Not many people know that the first cricket helmet to be worn in a field was actually a motorcycle helmet. Come to think of it, what would a player need a helmet for in the first place? An interesting question don't you think? The answer is simple. No one (player) would appreciate being hit in the head by a ball moving at 90 miles an hour. Helmets basically offer you protection. That is their main function. The following include the factors you should consider when choosing a cricket helmet:
1. Helmet Features
Cricket helmets have different features, each with their own function. The purpose of each feature is to offer you protection and comfort at the same time. You can get a good helmet for yourself even if you are on a budget. These features are the shell, the padding, the chin strap and the grill.
2. The shell
A cricket helmet's shell acts as a shock absorber upon impact with an oncoming object. It is made up of a combination of different materials. Cricket helmet shells are usually made up of fiberglass which is a very strong material. It does its job and offers you protection but there is a tiny catch. You may have to compromise comfort for safety. Why do you ask? Fiberglass is a little heavy. But it's better to be safe than sorry, isn't it? Don't worry though because there is a lighter option. A shell made from carbon fiber offers the same amount of protection as one made from fiberglass. It is way lighter but it is, unfortunately, an expensive material.
3. The Padding
A cricket helmet is fitted with padding to absorb shock and to make the helmet comfortable. Imagine if the helmet was just a chunk of metal. What good would it be for? A well-fitted helmet would stay in place (be stable) when running. Some helmets have removable padding and some don't. It all depends on you as the owner and your preference. The padding also varies in thickness for different helmets and different sizes. A material used for padding is high-density foam. Since foam is basically air bubbles, there is no way the padding can be said to be heavy.
4. The Chin Strap
It ought to be illegal for a player to have a helmet on without securing the chin strap. It makes sure that the helmet actually stays on your head. It also prevents the grill from caving into your face upon any impact. It is a basic requirement that the chinstrap ought to be securely fit on the player's chin. Some people think that the strap goes under the chin but that only applies to a motorcycle helmet and not a cricket helmet.
5. The Grill
This feature offers more protection to the wearer of the helmet. The grill does this without blocking the player's sight so performance on the field will not be affected. Most grills are made from steel. It is a strong material easy enough to work with and it is relatively cheap. A good replacement for steel would be titanium. It offers the same amount of strength that steel does. Titanium is also way lighter than most metals. Don't you think that a lighter grill would mean more comfort for the player? Think about it. A light grill reduces the amount of pressure on the wearer's neck.
A well-fitting helmet should fit like a glove. The sizing of a helmet is extremely important. This is because if the chin strap is loose or the padding does not fit well on your head, shock may not be absorbed effectively. In other words, a player might get injured. Most helmets can be adjusted to fit the head dimensions on the wearer. There are different helmet sizes for every different player.
7. Decisions For Purchase
When it comes to buying a helmet, first consider your budget. The more you spend on a helmet, the more protection you are going to get offered. You are also going to get more comfortable if you spend more money. The comfort will be as a result of weight reductions like replacing steel with titanium for the helmet grill. Costly helmets also come with better ventilation and removable inserts.
8. Helmet Maintenance
If you want your helmet to serve you for a long period of time then you have to take care of it. This ensures the retention of the quality of the helmet over a significant amount of time. Poor maintenance of your helmet may lead to you obtaining an injury. If you do not take care of it, why should it protect you? Cricket helmets are not an exception when it comes to maintenance. Even bicycle and motorcycle helmets require proper maintenance. A person should also pick/buy a helmet which they know they will be able to take care of. The following are steps to guide you on how to correctly maintain your helmet:
a) Check for any cracks or dents on the helmet after being hit (after impact).
b) Replace all the damaged parts with new official parts.
c) Buy a new helmet if the one you have been using gets any bad damages.
d) Store your helmet in a dry place.
e) Place your helmet safely when you store it or when you are moving it.
f) Regularly clean the cloth cover if your helmet has one. If your helmet does not have a cloth cover, wipe the dirt with a clean damp cloth.
g) A good helmet is supposed to fulfill the following number of criteria:
h) Perform its core function which is to offer protection to the player from the impact.
i) It should be comfortable so that it does not bother the player in the field and protect the player at the same time.
j) It should be well-fitted to prevent it from coming off.
k) Just like a bicycle and motorcycle helmet, a cricket helmet is an extension on the wearer. A helmet becomes part of an athlete or player in order to maximize their protection and success.