If you’ve never worn a helmet when surfing, it’s going to feel a little weird the first few times.
However, if you’re surfing waves of consequence, crowded spots, over shallow reef, or after recovering from a previous head/brain injury, a surfing helmet might just save your life.
You’ll want something that is lightweight, secure, water resistant, and drains easily.
Gath surfing helmets tick those boxes.
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Top Picks for Surf Helmets
|Gath Helmet with Retractable Visor - Black - S||Go ☛|
|Gath Gedi Helmet with Peak - Orange - M||Go ☛|
|Tontron Adult Whitewater Kayaking Canoeing Watersports Helmet (Matte Citrus, Large)||Go ☛|
|Pro-Tec - Ace Water Helmet, Satin Orange Retro, S||$54.99||Go ☛|
Our picks for the best helmets for surfing are:
Gath Neo Surfing Helmet Features
The Gath Hat Neo is the original surfing helmet, and has retained its spot as the top choice since 1989.
This surfing helmet has everything you need for high speed and high impact water use.
It’s lightweight with a secure fit using a neoprene headband that reduces water flow to your eyes and doesn’t limit your vision.
Key features of the Gath Neo Hat surfing helmet include:
- Weights about 325-350 grams.
- UV stable, impact-resistant shell.
- Shatterproof visors.
- Impact-absorbing liner made from non-water absorbent foam material.
- 10mm neoprene headband strap to secure the helmet snugly and adjust to your head shape.
- Comfort strips and padding.
- Non-corrosive hardware.
- Quick-release, comfortable, and non-absorbent retention system.
To figure out what size helmet you should get, measure around the middle of your forehead just above your ears.
Gath surfing helmets are backed by a 3-year warranty and designed to withstand rust, harsh conditions, and extreme hot and cold temperatures.
When you’re surfing and going underwater a lot, you’re going to want a helmet with a tighter fit. The original Neo hat from Gath is a solid choice for waves big and small.
Why wear a helmet when surfing?
Helmets are commonly used in pretty much every other “extreme” sport other than surfing.
However, that doesn’t make risks of head or brain injury any less likely while you surf.
Here are some times when you can risk an injury to your head while surfing:
- Wiping out on big waves at high speed can be like falling on concrete.
- Hitting the reef with your head will cause some serious damage.
- Having your board or someone else’s surfboard hit you in the head.
If you’re not wearing a helmet and these things occur, the best case scenario is a sore head, and the worse cause scenario is a traumatic brain injury or death – by impact or being knocked unconscious and drowning.
While it may feel a little foreign at first, wearing a helmet when you surf can greatly reduce your risks of serious injury or death.
If you surf waves of consequences or in areas where an impact to the head is likely, a surfing helmet might just save your life.
Again, if you’re not used to wearing a helmet or even a hat while you surf, it’s going to feel a little weird until you get used to it.
Given the light-weight and comfort of most surfing helmets, the biggest weird thing you’ll probably notice will be how it affects your hearing.
At first, some types of sounds may feel louder and others will feel muffled. Just takes a little time to get used to it.
A bonus of wearing as surf helmet is that it’ll give you an easy place to securely mount your GoPro for surfing.
Best Surfing Helmets: Top Choices
In addition to Gath surfing helmet above, some other great choices for the best surfing helmet include:
Gath Gedi Surfing Helmet
Another great Gath surfing helmet is the Gath Gedi.
This is a popular choice among PWC operators and water photographers.
It takes a variety of different add-ons so you can customize the helmet exactly as you need to.
A little heavier than the Neo at 360-420 grams.
Tontron Watersports Helmet
At about 400 grams, this watersports helmet from Tontron is another good choice.
Quick-dry impact absorption liner with lots of drainage will keep it from feeling like a soggy bucket on your head.
Pro-Tec Ace Water Helmet
This surf helmet from Pro-Tec is a heavier choice at almost 600 grams, but won’t obstruct your hearing as much.
Built with plenty of vents for air flow and drainage to keep your head dry.
Even if you’re loggin’, it’s a good idea to protect your noggin.
Surfing comes with risks. Head injuries are certainly a serious one.
If you want to reduce your risk of serious head injuries, TBIs, or death, wearing a helmet when you surf is a good idea.
Do you have experiences with any of the surfing helmets described above? Maybe you’re a fan of something we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!