About motorcycle helmet laws, a comedian once said, "if a head is functioning that poorly to begin with, it doesn't warrant protecting."
That said, I don't wear a helmet either. I don't equate not wearing a helmet skiing with not wearing one on a motorcycle.
I get what your saying. There is significantly higher level of risk on the road as opposed to at the mountain. The variables associated with people piloting cars are far more complex than those associated with people piloting boards on snow.
It just seems like a logical choice. I wouldn't ride a bike without one... it seems to make sense that I shouldn't ride my skis or snowboard without one. We have some interesting natural features in my neck of the woods. Lots of exposed basalt. Bomber Cliffs at Mission give a good idea of our rocks...
The area is littered with basalt spires which One could easily bounce your melon off of if your not paying attention . Even a grazing blow with a piece of exposed basalt can get ugly quick.
I almost always wear a helmet while skiing (since 98/99 or so) and make my kids wear them. If it's really warm in the spring I might make an exception and ski in a baseball hat. My motivation to start wearing one came from the two seasons I worked at mountains. I saw a lot of stupid lift-related or crowded-blue-trail sorts of accidents . I am pretty careful myself but the person that got the worst of a collision was often not the person who made the bad decision. Even being the best, most careful skier (as with automobiles) doesn't protect you 100%. The arguments against ski helmets sound to me like the old "I'd rather be thrown clear" argument against seat belts.
That being said, it's still a free country so have at it. Pretty soon there'll probably be a law requiring them and the contrarian in me will be pissed off.
Here is me without a helmet. I generally ride with a helmet but from time to time I'll not wear one when I will be skiing groomers exclusively.
After I had an accident on my road bike where my front wheel came off and I slammed my face into the pavement, only being saved and not seriously injured because I was wearing a helmet, I will always wear one for that. On that note, the snow is a bit more forgiving than the pavement which is why I will allow it from time to time. When I go ski glades I always have my helmet on because I had a friend lose his life hitting his head on a tree flying off the road on a downhill skateboard, he even had a helmet on but the speed in which he was going nothing could have really saved him.
It's definitely in best interest to wear one because you never know what will happen. Sometimes they may look dorky but get yourself one of those bitchin paint jobs hockey goalies have on their masks and you'll be the talk of the mountain!
About 4 or 5 yrs ago I started wearing a helmet, but primarily for the tunes. I don't feel any safer by wearing one, the tunes are just that much better. Blue tooth speakers, etc etc. There are so many reasons to wear a helmet and none to not wear one.
i am all for wearing a helmet while skiing. it took me a long time to give in. once I put it on and realized you could take more aggressive lines in the woods I was sold. an occasional branch to the head was not a big deal.
as far as wearing one on your motor cycle , its the difference between and open and closed casket. you are dead either way. I rode for 7 years.
I'm hoping that I won't get drawn too deep into this thread, but I'll say that every situation requires the individual in that situation to make a choice.
Driving a car? I don't wear a helmet
Racing a car? I'd wear a helmet.
Skiing a normal day? I don't usually wear a helmet
Trying tricks in the park, skiing rowdy terrain, racing? I wear a helmet
Springtime BC session at a NELSAP area? No helmet
Springtime Tuckerman ravine session? Bring the helmet, wear it if snow gets hard or if I'm sending
Mountain biking? Always wear a helmet
Bike Path? Mostly don't wear a helmet
DH Mountain biking? Full face helmet, shin, knee, & elbow pads
Riding a horse? Never done it, but I'd wear a helmet
Rock climbing? Helmet
Bouldering? No helmet
Ice climbing? Helmet
It's a personal preference. Let people do what they want to do.
Helmets help most in unexpected circumstances and help least when people think they would help most. If you get tripped up and you're going 40mph off a groomer into the trees, a helmet probably isn't going to help. But I can't tell you how many times I've been bonked on the helmet but a so called "safety" bar which would have really hurt or could have knocked me out without a helmet. I think helmets are also good insurance if you go down and slam your head into typical New England hard pack. I can't say that helps much if ever for me but I feel like that would be where a helmet would pay off. And crashing through the tress face first into branches and having them bounce off the armor is nice, I can take more aggressive lines. Can't tell you how many times I've smacked decent sized branches with my helmet and didn't care. Might hurt a bit more without the dome.
Bottom line is I need to have headwear to keep warm no matter what so it might as well be protective headwear. Though I can understand folks wanting to go without in the spring when the snow is soft and the weather is warm. I just get used to it and can't see a reason not to wear one regardless. It certainly doesn't hurt and can, in the right circumstances, help substantially.