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SNELL helmets and you...

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There have been many questions regarding which helmet is good for which event. This is the information that I've found...

 

Which type? M or SA

 

There seems to be one common misconception floating around that the ONLY difference between the two is one is good for roll cages (SA) and one is not (M).

 

This is not true.

 

From SNELL's website:

 

What are the differences between the SA and M standards?

The SA standard was designed for competitive auto racing while the M standard was for motorcycling and other motorsports. There are three major differences between them:

  1. The SA standard requires flammability test while the M standards do not. (Perhaps the most important difference to note)
  2. The SA standards allow for a narrower visual field than the M standard (Some SA certified helmets may not be street legal).
  3. The SA standards include a rollbar multi-impact test while the M standard does not.

 

From WCMA, there are some events which allow for M helmets and some that do not. Some limit the type of helmet to what class your car runs in that event.

 

Moral of the story: Read the regulations of ALL the events you wish to participate in and buy a helmet that suits them all. You can ask your discipline director and they should be able to help you out.

 

However, if you are buying new a helmet strictly for motorsport, for the small cost difference (in a lot of cases less than $50), why wouldn't you buy a SA?

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Thanks for the info Darin. I did struggle with the same certifications when I started in Motorsports. 

 

SA is the only way to go for any type of enclosed cab Motorsport. Unfortunately some of our forefathers have already had to test the difference and now we know. 

SA = Multi-Impact as well as flammability tests.  

 

I know that budget could be an issue for some events but if you have some extra cash then go for the SA rather than M for your own safety. Hindsight would suck in a bad scenario. 

 

Appreciate you bringing this to our attention. 

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Something else to consider...

Depending on how you interpret the WCMA regs and what SNELL has provided; the occupants of any eligible convertible for an event, so any convertible with roll over protection, factory or otherwise, should have SA Helmets!

SA is the only way to go for any type of enclosed cab Motorsport...

SA = Multi-Impact as well as flammability tests.

Just to clarify Jordan's comment, multi-impact refers to multiple helmet impacts within a single collision, not that you can use it after a collision.

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Thanks for the info, Darin.

 

Some additional info for the Autoslalomers: M helmets are sufficient for autoslalom not because the governing body cares less about our lives, but because we aren't subject to the same hazards as the higher-speed disciplines. We don't require a harness so it's less likely we'll get stuck in a burning vehicle, and we don't require a roll cage, so multiple impact resistance isn't required either. That's why they let us get away with the cheaper M rating.

 

However, if you do have a roll cage in your vehicle, you must wear an SA helmet for autoslalom.

 

 

I'm with Jordan, though. Gone are the days when an SA helmet cost $200 more than an M so unless you're going to ride a motorcycle with it, you might as well buy an SA.

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There are classes (not just cars) within Autoslalom, Time Attack and Drift that require SA helmets.

 

Occupants of cars with roll protection, slicks or classed as "modified" must wear SA Helmets. (S4.5.2)

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There are classes (not just cars) within Autoslalom, Time Attack and Drift that require SA helmets.

 

Occupants of cars with roll protection, slicks or classed as "modified" must wear SA Helmets. (S4.5.2)

 

 

that's a good point. It means anyone running race tires would need a SA helmet even in a stock car. 

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There are classes (not just cars) within Autoslalom, Time Attack and Drift that require SA helmets.

 

Occupants of cars with roll protection, slicks or classed as "modified" must wear SA Helmets. (S4.5.2)

 

 

that's a good point. It means anyone running race tires would need a SA helmet even in a stock car. 

 

 

R-comps are allowed in SP, SM and the old stock classes. these tires are not classified as slicks, they are DOT approved radial belt race tires. Snell M-rated is fine for these tires under the above mentioned class groups. (Think Hoosier A6, Kumho V710 etc)

 

Slicks are non-DOT compliant Bias-ply (or sometimes radial?) "race only" labelled tires. These tires are not allowed in any autocross classes except for Prepared and Modified classes. SA Helmets must be used with this type of tire. Avon and goodyear are popular slick options. 

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Just to make sure my intent was clear...

 

The point of this discussion is to inform new members so they can make the right purchase and not just the cheapest option.

It was not to tell racers to buy new helmets if they have current SNELL M cert ones already but to maybe consider the SA the next time they purchase a new helmet.

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SNELL M helmets are easy to find, but where can I purchase SA rated helmets?

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However, if you do have a roll cage in your vehicle, you must wear an SA helmet for autoslalom.

 

That is probably something that needs to be watched for at autoslalom especially if there is a passenger/rookie mentor/instructor riding along. I'm not sure how many people have the SA helmets, but maybe you hard core guys do. I know I will be getting an SA helmet next time.

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Bump for people who haven't seen this before. I see the topic has come up in the AS foums.

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I personally will be buying an SA helmet my next time around. It would really suck to have an opportunity to ride along in (or drive) a really fun modified car that requires SA helmet, but I can't do it because I only had an M helmet. I also might be doing some lapping or Time Attack in a convertible with a roll bar of some kind. Also, most importantly, SA helmets are the safer choice.

 

After reading through snell's website, I personally think that M rated helmets are just not good enough. They were not designed for or tested to meet any type of motorsports activity. That is my personal opinion. The WSCC Autoslalom program will continue to allow M rated helmets in accordance with the rules that ASN has set out, but I strongly encourage anyone who's in the market to buy a new SA helmet.

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All racers should have received this message from Sue at WCMA but I'm going to post for reference anyway...

 

Please be aware these acceptable helmets maybe excluded and others may be added by the various ASN countries, Snell, FIA and SFI groups.
 
Please refer to WCMA – 2014 WCMA Technical Regulations – Race Appendix 2 – Competitor Safety Equipment  Section  2. Helmets
 
As of March 29, 2015 these are acceptable for 2015.  Snell SA 2000 helmets ARE NOT acceptable in 2015 and beyond.
 
Snell SA 2005
Snell SA 2010
Snell SAH 2010
Snell SA 2015
 
SFI 31.1
SFI 31.1A
SFI 32.2A
 
FIA Standard 8860 – 2004, 8860 -2010 see notes in WCMA – 2014 WCMA Technical Regulations – Race Appendix 2 – Competitor Safety Equipment - Section 2. Helmets
 
Please Note:
 
As we all know Snell works on a 5 year time frame.  However, we also know there have been some years where no major changes occurred, or there was a delay in certification testing and the maximum 10 year time frame has been stretched for a year or two or for an extended period as it was with the 2000SA helmets.  Do not budget or anticipate or forecast your racing budget on a 2005 SA helmet in to the 2016 and 2017 rear.  A 2005 SA helmet maybe not be acceptable to 2016.
 
 
Sue Wilson, Administrator
Western Canada Motorsport Association

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Update for those who need a new helmet:

 

2005 series are expired.

 

Anyone who competes under WCMA will need a minimum of a 2010 series helmet.

 

As always, if you are buying new, and motorsport is your only use for that helmet, please consider the purchase of an SA certified helmet over the M for your increased safety.

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Update for those who need a new helmet:

 

2005 series are expired.

 

Anyone who competes under WCMA will need a minimum of a 2010 series helmet.

 

As always, if you are buying new, and motorsport is your only use for that helmet, please consider the purchase of an SA certified helmet over the M for your increased safety.

 

I'm out in Calgary (CSCC) and have received some questions about this post.  Can you clarify where this information came from as we are trying to keep our members informed.  Thanks.

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This question came up at the WCMA AGM someone from the audience asked this specific question if 2005 helmets were going to expire for 2016 and the response was yes.

I just jotted down the comment and didn't think to enquire further as I know snell works on a 10yr cycle as echoed by the note from WCMA posted above.

I'm just relaying notes. I have no authority over what helmets are considered safe.

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It would be beneficial to get a statement from WCMA regarding 2016 for acceptable helmets.

In spring of 2015 they stated Snell 2005 MAY not be accepted for 2016.

So far, the draft copy of 2016 WCMA Tech Regs states that 2005 Snell is acceptable.

It should also be noted that ASN/FIA Canada state that 2005 Snell is valid(?) until Dec 31/2018.

Confusing and needs a clarity statement.

Thanks

Greg

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It would be beneficial to get a statement from WCMA regarding 2016 for acceptable helmets.

In spring of 2015 they stated Snell 2005 MAY not be accepted for 2016.

So far, the draft copy of 2016 WCMA Tech Regs states that 2005 Snell is acceptable.

It should also be noted that ASN/FIA Canada state that 2005 Snell is valid(?) until Dec 31/2018.

Confusing and needs a clarity statement.

Thanks

Greg

 

Very good point Greg. Who can answer this as I can't although we need to know right away for Ice Racing season. 

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Seems to be very confusing, as many organizations are listing SA2005 good until 2018. I'm in the situation where I purchased a SA2005 helmet in 2009, just before SA2010 was released. My helmet is only 6yrs old.

Also, most retailers do not yet have SA2015 in stock, only taking pre-orders.

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ASN Canada, which I believe WCMA falls under, lists the following for helmet expiry dates.

 

Acceptable helmets:

    FIA 8860-2004
    FIA 8860-2010
    FIA 8859-2015
    Snell 2015 SA, or 2015 M
    Snell 2010 SA, 2010 SAH, or 2010 M
    Snell 2005 SA, or 2005 M (expiry 31.12.2018)
    SFI Foundation 31.1/2015
    SFI Foundation 31.1/2010
    SFI Foundation 31.1/2005 (expiry 31.12.2018)
    SFI Foundation 31.1A or 31.2A (expiry 31.12, 2015)

 

http://asncanada.com/

 

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Is my M2005 helmet still good for Speedworld? Just kidding.

 

 

ASN>WCMA>WSCC

 

This info is copy pasted from the "2015 AutoSlalom Regulations Revised June 16, 2015" .pdf on ASN's SoloSport page.

 

4.5 Helmets
4.5.1 Drivers and passengers must wear helmets during all track sessions.
4.5.2 Acceptable helmets:
• FIA 8860-2004
• FIA 8860-2010
• FIA 8859-2015
• Snell 2015 SA, or 2015 M
• Snell 2010 SA, 2010 SAH, or 2010 M
• Snell 2005 SA, or 2005 M (expiry 31.12.2018)
• SFI Foundation 31.1/2015
• SFI Foundation 31.1/2010
• SFI Foundation 31.1/2005 (expiry 31.12.2018)
• SFI Foundation 31.1A or 31.2A (expiry 31.12, 2015)

 

4.5.3 Helmets homologated to Snell M or K standards are not acceptable for
use in vehicles equipped with roll cages.
4.5.4 Helmets must be in good condition both inside and outside. Helmets
subject to much damage will not be allowed.
4.5.5 It is strongly recommended that helmets be discarded due to
deterioration, after a serious accident or an impact to the helmet.
4.5.6 No helmet may be modified from its specification as manufactured,
except in compliance with instructions approved by the manufacturer.
Hardware may be mounted on a helmet for FIA/SFI approved
HANS/FHR devices, provided the hardware is installed in accordance

with recommendations provided by the manufacturer of the helmet
and/or the devices.
4.5.7 Paint can react with helmet shell material and affect its protective
capacity, therefore, where a manufacturer provides guidelines or
restrictions on the painting or decoration of helmets; these must be
followed.

 

 

That's the whole helmet section. Looks like 2005 M and SA is good until the end of 2018.

 

That's it for my officially unofficial verdict!

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