Gath Gedi Helmet
Gath Gedi Helmet
The Gath Gedi helmet is not just another cute but worthless kayak helmet that leaves you naked when and where it matters (i.e. your temples when the water impact torques the helmet away from the side you need covered). Yet the Gath Gedi helmet does have a cool fighter pilot look to it, and it is extremely comfortable. Unlike so many other popular kayak helmets, the Gedi helmet is designed to minimize moving around on your head. Gath calls it their "Suction Cup Fit". There's no other kayak helmet that provides as much coverage while still being so low profile. The Gedi's low profile is an important safety feature when paddling out through shore breaks while surf kayaking in the ocean (I've had whip-lash from waves hitting me in the face while wearing other helmets -- GG).
The Gedi helmet was designed to meet the special requirements of extreme kayaking (white water and "creeking"), extreme kite-boarding, lifeguard and security personnel using PWC's, and swift water rescue services. US Coast Guard has approved the Gedi helmet for USCG use. Design criteria: To provide the best coverage and the most impact protection while still maintaining the low-profile, hydrodynamic shape required for high speed water entry. Just because the Gath Gedi is the helmet of choice for some of the hardest of the hard-core creek kayakers doesn't mean regular river runners, play boaters and sea kayakers can't benefit from it too. The Gedi helmet is all about coverage and fit.
The Gedi helmet even comes in sizes big enough to leave room for wearing a scull cap or other such headwear under the helmet. The Gedi is one of the few kayak helmets that comes in sizes that fit really large hat size heads (as well as XS heads). Size SMALL fits most kids and adults with XS hat sizes while the XXL is one of the largest kayak helmets ever made, and there is even an XXXL size for those who could never find a helmet big enough or anyone who is an XXL but wants room for a skull cap/head wear under their helmet. The fit system is simple, and once it's done, it doesn't fall apart.
Each helmet size comes with a couple "Comfort Strips" which are peel-and-stick foam strips that fit into a groove in the helmet liner to adjust the fit. These Comfort Strips come in a range of thicknesses from 4.5mm to 12mm with 1.5mm increments. Choose a helmet size and comfort strip combination that provides a snug fit with the chinstrap firmly tightened. Test for movement - the helmet must not be loose. When fitting, allow a little time for the soft foam comfort strip to compress, and see if you feel pressure or get a headache. The comfort strip fitting system is very versatile. Be creative with different padding combinations and configurations to customize the fit to your head shape. The location and thickness of comfort strips can be varied to accommodate head shape. For a "long" head, use thicker strips on the sides and thinner strips in front and back. For a "round" head, use thicker strips in the front and/or back and thinner strips on the sides. Some customers even lift the internal liner flaps and put segments of comfort strips underneath, using the self-adhesive back to stick them to the shell.
Gath foam Comfort Strips are held to the helmet liner by pressure sensitive tape. If sometimes you wear a helmet liner and other times don't, you can remove or swap out Comfort Strips to suit. If the comfort strip looses its stickiness, it can be re-attached using Super Glue or "Double Stick Tape". Simply glue between the outside edge of the comfort strip and helmet liner comfort strip trench.
The "Convertible" part of the Gedi's name is because it comes with removable hard-shell ear covers with adjustable vents. When kayaking in big shore break ocean surf, I like to close one side vent (the side that takes the hit when I turn my head before getting stuffed), by leaving the other side vent open I still get good hearing. For rivers and gentler surf, I open the vents on both ears, or in hot weather you can take both ear covers off completely. With the ear covers removed, the Gedi helmet will easily fit inside a sea kayak day hatch (one of the very few helmets that will fit through an 8" hatch) or strap down reasonably well on the rear deck.
Note: the Gedi Helmet now comes standard with a bill Gath calls their Ribbed Visor. This visor can be replaced with an optional retractable Face Shield (full face) or shorter retractable "goggles" (sold separately in colors: clear or smoke). The dark smoke Goggles and Face Shields are great for running Western rivers in the afternoon where you otherwise get blinded by the sunlight and glare off the water. The retractable Face Shield, Goggles, and the bill/ Ribbed Visor bolt onto nut-plates that are molded into the helmet. You have to choose one or the other of these visors or shields; you can't have both a retractable face shield and a bill visor mounted at the same time. If you want the face shield or goggles, simple unscrew Ribbed Visor and replace it with the shield. The tiny plastic mounting screws that hold the visor and shields on are designed to shear off in the event that the face shield or bill visor gets caught on a tree branch etc., but we've never had one break inadvertently (not even in surf).
The sizing below is for wearing the helmet bare without a skull cap. If you want room for a thin skull cap add about .25" to your head measurement (i.e. for a Kokatat Surfskin Cap) for 1.5mm-2mm neoprene caps add .35" - .5" to your head measurement. Measure around head where hat headband sits.
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Size without helmet liner/skull cap:
S (21.6" - 22.2")
M (22.2" - 22.5")
L (22.6" - 23.1")
XL (23.2" - 23.8")
XXL (23.8"- 24.2")
XXXL (24.3" - 24.9")
Standard Colors: White, Black, Yellow, Red. (Black CARBON color available by Special Order, allow 4-6 months - Black Carbon helmet is made with the same great plastic shell as the other colors but it is covered with a decal photograph that makes it look like it is carbon and it is $35 extra for this option so don't scratch the photo).
Note we also sell the retractable goggles and face shields for the Gath Gedi helmet - sold separately, click "Continue Shopping" to add these to your cart after selecting your helmet.)