In The Clear

Everything You Need To Know About Your Goggles

Snowboarding is one of those games where a good day heavily depends on how well all your gear works-and there’s a lot of gear to keep an eye on. One of the most crucial components is your goggles. True fact: it’s really hard to ride if you can’t see. However, every day people struggle with and curse at below-par goggle setups. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here’re a few pro-proven secrets to keep you riding in the clear.

Features You Want

Winter-sports-specific goggles: Start with quality goggles that’re designed for winter sports. Don’t just drop into the cheapest set you can find thinking they’re all pretty much the same-they’re not.

Impact test standards: Every now and again a branch will take a swing at you, and a strong lens will prevent eye injuries. Look for a lens that meets or exceeds ANSI Z87.1.

Optically correct: This means the lens is free of distortion and other aberrations that might be caused by lens curvature.

Scratch-resistant coating: Cheap lenses without coating scratch easily and become really hard to see through almost immediately.

Anti-fog: It means just that-few things suck more than foggy goggles.

UV protection: Sunshine is a gift, but when it’s reflecting off acres of deluxe white snow, it’ll fry your retinas. A good lens will filter 100 percent of harmful UV rays, which also go right through clouds and can be even more harmful on cloudy days because the pupil is more dilated.

Soft dual- or triple-density face foam: This is super plush against your face and tends to seal better, preventing snow and wind from getting inside your goggles.

Venting: This gets the warm, sweaty air out.

Helmet-specific straps: If you rock a helmet all the time, look for goggles that’re specifically designed to seal and vent well with one. Bring your lid with you when shopping so you can be sure everything fits well.

Mandatory Love And Care

Keep your goggles dry and protected. Don’t just rip them off and toss them in the back seat-carefully dry them off with the bag they came with and keep them in a dry place.

Don’t leave them hanging from your rear-view mirror-it’ll prematurely torch the lens coating and dry out the face foam.

Keep a soft anti-fog cloth in a dry coat pocket to clean up your lenses in the event of a crash. Definitely don’t just scrape out the inside with your glove or coat. Also, avoid paper towels, as they tend to be pretty abrasive.

If you do fog up after a crash, a couple seconds under a bathroom hand dryer should fix them right up.

Don’t take your goggles on and off all the time. Drastic temperature changes invite fogging or icing, and your hat is usually pretty moist, which further complicates the problem.

Now is not the time for goggle failure. Tadashi Fuse, Whistler backcountry. Photo: Colin Adair/ Big Blind