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Old 10-01-2013, 07:26 PM   #1
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First DE - Which Helmet?

hey guys - i'm heading to my first DE in a couple of weeks and need to purchase a helmet.

any advice on type (e.g. full or open face), and where to buy would be greatly appreciated.

TIA -
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:50 PM   #2
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I recently picked up a discounted Pyrotect from the company's ebay site ( Follow pyrotectracing on eBay Profiles ) for about $135 shipped.

Wish I knew about the SCCA starting line deal at the time though ( the scca starting line - getting started in motorsports the right way - learn to drive fast with the fastest driving school around ).
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:56 AM   #3
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If you are not sure wether or not you'll be doing more events that require a helmet, most do offer loaner helmets....however, loaner helmets are like loaner underwear.
For most motorsports events you'll need a helmet with an SA 2010 rating. It will be good until 2020. Watch out for SM ratings- those are motorcycle helmets, and usually not acceptable. Starting prices are $200-250. Full face is safer than open face. Get one, and get used to the look and feel. Speaking of feel, if at all possible, try a few on before buying. Helmet sizing can be as vague as shoe sizing. If your budget is a bit bigger, a nice option is a removable/washable liner. More expensive is not necessarily safer, just lighter, more optioned, or fancier. If you anticipate wearing it a lot in the summer, pick white over matte black.
Search "SA 2010 helmet" and have your money ready.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:12 AM   #4
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I just went to my first DE at Roebling Road Raceway near Savannah, GA, through the Florida Crown PCA, and I had to get a helmet. I measured my head (a couple of places give guidance on this) and then mapped it up to different sizes/brands (each brand's size can be slightly different than the others). There were so many choices that I didn't have a clue.

For my DE, Apexperformance.net was the sponsor, and I gave them a call, and they said they would be bringing a big trailer full of helmets and supplies and I could just try some on when I got there. I am glad I did, because each brand of helmet can fit slightly different. Some are tighter around the top of the head, and if you get one big enough to fit the top of your head, it is too loose around the jaw, and some are tighter around the jaw and looser up top, etc...

I tried on a bunch, and ended up with a bell full face (can't recall the exact model). It was around $260'ish I think. They gave me a 15% PCA discount.

There were a couple of cheaper ones, some open face and some full face but they just wouldn't fit my head correctly. They had a $50 rental option for those, and then pay the difference if you want to buy the helmet at the end of the event.

I would check with the organizer of your DE and see if there is a trackside sponsor, and then give them a call and see what helmets they are bringing out. They will likely have a ton and you can try them on and get advice from folks that are in the business, and you can see what everybody else has while you are there.

Good luck and keep the shiny side up!

Steve
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:22 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ATX_Boxster View Post
hey guys - i'm heading to my first DE in a couple of weeks and need to purchase a helmet.

any advice on type (e.g. full or open face), and where to buy would be greatly appreciated.

TIA -
If you are thinking of racing beyond Auto-X then get a full face SA-2010.

I got my full face "Zamp" here SA2010 Helmets - SafeRacer

The Zamp full face is a little tight on the cheeks due to ample cushioning but is quite comfortable and after getting some more use it will likely loosen a tad anyway.

Last thing you want is a helmet that shifts on you while racing, so a snug fit but comfortable is a good thing.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:08 PM   #6
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thanks for all of this info guys. definitely helps and is much appreciated!
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by j.fro View Post
If you are not sure wether or not you'll be doing more events that require a helmet, most do offer loaner helmets....however, loaner helmets are like loaner underwear.
For most motorsports events you'll need a helmet with an SA 2010 rating. It will be good until 2020. Watch out for SM ratings- those are motorcycle helmets, and usually not acceptable. Starting prices are $200-250. Full face is safer than open face. Get one, and get used to the look and feel. Speaking of feel, if at all possible, try a few on before buying. Helmet sizing can be as vague as shoe sizing. If your budget is a bit bigger, a nice option is a removable/washable liner. More expensive is not necessarily safer, just lighter, more optioned, or fancier. If you anticipate wearing it a lot in the summer, pick white over matte black.
Search "SA 2010 helmet" and have your money ready.
In an airbag car I am not sure that closed face is safer...the airbag can catch the bottom edge of the full face portion and well you get the picture
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:37 PM   #8
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SA2010. Full face. Snug fit. Try on before buying, fit varies widely between mfg's and even between models from the same mfg. Lighter will be easier on your neck but will also cost more. After that, its all pretty much personal preference and how much you want to $pend.
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Old 10-04-2013, 05:58 AM   #9
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I bought a SA 2010 Snell not-full-face (whatever it's called) helmet a while back because I used stinky, wet, dayglo orange loaner helmets for 3 DEs and I was tired of the entire loaner experience. The helmets were in such high demand that I was required to drop it off after every session so someone else could use it. Ugh.

Full face helmets were just too expensive and I have an airbag, which was my reasoning. If I had a race prepared car, I'd have a full face helmet, full fire retardant suit, coolshirt, spare tranny in the trailer, yada yada yada
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:07 PM   #10
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I highly suggest a full face helmet even with a stock car and an air bag. Today's street cars are just as fast as many race cars. Most DE's use the same tracks as wheel-to-wheel racing and offer opportunities to go well over 100mph. At those speeds you'll want all of the protection possible. Several manufacturers offer full face models that start at $275 which is only slightly more expensive than comparable open face helmets.
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