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Helmet Policy

MSA Boom and Helmet Policy

Due to parent feedback gathered through the annual feedback survey, guidance from US Sailing, consultation with junior sports specialist physicians, MSA's own experience, and the steady adoption of helmet use by high school and college sailing programs, MSA has decided on the following helmet policy.

  • Any student wanting to wear a helmet at any time, is welcome to do so regardless of weather conditions or the boat he or she is sailing – There will be zero tolerance for other sailors, parents, or coaches teasing or harassing that student for wearing a helmet.

  • Dyer Dhows, and Optis - which have lower potential kinetic energy - will have padded booms to lessen potential impact. Even with this padding, should wind speeds or the likelihood of unpredictable gusts warrant it, instructors may require the use of helmets.

  • The booms of Ideal 18s, Rhodes 19s, 420s, Lasers, and other boats will not be padded. The use of helmets on these boats will depend on weather conditions and the coach or instructor's discretion.

  • When a Small Craft Advisory is in effect, MSA requires sailors to wear helmets.

  • Any MSA Director, Coach, or Instructor may require sailors to wear helmets at any time. If a student refuses to wear a helmet, he or she may not be allowed to sail, not be allowed on the water, or be sent home for the day.

  • All race team participants are encouraged to purchase their own helmet. MSA recommends purchasing livery or kayaking helmets which have the same full head coverage, low-profile, and impact force distribution advantages as sailing helmets, but at a significant lower price point (appr. $40). Click here to view one of the helmets used and recommended by local high schools.

  • MSA has purchased a set of helmets that can be borrowed for a session. If a helmet is lost, the replacement fee equal to the then current price of a new helmet will be charged to the parent/guardian.

  • Helmets will be stored on coach boats and distributed as needed.

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