It reminds me of religious converts who, once they've seen "the light" and their worldview changes, they cease to be able to see things in any other way. Not only can they not see things differently for themselves, but they can't understand why anyone else would see things differently, and they preach their views in a very aggressive and condescending manner.
For example: here's an excerpt of a "helmet awareness" poster that was in the locker room at the ski lodge a while ago, and I'm working from memory, but not exaggerating it at all:
DID YOU KNOW THAT YOUR SKULL IS THE THICKNESS OF TWO PENNIES AND YOUR BRAIN IS THE CONSISTENCY OF JELLY? COME TO OUR HELMET AWARENESS SESSION NEXT SATURDAY AND FIND OUT WHAT A HUMAN BRAIN FEELS LIKE.
*WARNING* MATERIAL IS GRAPHIC AND MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR YOUNG CHILDREN.
Now, I'm all for education and awareness, but this seems nothing more than fear-mongering. It's certainly worked, though - I would say that at the very least, 95% of people wear helmets now at the hill I ski at, where it would have been less than 5% ten years ago. My guess is that it started when helmets were required for the terrain park - the hotshot snowboarders and freestyle skiers all bought helmets, and now it's cool to be wearing a helmet. At about $100 a pop, it's no wonder that the people running ski shops are promoting them as well.
The other thing that concerns me is that people think that helmets will save their life if they ever hit a tree going 60 km/h. In one magazine a person wrote in saying, "Arms and hips can be replaced, but if you get brain damage, that's it." While appreciate the sentiment to an extent, I don't particularly enjoy the notion of skiing with people who believe they can wrap themselves around a tree and be safe as long as they're wearing a helmet. I've split my head open sailing, tobogganing, and drinking in college, but not once has anyone ever preached to me for not wearing a helmet during those activities, and despite being a fairly aggressive skier, I've never had any serious accidents. Conversely, I see snowboarders get wrist injuries daily, but I've never seen such a concentrated effort to get people to wear wrist guards.
All that being said, I was never religiously against them, and aside from the price, the main reason I've waited this long is that I'm a tall guy and can rarely find helmets that fit my head - most XL helmets don't fit, and I found one this year that would fit my head, but only if I took out all the padding. I finally decided to buy one because they're supposedly much warmer than a regular hat. I don't like how it muffles my hearing, though, and if I don't wear a balaclava the wind goes right underneath and freezes my head.
Anyway, what do you think? Do you wear a helmet skiing/snowboarding, and why?