Are helmets even necessary for wakeboarding?
If you find yourself asking this question, the answer is a big yes. You shouldn’t ride a wakeboard without one.
Just like a seatbelt in a car, a wakeboard helmet is usually your first line of defense for protecting your most important asset-your brain.
Of course, there’re plenty of mixed reactions about the need for quality wakeboarding helmets, but for me, it’s a no-brainer.
I had a wakeboarding accident in 2015 in Malibu. Nothing crazy, but I caught the back edge of the board and somehow went down hard whiplash style.
When my friends circled back to get me, I was acting all loopy and crazy. I had crushed my forehead, broke my nose, and torn my rotator cuff.
The injuries would have been fatal if I wasn’t wearing a wakeboard helmet.
I would have probably suffered a concussion and wouldn’t even be here to tell the tale.
So, yes, a wakeboard helmet is always a must for me.
Of course, a helmet won’t always help with all the crashes, but there’re times you’ll be glad you were wearing one because it would have hurt.
Beyond the safety factor, having a wakeboard helmet gives me a little more confidence when my kids are riding because it saves them from the board hitting their heads.
But unfortunately, not all wakeboards will provide you with the protection you need in case of a crash.
And you definitely don’t have to play Russian Roulette with your head safety.
The good news is, we’ve compiled a handy guide that will help you select the best wakeboard helmets that will give you more confidence in the water.
Table of Contents
The Best Wakeboard Helmets For The Money
#1 Pro-Tec Ace Water Helmet - EDITOR'S CHOICE
We selected the Ace Water Helmet for our top position because of its versatility.
It’s not only perfect for wakeboarding, but you can also use it for other active sports such as hydro foiling, kite surfing, and much more.
Personally, I use it as a bicycle helmet because I just like that it stands out from the typical bicycle helmets.
And when I’m wearing one, my friends say I look like a special OPS navy seal.
The helmet keeps the sun off my head, and it is easy to mount my Go-Pro camera.
Also, it’s much more than a “bump cap.” The Pro-Tec is a professional helmet and has even gained popularity among the First Responders and others in the EMS field.
Now, while there’re plenty of things to love with this wakeboarding helmet, one thing that stands out is head lock fitment.
I like it because of the ample support, especially at the backside of the head.
While it doesn’t have the same adjustments as you’d get in a bike helmet or the higher-end Pro-Tec Ace Wake Helmet, the interior fit system supports my noggin quite well, with no play.
It fits solid with the two adjustable nylon straps next to each other under my chin, and my head always feels snug without pressure.
More importantly, it eliminates the uncomfortable pinch right at the forehead and is quite stable with a minimal wiggle when fastened correctly.
Comfort on this bad boy doesn’t end there.
It also comes with 15 vents, which enhance the overall air ventilation. The headgear is comfortable to wear, and even when I duck dive, I don’t feel like I’ve anything on.
On top of that, this top-rated wakeboard helmet has a well-articulated water drainage system that adds relief to the rider.
The drainage vents eliminate all the water from the helmet, so you’re not left soggy and wet after taking a wipe.
Of course, the ultimate test with any wakeboard helmet is the safety element.
The good news is Pro-Tec Ace Water Helmet doesn’t fail in this department. It’s not a surprise considering safety is always a priority with Pro-Tec, which is why we love this helmet.
Sure, the Pro-Tec has an overly simple design, but you can’t beat it for sturdiness and performance.
For starters, the outer shell utilizes an excellent quality of ABS material. I admire the construction not only for longevity but because it can withstand high-impacting activities like a champ.
But the best safety feature, so far, at least for me, is the inner foam padding.
The interior foam liner is made out of high-quality EVA material. It’s not pure foam but rather a smoother, waterproof EVA liner, logical for water headgear.
The inner foam is compact and generous (over 1cm thick), so it’ll absorb varying degrees of hard hits and knocks.
At the same time, its closed-cell design means it won’t absorb water as the normal helmet foam does. So, you don’t get waterlogged.
Another unbeatable edge of this helmet is the detachable cupping ear guards. Besides helping with the drainage, the padding will shield your eardrums from harm.
Overall, the Pro-Tec Ace Water Helmet is a nice purchase, and I couldn’t be happier with this system.
It’s the best wakeboarding helmet for me, especially considering it has got rid of its issues, and I got the sun visor with good ear protection, which I badly needed.
#2 Tontron Adult Helmet - Best Helmet for Breathability
I was a bit skeptical when purchasing the Tontron Adult Helmet because it’s less expensive than many big-name brands, but I’m not skeptical anymore.
The reason is, I’m happy with the helmet, and it has exceeded my expectations by far.
It works well and protects me when the side of my head hits the water first. Falling sideways or backward is also much less painful, and this gives me more confidence when trying tricks and jumps.
Speaking of tricks and jumps, the Tontron Adult Helmet is among the lightest on our list, so it’s a great pick for doing tricks.
However, it’s not so light that it seems cheap and unsafe. Instead, it’s just the right weight not to fatigue you.
I also love it because it looks universal than the dedicated ski, wakeboarding, or cycling helmets.
It’s a multi-purpose helmet, which I use for cycling, foiling, and surfing when not wakeboarding. I consider it a great option if you’re looking to saving from having so many water helmets.
Tontron also scores highly on the safety department, and I’m pleased with that.
First, it has a high-density ABS outer shell, so it’ll last for a long time and will take on the impacts and crashes like a champ.
More importantly, it comes with a high-quality EVA foam, which saved me from a few bumps on the head.
And the good thing is, in case you hit a rock, the helmet doesn’t expose your temple because it has a ratcheting rear adjuster band on the back.
And this brings us to the fitment.
The fit on this helmet is great, thanks to the adjuster and retention strap system. The adjustable knob and adjustable nylon straps ensure that you effortlessly dial in the fit.
When the helmet is correctly in place, you won’t even notice it when riding, but I’m pleased I’ve it one when I’ve a hard fall.
Another reason why customers love this helmet is because of the 11 air vents that provide exceptional air ventilation.
It gives maximum comfort even when wearing it for long hours in the water. The vent holes also dry water quickly, and this helps with lousy odor.
#3 Triple Eight Sweatsaver Halo Water Helmet – Most Versatile Wakeboarding Helmet
If you thought the Pro-Tec was a versatile helmet, then the Triple Eight Halo Helmet redefines the term versatility,
It’s by far the most multi-purpose helmet I’ve come across.
Triple Eight Halo Helmet is okay for wakeboarding and skateboarding.
Personally, I use it at the cable park for wakeboarding, but it could be used for whatever activity you want.
Also, kids and adults can use it, making it more desirable than other wakeboard helmets.
And as with our top pick, the Triple Eight Water Halo Helmet is quite comfortable to use.
It fits well and doesn’t drag in the water when I crash and pull on my neck the way my old wakeboard helmet used to.
Instead, it has nice and thick-fit pads that cushion my head, and I feel nice wearing the helmet all day long.
I’m also quite happy with the overall construction of the Triple Helmet.
The reason is the helmet is built to last.
It boasts of a high-quality ABS material on the outer shell. The material is so sturdy that it’ll take a beating like a champ.
The wakeboarding crashes do little harm to the helmet, and you won’t be replacing it any time soon.
Secondly, it comes with three foam layers foam for even better comfort.
The soft waterproof EVA lining is moisture-wicking, so it keeps your noggin ever dry even in the sweltering summer heat.
On top of that, it squeezes all the water out like a sponge. Yet, it has amazing impact protection and will keep your head safe at all times, even during moments of crashing.
And as we had mentioned earlier, it comes in an array of sizes.
So, it’s not only ideal for kids and adults, but it means you can always find the right sizes for your head.
The adjustable chin strap is yet another feature I was impressed with on this helmet. It allows you to customize the helmet’s fit to your needs, so you’ll always find an option that suits your needs.
Overall, I’m quite pleased with the Triple Eight Halo Water Helmet.
It’s my best wakeboard helmet for days when I need to switch from one water sport to the next without having to change much of my gear.
I would definitely recommend it.
#4 NP Surf Water Sports Helmet – Best Wakeboard Helmet for those on a Budget
After searching for the perfect wakeboarding helmet, I couldn’t be happier to choose the NP Surf Water Sports helmet.
It has incredible quality, fit, and style.
I’m even blown away that it comes at a fraction of most of the best wakeboarding helmets.
And yet, the quality doesn’t reflect the NP Surf Water Sports Helmet as a budget pick.
For example, it meets the water safety standard codes, it’s lightweight, and has some quality soft foam on the inside.
It’s also really good-looking, and the designs seem well thought out. Overall, it’s well made, looks cool, and even comes with removable ear guards.
When it comes to durability, this bad boy doesn’t back off either.
The helmet features the same high-quality ABS plastic we saw earlier on some premium models, so it’ll stand up to abuse and impact.
What about safety?
The soft EVA foam liner absorbs all the impact energy, so you’re assured of maximum safety in the event of a collision.
I also prefer this helmet because of the comfort it gives. It gives maximum head and neck support, and you won’t even be feeling the helmet when duck diving.
Another plus is the exceptional air ventilation. The helmet adds further relief to the riders, especially when wakeboarding in the hot sun. The ventilation allows better air circulation, and you never feel too hot wearing the helmet.
But NP Surf Water Sports Helmet’s strongest suit is the fitment.
This budget purchase boasts of a “dial” style fit adjustment at the nape of the helmet.
I love this design because it’s simple to adjust with one simple turn in either direction with one hand and no guessing.
It allows for a snug fit, and I can effortlessly fit in users with a medium head like mine, even before cranking the dial.
#5 Gotham Water Helmet - Most Durable Wakeboarding Helmet
If you need the best wakeboard helmet for optimum performance, consider the Helmet by Triple Eight.
This helmet seems to do the trick, and it comes at a good price.
It’s good enough for most wakeboard riders. Personally, I used it in wakeboarding, but I’ve also found it quite handy for surfing, kite surfing, and other water sports.
I love how comfortable and nice it feels to wear the Gotham Helmet.
For example, it doesn’t meddle with my movements as I wear it because it drains all the water effectively. This helps to prevent any discomfort, such as waterlogging and water dripping on your face.
It also prevents the growth of odor-causing bacteria in the long term. Perfect.
The other thing that made us include the Gotham Triple Eight Helmet on our list of the best wakeboard helmets is its durability.
It utilizes a high-quality and high-density ABS material. I’m already impressed with the choice of material as it has prevented damage on the helmet despite consistent knocks and hits.
While remaining durable, this top-rated wakeboard helmet also scores highly in the safety department.
The inner of the helmet utilizes an EVA foam liner to secure the head properly in case of impact or collision.
On top of that, it’s triple-layered with plush fabric to give you more confidence in the water.
I also love wearing the Gotham Helmet over others because of how easy it gets on and off my head.
It has a nice removable Velcro adjustable strap that helps me customize my fit, tightening or loosening the helmet as I may need.
Furthermore, the adjustable Velcro comes in handy when I clean the headgear, ensuring proper sanitization to prevent bacteria build-up.
Gotham’s design is also super cool and even allows me to include snap-in ear flaps for protecting my ears from the water splashes.
But you need to purchase the snap-in ear pads separately.
Nonetheless, I can assure you Gotham Water Helmet by Triple Eight won’t be a disappointment.
In particular, I would recommend this wake helmet for professional use. Because of how light it feels, it’s the best wakeboard helmet for performing tricks.
Best Wakeboard Helmets Buying Guide
You can’ simply use anything you see in the market because not all helmets provide the protection and performance you need.
If you don’t know where to start, here’s a buying guide for you.
Types of Water Sports Helmets
Before we look at the factors to consider when selecting a new wakeboard helmet, let’s look at how they’re classified.
Generally, quality wakeboard helmets are categorized into two:
1) Multiple Impact helmets
2) Single impact helmets
Both of these helmets are CE certified (Europe) and ASTM rated.
The main difference between the two is their design and construction materials.
Single impact wakeboarding helmets have a thick outer casing and liner. This gives them a lower center of gravity, making them more stable when riding at higher speeds.
On the flip side, the multiple impact helmets are light because of the less material used.
Getting the Right Wakeboard Helmets: Factors to Consider
Now that we’re aware of the different types of wakeboard helmets, let’s look at the helmet features to consider in your next selection.
Common Wakeboard Helmet Material
The choice of material used on a wakeboard determines the overall quality, protection level, and longevity of a helmet.
Some of the common materials used in wakeboard helmets are:
Dual-density EVA foam liners are made with safety in mind,
Brands use two foam layers wrapped by a shock-absorbing EPS core in the center to absorb impact.
The outer layer of soft EVA is closest to your head and will absorb most of the energy from the hits.
Meanwhile, the inner layer of hard EVA absorbs the remaining energy without transmitting it to your head.
Bern Tech H20
These helmets meet the CE 1358 safety standards.
Usually, these helmets are designed with high-density ABS shell, Brock Foam Technology, and EVA to protect riders’ low-impact collisions.
They also feature a moisture-wicking liner with moisture-dispersing technology to help you keep dry.
SEPP/EPP from POC
SEPP is usually referred to as gel, and we often refer to EPP as foam.
These two materials are fused for better protection.
The main difference between the SEPP and EPP liners is SEPP is a single-impact liner, so it’s for one-time use only,
After an impact, you need to replace it with a new one.
On the other hand, EPP is reusable and easy to fix.
Wakeboard Helmet Construction
Understanding wakeboarding helmet construction is necessary for any safety-conscious rider.
The three common wakeboarding construction designs are:
1) In-mold wakeboard helmets
2) Traditional helmet construction
The in-mold wakeboard helmets are high-end options that are usually more protective.
The in-mold construction makes them stronger, lighter, and better ventilated than the traditional option.
At the same time, they can maintain the high-quality construction and protection you can expect from a high-end wakeboard helmet.
Traditional Wakeboard Helmet Construction
These are generally heavier because of all the foam in the exterior shell.
Some brands attempt to lighten the helmet by shaving or sanding down some foam off the top, but this compromises the strength and ventilation.
Eco-friendly Wakeboarding Gear
If how humanity interacts with the environment is important to you, you’re in luck.
The industry is in the middle of a green revolution, so there’re eco-friendly options in the market.
Most modern-styled helmets don’t focus on the visor.
But it’s an important part because it can provide you with greater flexibility.
Plus, a visor can protect your ace, especially your eyes, from the damaging UV rays reflected from the water.
Safety is one of the most important elements of buying the best wakeboard helmet.
After all, wakeboarding can be dangerous, and you need gear to protect your head from hydraulic forces.
Now, when it comes to checking a helmet’s safety, durability isn’t enough.
You need to ensure your choice of helmet passes the WRSI or CEN Certifications. This is an indicator of how you can guarantee that what you’re wearing is safe.
Drainage/ Water Channels
Since wakeboarding is a watersport, you’ll obviously soak your helmet in water all the time.
This can provide a damp feeling, resulting in discomfort.
On top of the tap, it can start smelling.
The good news is that some brands have incredible foam drains technologies, including a foam liner and vents.
These will ensure you’re not left feeling wet inside, while the vents will help in letting the moisture out.
Detachable Ear Pads and Helmet Openings
Ear fit pads are necessary because water can lead to splashes in your ear.
Also, the openings on a helmet where you place your ear cover are relevant because they determine how much air you prefer to let if you have to cover your ears.
The best wakeboard helmets should offer a snug fit.
A properly fitting helmet shouldn’t be too tight to constrict your head or too loose that it easily comes off.
It’s best to measure your head’s circumference and check the size chart.
How a Helmet Can Protect You
Some wakeboarders still don’t understand how a wakeboard helmet can protect them.
The best wakeboard helmet absorbs all the impact energy through the foam.
It also prevents the infiltration of objects that can be lethal to your brain or head.
Best Wakeboarding Helmets Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Is wakeboarding dangerous?
A: No, it’s not.
But just like any other water sport, there’re safety risks associated with this sport. This is why it’s always necessary to have your wakeboard helmet on.
Q: Can I Use the Classic Skateboarding Helmets for Wakeboarding?
A: A skateboard helmet isn’t the same as a wakeboarding helmet.
See, skateboard helmets are certified to handle impact for up to 16mph.
Wakeboarders fall much faster than that; the skateboard helmet might not protect you in case of a wipe.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
It wasn’t hard choosing our winner; the Pro-Tec Ace Helmet.
It’s a real powerhouse that ticks on all the boxes in the right places.
The helmet is quite reliable and scores highly in safety, performance, and ease of use.
As a bonus, this high-quality helmet comes from a brand producing water sports helmets for quite a long time.