Skiers and Riders: Click the button below to learn more about the importance of wearing a helmet and skiing and riding safely.

Discover Snow: Helmet Safety

Our view on helmets

NSAA promotes the use of helmets on the slopes. We urge skiers and riders to wear a helmet - but to ski or ride as if they are not wearing a helmet. NSAA views skiing and snowboarding in a controlled and responsible manner as the primary safety consideration for all skiers and boarders. A skier's behavior has as much or more to do with the safety of the sport as does any piece of equipment.

Helmet Usage Data

Helmet usage has grown drastically over the last two decades. The overall percentage of skiers and riders wearing helmets increased from 25% in the 2002/03 season to 90% in the 2021/22 season.

overall U.S. helmet usage

Lids on Kids

In 2002, only 63% of kids age 9 and under wore helmets while skiing or snowboarding. Kids 17 and under? Less than half! 

NSAA developed the Lids on Kids program to help ski areas educate their guests on helmet use in skiing and snowboarding. The campaign included FAQs about helmet use, fit and sizing information, general slope safety information, related articles and games, and testimonials about helmet use from well-known athletes, including U.S. Ski Team members. The tagline, "A Helmet-It's a Smart Idea," is printed on posters and promotional cards at resorts nationwide.

The result? A demonstrable and significant increase in kids wearing helmets. Nearly 100% of kids age 9 and under reported wearing a helmet while skiing or riding - without state or local mandates. This past season (2021-22), about 95% of all kids age 17 and under wore helmets on the slopes. 

What's next?

NSAA is focusing its efforts on young adults, ages 18-34, to encourage further adoption of helmets within this group. While approximately 86% of people in this age range report wearing helmets, our data shows that most of our opportunity to increase usage lies here (especially with male skiers and riders). NSAA encourages all ski areas and state associations to maintain helmet safety messaging, and recommends targeting this group to help increase helmet adoption.