Should You Wear a Helmet While Kayaking?

Should you wear a helmet while kayaking

Whether you want to explore the numerous kayaking adventures or just starting out, a helmet is important.

Should you wear a helmet while kayaking? The answer is yes. Using a piece of proper safety equipment during kayaking is non-negotiable.

Should you wear a helmet while kayaking
kayaking shoes

While many people stop at using personal flotation devices (PFD) to stay afloat during a mishap in the water, a helmet should not be ignored.

A kayaking helmet would keep your head safe from injury.  Before you enter the water, you should use PFD and helmet to stay safe.

When to Wear a Kayak Helmet

You need a kayak helmet for the more intense kayaking sessions. You do not want to hit the rock or tree when you kayak.

For instance, cave kayaking or ocean kayaking requires that you use a helmet.  The chances of accidents are more when going at a rapid speed, especially in shallow water.

If a kayak capsizes, you need to save your head too. We recommend that people use a kayak helmet when they kayak.

From actively paddling or scouting, you need a helmet. In case of emergency, you need to have a helmet on and fitted.

Many people have lost their lives because they hit the head by a kayak during capsize.  Where the water is shallower, you can encounter rocks.

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Should You Wear a Helmet While Kayaking?

Head injuries are serious. It can result in a medical emergency. This means that you have to be careful when kayaking.

A kayak helmet can help you stay safe in water.  The severity of a head injury can keep you out of commission for a long time.

You should invest well in kayak. Do not abandon a helmet when you want to kayak.

How to Wear Kayak Helmet Properly

We must tell you that helmets vary. A bicycle helmet can work for you in a pinch out on the water.

However, you must learn to invest in a good kayak helmet. The reason for this is simple. If you use an ill-fitting helmet, it can cause more problems during an emergency.

There are things to look for when buying your kayak helmets. They include the following:


  • The helmet needs to sit about 2 fingers in width above the wearer’s eyebrows. This position helps the wearer protect his/her temples and forehead.
  • The chin strap of the helmet needs to be tightened to ensure that it cannot fit more than your two fingers between it and the chin.

You get your helmet fitted and prevent it from coming loose or sliding off when you paddle.

  • The helmet requires enough coverage of the temple, forehead area, and the back or your head. Buy a helmet that can suit your head perfectly.
  • Ensure that helmet is comfortable. You should try different sizes and get the ideal size for your head.


The best kind of kayaking trip you can have is a safe one. Even if you’re just recreationally paddling on a lake, bringing along a properly fitting kayak helmet will ensure you can reap all the benefits and enjoyment of a kayaking session without worrying about injury along the way.

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What kind of helmet do I need for kayaking?

We have 3 types of kayaking helmets.  The type of helmet you pick should depend on the activity you want to embark upon.

If you are using the river and water routes, you need a full face mask. However, you may want to get a half-cut model for activities that require lots of sprays.

You have the choice to make when it comes to picking a kayak helmet.

Should you wear a helmet while kayaking
kayaking helmet

Side-cut or Half-cut helmets


The half-cut or side-cut helmet offers you slightly less protection. However, they provide great drainage than the full-cut models.

The helmet ensures more comfort and easy communication because the ears are not covered.

You can use half-cut helmets for your sea kayaking, kayak touring, including light whitewater kayaking.

Full-cut helmets

The full cut helmets provide complete protection that extends over the years. The helmet helps you feel warmer since the ears are protected from weather elements.

Full-face helmets

This type of helmet can protect the jaw and the entire head.  However, they do not drain as well as the cut variants.

However, they are important when it comes to technically demanding courses, especially during situations that can affect the face.

What helmet should I buy?

We have different types of helmets you can pick from the market.  You do not wake up and buy a helmet without research.

There are factors to consider when you want to buy a helmet.  You should consider the following factors:

Lightweight and sturdy Shell

You need a shell that is sturdy and lightweight to help withstand impacts on the head. Ensure that the helmet must be fit to the head correctly.

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A well-fitted helmet cannot dislodge during flip over. We have some great helmets with retention systems.

The system helps in holding fast when you experience hydraulic pressure that tries to push the helmet away.

Many people do not consider this when they opt for cycling or skateboarding helmets for their kayaking activities.

Helmets with removable lining ensure that the innards can dry without difficulty. Also, this ensures that mold and mildew do not grow inside the helmet.

You should find the right helmet that would offer your ear complete protection.  If you leave your ears exposed, it could be an extremely painful experience.

Can you use a bike helmet for kayaking?

When it comes to kayaking, you need the right helmet. You may not want to use helmet for your kayaking activities.

The reason for avoiding a bike helmet during kayaking is for safety.  A bike helmet would not keep you safe during accidents or emergencies.

Can you use a rock climbing helmet for kayaking

Rock climbing helmets are powerfully built. If you end up tipping over with the helmet, you would have your head full of water.

Meanwhile, a whitewater kayaking helmet drains water faster because of the holes in it.

Should you wear a helmet while kayaking
kayak helmets

Can you use a skateboard helmet for kayaking?

No! You should not use a skateboard helmet for kayaking.