Gath Surfing Helmets, Really?

Gath Surfing HelmetsThe Gath surfing helmets are legitimate products that have been used by World Surfing Champions, but that is not the only protective product available to the surfers.  Before we delve further into the Gath surfing helmet, I would like to make you aware of the other products that are out there.


Gath Surfboard Helmets

When I normally think of protection, sunscreen does not come to mind, but it should.  The sun is the number one cause of skin cancer and “sun, surf and sea” is a well-known phrase of the surfer.  Not only are surfers out in the sun for hours, but the ocean can reflect the sun’s harmful rays.

So, we should think of sunscreen as protection and it should be applied before any surf session.  Click here to read my post on sunscreens.

Surf Goggles

Gath Surfboard Helmets

Just like the surfing helmet, surf goggles are a real and useful product.  Did you know you can sunburn your eyes?  Well you can (click here to read my post on sunburnt eyes).  The best protection for your eyes are sunglasses, but would you use them when you surf, thus the surf goggles were invented.

The surf goggles offer the same benefits of sunglasses but are made specifically for surfing and other water related activities.  Take it from me, you don’t want to sunburn your eyes, it is not a pleasant sensation.

Tail and Nose Guards

Gath Surfboard Helmets

Once again, some of you might be wondering if this is real and once again, I have to tell you it is.  The tail and nose guards are a rubber stick on, for the lack of a better word, bumpers that you adhere to the nose and tail of your surfboard.

Not only does this protect the nose and tail of your board from impact on hard surfaces, but it is made to protect you in the event that you get struck by the nose and tail of your surfboard.  I personally know of a surfer, who was struck in the eye by his surfboard and lost sight in that eye.  If he had a nose guard on his board this might have been prevented.

Rubber or Safety Fins

Gath Surfboard Helmets

Surfco is one of the companies that make these types of fins.  Some of their fins have a rubber edging but all of them flex before breaking.  Their main purpose is to reduce cuts and injuries caused by your standard surfboard fin.  Fins are hard and usually have several thin edges that can be quite sharp.

I had my stand-up paddle board land fin first on my head and left me two nice scars.  I’ve also had someone wipe out near me and their fins cut my shin.

These types of fins could be a great option for someone who is learning how to surf or even for a child’s surfboard.

The Leash

Gath Surfboard Helmets

The surfboard leash is generally not thought of as a protective device but it can be.  How many times has someone wiped-out in front or near you, and the only thing that prevented their board from striking you was that leash.

I’ve heard of many a big wave surfer using their leash as a type of lifeline, as they climb their way to their surfboard, using their leash, after a wipe-out and being held down by the surf.  Click here to read my post on “Surfboard leash length guide.”

Rubber Surf Booties

Gath Surfboard Helmets

You won’t see many surfers wearing rubber surf booties unless it is very cold and usually it will be used in conjunction with a wetsuit.  However, some surfers will wear surf booties because the area they are surfing has sharp reef and they wish to protect their feet.

Though, I have never worn rubber surf booties, I can see they can have several benefits.

Shark Repellents

Gath Surfboard Helmets

Probably the biggest fear a surfer can face it the possibility of being attacked by a shark (click here to read my post on shark repellents).  The likelihood of being attacked by a shark is very slim. You are more likely to be struck by lightning than to be bitten by a shark.

There has yet to be invented, any reliable or proven shark repellent.  Don’t be fooled by any products claim that they have a portable shark repellent, because none currently exists.

Inflatable Surf Vest

Gath Surfboard Helmets

The inflatable surf vest was invented and is used by big wave surfers.  They generally have co2 cartridges with activation cords and are activated by the surfers after a wipeout.  The vest will inflate and bring the surfer to the surface.  This inflatable surf vest can help prevent drowning.

The Gath Surfing Helmet

Gath Surfboard Helmets

The Gath surfing helmets are helmets that initially were made for surfers who didn’t want to receive a head injury from hitting a reef or being hit by a surfboard.  The Gath helmet was designed by West Australian State Champion surfer Ric Gath and was introduced to the public in 1989.  The Gath helmet was used, in competition, by World Surfing Champion Tom Carroll during a Pipeline Surf meet.

Since its introduction in 1989 the Gath Surfing helmet has expanded into other sporting arenas.

In Conclusion

As you can see there are many protective devices out there for today’s surfer and I just covered the ones that I know about.  The Gath surfing helmet is a protective device that a surfer should consider if they are worried about head injuries, and if it’s good enough for World Surfing Champion Tom Carroll, who am I to argue.

Thanks for dropping in and if you have any questions or comments, please post-it in the comments section of this page.

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