By Chad Fleischer
There is nothing on the ski hill that can help you more than a good pair of goggles. Sunglasses are cool but a good pair of goggles or shields protects you from the wind like the biggest and best pair of sunglasses never will. I used to be like you, one of those people thinking that goggles were only for serious skiers and riders who went fast but this is not true and I will tell you why. Even though you think you are going slowly, the average skier skis at over 20 mph, even beginners! Think about going 20 mph and sticking your head out a car window. While there may not be bugs in the air, the wind is blowing and you are moving at a good clip of speed, fast enough that you, and more importantly your eyes, are struggling to see the terrain in front of you. A good pair of goggles will ensure the wind stays out, the UV rays are not hurting your retinas, and you are focusing on your balance, timing, and coordination.
Goggles these days are designed to look cool, keep the wind and UV rays out, and make you feel as if they are not on your face at all. A perfect example is the POC Lobe goggle. This goggle gives you the maximum peripheral vision and clarity while keeping the wind and UV rays out.
Another important point to remember about goggles is lens choice on those flat light days. Many people use yellow lenses for flat light but this dilates your pupils and lets too much light in and therefore you have no contrast. Yes, it is bright but now all you see is more brightness. Contrast allows you to see the terrain you are skiing or riding and the best lens I have used in all my years going over 80 mph while racing World Cup Downhill has been a green/olive tint or even a light grey lens with a blue hue. There are also light sensitive lenses. They cost a lot, but they are very nice as they change with light conditions so vision is optimized at all times.
There is also the spill factor. Like the picture for this article. When you fill your goggles with snow you want a good pair of goggles that will remain fog free, scratch free and allow you to continue skiing or riding all day. A good pair of goggles will clean up and clean out while a plastic pair of the cheap variety will have you looking to buy another pair with every fall. Injected mold lenses offer this resistance to the elements so buying right and spending more is worth the money up front. It sure beats having a day on the hill ruined by trying to save money.
If it is the ultimate comfort and feel you desire, check out our new Indigo shields that make it feel like you are wearing nothing at all. These are not made for the snowy days but for the flat light days or the sunny weather. You will never wear anything as comfortable, radical, and unobtrusive.
If you are thinking it is time to step up to a new pair of goggles or shields, be sure and ask our staff of professionals to help you find the best style, fit, and lens for your face. It is also important to ALWAYS have your helmet when you buy a pair of goggles!