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I never wore helmets for 30 years. After a couple knee injuries on the mountain I now wear one. It's a good thing too because my first day back skateboarding I was doing a front side 5-0 in a clover bowl and fell back and slammed my head against the tranny and got served up. HAd I not had a helmet on I'd be typing this with wooden spoon in my mouth.
If you think it's not cool to ride with the proper gear then you probably aren't riding to your full capability. I even wear wrist guards now and I love being able to plant my hand without that deep pain from bruised palms.