Three Perfect New Whitewater Helmets

Paddling Buyer’s Guide

Rapid Media


This smooth and stylish matte-textured lid will make you look like you rolled up to the riverbank straight from hitting rails at the local skate park. Predator’s Shiznit has a four-centimeter blue brim that keeps the sun out of your eyes while its gently curving shape sits at just the right level so it doesn’t obstruct your vision. Predator owner and designer Matt Kelly explains the brim is also designed to reduce bucketing and roll back.

This means when you roll up your helmet won’t fill with water and then roll backward on your noggin, something that can happen with longer visors that lack a design allowing water to flow through. This is definitely one of the more comfortable whitewater helmets we’ve tried—cushy removable interior padding on the sides and top are supportive and just the right amount of soft. It also stayed in place beautifully with a Croc-Lok adjustment dial and smoothly tightening chinstrap.


Rapid Media


The popular Rocker from Sweet Protection came on the whitewater helmet scene in 2009 and is being re-released this year with some sick new colors, including navy blue metallic and orange. Designed by Sweet as their high-performance helmet for rough conditions, this carbon fiber reinforced lid combines two shell technologies, meaning your brain is well protected on rocky creeks and rivers. At $249, the Rocker is on the high end of the price spectrum but we think its worth it for the high-quality carbon fiber construction and great fit.

When tested on frigid spring runs, the Rocker scored major bonus points from us with its super warm and comfortable interior. The inside liner extends down just below the low profile brim for a warm forehead and the cozy flaps have adequate room and don’t squish your ears. It comes with an optional two-and-a-half inch long visor and universal padding so you can adjust for a perfect fit. We especially liked the vented earflaps which we found didn’t inhibit your hearing the way some do. The clear swirls at the top that allow you to see the carbon fiber reinforcements keeping your brain safe are pretty cool too.


Rapid Media


The new Current Pro from WRSI is the supersleek head protection you’ve been looking for. It has three-layer impact absorption, interconnected straps that hold the helmet snug on your melon and an adjustable O-brace harness for a perfect fit. We’re big fans of the comfy and breathable liner, which can be quickly removed, washed and dried after hot summer days. The hinged visor keeps your peepers protected from sun and rain and we loved the inch of visor adjustment which allows you to choose how low or high it sits based on the weather. Strategically placed cut-outs in the Current Pro’s brim are designed to reduce the impact of water by allowing it to flow through the helmet.


v19-iss2-Rapid.jpegThis article originally appeared in Rapid
Early Summer 2017 issue.

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