At a glance, a skateboard helmet and a bike helmet look the same. After all, they each protect the head to prevent severe head trauma, so why not wear the same helmet for both? While they may look identical, there are noticeable differences between bike and skate helmets that you should consider.

Head Coverage

Skate helmets are smooth and spherical, providing coverage for your entire head. Skating helmets need to protect every inch of your noggin because an awkward fall can lead to you falling on your head any which way. Bikers seldom hit the back of their head, so it’s not as much of a need. Additionally, the helmet needs to fit properly, so double-check to guarantee it fits the way it should.

Shell Type

A skating helmet has a strong shell on the exterior that can withstand several strikes under certain circumstances. The shell is often thicker than a cycling helmet, providing better protection from major impacts. Bicycle helmets are lightweight and thin plastic shells, offering the bare minimum.

The Force

Since bike helmets offer minimal coverage, they might not be able to withstand something with significant force behind it, such as a car hitting it. At that point, a bike helmet is as helpful as a Band-Aid on a bullet hole. Skating helmets can shield your head from anything that has significant force behind it.

Type of Impact

A bike helmet’s purpose is to withstand minor impact. Therefore, you should replace the helmet if your head takes a blow while wearing it. A skating helmet can take multiple impactful blows to keep your head safe. However, it may be unclear after a severe event if a skate helmet is durable enough to handle any additional impact. For that reason, a single-impact helmet is the safest strategy.

Ventilation Deviation

Because skating helmets are more rounded and protect the entire circumference of your head, there isn’t much ventilation involved. On the other hand, bike helmets have noticeable ridges on top to give you ventilation for a sweating head. Riding a bike with a skating helmet will protect your head more, but it might result in your body overheating from the lack of ventilation.

Understanding the differences between bike and skate helmets informs you that while they look similar, they are vastly different. It doesn’t do you any favors if you wear a bike helmet for skateboarding or vice versa. So, instead of saving a few bucks, ensure you have both helmets if you partake in each activity.