Though expensive and slightly tricky to size, the Pass ultimately delivers a stellar protection experience that’s both lightweight and reliable.
Long before we were strapping batteries and motors to our boards, there existed a unique group of individuals. These athletes would ascend to the top of a long road located on a hill or mountain. They would don some gear, hop on a skateboard, and proceed to launch themselves downhill at lethal speeds. Naturally, this form of thrill had huge risks. One of the greatest problems was a hard impact resulting in a brain injury, in addition to facial and dental damage from one’s head bouncing on pavement. Due to the intense speeds, more protection was needed for the entire head. A mere skullcap helmet left a lot of bones exposed. However, full face motorcycle helmets were heavy, unwieldy, and often restricted the field of view for the longboarder.
And thus the TSG Pass was born.
In 2014, TSG launched the new full face helmet with downhill world champion Martin Siegrist. The lightweight and futuristic look instantly caught on. Ventilation and facial protection were highlighted. The Pass also promoted a wide range of peripheral vision for intense downhill competition.
As electric skateboards gained popularity, riders took a close look at different options to maximize their safety without compromising comfort and vision. Once again, most motorcycle helmets were too heavy for the quick darting through traffic that the electric skateboards promoted. Snowboarding helmets like Ruroc were also feasible, but were incredibly expensive and didn’t offer the same certified full face protection. Finally, mountain bike helmets varied in protection levels and certification (despite some models being ideal for casual electric skateboard riding). However, the TSG Pass was literally built for high speeds on a longboard (electric or push). Certified, durable, lightweight, good field of vision; the Pass checked off a lot of boxes for the new street surfers.
Oh, and did I mention that they look awesome? Seriously, I’ve been compared to Venom, Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Top Gun, Daft Punk, and many more masked heroes. The TSG Pass almost gathers as much attention on our group rides as the electric skateboards themselves. The reflective visor creates this intimidating cyberpunk look. Although some riders consider the Pass to be goofy and an attempt for attention, there’s no denying that the wearer emanates a sleek vibe as they anonymously shred on mysterious electric devices.
Let’s start with the important stuff. The TSG Pass is designed to protect. And to back up their claims, TSG retrieved several certifications. One of these is EN 1078. This European Union regulation dictates the different properties of the helmet. It regulates field of vision, fastening gear (like the chin strap), and shock absorption aspects. EN 1078 covers both bikes and skateboards, and ensures that the impact is less than 250g. Why is this important? Because at 300g of peak deceleration, the rider is in brain injury territory. TSG tested the Pass for this certification in different temperatures while being slammed into an anvil. Suffice to say, EN 1078 is essential for helmets used by electric skateboard riders, and the TSG Pass delivers.
Next up, TSG certified the Pass with the American standard for skateboards and bikes known as ASTM F1952. This regulation is similar to EN 1078 in a few ways. It tests to keep impacts below 300g, and tests helmet impacts in different temperatures and wet environments. However, ASTM F1952 tests the front of full face helmets (the chin bar) for impact resistance to ensure that the rider’s face is also protected upon a harsh fall.
So what’s the conclusion? The TSG Pass excels in accomplishing its primary objective, to protect the rider’s brain and face from injury. It’s worth noting that at 250g of peak deceleration, one can still receive a lovely concussion. However, the Pass strives to prevent brain injuries. This way, the helmet can save a rider’s life and allow them to (hopefully) ride again.
As with any helmet, nothing is perfect. There is a serious risk in riding an electric skateboard (especially with motor vehicles sharing the road). While the TSG Pass is tough and impact resistant, it can’t prevent the most serious of accidents from occurring. Let me be absolutely clear: someone can die while wearing a TSG Pass helmet. However, the TSG’s rigorous testing and incredible dedication to riders is the best insurance policy you could ask for on the streets.
Weight and Size
I’ve received this question many times. How heavy is the Pass? Technically, it’s 1.06kg, or a little less than 2.5lbs. What does that feel like? Honestly, it’s hard to notice while riding. I’m no bodybuilder, but I can turn my head very easily while wearing the Pass (great for checking intersections). In addition, I’ve ridden with the helmet on my head for several hours straight. While the rest of my body was struggling, never once did I notice the Pass having a negative impact. Naturally, it’s heavier than a regular skate helmet, or even some light full face mountain biking helmets. However, I would dare to say that it’s a “good heavy”. It feels solid and protective. It molds naturally to the head and doesn’t feel like a brick on the neck.
It is worth noting that since the helmet is obviously bigger than a typical skate helmet (I would hope so, it’s protecting more of your head), one might find the Pass to be a little extra to carry around and haul for a commute. However, the mild (or perhaps even unnoticeable) inconvenience is worth the protection.
Almost immediately after showing off my new Pass, I was bombarded with questions about sizing. TSG has a great sizing chart that I used effectively (and checked three times to ensure that I bought the right size). However, I’ve noticed some riders bought a size too small accidentally. I by no means have a large head, but I bought the XL and I feel very comfortable with it. It’s okay for the Pass to be a little snug, ideal even. However, one shouldn’t be getting headaches from suiting up the noggin. TSG also offers different size pads for the cheeks to help accommodate different faces. Because of the sizing, the XL size is usually a rare commodity. I encourage you to join an electric skateboard group in the nearest city and inquire about trying on someone’s TSG Pass.
(Here in Grand Rapids, many electric skateboard riders now use the Pass. If you’re nearby, you’re more than welcome to try mine on and ride in our group!)
TSG packed a ton of anti-fog and breathability features into the Pass. Vents near the nose allow air to travel freely without blowing your face with wind resistance (another perk of the visor). They also added a fog blocker around the nose and mouth area to force air down and out of the helmet. The visor locks up the helmet and doesn’t allow any extra air through, creating a largely fog free environment. I use the word “largely”, because in extreme environments I’ve still gotten a little fog. However, it’s never impacted my riding abilities. I’ve ridden in below freezing temperatures and baking summer days (95 degrees), and not once did I feel like removing the Pass.
Field of View
TSG knocked it out of the park with the visual abilities on the Pass. The facial opening for the eyes on the helmet is extremely wide, making it easy to glance for things out of the corner of the eye. I receive this question a lot, and I can’t think of a single time where my peripheral vision was obscured.
I’ve had no major issues with durability regarding my Pass, and it’s literally traveled the world with me. After all, a helmet that is meant to save your brain should be able to handle a drop or two. However, the reflective visor shows scratches very easily, and I’ve purchased a second visor in my three years of having the helmet (I will likely purchase a third this year). In addition, the chin strap does take a few tries to secure properly, as well as removing it. Finally, I’ve noticed some fabric peeling off the anti-fog foam mouthpiece. However, it’s worth noting that I abuse my helmet pretty heavily and this is the smallest of nitpicking.
TSG is a German company, and they speak excellent English. I’ve once messaged them on their Facebook page, and received a thorough reply within a day or two. Customer service is something that can wax and wane with time, but I’ve seen no red flags to note.
It had to be brought up at some point. This helmet is ridiculously expensive. There’s no way to put it lightly. The price normally hovers around $280USD, with the Pass Pro edition reaching almost $400USD at times! The TSG Pass is sold on multiple websites with different sizes. Therefore one will need to do a bit of digging to find the cheapest option. Several online electric skateboard communities will rally to perform group buys for a discount, but those are time sensitive and rare. It’s important to note that many people will find a slightly smaller sized Pass for a cheaper price and compromise. Do not do this. If TSG doesn’t have the right size, or it’s not affordable yet, don’t buy it. It’s a foolish idea to spend this much money on a helmet, only for it to not fit. It’s not worth it. Wait for the right size (this doesn’t mean go without a helmet while you ride). You can check the current price on Amazon here.
TSG has for several years sold varied colors of the Pass. The most common are black, white, and red. The Pass Pro (Carbon) is usually a dark grey helmet with a red or yellow stripe. With the Pass being in such high demand, the helmet is often out of stock on multiple websites. This means that finding the exact color you want will require waiting for most of the year. I’ve spoken to TSG, and they’ve informed me that the traditional black TSG Pass is one of their best selling products, and they have no plans to discontinue it.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
The TSG Pass is one of the most iconic things you’ll see in the world of helmets and electric skateboarding. Naturally, the price is a major turn off for a lot of riders. In addition, the striking appearance is too ridiculous for some, who view the helmet as overkill or an attempt to get attention in public. However, there is no question that this helmet delivers on almost any challenge that can be thrown at it. It’s tough, protective, certified, lightweight, ventilated, and has a great field of view. What more could be asked of a helmet designed for a longboard rider? You can check out the TSG on Amazon here.