in most certified helmets. You can also find comfort liners inside a helmet. These can feature technologies like sweat-wicking properties, so you’re more comfortable. Some of these liners are even washable. 

 Ventilation

A big reason why many skaters don’t like helmets is that they make their heads too hot. Proper ventilation makes a big difference. In general, the fancier (and therefore more expensive) the helmet, the better the ventilation. You’ll get the best ventilation in helmets between $70-$200, while in the $35-$70 range you’ll get slightly less. There are also situations where you might not want much ventilation. If you’re living in a cooler climate or don’t sweat as much, you can get a cheaper helmet with less ventilation.

 Price

Speaking of price, you can find good skateboarding helmets on just about any budget. That’s good news if you don’t want to spend a lot but care about safety. As helmets go up in price, they have extra features you may or may not want. On our list, prices ranged from about $40 to $135.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it a law to wear skate or bike helmets while skateboarding? 

It depends! In the United States, most skate parks will require skateboarders to wear helmets upon entry. In California, anyone under 18 using a bike, scooter, roller skates, or skateboard must wear a helmet or face a fine.

There are other states with similar laws. When it comes to electric skateboards, there are often more regulations. It appears that in most areas of the world, you only have to wear a helmet in specific cases. 

How long are skateboard helmets good for?

A good skateboard helmet should last between 3-5 years as long as you haven’t had a major crash. If it receives a serious blow, you should replace it even if it looks okay. There could be a split inside out of sight or some other vulnerability that weakens the helmet.

Signs that it’s time to replace the helmet include scrapes, cracks, and bumps on the outer shell and/or inner shell, as well as issues with the buckles and straps. If it’s difficult to adjust the helmet so it fits properly, that’s another sign that it's time for a new one.

How do I know if my skateboard helmet fits?

Speaking of fit, how do you know if a helmet fits properly? First, it shouldn’t be too tight. Many riders worry about a helmet being too loose and falling off, so they end up getting one that's not loose enough.

You want a helmet that’s snug, but if you feel pressure on your temples or pinching from the chin strap, it’s too snug and will be uncomfortable very quickly. You should be able to fit two fingers between the strap and your chin. If more than two fingers fit, it’s too loose. Once you find that sweet spot, you can feel confident that your helmet fits well. 

Why do skaters not wear helmets?

There are a few reasons why skaters forgo helmets. Some just don’t think they’re necessary, especially if they’re more experienced. They’ve been skateboarding for a while without serious consequences and they know how to fall, so it’s easy to just not think about a helmet.

Cost can be a reason, too. You’ve already had to spend money on the skateboard itself, and depending on your budget, even an “affordable” helmet may seem too pricey. There’s also the “cool” factor. Even though helmet design has gotten sleeker and more fashionable, some people aren’t convinced. Then there’s just how helmets feel! A skater might have had trouble finding one that fits in the past, so they’ve given up.

Once a skater gets in the habit of not wearing a helmet - no matter what the reason - it’s easy to continue not wearing one. Unfortunately, about 20% of skateboard injuries affect the head, so it only takes one bad crash to disrupt (or end) your life. Wear a helmet.

While head injuries can be really serious, wrist injuries are actually the most common skateboard injury. When you fall, you most likely put your hands out to catch yourself. To protect yourself, check out these wrist guards

How much should a skating helmet cost?

We understand that most riders would rather splurge on awesome complete skateboards rather than brain buckets, but helmets are an essential piece of safety equipment, so getting something reliable is important. You don’t want something dirt-cheap that won’t do the job. That said, you only get a sense of the helmet’s quality by looking at specs like the outer shell, pads, and safety rating.

Generally speaking, a helmet over $50 won’t necessarily provide better head protection, but it’ll have features like extra ventilation, better-made adjustable straps, and so on.

Final Thoughts 

Many skateboarders don’t wear helmets. Sometimes they have a specific reason like they haven’t found a comfortable one or they don’t like how they look. Others may recognize the importance of a helmet in theory, but just don’t think about it because they’ve never experienced a serious crash. Unfortunately, it takes just one bad accident without a helmet to change your life for the worse.

If you're not convinced, hear it from pro-skater Andy Anderson and see just how devastating leaving the helmet on the shelf was for 19-year-old Aidan Shellings (who is now beating the odds and making a fantastic recovery) in the video below:

In this guide, we presented you with ten great helmet options from brands like Triple Eight, Thousand, Bell, and more. They all meet safety certifications and are acceptable for a variety of sports, not just skateboarding. By getting one good helmet, you can make your experiences roller-skating, bike riding, and skateboarding significantly safer.

We also covered buying considerations if you want to understand what makes the best skateboard helmets the best. There are the safety ratings, of course, as well as the style, fit, outer shell, proper ventilation, and price. 

In many places, you’re required by law to wear a helmet. Even if you’re not, you should wear one anyway. As soon as the skateboard helmet starts to show signs of wear-and-tear or you’ve been in an accident, you should replace the helmet. If you never crash, the helmet will probably need to be replaced in five years or so, depending on how well it’s held up.

In general, good helmets will cost between $40-$135, though the buying considerations are a better guide to quality than the price. Thanks to improved technology and the variety of helmet brands out there, you can pretty easily find the best skateboard helmet that will keep you safe!

Updated November 28, 2021
Paul Strobel
By Paul Strobel

Paul is an environmental engineer turned micromobility expert. With a mechanical background and hands-on experience with more than 150 personal electric vehicles, Strobel is one of the leading specialists in the PEV scene. He handles everything from technical guides on the inner workings of vehicles to industry development news.

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