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EN CE Helmet Safety Standards Explained - Snow Helmets

by Jim Bartlett May 18, 2016

EN CE Helmet Safety Standards Explained - Snow Helmets

EN CE Helmet Standards

A "CE" marking indicates that a helmet fulfills the requirements of the European Economic Community (EEC) Directive (89/686/EEC). This is a mandatory directive, thus helmets must be CE-marked if they are to be sold anywhere in Europe. Since 1994, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden has performed and certified tests for CE-marking. A common feature of all types of helmets is that they must protect the head against impact and distribute the force applied to the helmet in the event of an accident. In addition to good performance in an accident and a long life in normal use, helmets must remain safely in position during an accident. Among the CE markings for action sports helmets are:
  • EN 1077 Ski helmets
  • EN 1078 Bicycle helmets
  • EN 1080 Impact protection helmets for young children

EN CE testing typically includes tests for:

  • shock absorption
  • penetration
  • retention systems (chin strap and buckle)

EN 1077:2007: Ski and snowboard helmets

The tester inserts a head form into the helmet (to simulate a human head) and the head form is dropped from a height of 1.5 meters onto a fixed anvil. In order to pass the test, on impact, peak acceleration imparted to the head form cannot exceed 250 Gs. In addition, ski helmets are tested to ensure they offer sufficient protection against sharp or pointed objects. EN 1077 also subjects the chin strap to high resistance; the helmet fails if it is pulled off the head form. All of these processes test the helmets in different environments (heat, cold, etc.). EN 1077:2007 tests ski/snowboard helmets for shock absorption, penetration and retention systems.

Tests also include a number of design requirements, such as area of coverage, field of vision, and clearance between the head and the shell. There are two classes to EN 1077: Class A protects a larger area of the head and ofers a higher degree of protection from penetration, while Class B offers more ventilation and better hearing but slightly less protection.

EN 1080: Helmets for young children

EN 1080 is a derived standard designed to address problems associated with the strangulation of children playing while wearing helmets.

What If My Helmet Doesn't Meet EN CE Safety Standards?

Most (not all) ski/snowboard helmets meet both EN 1077 and ASTM 2040 safety standards. The testing procedure for both standards is similar except that the EN 1077 testing process includes a penetration/puncture test.


Jim Bartlett
Jim Bartlett


Founder of XSportsProtective, snowboarder, mountain biker, father of four young kids who love action sports.

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