A Surfing Helmet To Negate The Entire Point of Surfing

Do you remember in Point Break when Patrick Swayze put on his protective helmet before swimming out to ride that giant wave at the end? No you don’t, because wearing helmets is about as cool as riding a unicycle to work. To the designer’s credit, the entire project was about trying to make the helmet cooler and more acceptable to wear within our surfing cliques, but I think some things are beyond even the best of designers.

Designer: Tom Gaunt

The protective hood is made up of two major sections, one being the hood and
rashvest, and the second being the hard shells. The rashvest, which is made of a
blend of bamboo fibres, recycled polyester and spandex, protecting the user from UV
rays, the cold water and wind-chill. The hood, which is connected to the rashvest,
is made of neoprene Velcro (loop), and this also protects the user from the cold water
and wind chill.

There are four hard shell components which the user attaches to the hood individually.
The benefits of the modularity include customization, and if the surfer happens to have
an accident and damage one of the shells, that single shell can be replaced as
opposed to replacing the whole product.

The product is stored in an easy to carry zip-up neoprene bag. Once at the beach the
user takes the product out of the bag, places the hood and rashvest on, which already
has three of the four hard-shells already attached, then attaches the one remaining
hard shell component on the back of the head.


  • Kidder says:

    To be honest, that’s not a bad design. It looks a bit like a wet suit head cover, so not too noticeable. Might look okay if you’re surfing in ridiculously cold water (like the North Sea). I’ve never worried about cracking my head open whilst surfing coz I surf on sandy coasts (i.e. no reefs), but the best (most dangerous) breaks are usually where there are shallow reefs. True it’d be a little hard convincing the hardcore surfers, but one accident later and a helmet doesn’t seem like such a bad idea anymore.

    Interesting anecdote: my friend had to have stitches on his head after a surfboard fin cut his head during one of our surfing sessions. Even now I doubt he’d wear a helmet.

  • Peter Ha says:

    The majority of top big wave surfers all wear helmets. Sure, it looks dopey, but like Kidder pointed, you don’t want to leave anything to chance if your local spot is shallow. You could always get a matte finished one if looks were that important.

  • good job, we also used to wear protec helmets when I raced catamarans (getting slammed by the boom could kill you).

  • Matt says:

    Appear fashionable in front of strangers and friends? or go to a party after surfing instead of a hospital?

    I think this is a very stylish helmet and as already mentioned, it appears almost as if it’s part of the suit. I would go on to say that this above looking just shabby and actually pretty modern and stylish.

    If it actually goes on to being protective enough to a degree of saving a life and still retaining this minimalistic design; I think we got ourselves a winner.

    The current generation of hardcore surfers will eventually day off or face facts and accept them; and hopefully the next generation will know better.

    I like the idea and I would choose to make it part of a new official requirement for professional surfing. As once hockey did not require a helmet unless you were a goalie, and it was deemed to look humorous but now every player wears one. Same will happen with surfing I believe.

    • Peter Ha says:

      Ummm…it won’t be required in professional surfing. Heats consist of 2 to 4 surfers at a time. And you don’t need a helmet 90 percent of the time. Only when it’s shallow or you’re surfing big waves.

  • Henrique Staino says:

    Interesting design. If the pros start supporting it, it would become more accepted for sure!
    I just didn’t like that black thing on the forehead… what is that for? its a helmet, not a cap…

    • Peter Ha says:

      That bill or lip disperses water and you usually find it on wetsuits with hoods, so when you duckdive in freezing cold water it doesn’t blast you in the face when you come up. Maybe the non-surfers in the audience should pipe down.

  • Carl says:

    but what is it that they are protecting. arent all surfers heads empty?

  • Sean says:

    I’m sorry, but riding a unicycle to work would be awesome and you know it.

  • Eric says:

    I would want the white one. It looks like Speed Racer’s! 😉

  • Tim says:

    Probably the biggest risk is getting wacked by your board in a wipe out. Many surfers have died that way.

  • Chris says:

    Whatever happened to the D-30 impact foam/liquid… this could be useful in this application and look more streamline with the wetsuit.

  • cra says:

    i had a mate who had so many concussions from surfing and rugby and what not, that he was told if he didn’t wear a helmet while surfing it was sure to kill him. But he definitely looked goofy in his giant bright yellow helmet (duno why he picked yellow), ill be sure to tell him about this. good job ay

  • Alberto says:

    I am a bodysurfer (no board, just fins on my feet and a wetsuit). Obviously, I surf head first, so protection there is a plus.

    This modular helmet is a GREAT idea. By being made of separate pieces attached to a hood, it really would fit the shape and size of he user’s head. The hood would expand as much as needed and the hard shell would still afford some protection from crashes. A good fit is fundamental when ducking under a wave, otherwise the helmet gets all full of water (heavy and cold). That is why existing helmets are not good for bodysurfing.

    PLUS I am bald and live in a VERY sunny place. I appreciate my wetsuit as much for protection from sun as from cold, so I have always missed having a hat of some sort (neoprene, I guess). With the hat I would look as silly (if that mattered) but would not have the added protection.

    I am not as worried about hitting the ground while riding a wave (wether on sand or rocks) as I am about being hit or slashed by a surfer’s board/fin or hitting one with my head while riding a wave (not a rare event at all). Still, I once hit a rock while ducking under a shallow wave, and actually had a huge concussion. Hitting the ground head first during a wipe-out would probably mean a broken neck (death) whether with or without a helmet. But it doesn’t/shouldn’t happen (the idea is to roll sideways: break an arm, if need be, but not your neck/back).

    Also, it would add a little buoyancy, which would be good, for safety reasons in case of fainting (plus making you more visible if needing to be rescued)

    I agree with Peter Ha about the bill. Plus it would give some extra sun protection.

    As to Ora mentioning his friend’s yellow helmet: I’d prefer everyone to see me, but I would go for a more discreet white (also the sun, again). Normally, my head is all other surfers can see, so it would give me extra safety (people would see me coming, and I would look more intimidating to jerks).

    In the end, it is all about getting used to seeing things used by experts. Otherwise, nobody would have started surfing, using wetsuits, etc. in the first place. It is just a matter of time.If you surf well people will respect you, with or without a helmet.



  • Steve says:

    Good design but does not address whiplash injuries. I have some ideas that could help make this more feasable and also provide enough umph-wow-pop-cool factor that surfers would get into it.

    Samples of some thoughts rolling around my noggin.
    1) Waterproof speakers in the helmet with standard wiring to an armband watertight ipod pocket. Rock-n-roll dude!
    2) What is 3 mm foam going to get you? How about gel pack or some better cushion material from football helmets?
    3) Change the shell to carbon fiber to stop rocks and boards from hurting your head.
    4) Make a BATMAN utility belt option for the thing.
    5) Change the colors to something that looks like Superman sherbert puddles on a sidewalk.
    6) Add a loop on the back for a sunglass straps so you don’t loose your specs.
    7) Make vest in either a wetsuit or drysuit.

    — email me to find out about my ideas on how to add whiplash protection.

  • Malcolm Schweizer says:

    I wouldn’t make fun of the guy wearing one, but I just hope we stop at helmets. I have this humorous vision of people surfing in full pads like a football player. Maybe we could invent a new sport- full contact surfing. You all go at the same wave at once and try to bash each other off their boards. Last man standing wins.

    Oh, even cooler- we could wear armor like knights and carry javelins and ram each other head-on.

    Okay, having fun here. Refer back to the first sentnce- I wouldn’t make fun of the guy wearing one, and I mean that. I do just hope it doesn’t come to regulations and making people do it. I have a very real and scary vision of park rangers handing out tickets for not wearing your surf helmet. I guess the manufacturer would love that.

    • Alberto says:

      Malcom: I like your comment. Funny, witty and civilised (if that is the word, English is not my native tongue).



  • wILLIAM says:


  • xcel suits says:

    This post has beautifully told about the helmets to be used while surfing. Its like you ear when you go for swimming. Which helmet you liked among above mentioned?

  • xcel suits says:

    This post has beautifully told about the helmets to be used while surfing. Its like you ear when you go for swimming. Which helmet you liked among above mentioned?

  • Kerry says:

    Where can I get one, after having stitches in my head from my long board fin I was lucky not be knocked out I like the design and would like to buy one ASAP thanks

  • tony says:

    did you find it! i want one too

  • Heather says:

    I’ve split my head doing an air surfing in small waves And it changed my life… Sooo it’s not stupid! I’m getting one for indo I could ruin ur trip to split ur head

  • julian says:

    I want one too! A week ago this guy lost control and ran me over with his board, I received a concussion and a fractured skull. I can’t surf or do any physical activity for another three months. I’m looking to avoid similar injuries in the future. where can I buy one?

  • Michell says:

    Brain injury is less cool than wearing a helmet. Don’t agree with your analogy. It’s about as cool as riding your bike with your helmet to work, not a unicycle. My son is 12 and recently asked that question. Why are helmets cool for skateboarding and cycling, but not surfing? And he then he said, and “why do adults worry about cool, anyway?” It’s absurd. Who cares what other people wear? If someone else values their personal safety and is smart enough to know that brain injuries can ruin your life – why would you make them feel stupid for wearing it? It’s immature at best, down right stupid at most.

  • dave says:

    Great post dude. Only a moron would say it’s not cool to protect yourself as much as you want to.

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