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MIPS has revolutionised head protection on the snow. Conventional helmets do an excellent job of defending against direct impact, but offer no protection from angled impacts which can place huge rotational stresses on the brain and lead to concussion.
Standing for Multi-directional Impact Protection System, MIPS protects against angled impacts by integrating a low-friction membrane into the helmet. This helps to absorb much of the energy created by an angled blow to the head, significantly reducing the level of stress placed on the brain.
MIPS is finding its way into an increasingly large array of helmets, and can now be found in helmets by Giro, POC, Scott, Smith and Sweet, for men and women. Get the protective edge now!
Conventional helmets are designed to protect the head from direct impact, that is, slamming into something head-on. Today's standards ensure all certified helmets have this down to a tee, and they do an excellent job of providing this type of protection.
What conventional helmets aren't so good at is protecting the head from oblique, or angled, impact. Think of your helmet snagging on a rock or stray branch jutting out of the snow, or falling forward and having the brim of your helmet hit the ground first. This creates rotational forces, which place a tremendous amount of strain on the brain and can lead to issues such as concussion.
That's where MIPS comes in. A low-friction membrane within the helmet mimics the function of cerebralspinal fluid which surrounds the brain, allowing it to slide slightly on impact. MIPS imitates this, helping to absorb much of the energy created by an angled blow to the head.
The below image shows a simulated deformation of the brain from angled impact when the user is wearing a helmet with and without MIPS. Highest levels of strain are shaded red with the lowest levels dark blue.
The most important consideration when purchasing a ski or snowboard helmet is the fit. If a helmet doesnt fit correctly, it may not perform properly in the event of an accident.
Helmet sizing is very simple. To measure, wrap a tape measure around your head, just above the eyebrows to gain the circumference of your head. This measurement should be in centimetres, and this is your helmet size.
For Kids it is very important to not add too much to account for growth. A helmet that is too loose is not going to be safe and can actually be dangerous. Kids' heads grow relatively slow so it is better to get one that fits. The only time you may want to go for a slightly larger one is if their head is right in-between sizes. Then you can select the larger size.
For a full guide, including what to do when you receive your helmet, please see our Helmet Fitting Guide.