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Goggles as a safety element, snowHeads ski forum
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Goggles as a safety element

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Just bolstering the goggles-box with some extra lens and pairs for the family. Mainly Oakley Prizm models. And reminding myself of just how important googles are.

A friend had a huge shunt which resulted in very serious injury, and we boiled it down to him trying to ‘wing it’ with fogged googles, and not seeing a 1.5m drop to an icy cattrack. And then I thought of a silly moment of lack of attention in 2019 which resulted in me face-planting hard, and being reminded that really good googles also protect the face against very high energy impact. In that instance, the googles not only protected me but were unscathed themselves. I had a sore nose, but they really did protect my face. I have seen lesser googles lose their lens in such contexts, and crack and break, with nasty sharp edges protruding - or just collapsing and distorting. In contrast, my Canopy’s did a brilliant job on that day.

So...googles have an important role I think, and good ones really do fill an important place in the total set of kit on the hill:

1 allowing maximum visual acuity in extreme conditions - careful lens choice to match lens to personal vision and conditions
2 preventing eye damage from UV and foreign objects (like the low hanging pine branch I managed to whack a while back) including falling snow and ice coming up from my partners’ twintips (…ow…ow….OW!…)
3 stopping dry eye from wind etc
4 stopping frostnip (as long as your helmet-goggle interface is right)
5 cushioning the face during any impacts

It’s not that goggles should break the bank - there are great goggles out there - but there are big differences in quality and design, and careful purchasing decisions remain, as with many things, crucial.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Thu 3-02-22 13:29; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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A game changer for me was switching to a 'react to light' lens so I didn't have to change lenses throughout the day. It doesn't actually 'react' that quickly (i.e. if you ski out of the sun into a shady patch it's not instantly clear) but it provides pretty much optimum clarity in all conditions with no messing about.
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I think one has to be careful with goggles as a proactive safety measure. I am not aware they are specifically tested or claimed as an airbag for the face and the object should be they don't shatter in harmful ways. That said some of the more recent rubbery plastics seem to be more flexy and the trend for oversizing probably means less to dig in/ more distribution of point force

I am aware of at least one sH who has fractured their eye socket while wearing quite pricey Oakleys though.
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I've blown apart quite a few pairs of oakleys with big face/head plants. Not sure they (or others) offer a whole lot of protection for a big hit.
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DotM - I think that’s right...I think it’s a collateral benefit of the design trend you mention.

Argh eye socket...that’s always a very nasty and risky injury. Recovered?
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
I am aware of at least one sH who has fractured their eye socket while wearing quite pricey Oakleys though.

Yep, they're quite a stiff, solidly made frame. I don't know if the outcome would have been different with cheaper, flexible goggles that may have absorbed some of the impact rather than punching a hole in my face Confused Not particularly high impact either – mostly just the gravitational forces over 1.5m, not really much extra velocity involved.

Helmet had to be replaced. Goggles are fine and still in use.
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valais2 wrote:
Argh eye socket...that’s always a very nasty and risky injury. Recovered?

Yes, thanks. Once the surgeon has finished with you, it's only a 4 week recovery.
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If you ride where it's cold or snowy then goggles are simply essential; I don't
think they are a safety issue. If people ride over stuff without being able to see,
that's not an equipment problem.
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I certainly used to subscribe to the view that you get what you pay for and am a self-confessed Oakley Eyewear fanboy - goggles & sunnies - however, for reasons not worth explaining, I can't use my Oakleys for upcoming trip to Dolomites apart from one pair which only have low-light lenses. So I need a pair of bright light goggles and after getting the kids a couple of pairs of cheapo mirrored lens goggles with magnetic interchangeable lenses for £15 a couple of years back, I was very impressed with the quality so I've bought myself a pair too and will see how they go. (This is also a decision based on the fact that I'll get my other Oakleys, with bright-light lenses, back 2 weeks after returning from Dollies so not willing to shell out on new Oakleys or new lens)

Will report back if any good or not.
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Goggle frames will protect you eyes in tight trees to a degree its luck.
I have the small scar in my eye socket to prove it .

Most people dont ride real tight trees so its never going to be a issue ....unless you do then it can be.
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I will never forget my first ever ski trip with the school. Our teacher, dressed in an all-white one piece ski suit lost control in our end of the week slalom race, skied into a stream at the bottom the hill. When she stood up her glasses had smashed into her face and the ski suit was no longer white. All caught on vhs by another teacher with hilarious commentary. They didn’t laugh for long and I’ve never been tempted to wear anything other than goggles since!!
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@philwig, …I see what you mean…there’s definitely a skill and attitude issue there…but we did decide (after a good debrief) that if he had been wearing decent low light goggles (not necessarily expensive, just good ones*) then in the flat light of a gloomy afternoon he would most likely have seen the hazard.

For example, Bolle do excellent yellow tint at a very low price point.
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do they not restrict your peripheral vision though, compared to sun glasses ?
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Peter S, Wrong Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
Quote:

do they not restrict your peripheral vision though, compared to sun glasses ?


No idea, but they may encourage faster skiing due to 'no dry eye' or even eyes not watering Madeye-Smiley
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@Peter S, blimey have you seen Oakley Flightdeck XMs? Heuuuuge. Even models like the Oakley Canopy, Bolle Emperor and Bloc googles now are amazing in respect of the field of vision which they provide.


@Bones, ah yes…I remember past conversations when a youth….’how fast were you going’…’well my eyes were watering so much I couldn’t see..’ ‘…ah above 50kph then….’
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Peripheral vision? I used to find that with old-skool goggles, but when riding in good snow, goggles aren't an option, they're mandatory. Well they are if you're using helicopters: in deep snow or falling fresh sunglasses don't work. When I hit that problem there was a goggle called the "Scott Big Ass View" (I kid you not) which neatly addressed my fear. Those were about twice the size of the little goggles of the time. Scott were onto something though: pretty much all modern goggles are massive. I stopped wearing sunglasses completely as I don't need both. These days I won't use anything not photochromic, as I don't want to stop to change lenses when entering forests etc.

Relying entirely on peripheral vision isn't a great idea anyway, in my view.
People need to look over their shoulder to know what's behind.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Ignoring the usual big brands, does anyone have any recommendations for decent cheaper goggles with good lenses for low light/snowy days?
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Peter S wrote:
do they not restrict your peripheral vision though, compared to sun glasses ?


Well that would be entirely dependant on the googles and the sunglasses wouldn't it
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@Jagerbull, Bolle do some very reasonable low lights goggles - excellent optics - for example…

https://www.snowinn.com/ski-store/bolle-freeze-ski-goggles/137673839/p?utm_source=google_products&utm_medium=merchant&id_producte=8862765&country=uk&gclid=CjwKCAiAl-6PBhBCEiwAc2GOVOeAeRtmwvs2piSpaTKAJYIh4pHVtx6rUY7W7143otyiA-yx3lG1aBoC6O4QAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Their Lemon Cat1 lens really is very good.
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@philwig, …that indeed reminds me…I have now added ‘falling snow’ to the original post…god that hurts….

But worse is my partner and my son…blasting past on twintips, they always forget that twintip tails throw up a plume of piste material, a big blast to the face when you ski through it - sometimes it is soft snow (annoying) and sometimes ice particules (bloody painful). I wouldn’t want the latter in my eyes. It acts as an excellent exfoliant on my cheeks and would damage eyes a lot….
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I have quite a few vitreous floaters that are inoffensive most of the time but become dominant in flat light conditions. They overwhelm whatever natural contrast there is in the scene.
I got a pair of these https://www.igero.com/goggles-c8/snow-goggles-c9/oakley-line-miner-p17794/s101215 four years ago for those conditions and I think they help.
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Goggles are impossible to wear when it's warm and/or skiing hard, my head just gets unbearably hot & sweaty.
Can't ski switch with goggles either, my stiff old neck won't turn round far enough to see where I'm going rolling eyes
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Jagerbull wrote:
Ignoring the usual big brands, does anyone have any recommendations for decent cheaper goggles with good lenses for low light/snowy days?


Dragon do some cheaper frames with their Lumalens as stock (unlike Oakley and Smith where their premium lenses are usually only offered on the more expensive frames). Decathlon do or used to do a very good Cat 1 yellow goggle.
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Jagerbull wrote:
Ignoring the usual big brands, does anyone have any recommendations for decent cheaper goggles with good lenses for low light/snowy days?


I’ve used expensive goggles made by Oakley and Adidas, but my two favourite pairs both came from Decathlon.

Models change regularly so I can’t recommend anything specific.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Jagerbull wrote:
Ignoring the usual big brands, does anyone have any recommendations for decent cheaper goggles with good lenses for low light/snowy days?


Dragon do some cheaper frames with their Lumalens as stock (unlike Oakley and Smith where their premium lenses are usually only offered on the more expensive frames). Decathlon do or used to do a very good Cat 1 yellow goggle.


I have a pair of Wedze goggles, although I bought them in Tignes, having smashed my goggles in a fall on the glacier, they are the ones sold in Decathlon. They suffice perfectly well, though I do miss my gorgeous smashed goggles Very Happy
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Thanks for the recommendations. Will have a look around.

I currently have Smith I/O S goggles (I have a small face so that size suits me) and use a Chroma pop Storm Yellow.
I think I scratched up that lens pretty bad apres-ing in the Goststall in 2020, so will probably need something new as they are discontinued.
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Jagerbull wrote:
Ignoring the usual big brands, does anyone have any recommendations for decent cheaper goggles with good lenses for low light/snowy days?


Just Goggle them.
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