Radio frequency excited helicon plasmas show promise for processing of electronic and photonic materials because of their high density and low plasma potential. In this paper, we briefly review helicon wave excitation and damping and present new, spatially-resolved measurements of metastable ion velocity distribution functions (ivdfs) in a helicon source. We find ion temperatures perpendicular to the magnetic field in the helicon source to be 0.29-0.36 and 0.25-0.33 eV for Cl+ and Ar+, respectively. Parallel to the magnetic field, ivdfs depend strongly on magnetic field profile with ions always moving toward regions of smaller magnetic field. As a result of non-uniform, distribut-ed ionization in the source, the ivdf is often found to be broad and bimodal.