What is the Difference Between Skating and Bicycle Helmets

Skateboarding helmets are different in design and structure, compared to their bicycle counterparts. However, not many would notice the differences, which are informed by specific sport requirements. Other factors include guidelines set by the safety regulatory bodies. Thus, as you seek the best helmets for skateboarding, you need to know the differences. Otherwise, you might take home a bicycle helmet thinking you purchased one of the cool skateboard helmets.

Standard Levels

In the united states, bicycle helmet manufacturers have to comply with the CPSC safety guidelines. The Consumer Product Safety Commission further provides that helmets produced for any other activities should meet requirements met by other independent organizations. Since most bicycle helmets may not meet the minimum requirements of a skateboarding helmet, other guidelines are sought. In this case, a bicycle helmet can be used for skateboarding only if it meets the ASTM F1492 standard.


With regards to structure, the bicycle helmet has more ventilation allowances. It is especially so for those who undertake urban and speedy rides. They mainly seek to protect the upper and back parts of the head. What comes close to the skateboarding helmet is the BMX helmet. It covers the full head due to the risky nature of mountain biking. Very few ventilation provisions are available in it, making it quite similar to the skateboarding designs. Coverage goes all the way to the back of the head.


As touched on earlier, there are set standards for helmets. One may therefore wonder how they can go around this issue. Do I have to own two helmets if I ride and Skateboard? Well, if you can afford there is no harm. As for those willing to save a few pennies, there is a legal way around it. You can acquire one helmet bearing both CPSC and ASTM certification. That is otherwise referred to as dual-certification. Browse online and you will find a number of such helmets.

Purpose and Durability

Skateboard creators have one major purpose, to take as much impact for as long as possible. Unlike bicycle helmets though, they are not designed to take excessive pressure on a single impact. The main motivation behind making bicycle helmets as such, is bikers tend to come more into contact with traffic. Hence, they risk fatal crashes to levels not comparable to skateboarders. Due to that reason, a bike helmet should be replaced after impact, while skateboarding helmets can stay for quite a long time.


Unless advertised as suitable for cycling too, skateboarding helmets require no certification. As aforementioned, manufacturers certify voluntarily. It is therefore imperative that you check your helmet’s labeling and instructions. Otherwise, you may get a helmet for both purposes only to later realize it is not suitable for cycling. While certification for skateboarding helmets is not a must, checking instructions and design is quite important. For instance, a bike helmet that does not cover the whole head is not usable for skateboarding. That, unless directly specified by the manufacturer, and dual certified.


When you set out to buy a new helmet or replace one that is worn out, this guide proves to be of immense help. A mistake at purchase could prove quite costly in the long run. Going the extra mile to keep self-updated in maintenance skills is important too. You need to know what to do and what not to in order to keep the helmet useful for long periods. Such information also helps in determining at what point a new helmet is required.