Tied with a life jacket, a helmet is the most important piece of whitewater safety gear. I’ve been wearing the WRSI Current Helmet for two years now and I absolutely love it. It provides exceptional coverage, has a ton of subtle safety features and is super comfortable.
Here is my review of the WRSI Current Helmet, though if you want to save yourself some reading just go ahead and order it now. I guarantee this helmet will exceed your expectations.
Note: Due to high demand, the WRSI Current is unavailable in most Canadian retailers right now. If you’re unable to get your hands on this model, the next one I recommend is Shred Ready Standard Half Cut Helmet, which is currently available at MEC.
WSRI Current Helmet: The Specs
Here are the specs about the WSRI Current Helmet. You can read more about the specs on the WSRI website.
Shell Material: ABS plastic with a polyurethane sub-shell
ABS stands for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, which is an incredibly hard and durable plastic. It’s generally considered the best plastic for making helmets. (In fact, ABS is so hard and durable that whitewater canoes are also made out of ABS.)
Liner Material: EVA foam liner
EVA stands for Ethylene-vinyl Acetate and is a type of foam that is soft and flexible, but still durable. It is what makes the helmet comfortable and snug fitting around your head. Another common material for helmet liners is EPP (expanded polypropylene), which is a little harder and not as comfortable. Both are excellent for helmets.
Adjustment: Interconnect Retention System
“Interconnect Retention System” is the name of the system inside the helmet that keeps the helmet in position around your head. One thing I love about the WRSI Current Helmet is how easily adjustable the straps are inside, ensuring the helmet fits well and doesn’t move around when I move my head.
Ear Coverage: No
Some paddling helmets have ear coverage to protect against something hitting the side of your head. In whitewater rafting and canoeing, this usually isn’t a concern. However, whitewater kayakers may want this feature. You can buy ear attachments for the WRSI Current Helmet.
WSRI Current Helmet: The Upsides
In this section I’ll introduce you to the features I love about this helmet. I’ve included photos of the helmet below to help illustrate what different features are and what they do.
Note: I have a GoPro mount attached to the top of my helmet, which is visible in the “top” and “side” photos below. The mount does not come with the helmet.
Exceptional head coverage
The WRSI Current Helmet offers the best coverage of any whitewater helmet I’ve seen. You can see in the photo of the helmet’s side that the helmet extends down very far. It covers almost the entire back of the head – extending below the occipital bone to the top of the spine.
A lot of other paddling helmets don’t go as far down the back. The popular NRS Havoc Helmet offers a similar amount of coverage. However the Shred Ready Stutter and Shred Ready Zeta don’t offer nearly as much coverage. So overall, the WRSI Current Helmet is great for maximizing protection.
Extremely comfortable inside lining
Inside the helmet you’ll see a really soft foam liner. This is easily the most comfortable helmet I’ve ever worn.
It’s a foam liner is made of EVA, a soft and flexible foam. The foam is secured in mesh, and I find this allows the inside of the helmet to drain well and dry faster.
Excellent straps ensure a secure fit
The positioning of the straps allows this helmet to fit really well. The chin strap attaches to the helmet above the ears and then extends to the back of the helmet (underneath the WRSI letters in the “back” photo).
Because this strap extends to the back and sits underneath the base of the head, the helmet is very secure. I can shake my head in any direction and the helmet won’t move.
Multiple styles available
There is a style with vents (the small openings on the top of the helmet) and a style without them. I have the style with the events and really like it.
There is a style with a large brim and one with a small brim. I wear the one with the small brim. It’s large enough to keep the sun off my eyes, but doesn’t limit my field of vision.
I recommend the style with vents and a small brim.
WSRI Current Helmet: The Downsides
If I had to choose some downsides to this helmet, I’d have to be super nit-picky. Overall I think this is a fantastic helmet. But, if you must know, here are three things to watch for with this helmet.
Large visor annoying in big water
The WRSI Current Helmet with the large brim style as been critiqued because it is uncomfortable to swim with in big rapids. Apparently, the water catches on the large brim and pulls the helmet back. This isn’t the case with the small brim, so I definitely recommend going with the small brim style.
Limited vents make it hot
Since the helmet is most often available in black, it gets really hot. The style with vents has three vents on the top, but no vents on the sides. All this to say, the helmet is hot to wear for long stretches of time. I like to take it off, dump it in the water and put it back on.
There are other helmet styles (i.e. the blue NRS Havoc in the photo below) that have additional vents.
It scratches easily
In a purely superficial sense, the WRSI Current Helmet scratches easily. After two years wearing it, there are a few small scratches on the top of the helmet. This doesn’t affect its performance, but the scratches are noticeable in good light.
WSRI Current Helmet Review: The Verdict
As you’ve probably gathered, I absolutely love the WRSI Current Helmet and recommend it to any whitewater paddlers. Let me know if you have any questions!
Additional Whitewater Resources
- How to Get Started in Whitewater Canoeing
- Swiftwater Rescue Training: Everything You Need to Know
- Whitewater kayaking, canoeing and rafting – what’s the difference?