|Surfer look||Slides back due to bucket effect|
|PU Foam||No sun protection|
|Light, minimal, comfortable|
|Deflects water from eyes|
Recommendation: While the new Olaian Surf Helmet by Decathlon looks good and provides adequate protection, Decathlon has made a couple of design choices that prevent it from performing exceptionally. However, despite its faults, it is a good option.
The shell is made of a combination of 80.0% Foamed Thermoplastic Polyurethane (a PU foam which offers a higher rebound capacity than EVA - about 2x as much) and 20.0% Polyamide (otherwise known as nylon). Essentially, the Foamed Thermoplastic Polyurethane is what we’re concerned with here as it is the material that provides the protection. You can read more about how visco plastics like PU can be used to deflect impacts in this paper.
The helmet’s closest counterpart to a flag football helmet that has been extensively reviewed by the VT Helmet Ratings, would be the Xenith Loop. The headband’s pads are also made from a PU foam, and the headband achieved a 5-star rating.
Therefore, compared to the other options for surf helmets on the market, we’re probably talking about pretty decent protection with this one.
The Olaian Surf Helmet by Decathlon is so close to being an excellent performer. It’s comfortable to wear, has a good look, low profile, and a well thought out back strap mechanism to help it stay put.
Furthermore, it creates a bit of a suction cup on your head due to the sort of stretchy bowl-with-no-holes liner. Something that also helps deflect water from your eyes.
Unfortunately, though, that lack of holes in the liner doesn’t allow the water that does get in - despite the suction cup - to escape, causing the bucket effect when your duck diving or getting rinsed.
The other bizarre design choice that was made is the thin brim. It is simply not large enough to provide any meaningful sun protection - in fact I’ve even been getting burned above my eyebrows wearing this helmet - making it somewhat pointless. And considering the brim is part of the liner, it could get caught during an impact, negating a little bit of the potential protection the helmet provides.
While the new Olaian Surf Helmet by Decathlon looks good and provides adequate protection, Decathlon has made a couple of design choices that prevent it from performing exceptionally. However, despite its faults, it is a good option.