There are six major requirements a ski and snowboard helmet need to surpass to be certified:
1. Field of vision
Making sure the helmet design does not interfere with the user’s field of vision
2. Extent of coverage
Making sure the helmet covers all necessary parts of the head
3. Shock absorbing capacity.
The most important is the shock absorbing capacity of the helmet. This is tested in a specialized instrument where the helmet is dropped at a speed of 5,42 m/s onto a solid metal anvil with a 4 kg metal head inside. Inside the metal head there’s an accelerometer that measures the forces within the impact. The helmets are tested in three conditions: Room temperature, -25ºC, and after artificial aging. Each helmet is tested on several areas (crown, side, rear & front). The peak acceleration must not exceed 250G for any of the impacts.
4. Resistance to penetration.
While skiing or snowboarding there’s a risk of poles, skis or branches penetrating the helmet. The resistance to penetration is tested by dropping a hammer with the mass of 3 kg from 75cm onto a sharp cone shaped metal punch placed against the helmet. The point of the metal punch must not reach the head inside the helmet.
5. Retention system performance
This test covers the strength of the retention system (webbing), as well as its effectiveness, i.e. the webbings ability to keep the helmet securely positioned on the head.
After all these tests the helmet should not show any damage that would cause any additional damage to the wearer.