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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

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josselin

Kids with helmets...WTF

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Hi All,

I have now couple of time seen kids sailing optis with helmets...

Is it only me that find it completely wrong?

How can you teach sailing to kids if they cannot use all their senses (great to feel the wind direction with a huge helmet) and if they do not understand that need to be careful for themselves first. (yes the optis boom can hit the head and...)

You don't need to protect from all the risk you need to understand how to deal with the risk.

 

o pen bic

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There's a lot to be said for knowing your boat well enough to know how not to get bonked on the head. Then again maybe the kids are being taught to use the helmets strategically, like for a gybe instead of sheeting in and then out again you just stick your head up, let the helmet stop the boom, and then duck?

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Having once been knocked out cold from a flying Finn boom (luckily ending up in the cockpit not the briny) i now usually wear a helmet in windy conditions.  Many older Finn sailors do. Our reactions are not as fast as they used to be, a helmet allows one to keep sailing even in our advanced years.  

As for kids, nah not so much need.

 

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Helmets on kids on Opti's is just silly.  Some hi/perf sport boats maybe, AC, yes.  Everyone else, DUCK! 

My kids wore helmets on dirtbikes. That's it. Bicycles? Not so much bcz I knew once they turned the corner they were gone anyway.

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 they are O'Pen Bics with CF booms....lighter than fuck

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Helmets on OPTI's is stupid.  They're slow and are used to teach kids awareness and self responsibility.  How can you be aware of consequenses if your protected from them from the beginning?  How can you clearly feel a breeze if your head is covered by a bowl? ( I wear a helmet when sailing now on a flying phantom, but that's a whole different cup of soup).  Of course I grew up riding a bike 3 miles to school with no helmet.

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Why bother with seat belts and car seats? After a couple of crashes, the kids will learn. Oh, and concussions in kids will just go away, no problem. No need for football helmets. Slows them down and they can't hear as well in them.

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16 minutes ago, pwink said:

Why bother with seat belts and car seats? After a couple of crashes, the kids will learn. Oh, and concussions in kids will just go away, no problem. No need for football helmets. Slows them down and they can't hear as well in them.

By that logic, why not wear helmets while driving?  Or walking down the street.

The likelihood of serious injury from an Opti boom is nowhere near the catastrophic effects of not wearing a seatbelt.  And as others have pointed out, there is an upside to not wearing a helmet.

 

Also, talk to any rugby player about helmets and safety.  Methinks that football helmets cause a lot more injury than they prevent.

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If you get hit in the head with the boom more than twice I think Natural Selection applies. 

Sad but of course this is the next step, we live in a world of the socially responsible, political correct where safety rules are as abundant as the ridicule if you don’t comply.
 
Sued:
McDonalds for selling, go figure hot coffee
Huffy for selling lawnmowers that didn’t warn consumers not to hold above your head and cut your hedges with.
Starbucks for too much ice in an iced coffee.
 
Next will be the Boom/Rig/Mast manufacture for.......getting hit in the head.
 

pointless_signs.jpg

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Let the people who want their kids to wear helmets be.  I say, if the kid still gets to sail because the helicopter parents feel more comfortable with the kid having on a helmet, that's fine by me. 

 

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I think the helmets are just another piece of the over-protectiveness that will create a generation of kids with greatly reduced survival instincts and abilities. Sort of like the reduced immunity that comes from not letting little kids eat dirt.

It's a sophisticated and kind of ironic form of natural selection.

 

Then again, maybe the meek really will inherit the Earth.

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I think the kids should also be required to sail in protective suits made of bubble wrap. Not only will this absorb some of the boom's impact, it also serves as flotation.

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Quote from US Sailing website:

"A word of caution now needs to be clear to all persons who consider using helmets while sailing. There is no data to confirm that helmets will prevent concussions. Helmets have been shown to reduce the incidence and severity of facial and skull fractures, contusions and lacerations, but not concussions. (4, 5) Concussions seem to occur more easily in pre-teen and teens.  We also need to be aware that wearing a helmet makes the head a “larger” target and could possibly lead to more head strikes.

Therefore, it is the position of the Sports Medicine Committee of US Sailing that helmets should be considered and encouraged but not mandated for aggressive competitive sailing, crew positions at increased risk for strikes to the head, and sailors who are learning the sport and thus unfamiliar with the position and movement of rigging and equipment."

Source http://www.ussailing.org/helmets-sportsmedicine/

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For a bit of perspective... I have had 5 major concussions (2 from sailing) and likely countless other small ones from years of contacts sports, skiing, sailing, and life in general.  This started early in my life and progressed over time.  If I so much as take an elbow to the head now I lose 2 to 3 months of my life recovering in a best case scenario.   The worst case scenario would be death.   I do not begrudge parents who wish to forestall this potential fate.  In general the stigma in sailing around helmets is toxic.  I wear one now simply so that I can still enjoy the sport, and I will continue to do so.  I mainly race J/70's now, and while it is a relatively safe boat, its just not worth the risk.  Even for someone in my situation laughs and ridicule on the course are common.  This culture led me to not be wearing a helmet the last time I got hurt and that's a problem.   When I was a ski racer in the late 90's and early 2000's we were the only people on the mountain in helmets and most people sneered.  20 years later you would get laughed at for not wearing one.  All of the excuses people made for why people shouldn't have them have fallen away as people have simply gotten used to them.  The toxic culture is gone and everyone is better off for it.  How about we just take a step back and lay off for a bit.  People can make their own decisions about what is best for themselves and their children.  They don't need or deserve your ridicule. 

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30 minutes ago, Norse Horse said:

Should be born with helmets. Oh, wait...

 

i needed that :lol:

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The first organ donor I ever saw in the hospital was a 28 yr. old Marine Captain, someone in excellent condition with outstanding reflexes.  He was riding a bicycle at slow speed on a residential block, hit a small patch of oil while going around a corner and hit his temple on the curb. Not a physical mark on the body but totally brain dead.

I told my kids the first time I saw them on a bike w/o helmet, they lost the bike for a week; second time and bike would be sold.

After working for 10 years in hospitals and the number of preventible head injuries that come in as organ donors I'm all for helmets; biking, motorcycling, skiing, even sailing in high winds with low boom boats.

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1 hour ago, soling said:
................
Sued:
McDonalds for selling, go figure hot coffee
Huffy for selling lawnmowers that didn’t warn consumers not to hold above your head and cut your hedges with.
Starbucks for too much ice in an iced coffee.
 
Next will be the Boom/Rig/Mast manufacture for.......getting hit in the head.

 

hobie got sued in the '80's by fucktards sailing into electrical lines,

US-made hobies had floppy non-aluminium "comptip" top sections of the mast after that...

 

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I am the father of agirl in her mid 20's that recieved a number of concussions when younger.  The problems she has now because of those concussions is involved in her every day life.  If i could put a helmet on her for those years that she competed without one I would gladly do so.  For those who think it is somewhat of a joke, picture yourself in a hospital while your child is hooked up to IV's because they cant stop the pain in her head.  Concussions are additive.  Meaning just because there has been no seeming effect from a hit in the head while young, doesnt mean you have gotten away from damage.  It could all come back to haunt you when your child is older and gets another concussion by way of a car accident as an example.  Then all of those little bangs in the head that you think teaches a lesson become the seeds for major problems.  If you dont want your kid to sail with a helmet...fine.  But stop shaming those people that do , with these stupid excuses.

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Look at skiing. We never wore helmets in the 80"s and 90's. Took my kids in the late 2000's and everyone had them adults and kids. I had a Ski Patrol harass me about not wearing one. Soon it will be mandatory. Watch our sport, soon it will be the rage.

 

Although if i can get one with beer holders, a straw and a cigar holder i may think about it.

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1 hour ago, soling said:

If you get hit in the head with the boom more than twice I think Natural Selection applies. 

You don't really think that, do you?

Are you stupid or just trying to be outrageous?

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I have two young boys that are learning to sail at home with dad.  We wear PFDs, but no helmets.  Skiing, snowboarding, biking and skateboarding, helmet without fail.  We even have full face helmets for downhill or pump track biking.  I've seen the head injuries first hand and have chosen to protect my kids in those sports.  I have yet to witness a major head injury while sailing.

PS: I wore a kayak helmet in two Key West races in 2003 or 04....blowing like hell on an F28.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our club's Summer sailing camps did not use to require helmets but now we do. The change was made not because somebody got hurt or we as a club thinks it's good for the safety of the kids. The change was made as a CYA to reduce our liability to a lawsuit. Can a kid still have a head injury and we get sued even if we did nothing wrong as a club running a camp? Sure but requiring helmets is one less thing the lawyers can ding you on.

 

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I have never worn a helmet while sailing, but i went out sailing in my optimist alone, with the forecast gusting up to 50 knots during a cape town storm so i decided to play it safe,even though i am not at all an inexperienced sailor. Should i have done otherwise?

 

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Smart; you are welcome to sail my Laser if you happen to be in the area (where the orange-haired one lives).

I also wear a helmet sailing my Laser in 20 mph or more. But the bike type helmets won't help much with a blow to the side of the head. On the other hand, it's been my experience that such an helmet does protect with hits higher up. I have had a few of those where my helmet did protect me.

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They were helmets not for their own boom but for all the other booms that come flying at them at the gybe mark.

As they are on Bics that bounce off each other rather than go crunch a lot of the kids jam in close with no care for the boat, or others at the marks.

 

The kids choose to wear them, not the parents forcing them to

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7 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

I think the helmets are just another piece of the over-protectiveness that will create a generation of kids with greatly reduced survival instincts and abilities. Sort of like the reduced immunity that comes from not letting little kids eat dirt.

It's a sophisticated and kind of ironic form of natural selection.

 

Then again, maybe the meek really will inherit the Earth.

Please explain what Darwinian end was served by the death of my wife,  from drowning after a head injury on her windsurfer.

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11 hours ago, dacapo said:

 they are O'Pen Bics with CF booms....lighter than fuck

While they are fairly light,  I'm pretty sure the boom is Aluminum.   I mean,  they use a glass MAST and are for kids,  would you REALLY put a carbon spar on the bill ?

Catching one from a nearby boat gybing could probably ring your bell.

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It was awhile ago but someone posted a video of a little guy learning to sail an opti.

A couple of clonks by the boom (yeah, he was wearing a helmet) and continued on, none the worse for wear.

Wish I could find it.

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39 minutes ago, Great Red Shark said:

While they are fairly light,  I'm pretty sure the boom is Aluminum.   I mean,  they use a glass MAST and are for kids,  would you REALLY put a carbon spar on the bill ?

Catching one from a nearby boat gybing could probably ring your bell.

you are correct, my bad

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I'm a high school sailor in fj's and 420's, a Laser sailing and a J/80 sailor. I haven't worn a helmet since I was a kid, and I hit my head two or three times more often when required to wear one (go die in a hole VISA) 

 

 

 

p.s. I have had mutiple brain and back surgeries but I still don't care 

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Until you have personally had an severe tramatic brain injury from the simplest of accidents should you really be telling people who should or shouldn't wear helmets

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I downhill ski once every 5 years or so and was really confused the last time when they asked if I wanted to rent a helmet.  My first thought was "for what?"  Then on the slope I noticed awkwardly that I was nearly the only one without a helmet.  After looking at the new adventure sports type helmets I have to admit they look pretty comfortable and could no doubt could save your life.  Also makes a good mounting spot for the Go Pro.  I've taken some really good blows throughout my life from the boom and occasionally a flogging clew.  Its hard to figure how my perspective might be different if a helmet had taken those for me, but perhaps a little less respect for the forces involved.  I'm a voc ed teacher now and having a hell of a time getting the concept of height, momentum, centrifugal force etc across to my younger students.  Just make causal comparison of todays safe playground equipment compared to the diamond plate and tube steel, and concrete sewer pipe playgrounds most of us over 30 had.  Yeah, there were broken arms, blood and lots of bruises but there was real learning to be had from those experiences.  And I'm pretty sure I drank from the garden hose and didn't get my first bike helmet until I was 20.  Hard to say what an acceptable level of risk is.  My kids wear their helmet biking and skiing.

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with all the reading above I come to the conclusion that what really prevails is that wearing a protection device depends on the situation and on the understanding of risk. You cannot set a rule/ a law to say : wear an helmet while sailing! Key thing for these kids is to understand the risk

  • Yes I do wear an helmet when I am kitesurfing at 30knts +
  • Yes I wear an helmet when I am doing alpine snowboarding or freestyle
  •  No I do not wear any protection when I am longboard skating
  •  No I do not have shoes when I dinghy sail and it is 5knots
  • Yes I wear a full face helmet and protection when I a downhill mountainbiking
  • No I do not wear an helmet when I ride my cruiser bike
  • Yes I wear a harness if I am solo sailing in 5 knots
  • No I do not wear harness in 30knots on a sports boat with a fully trained crew

what people/kids need to learn is the approach to risk, to look after them selves and not expect a  device to save them because they put themself in a situation that they cannot understand.

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any & all safety measure can be ridiculed. all statistically inclinded "ridiculers" quoting the unlikelyhood of anything bad happening (accident, injury, desease, whatever) please consider: infant- & childmortality is low BECAUSE of protective measures like cleanliness, inoculations, safetymeasures galore in the medical (or e.g. aviation) scene, at home & on the playgrounds. of course 1000 years ago the 60-year-olds probably had better immunesystems & were healthier & fitter than today's 60-year olds - but they were those few left over from a lifetime of "selection" by deseases, accidents, etc.

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"...Yeah, there were broken arms, blood and lots of bruises but there was real learning to be had from those experiences. ..." & donor organs from those that didn't make it!

yours is a very cynical way of looking at things (apparently you did not hhave the chance to "learn" from "xperiences" like planecrashes, etc.!)

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On our club optis we put roll-bar padding on the booms. The kids still get hit in the head, but not hurt as much, while leaving their heads out in the breeze. Once they get their own boat  it is up to them and their parents -some choose helmets.

My theory is they will still notice but it probably wont hurt enough to put them off sailing. That said I don't really know how much padding or most helmets will help guard against concussion but they do reduce the cuts and bruises.

 

 

 

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car crashes are the leading cause of head injury for children by a factor of 100.

Why aren't you demanding children wear helmets while sitting inside a car ?

 

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19 hours ago, sailronin said:

The first organ donor I ever saw in the hospital was a 28 yr. old Marine Captain, someone in excellent condition with outstanding reflexes.  He was riding a bicycle at slow speed on a residential block, hit a small patch of oil while going around a corner and hit his temple on the curb. Not a physical mark on the body but totally brain dead.

I told my kids the first time I saw them on a bike w/o helmet, they lost the bike for a week; second time and bike would be sold.

After working for 10 years in hospitals and the number of preventible head injuries that come in as organ donors I'm all for helmets; biking, motorcycling, skiing, even sailing in high winds with low boom boats.

You don't wear a helmet to prevent a concussion (Although it doesn't hurt). You wear one to prevent temporal artery rupture. It is no joke. Wearing a helmet doesn't make you a geek. It potentially helps stop you from becoming a vegetable.

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I also find it interesting that PA pulled its helmet law for motorcycles. I wonder how much money ended up in the then gov"s funds for that one.

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I don't understand the vehemence every time someone notices that someone else is doing something safe.  If you don't want to wear a  helmet, don't - but why do you care if someone else does?  The same thing happens over lifejackets from time to time.  On my boat, crew wear inflatables.   You don't have to sail on my boat, so why do you care?  

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16 minutes ago, sshow bob said:

I don't understand the vehemence every time someone notices that someone else is doing something safe.  If you don't want to wear a  helmet, don't - but why do you care if someone else does?  The same thing happens over lifejackets from time to time.  On my boat, crew wear inflatables.   You don't have to sail on my boat, so why do you care?  

I have no issue with what anyone else does on their own boat. It becomes an issue for me when other individuals or groups attempt to mandate what we all must do on our boats.

Sailboats are not powerboats, PWC's, cars, motorcycles or ATV's.  Attempts to compare them as reasons for mandatory helmet usage are strawmen, or false equivalencies. What percentage of sailing deaths and injuries are related to getting clobbered by the boom? I suspect (but admit that I do not know for certain) that the number is extremely low.

I'm fine with personal choice, but I reject more mandatory regulation.

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33 minutes ago, sshow bob said:

I don't understand the vehemence every time someone notices that someone else is doing something safe.  If you don't want to wear a  helmet, don't - but why do you care if someone else does?  The same thing happens over lifejackets from time to time.  On my boat, crew wear inflatables.   You don't have to sail on my boat, so why do you care?  

This is only speculation but I suspect the reaction you're asking about is due mainly to the general attempt to eliminate risk from our lives.  Sometimes that's a silly attitude (I've reached 60+ mph on my snowboard, I'd be a complete moron not to wear a helmet doing that) while other times its valid (I've read reports that eliminating all elements of danger from playgrounds have caused kids to be unfamiliar with risk and how to assess it, a vital skill every child should have).

So when people get their panties in a bunch about other people being too safe, I think it's usually a reaction to the general trend in society curbing the inclinations of natural born risk takers. 

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Sadly, it's all more complicated than it first appears... The cycle helmet and ski helmet scenarios are probably pretty sound examples to explore... Not because the risk levels, types of accident etc are comparable but because the way the sport and public responds is relevant. We are getting (from the sounds of it we already are in the USA) to the point in skiing where you may be seen as reckless or foolish if you are not wearing one, though I've yet to see any actual evidence that they are effective.

 

 I'm not going to get involved in a complicated exposition here,  just would like to highlight that, for example, cycling is relatively safe in Holland, where few wear helmets, that there's little solid statistical evidence that wearing a helmet on a bicycle actually makes you safer, overall and that the perception that cycling is dangerous does a lot of harm to its popularity as a healthy mode of transport. After all, if it's safe, why would you need to wear a helmet? It's already been pointed out a few times in the thread that if you really want to reduce head injuries in children the thing to do would be to mandate helmet use in cars... though I shudder to think what the effect of that on other road users would be, if it applied to the drivers!!!

 

Concussion and brain injury is a hot issue at the moment... one of my sailing friends recently published a paper on the effect of "heading" a football on the brain which garnered a lot of publicity internationally.... but her son doesn't wear a helmet when sailing...

 Cheers,

                   W.

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3 minutes ago, WGWarburton said:

 We are getting (from the sounds of it we already are in the USA) to the point in skiing where you may be seen as reckless or foolish if you are not wearing one, though I've yet to see any actual evidence that they are effective.

For me with snowboarding it was never about evidence that its effective, first step was a near miss with rock, second step was finding how damn comfortable snowboard helmets are. I would feel weird riding without one, after 20 years using one.

Same with seatbelts, they became mandatory in the UK about when I took my driving test. it feels weird not wearing one.

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I'm not interested in mandating a thing!  Don't wear a helmet or life jacket if you don't want to, unless you're on my boat, in which case your options are: wear the jacket or sail with someone else.  But this thread started out about kids wearing helmets, not about mandating it.

 

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17 hours ago, Connor.kainalu said:

I'm a high school sailor in fj's and 420's, a Laser sailing and a J/80 sailor. I haven't worn a helmet since I was a kid, and I hit my head two or three times more often when required to wear one (go die in a hole VISA) 

p.s. I have had mutiple brain and back surgeries but I still don't care 

Correction - you don't care because you have had multiple brain and back surgeries.  Ask your parents if they care.

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6 hours ago, burndoc said:

I also find it interesting that PA pulled its helmet law for motorcycles. I wonder how much money ended up in the then gov"s funds for that one.

The main reason I will not join the AMA  ( American Motorcycle Association ) - their advocacy AGAINST helmet laws.

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5 hours ago, Ajax said:

I have no issue with what anyone else does on their own boat. It becomes an issue for me when other individuals or groups attempt to mandate what we all must do on our boats.

Sailboats are not powerboats, PWC's, cars, motorcycles or ATV's.  Attempts to compare them as reasons for mandatory helmet usage are strawmen, or false equivalencies. What percentage of sailing deaths and injuries are related to getting clobbered by the boom? I suspect (but admit that I do not know for certain) that the number is extremely low.

I'm fine with personal choice, but I reject more mandatory regulation.

+1 Thank You Ajax well said!

 

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How many here rode a bike when they were a kid? How many times did you smack your head? How many sailed as a kid? How many times did you smack your head sailing? Do you wear a helmet on your bike now? Why? I doubt you ever hit your head once riding a bike.

Personally it blows my mind that kids in sailing programs aren't required to wear helmets. They WILL get hit in the head until they learn to duck, they're kids for crying out loud! Why let them go out, KNOWING there is a high likelyhood of getting smacked, hoping it won't be serious.

Do I want to wear a helmet on my leadmine? HELL no. And once a kid has enough sense to make the decision on his/her own that's different, but little shits in Optis don't have a clue what thy're up against.

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For what its worth Stickie, I split a hard shell helmet open on a tree in a bike accident as a kid. Explains a lot, no?  But your point is dead on.

 

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Did this kind of rhetoric happen when they started mandating youth sailors wear PFDs? I wish there had of been a better culture around helmets when I was doing youth sailing because I think it would have helped reduce the risk in those times that you may not have control over whether your head gets hit or not. Whether it is someone else's boom, or a quick maneuver that doesn't go to plan, accidents happen. A helmet is a good way to reduce he chance of injury from those accidents without any major downsides for the sailor.

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On 20/06/2017 at 2:28 AM, ease hike trim said:

You don't really think that, do you?

Are you stupid or just trying to be outrageous?

After the third time they should take up golf.

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And BTW we had a thread about this only a few months ago. Now about those retards who think fingerless gloves are safe...

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On 6/20/2017 at 3:51 AM, DryArmour said:

You don't wear a helmet to prevent a concussion (Although it doesn't hurt). You wear one to prevent temporal artery rupture. It is no joke. Wearing a helmet doesn't make you a geek. It potentially helps stop you from becoming a vegetable.

100% correct.  

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My sons 4th grade teacher was a friend. His son is same age as my youngest. He grew up skiing and had 1000s of days most on the hill he took my son along with his kids up for a weekend. He was a beloved teacher who had the respect of kids and parents alike. First day in the afternoon william blazed off alone to free ski one run alone balls out at speed to remind himself he was still just a big kid on a run he'd skied 100s of times since he was single digits old, he dug in and high sided at 30mph and hip slammed whipping his head onto the snow. His son came along within minutes and saw him out cold with his helmet in pieces. Using the emergency whistle william had given him after I told him about my getting them for my sons in case they were lost or found someone injured, his son blew it and kept william warm with the space blanket william had also given him. Help came and people did their best but william was never the same man and teacher he was before. He paints houses now and is divorced from his vow ignoring wife. With all that he still has a life and loving relationships with his children. Without the helmet he only wore as an example for his kids he would be who knows where. Head injuries are not broken arms, scraped knees, lacerations,  sprains, burns etc. My sons used sharp knives and were around stoves and fires froma very young age. Were they near 2 gallons of boiling oil or water, 80 feet off the ground on a cliff with no protection or operating a table saw or chainsaw at 6 yo? Fuck no. They had full face helmets riding mtbs on the adult single track though until they were proficient. My kids were given a lot of rope to experience the physical world while they coukd bend and bounce. The length of rope did not allow for concussions or worse or mouth/face injuries. The lessons learned with those dont pass the cost/benefit test. Not even close.

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when I see other mtb-riders going downhill helmetless I always think that obviously there's nothing worth protecting there...

laugh at me, but on 3 rtws the only time we were not clipped in was when within easy swimming distance of a shore (<200m) or sailsdown in dead, I mean d e a d, flat calms

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Safety equipment should be used in relation to risk. This is why a world class downhill mountain biker will be wearing a full face helmet and body armour versus a Dutch cyclist in a segregated bike lane wearing no protection. Neither is wrong as both are proportionate.

Children are or should be protected further as they have limited ability to assess and quantify risk. This is the role of guardians and is difficult as most people cannot assess high consequence but low frequency events without undue bias. Balance is everything.

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10 hours ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

My sons 4th grade teacher was a friend. His son is same age as my youngest. He grew up skiing and had 1000s of days most on the hill he took my son along with his kids up for a weekend. He was a beloved teacher who had the respect of kids and parents alike. First day in the afternoon william blazed off alone to free ski one run alone balls out at speed to remind himself he was still just a big kid on a run he'd skied 100s of times since he was single digits old, he dug in and high sided at 30mph and hip slammed whipping his head onto the snow. His son came along within minutes and saw him out cold with his helmet in pieces. Using the emergency whistle william had given him after I told him about my getting them for my sons in case they were lost or found someone injured, his son blew it and kept william warm with the space blanket william had also given him. Help came and people did their best but william was never the same man and teacher he was before. He paints houses now and is divorced from his vow ignoring wife. With all that he still has a life and loving relationships with his children. Without the helmet he only wore as an example for his kids he would be who knows where. Head injuries are not broken arms, scraped knees, lacerations,  sprains, burns etc. My sons used sharp knives and were around stoves and fires froma very young age. Were they near 2 gallons of boiling oil or water, 80 feet off the ground on a cliff with no protection or operating a table saw or chainsaw at 6 yo? Fuck no. They had full face helmets riding mtbs on the adult single track though until they were proficient. My kids were given a lot of rope to experience the physical world while they coukd bend and bounce. The length of rope did not allow for concussions or worse or mouth/face injuries. The lessons learned with those dont pass the cost/benefit test. Not even close.

Lock it.  Thread over.

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It's far more dangerous for children on the drive to the boat park than sailing.

 

If you think wearing a helmet is required for sailing, then you better darn wear one while inside a car.

 

Leading cause of death & head injury for children is driving 

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Sometimes it is best to get kids using safety equipment in low risk situations so the behavior becomes automatic as they advance to higher risk stuff. Soon there is no inhibition about its use and young minds do not have to do complex safety analysis every time. Some parents at my marina have there kids put on pfds as they exit the car, seems silly at first but does make sense.

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On 6/19/2017 at 9:02 AM, olshitsky said:

By that logic, why not wear helmets while driving?  Or walking down the street.

The likelihood of serious injury from an Opti boom is nowhere near the catastrophic effects of not wearing a seatbelt.  And as others have pointed out, there is an upside to not wearing a helmet.

 

Also, talk to any rugby player about helmets and safety.  Methinks that football helmets cause a lot more injury than they prevent.

Anyone who thinks football helmets should be banned for causing injury, needs to be reminded of how many college football players died in the late 19th and early 20th century before helmets were introduced.  More than a dozen per year.

As for helmet-wearing kids on Optis, well, kids are more perceptive than adults give them credit for.  If adults say "this is dangerous, wear a lot of safety equipment" and it actually isn't all that dangerous, the next time an adult says something is dangerous (and is right) then they're less likely to be take seriously.  In other words, helmets on Optis is crying wolf pretty big-time.

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10 hours ago, coyotepup said:

Anyone who thinks football helmets should be banned for causing injury, needs to be reminded of how many college football players died in the late 19th and early 20th century before helmets were introduced.  More than a dozen per year.

As for helmet-wearing kids on Optis, well, kids are more perceptive than adults give them credit for.  If adults say "this is dangerous, wear a lot of safety equipment" and it actually isn't all that dangerous, the next time an adult says something is dangerous (and is right) then they're less likely to be take seriously.  In other words, helmets on Optis is crying wolf pretty big-time.

http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/news/nfl-concussions-football-helmets-risk-taking-behavior-brain-injury-helmetless-tackling-technique-lawsuit/15srtbuzodfbk10tkmhxm8ayr7

 

While it's only one article, it's something to be considered.  I'm not saying no protective equipment should be worn, but collectively we should acknowledge there may be a downside if it causes people to rely on equipment to protect them rather than proper techniques to avoid the injury in the first place.  I get that it's the head and you may not get a second chance, but it doesn't mean the point is invalid.

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17 hours ago, coyotepup said:

Anyone who thinks football helmets should be banned for causing injury, needs to be reminded of how many college football players died in the late 19th and early 20th century before helmets were introduced.  More than a dozen per year.

As for helmet-wearing kids on Optis, well, kids are more perceptive than adults give them credit for.  If adults say "this is dangerous, wear a lot of safety equipment" and it actually isn't all that dangerous, the next time an adult says something is dangerous (and is right) then they're less likely to be take seriously.  In other words, helmets on Optis is crying wolf pretty big-time.

Whilst I agree with the above the problem is that the photo does not really tell us anything. For example this could a be a group of kids with little or no sailing experience in a contained basin where they are towed upwind every time they get downwind or they could be entirely more experienced. This could be a local community project where the turnover of kids makes determining their skill level prior to the task impossible hence the use of the helmets or these kids could have been out there for weeks prior.

Last year I was at a local sailing event where there was a little 5-6 year old girl out in a optimist with the sail cut to heighten the boom and wearing a helmet. Was the opti class legal or competitive no however this little girl was out pfd'd up with her younger brother sailing about in sub 10 knots of breeze having a good laugh. Do I think this kid will be wearing a helmet in 5 years time then I very much doubt it. For that scenario the parents had done a good job in getting the kid experience whilst minimising the risk of injury for her skill level. Slamming a photo as they are all wearing helmets kind of misses the point in that they are out and having fun and if the price is that a local sailing community can get numbers out by giving them a boat, helmet and pfd then I am all for it. When they introduce legislation for senior opti nationals kids to wear a helmet then I will get worried.

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10 hours ago, olshitsky said:

http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/news/nfl-concussions-football-helmets-risk-taking-behavior-brain-injury-helmetless-tackling-technique-lawsuit/15srtbuzodfbk10tkmhxm8ayr7

 

While it's only one article, it's something to be considered.  I'm not saying no protective equipment should be worn, but collectively we should acknowledge there may be a downside if it causes people to rely on equipment to protect them rather than proper techniques to avoid the injury in the first place.  I get that it's the head and you may not get a second chance, but it doesn't mean the point is invalid.

I'm not putting my head in the sand about the long term effects of all the bashes to the head football players take, and that helmets may have contributed to a false sense of security.  Certainly a big aspect to that.  But the truth remains that football was a deadly sport before helmets.  It probably would be again.  Rugby isn't very comparable - much of it is spent in a slow-moving, low-momentum scrum.  Helmets keep football players from getting whacked in the head and dying, which was awfully, awfully common around the turn of the last century.  So much so that the President got the college presidents together and said, look, something has got to be done.  Harvard-Yale games were canceled.  Schools banned football.  Nobody has died on the football field from a blunt-trauma head injury since the advent of helmets, and that to me is a step forward.

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28 minutes ago, coyotepup said:

I'm not putting my head in the sand about the long term effects of all the bashes to the head football players take, and that helmets may have contributed to a false sense of security.  Certainly a big aspect to that.  But the truth remains that football was a deadly sport before helmets.  It probably would be again.  Rugby isn't very comparable - much of it is spent in a slow-moving, low-momentum scrum.  Helmets keep football players from getting whacked in the head and dying, which was awfully, awfully common around the turn of the last century.  So much so that the President got the college presidents together and said, look, something has got to be done.  Harvard-Yale games were canceled.  Schools banned football.  Nobody has died on the football field from a blunt-trauma head injury since the advent of helmets, and that to me is a step forward.

If you take a stop watch to a Rugby game and a Football game I think you will find in most cases there is more open field running and passing in the rugby game.  You will also find that in the football game there is more time spent between the tackle and the next snap than spent playing.

The more relevant difference is that football is a game of inches (or at least 10 yards at a time) and rugby is a game of possession. In football, the principle defensive objective is to stop the opposing ball carrier dead (pun intended). In rugby, it is to gain possession of the ball by stripping it or more typically positioning the ball carrier so team mates can strip it in maul (standing) or gain possession in a ruck (on the ground). The nature of rugby tackles (except when played by ex-football players) produces fewer “head to head” tackles.

All the same Rugby produces a significant share of brain injuries…and deaths:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/teen-rugby-player-dies-after-suffering-head-injury-in-game-1.1361147

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2013/dec/13/death-of-a-schoolboy-ben-robinson-concussion-rugby-union

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/18/young-new-zealand-rugby-union-player-dies-following-on-field-injury

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/full-shocking-toll-rugby-concussions-11112463

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-devon-39721798

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The AC boats don't even have a boom to smack them around. They might accidentally walk into a wall of clear Mylar, ouch! They might fall on those hard nets between the hulls or fall into the cockpit, like any boat.

I guess AC helmets are for capsizing, a fall from a considerable height onto something hard or falling overboard ahead of the foils and catching a wing tip in the head.

Optimist Dingalingys with something like a 45sq ft main and a lightweight boom, not so much. HTFU kids.

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8 hours ago, KC375 said:

If you take a stop watch to a Rugby game and a Football game I think you will find in most cases there is more open field running and passing in the rugby game.  You will also find that in the football game there is more time spent between the tackle and the next snap than spent playing.

 

The more relevant difference is that football is a game of inches (or at least 10 yards at a time) and rugby is a game of possession. In football, the principle defensive objective is to stop the opposing ball carrier dead (pun intended). In rugby, it is to gain possession of the ball by stripping it or more typically positioning the ball carrier so team mates can strip it in maul (standing) or gain possession in a ruck (on the ground). The nature of rugby tackles (except when played by ex-football players) produces fewer “head to head” tackles.

 

All the same Rugby produces a significant share of brain injuries…and deaths:

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/teen-rugby-player-dies-after-suffering-head-injury-in-game-1.1361147

 

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2013/dec/13/death-of-a-schoolboy-ben-robinson-concussion-rugby-union

 

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/18/young-new-zealand-rugby-union-player-dies-following-on-field-injury

 

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/full-shocking-toll-rugby-concussions-11112463

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-devon-39721798

 

Talk to a few old rugby forwards one day. Then, a little while later, you can have the same conversation again. They are sustaining serious concussions throughout their playing careers, and it is affecting them later in life. 

There is quite a bit of debate on how to best manage concussions in all of the Australian football codes, including immediate mandatory medical checks for any ko in a professional game, free interchange for a concussed player etc

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Rant, just like Optis. There are plenty of sports where proper headgear is a must. If NFL players are having all the concussion problems while wearing helmets, I really feel for your rugby players. Sad future for those guys.

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On 26.6.2017 at 7:55 AM, HILLY said:

 

maybe you can find a "witty" video of all those disabled & dead kids that didn't make it. plenty of those, you just don't notice them all that much. apparently the perceived "overprotection" & "over-precautions" are an emotional subject for some!

there is a rational way to look at risks though:

1. how do I rate the likelihood of an accident happening?

2. how "negative" is the outcome when it happens?

3. what does it "cost" me to take "countermeasures"?

now if I relate this to my "two lives": first one: the cruising life (3 rtws): lots of risks (drowning, medical emergency, shipwreck, you name it) - not considered sufficiently likely to stop us from cruising (=too high a cost, staying at home), but as various "outcomes" would have been very "negative" ideed we were very cautious (eg. always harnessed to the boat = little "cost"), paranoid about setting anchors,...

second life: mountainbiking: lots of risks for injuries going downhill on extreme trails-not-biking considered too high a price even though likelihood of accident imho not inconsiderable, always wearing all available protection going downhill though (= acceptable cost to wear all that plastic). despite all this seriously hurt myself, now reconsidered & avoiding all steep downhills (acceptable "cost" when looking at operation & 3-month break from sports)

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50 minutes ago, tane said:

maybe you can find a "witty" video of all those disabled & dead kids that didn't make it. plenty of those, you just don't notice them all that much. apparently the perceived "overprotection" & "over-precautions" are an emotional subject for some!

 

From Opti sailing? Umm, OK

51 minutes ago, tane said:

...there is a rational way to look at risks though:

1. how do I rate the likelihood of an accident happening?

2. how "negative" is the outcome when it happens?

3. what does it "cost" me to take "countermeasures"?

 

Rational assessment of risk, excellent. So what -is- the risk mitigated by wearing a helmet? Is there a single Opti kid anywhere who has suffered injury?

It comes up in discussion sometimes, "What about the boom, I'm afraid of it." I generally turn that to a discussion of what makes the boom swing back and forth. If you get hit in the head, it's because you're not paying attention.

On 6/25/2017 at 11:07 AM, steele said:

Sometimes it is best to get kids using safety equipment in low risk situations so the behavior becomes automatic as they advance to higher risk stuff. Soon there is no inhibition about its use and young minds do not have to do complex safety analysis every time. Some parents at my marina have there kids put on pfds as they exit the car, seems silly at first but does make sense.

Also, wearing helmets looks cool.

I'm not against it if kids want to wear helmets. Shucks some kids want a third eye transplanted into the middle of their forehead. If a parent came to me and wanted their kid to wear a helmet, I would try to have a serious discussion about what the real risks of sailing are; but it's true: people aren't scared of what is really going to kill them. People are scared of the imaginary boogie-men. If I knew of a better way to have fun I'd just give up on the human race.

FB- Doug

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On ‎6‎/‎19‎/‎2017 at 0:28 PM, ease hike trim said:

You don't really think that, do you?

Are you stupid or just trying to be outrageous?

Probably both.

 

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On 6/26/2017 at 6:12 PM, Rantifarian said:

Talk to a few old rugby forwards one day. Then, a little while later, you can have the same conversation again. They are sustaining serious concussions throughout their playing careers, and it is affecting them later in life. 

There is quite a bit of debate on how to best manage concussions in all of the Australian football codes, including immediate mandatory medical checks for any ko in a professional game, free interchange for a concussed player etc

OK we are off topic but interesting (that is probably the wrong word for it) that the NFL is having the same discussions. How to best manage concussions. The NFL is really trying to limit the number of hard hits and as a result is really making the sport even more boring. Yes there still is a huge fan following for the NFL but I am seeing more and more people saying it's just not as much fun to watch and doing other things or watching other sports or just catching the highlights. Personally I find the sport extremely boring, too much standing around, too many commercials and a 300+ lbs. fat ass that needs oxygen on the sidelines is not an athlete so maybe I am not the best source.

BUT the NFL knows they have a concussion problem and are trying to make adjustments. But if you take out too much contact the sport becomes really boring. They also might get into some serious lawsuit problems down the road. We will see... If I were going to invest in a sport it would not be the NFL; NBA and MLB would be much better choices in my opinion.

Now if they put the play clock to 15 - 20 seconds they would be on to something but don't see that happening. BTW we sometimes have Rugby on at the gym and it is quite entertaining to watch, those guys are beasts!, although sometimes I am not sure what the F is going on. :lol:

OK I am done rambling for anyone still reading! LOL

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Our kid started in Opti 1 last year and he was required to wear helmet.  As he started Opti 2 on Monday I asked if he was required to wear the helmet this year and it is not a requirement.  With that said he told me this "Dad, if it is light air I don't think I will wear a helmet but if it is blowing I will wear it, that boom hurts if it hits you hard".  This is coming from a kid, that on Sunday, was at a free ski camp getting 15+ feet of air on a wooden ski ramp and landing in an air bag...He is kind of bad ass and so use to helmets that it does not bother him.

I see no issue with wearing helmets.  I raced on skis when I was in high school and then after college and even doing Super-G events a helmet was not required.  5 years ago we were skiing in Taos and the little punk asked why Dad was not wearing a helmet.....I immediately went to the ski shop and and begrudgingly bought a helmet,  15 minutes later I was totally comfortable with it and have never looked back.  

On the sailing front I have never worn a helmet but if I was sailing a a very high performance boat I would totally consider it.  With that said there have been a number of times when I was doing bow on a big S kite boats where I wished I had a helmet on.....I personally know that a 17' long aluminum spin pole can put the lights out when it whacks you in the side of the head.

 

Cheers,

Jim 

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Steam Flyer: my post was not related particularly to helmets-on-optis, but to general risk-safetymeasures.

Youall arguing against protection equipment is like saying: why all this safety/carbon/etc-bullshit in F1, nobody is getting hurt or killed (well, hardly anybody these days...), useless, costly safetymeasures.

now in the days F1 interested me closely - late 60ies, early 70ies they were dying like flies on the F1 circuit, even had one posthumus champion, Jochen Rindt, the hero of my early teens (I'm austrian as he was). if the accidents that the pilots just walk away from these days had happened in cars of that period most of them would have been dead.

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In the states, this is likely to become mandatory b/c insurance companies will start requiring it to supply coverage for youth programs, regattas, and maybe even private boat insurance. It will start with schools. All it takes is one or two programs requiring it for it to become, "best safety practice." As a side note, MIT raised the boom on their Techs by a few inches and dramatically cut down on head injuries. Look for similarly modified boat designs as well. 

I have no issue with anyone who wants to wear a helmet. I personally cannot imagine sailing every race with one on. 

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From a safety point of view I would expect putting foam on the boom to be more effective than putting foam on the head.

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7 minutes ago, JohnMB said:

From a safety point of view I would expect putting foam on the boom to be more effective than putting foam on the head.

If the boom were the only hard surface on a boat... yes. Maybe bubble wrap the mast, shrouds, etc? Or fasten air bags to all hard surfaces? 

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1 hour ago, frostbit said:

If the boom were the only hard surface on a boat... yes. Maybe bubble wrap the mast, shrouds, etc? Or fasten air bags to all hard surfaces? 

You think there is any significant risk of head injury from contact with other hard surfaces than the boom on small craft?

I thought this was a rational discussion, maybe the recommendation should be tin foil hats all round.

 

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3 hours ago, JohnMB said:

You think there is any significant risk of head injury from contact with other hard surfaces than the boom on small craft?

I thought this was a rational discussion, maybe the recommendation should be tin foil hats all round.

 

I may have drifted a bit off rational in my last post and straight into facetious. However, having sailed many dinghies and many big lead mines and many sport boats, I feel very confident in saying that head injuries can come from more than the boom. Some examples: Dinghies - mast from violent capsizes and/or pitchpoles, or spin poles cooking off the mast after a fitting breaks. Lead mines - definitely spin poles for the foredeck and mast man, genoa clews, and hardware failures including broken masts. Sport boats - other boats. 

My position on this is not "let's all wear helmets." My position is, I don't want to wear a helmet, I have no problem with anyone who does, but I'm convinced that the insurance companies and litigious society we in the US live in will eventually require us to do so in order to receive insurance coverage.

BTW, regarding foam on the boom, most foams are only good until they have their first medium to major contact with a hard surface. Would be expensive to replace that foam. And also the windage would suck.  

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As a real world example, on the double-handed entry in the just completed Van Isle 360, both crew wore helmets every day.  Nobody thought anything other than it looked like they were smart.  Especially when it got lumpy.

Having been knocked out cold by a spinnaker pole (40'er) and a boom (J-24), I wore a helmet after the boom hit (full on concussion).  Am thinking about starting wearing one again after latest concussion playing hoops.  I mostly drive now or hold up the backstay; if I did bow, I certainly would.

 

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Well, everyone has to make their own decisions in this world, and not be ridiculed for them.  I wear a helmet windsurfing if it's blowing so hard I need a 5.0 square meter sail or smaller.  At the Columbia River Gorge and other places, if you wipe out, which you will, the board and rig can get launched off a wave, fly and hit you in the head.  Or worse, you can get pegged with the fin.  At that point (5.0 or smaller) I also wear a PFD, since it doubles as body armor, which you will need if you get launched hooked in.

Sailboat?...never!...I sail primarily Lasers and J/24's (no comments please, it's the only two games in town).  I always wear a PFD. If I get hit in the head when falling overboard at least my face will be above water and I might have a chance of survival.  Also, the new ones are comfortable and in Laser racing they are required.

I guess I never listened when my mom told me not to touch the hot stove...had to find out the hard way!  Did I try it again?...hell, no. That said, I did listen when she told me to look both ways before crossing the street....really good advise Mom, Thanks!  As a kid, I guess I was smart enough not to wait and see what it was like to get mowed down by a car or truck.

I live in the NH...you don't have to wear a seat belt if you don't want to here, only state in the nation. (if you are over 18 y/o) We take the state moto "Live Free or Die" maybe a little too seriously here in the Granite State.  You can not wear a seat belt and die, if you want to, your prerogative....I wear a seat belt religiously, but I don't wear a helmet riding my bicycle.

I have no children. If I did I would tell them to avoid the Optis....stupid little boats and make kids terrified of capsizing. When they move up to Lasers you have to push the limits downwind sailing by the lee and not be fearful of capsizing.  If you capsize an Opti, in a race, your race is over!...dumb ass boats. I would hate sailing if I had learned in one? Who likes being cold and scared in freezing cold water with a boat that cannot be righted alone and sailed away?...dump ass boats!  These Bic things look very cool.

I guess if I had a kid, I would put him/her in one of these Bic things and give them the choice and not ridicule their decision.

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