What Skate Helmet Size Should I Get?

Rollerblading is all endless fun until it suddenly isn’t—when you take a spill. A hard tumble where you slam your head onto hard pavement can put you out of skating for good. It’s your job to keep that melon covered with a decent, well-fitting skate helmet.

Also read: S1 or Triple 8 helmets?

Always wear a fitting helmet when skating, but what skate helmet size should I get? Measure you head circumference and look at the model’s size chart. That’s how you size a skating helmet.

Related: How to choose a good skate helmet

Incorrectly Fitted Skateboard Helmets Can Be Risky

3 helmets, two are tilted, and one is sitting level

Choosing the right skate helmet and ensuring a proper fit are critical for optimal protection while skateboarding, inline skating, roller skating, or whatever.

A loose skateboard helmet may roll off during impact, leaving your head unprotected. And a tight one can cause pressure points at the temples, forehead, back and top of the head.

This guide explains the process of properly measuring your head for a skate helmet. It also details key safety certifications like ASTM F1492, CPSC, EN 1078, and MIPS.

Fit Matters More Than Fancy Features

When choosing a skateboard helmet, creature comfort and fit trump fancy features. Go for a snug fit – not too tight or loose.

Try the ‘two-finger’ test on the chin strap. More than two fingers going in means the helmet is too loose. Also, the brain bucket shouldn’t move much when you push it side-to-side or up-down. A movement of less than an inch is ideal.

Also, the chin strap should form a ‘V’ around your ears. If the helmet has a size-adjustment dial, make sure the wheel or knob stays secure throughout the session.

Most importantly, the head protector shouldn’t exert pressure on your temples or any other part of your head. Proper helmet fitment fosters safety and comfort, so prioritize it.

How to Size a Skate Helmet Step-by-Step

a triple 8 sitting level on Peter's head
This is my Triple 8 helmet sitting level on my head.

Here’s how to easily measure your head for a skate helmet in 3 simple steps:

Step #1: Wrap a flexible seamstress’ tape or string around the widest part of your head, about 1″ or two-finger widths above your eyebrows, keeping it level for accuracy.

Step #2: Note down the head circumference in centimeters or inches.

Step #3: Consult the manufacturer’s size chart to find your helmet size based on your head circumference. For example, My Triple Eight is designed to work best or 55-59cm noggins. I have 58cm head, and it fits me reasonably well.

Seek Help for Head Circumference Measurement

If it’s tough measuring alone, ask a friend or skate shop staff to lend a hand. My fellow skater and author at skatingmagic.com, Bujie, helped me measure my head and properly fit and secure my helmet.

Read Helmet Reviews And Size Up or Down

Following the helmet sizing guide above isn’t enough. Go a step further and read skater-generated helmet reviews to learn how each model its in the real world. If most reviewers with firsthand experience with the product say to size down or up, do that.

The most reliable way to avoid skate helmet sizing issues is to walk into a physical skate shop and try on different models and sizes. But not everyone can buy in-person. When buying online, honest skateboard helmet reviews are your best bet.

Now that you can size a skate helmet correctly, what’s next? Pay attention to safety certifications. And that’s what the rest of this sizing guide dwells on.

Inline Skate Helmet Safety Certifications

skateboard Helmet certifications CPSC and ASTM F1492

Always go for a certified skate helmet, one that meets or exceeds the ASTM F1492 skate safety standards or the CPSC standard. Most options today are dual-certified, meaning they comply with both CPSC bike helmet and skate safety standards, which is nice.

Check the helmet for labels bearing its safety certification information. A properly certified helmet assures you that it has passed a battery of rigorous safety tests. It’s a solid promise that the lid can provide reliable protection against blows to the head.

I recently watched a demonstration of how S1 helmets tests its helmets (video). They put the helmet on a metal head form and drop it 6.5 feet onto different kinds of hard surfaces (anvils.). To learn more about the anvil types used for helmet impact testing, read this resource.

To pass the test, the helmet must reduce 1,000Gs of energy to under 300Gs according to the S1 engineer in the video above. The test helmet reduced the crash energy to 253Gs, diverting 747Gs away from the head form, passing the high-impact test.

If you’d like to check out an S1 helmet, here’s a review of the S1 Mega Lifer (bought and tested). This one fits the biggest skater heads better than all others.

EN 1078 Bike And Skateboard Helmet Safety Standard

The EN 1078 is a helmet safety standard recognized by 32 countries in Europe, including the UK.

The testing standards for the EN 1078 aren’t as stringent as those of the ASTM, Snell, or CPSC. So does it mean helmets made to this standard are less protective against impacts? No, because there isn’t a mite of scientific data shows that cyclists and skateboarders in countries enforcing this standard see more cases of brain trauma.

Keep your eyes peeled for any new developments in skate helmet technology and consider upgrading if it’s too old. Experts recommend that you replace your helmet every 5-7 years. However, if you take a hard spill at any time, it’s best to stop using the helmet and replace it.

MIPS Technology: Optional But Might Offer Extra Safety

Thinking about a MIPS helmet? MIPS stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, and a growing list o brands are now offering MIPS-enabled skateboard helmets.

While there’s no definite proof that MIPS helmets are superior to standard certified ones, they could offer more peace of mind. MIPS is designed to tackle rotational forces, which is handy because, let’s face it, not all impacts are linear.

While this extra head protection system isn’t mandatory, MIPS could add an extra layer of protection for certain types of impacts. It’s designed to reduce rotational forces that could happen from angular impacts because not all crash impacts are linear.

Your Head Shape Matters, Too

Skate helmet brands like Triple 8, Pro-Tec, and TSG make high quality helmets, but they don’t fit exactly the same way. Skate helmets are designed for different head shapes.

For example, Triple 8 helmets typically suit rounder heads better while Pro-Tec, S1, and TSG helmets may be more suitable for more oval-shaped heads.

If you wear a helmet that’s more round and you have a more oval head, it likely won’t fit you very well. Read this resource to learn the different kinds of head shapes there are. The intermediate-oval head shape is the most common.

Ask a family member or friend to sit at a higher position than you so that they can have an aerial view of your head. Have them tell you if they think you have a round oval, long oval or intermediate oval head based on this head shape chart.

Skate Helmet Fitment AQs

1.Should a Skate Helmet be Tight?

A skate helmet should be snug rather than too tight or too loose. An extremely tight helmet can trigger headaches according to the CDC.

2.How Do I Know My Skate Helmet Size?

Measure your head’s circumference and use the model’s size chart to calculate the correct skate helmet size. Also, read reviews and size up or down based on the majority’s suggestion.

3.How Should a Skate Helmet Fit a Child?

Size the kid’s helmet with the hair style (ponytail maybe?) they’ll mostly wear. After tightening a kid’s helmet down, it should sit level on the head. However, it shouldn’t obstruct vision, and it shouldn’t be tilted to the front or to the back.

The sides should sit above the ears, but not too far up. And the brim should be at roughly one-finger-width above the child’s eye brows.

The side straps should sit astride each year, forming a V. After adjusting the chin strap and fastening it, no more than one-adult-size finger or two kid-size fingers should fit under the chin strap.

4.Should I Size a Skate Helmet Up or Down?

If you’re between sizes, size down provided that the fit is comfortable enough. You’ll save weight and won’t have a bulbous helmet on your dome.

What if the helmet causes a headache or hurts mid-ride? That’s when to pick the larger size and tighten it down to a comfortable place with the retention system. Having a little extra room is a good idea, especially if you like wearing a bandana or cap.

How to Fit Your Head for a Skate Helmet: Conclusion

A properly fitted skating helmet promotes your safety and comfort. Before buying, measure your head circumference and size up or down based on honest helmet reviews.

Get a certified lid and decide if paying for an extra layer of protection like MIPS makes sense for your style. Also, don’t forget your head shape when picking a brand.

With a well-fitted, certified helmet, you’re all set for safe and fun rollerblading, skateboarding, roller skating, longboarding, or whatever style you favor.