Originally created in 1996 as a British snow sport standard, EN-1077 was adopted (in 2007) by the European Committee for Standardization (or “CEN”) for all non-motorized ski and snowboard helmets sold in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey or the United Kingdom.
No surprise, EN-1077 is arguably the most common snow sport helmet standard.
EN-1077 demands that no more than 250 G’s be transmitted to the head during impact testing. That’s a lower G threshold than required by either the Snell RS-98 or ASTM F2040 helmet standards. All in all, a very good thing.
EN-1077, however, does not subject test helmets to the same range or intensity of impacts as these two aforementioned standards. It’s difficult to make straight-across comparisons about impact energy/severity because some standards (ASTM F2020) use a single 5-Kg headform in their impact testing or demand a specific impact energy (Snell) while other standards (such as EN-1077 and CSA Z263.1) require a range of headform sizes and weights. For illustration’s sake, let’s assume a headform weight of 5 kilograms across all standards.
Given the lower drop height (1.5 meters) required by EN-1077, impact energy is equal to that of the Canadian (CSA) standard, but about three quarters of what a helmet experiences when tested under both the Snell and ASTM standards.
What’s more, EN-1077 only tests on flat anvils, while Snell and ASTM subject helmets to flat, hemi and edge anvils—a more challenging impact schedule. The argument can be made that the this testing represents real life conditions on snow (the majority of impacts in snowsports are against flat or near flat objects, and very unlikely to be against steel hemispheres or steel shapes like the edge anvil).
Two versions of EN-1077—class A is tougher.
There are actually two versions of the EN-1077 standard—Class A and Class B. The Class A standard requires protection over a larger area of the head—top, rear and sides, including the ears. Class B does not require ear coverage, allowing for better hearing and ventilation, but less overall protection in some rare accidents. In addition, the 3-kilogram striker used to test the helmet shell’s penetration resistance is dropped from a greater height during Class A testing (.75 meters versus .375 meters), which ensures greater protection.
This is a self-certifying standard: Helmet brands and distributors are ultimately responsible for ensuring that their helmets have satisfied the requirements of the EN-1077 standard.