Head skis are a very special type of snow ski equipment. Also referred to as a ‘Ski Mask’ or ‘Helmet’, they were developed in the early 1950s and saw widespread use for the next few decades. In fact, many people still refer to them as ‘scramblers’ or ‘fun skis’, even though they have been largely superseded by more modern equipment.
The History Of Head Skis
Head skis have been around for almost 70 years now, and have been seen by many people as a symbol of style and innovation in the snow sports community. As well as being used as helmets or masks, they were originally designed as sun shades. This is because ski goggles were not invented until later, and early skiers had to use their hands to protect their eyes from the burning sun. As a result, they often put on a sun shade during hot summer months to protect their eyes from the harmful effects of UV rays. This is why most early head skis were black with a yellow band around the head.
With the invention of ski goggles came the need for a way to protect the eyes from the whipping wind, sleet, and dry snow. This is when the evolution of the modern day head ski took place. The design that we see today was essentially created in 1961, when a Russian engineer named Aleksei Semenovskiy decided to improve upon the existing design of the sun shade.
The Story Of The ‘Ski Mask’ Name
The very first Ski Mask designs were inspired by the Russian winter sport of bob sleighing. In this sport, a small ‘bob’ sleigh would be attached to the skier’s wrist via a leather strap. As the name would suggest, the purpose of the mask was to protect the user’s head from the cold air. However, since most early head skis were made of plastic, it quickly became apparent that the masking effect was rather limited. This is why most people still refer to them as ‘sport helmets’ or ‘scramblers’ even though they are rarely used in that manner nowadays.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that the Ski Mask design began to take shape. This was largely due to the birth of freeride, a combination of downhill and freeride skiing that allowed for more aggressive skiing and more accessible expert terrain.
The ‘Ski Mask’ As We Know It Today
Since then, the design of the modern day head ski has been tweaked multiple times to make it fit better for the extreme conditions of freeride and other snow sports. Today’s head ski is made of lightweight materials and designed with a more streamlined profile. It features an internal nylon mesh that provides high ventilation, and has an outer shell made of polyester to increase abrasion resistance. Moreover, since the 1980s, tinted protective glass has been added to the base for increased visibility.
The materials used to make up the head ski are of great importance. It should be lightweight and durable so that it doesn’t obstruct the view of the skier. Moreover, it should be highly breathable so that it doesn’t cause overheating, which can lead to serious health problems. Due to this, most head skis are designed to be washed and used repeatedly.
Tinted Protective Glass Is Key To Visibility
Apart from protecting the head from the cold, the clear plastic materials used in today’s head skis also offer excellent visibility. This makes them suitable for a whole range of winter sports, from downhill to snowboarding. They also make the sport more accessible because it is possible to ski with the sun in your eyes without worrying about UV rays causing you to age prematurely.
The reason why most head skis are tinted is because snow and ice have a highly reflective surface. It is therefore important to protect your eyes from both sun and snow so that you can continue to enjoy the experience without any discomfort. This is why most skiers these days use shades during the day and head lamps at night.
However, even with the protection offered by tinted lenses, it is still important to know how to ski eye handily. This is why you should learn how to do a ‘scramble’ with your eyes closed. Once you are familiar with this technique, you will be able to perform it effortlessly every time you ski. It is also worth noting that even though it is considered ‘poor form’ to do a scramble with your eyes closed, it is perfectly safe and it offers great benefits. The technique is simply a form of self-defense against road rage drivers and other dangerous animals in case you get startled or run into them on the slopes. Just remember: never wear sunglasses during skiing or snowboarding, as they may prevent you from seeing any animals or obstacles in front of you.
The Importance Of Ventilation
Another important factor to consider when choosing a head ski is ventilation. This refers to the ability of the equipment to allow for the escape of heat and moisture. It is therefore vital that you select a model with good, open venting, especially if you plan on exercising or participating in sport activities in hot weather conditions. The best way to ensure this is by selecting a model with an internal open-mesh design, which allows fresh air to flow in and stale air to escape. This keeps you cool and comfortable, even under the extreme conditions of intense physical activity in the summertime. Moreover, good ventilation also promotes drying – which can be vital if you get wet due to the frequent collisions that happen in the snow sports industry.
Durability Is Important
Durability is also an important factor to consider when choosing a head ski. You want to be sure that the equipment will last you the entire season, and perhaps even longer. This is especially important if you are planning on using the device repeatedly in the same manner. It is not always easy to find equipment that is both sturdy and also offers good optical performance, but it is vital that you try to find such a combination for the sake of your overall skiing experience.
If you live in a country where the seasons are unpredictable, durability is even more important because you don’t know how long the winter will last or if there will be another season at all. Therefore, you want to make sure that the equipment you invest in will serve you for years to come.
The Overall Feel Of The Equipment
Another important factor to consider when choosing a head ski is how it feels. You want to make sure that the device is comfortable and has the right ‘fit’ for your head. It should feel secure and the straps should be comfortable enough that you don’t experience any discomfort while using them. This is important, especially while skiing because you will be in a prone position for long periods of time. It is also worth noting that many people experience a burning sensation when using certain models of head skis – this is because they are not adapted to their head size and shape, and therefore feel overly large and uncomfortable. This can be alleviated by selecting a model that is specifically designed for your head size and shape.
Apart from the aforementioned factors, you also have to consider the features of the head ski. This refers to the equipment’s unique characteristics that make it stand out from other similar devices. If you are an expert skier looking for the best possible device for advanced tricks and competitions, then you should look for specialized models that are designed for just that purpose. Some of the features that make these skis so special are their quick release buckles, automatic speed reduction, and adjustable visor.
Last but not least, we come to the important matter of sizing. Just like with glasses or any other type of protective gear, the right size can make all the difference. It is therefore important to consider the size of your head when choosing a head ski. It should be large enough to be able to wear the device comfortably, but it shouldn’t be so large that it interferes with your breathing. Moreover, some of the models are specifically designed for small heads – in these instances, you may need to select a larger size to avoid any discomfort.
To conclude, let’s take a quick look at the overall design of a head ski. As we have discussed, their design has been modified many times over the years to make them suitable for a variety of uses. They are typically made of plastic materials and have ventilation holes along with an internal open-mesh design that promotes airflow. They also have an outer shell made of polyester to increase their abrasion resistance.