The more protection against injury and suffocation, the better. But along with advances in gear comes the inevitable effect of homeostasis: When people have more protection they take greater risks. One suspects they might make different choices about route selection and ski lines if they were to ski with no protection at all, not even a transceiver.
But in today’s world we seek technological solutions to everything. A new concept is a skiing and snowboarding helmet called Aeros designer by Christina Hsu that would contain novel elements of extra protection, including a full-face shield that would drop down if necessary and dual oxygen tanks to deliver up to 25 minutes of air in the event of burial. It would also feature a retractable neck brace to guard against trauma.
There are some challenges the Aeros ski helmet will need to overcome if they are to become common place. The helmet would be anything but light. Oxygen canisters should be small enough to fit into the back of the helmet to hold enough air for a couple minutes of breathing, so she proposes cans made from HiPer-tex fiberglass, which could handle much higher pressure and store up to 25 minutes.
We hope Christina’s avalanche helmet will soon be the safety reference of ski helmets in the near future.