7 Reasons Snowboarders Wear Goggles (and You Should Too)


Snowboarding usually involves going down steep slopes at fast speeds. Goggles are a vital part of any serious snowboarder’s gear as they provide protection from the many elements that may come while moving down the mountain. When it comes down to it, snowboarders wearing goggles is a matter of safety.

Here are 7 reasons why snowboarders wear goggles (and you should too): 

  1. Goggles can prevent accidents caused by the sun’s glare.
  2. Snowboarders can see better with goggles on.
  3. Goggles protect a snowboarder’s eyes from cold and debris.
  4. Goggles provide eye security in case of an accident.
  5. Goggles prevent prescription glasses from falling off.
  6. Goggles increase contrast for better visibility.
  7. Goggles protect snowboarders from harmful UV rays.

In this article, I’ll discuss in detail the reasons snowboarders wear goggles and why you should, too. I’ll also explain how to pick the right snowboarding goggles for you and how to properly maintain them.

Why Do Snowboarders Wear Goggles?

Snowboarders wear goggles to reduce glare, increase visibility, and protect their eyes in general. Goggles help protect snowboarders from cold, debris, and UV rays, and can prevent injury in an accident. 

1. Goggles Can Prevent Accidents Caused by the Sun’s Glare

The biggest problem for snowboarders or skiers is combating the sun’s glare. Clear visibility is necessary for snowboarding to avoid accidents. The use of goggles can help snowboarders achieve this. 

A dark lens goggle helps to reduce glare during a bright and sunny day. Goggles are photochromic; they’re more sensitive to lights and change how they block sunlight depending on the sun present.

There are goggles with advanced filters like polarized lenses that are more effective in blocking glare. The polarized goggles reduce glare from the sunshine on the sun and ice.

2. Snowboarders Can See Better With Goggles On

Goggles provide snowboarders the opportunity to see well while snowboarding. When there’s a high snow temperature, it’s difficult for snowboarders to see ahead. But with goggles, they can ski without needing to worry about the temperature.

Poor weather has caused a lot of accidents among skiers and snowboarders. According to the National Ski Areas Association, approximately 41 people have died skiing or snowboarding between2020 and 2021.

3. Goggles Protect a Snowboarder’s Eyes From Cold and Debris

Snowboarders must protect their eyes since they are high-likely to be injured while snowboarding in the mountains.

Cold weather causes irritation and soreness to the eye. As snowboarders are exposed to prolonged wind, the small particles and wind that get in their way can deter them from seeing correctly, but snowboarders will have better visibility with the help of goggles.

Also, goggles protect the eyes from UV rays, shield them from harsh winds and cold air.

4. Goggles Provide Eye Security in Case of an Accident

Poor visibility and weather can cause snowboarders accidents which may result in fatalities or injuries. The lack of speed control or direction can cause you to hit branches which can cause damage to the eyes.

Wearing goggles prevents any damage to the eyes in case of accidents. In case of an accident, goggles can reduce injuries to the eyes.

5. Goggles Prevent Prescription Glasses From Falling Off

Snowboarders with prescription glasses don’t need to worry about their glasses while snowboarding because goggles prevent them from falling off.

Goggles’ frames are constantly evolving; they’re built to accommodate prescription glasses for snowboarders.

6. Goggles Increase Contrast for Better Visibility

Contrast is essential in snowboarding. It helps to increase visibility when snowboarding. When on a slope, it helps to blend the terrain to avoid obstacles when skiing or snowboarding. Goggles increase contrast in high weather and also help to reduce light in sunny weather.

Amber or rose lenses are good for cloudy weather, while brown lenses are good for dimly lit days.

7. Goggles Protect Snowboarders From Harmful UV Rays

Ultraviolet rays are harmful to the eye and can cause prolonged or short-term eye disability to snowboarders. A snowboarder’s risk of developing macular degeneration or cataract increases when they’re exposed to prolonged UV radiation; even small amounts are dangerous. 

Extended exposure to the sun also causes pterygia and pingueculae, which are tissue elevations on the surface of your eye.

Snowboarders need to stay protected from sun rays while snowboarding on a mountaintop to avoid eye damage. 

Are Goggles Necessary for Snowboarding?

Goggles are necessary for snowboarding because they can protect you from the cold, debris, snow, and the risk of getting into accidents. Failure to wear goggles when snowboarding increases your risk of injury.

We’ve already discussed several good reasons that argue how goggles are a necessary piece of gear if you want to snowboard. 

Goggles Complete Your Snowboarding Gear

Goggles are one of the essential pieces of safety equipment in snowboarding. They protect the eye from hurting or damaging during a collision or accident. This vital gear is built to provide eye protection from wind or particles in the snow and allows complete visibility during the day and night.

Goggles Help You To Stay Warm in the Mountains

Goggles shield the eye against extreme cold and also air on the mountain top. There’s a vent in every goggle that prevents fogging from reaching the eyes. This also protects the eyes from cold temperatures, as there’s an insulated gap between the face and the environment.

Goggles Protect You From Eye Problems

Snowboarding without goggles is hazardous to your health. A slope can cause a permanent eye problem, sometimes to total blindness. When snowboarding outside, it’s imperative to use goggles to prevent eye complications. While snowboarding, make sure to tighten goggles to avoid falling off.

Can You Wear Sunglasses While Snowboarding?

You can wear sunglasses while snowboarding in addition to goggles, but they should not be used as a substitute for goggles. Sunglasses will not provide the protection needed when snowboarding. Furthermore, goggles offer UV ray protection, thus negating the need for sunglasses. 

In general, goggles are superior to sunglasses when it comes to snowboarding. Goggles are designed to provide the ultimate protection for your eye while enhancing visibility. They stay firm to the eye, wrapped around the face, and are resistant to tears, scratches, and oil grease.

Sunglasses, on the other hand, only provide shade against bright conditions and could slip off your face while snowboarding. They could even potentially cause harm to your eyes should a lens break in an accident. 

Choosing the Right Snowboard Goggles

There are specific features to look out for when picking a new snowboard goggle. This segment explains what to check for in a snowboard goggle.

Here are some cool features of snowboard goggles to check out:

Lens Shape 

The lens is an essential part of a google snowboard. They’re usually flat or spherical.

Spherical Lenses 

There are curves across the eye and face, but the angles are vertical. Curved spherical lenses give better peripheral visibility, less distortion, and reduce glare. They’re expensive, but larger lenses are better for vision.

Cylindrical Lenses 

They’re vertical flat lenses; they cut across the eye and the face. Cylindrical lenses are cheaper and work well, but the flatness can cause more glare and reduce peripheral vision. These lenses are designed to be closer to the eye to give proper peripheral visibility. Also, there’s a flat surface area that produces glare.

Ventilation

Your vision can be compromised when the warm temperatures from your body meet with the cold outside temperature; it forms fog around the lens. Therefore, you’ll want to get goggles that can provide you with proper ventilation. Below are some ventilation features found in snowboarding goggles:

  • Anti-Fog Coating. You can find this feature in all mid and high-end goggles. This feature helps to deter fogging. The anti-fog coating is typically used on lower-end goggles without a coating or old ones that are fogging. 
  • Dual-Layered Lens. These lenses are found on all glasses because they can’t fog easily as a one-layered lens. They’re correctly sealed and have a thermal barrier (windows) that’s more protected from fogging.
  • Vents. The top, side, and inner of goggles are vital to help control ventilation. Wider ventilation provides airflow more than the smaller ones.
  • Fans. A few snowboard goggles now come with a small operated battery fan to help snowboarders disperse moisture. The fans have different settings. It may be adjusted to lift lines.

Visibility

The lens color serves as a filter and helps to enhance colors in your vision. The light that reaches the eye through the lens is known as visible light transmission (VLT).

Here are the lens colors and their features:

  • A darker tint has a lower VLT that passes through the lens. 
  • Colored lenses like brown, grey, and copper lenses reduce VLT, especially on a Bluebird day.
  • A lighter lens tint has a higher VLT that passes through the lens. Lens colors like yellow, gold, amber, green, and rose offer increased VLT that are better in cloudy times.
  • A clear lens is suitable at night for snowboarding.

Frame

When getting your goggles, it’s essential to get the one that fits the face perfectly and comfortably. Some models are suitable for smaller and larger faces, while others are suitable for children and women.

Google Frames consist of polyurethane that allows flexibility. Flexible frames are suitable for freezing weather.

Here are some things you should consider when choosing a frame for your goggles:

  • Compatibility. It’s necessary to check if the snowboard goggles are compatible with your helmet. They must be comfortable to use to avoid itching.
  • Strap adjustment. Some goggles have a sliding clip on both sides for adjustment. Others have open/close buckles for adjustment on both sides. Children’s goggles mostly don’t have adjustment traps.
  • Padding. It keeps the goggles from pitching the face. The form provided should be thick enough to soften on the front but so thick to avoid fogging. High-end goggles use more than two layers of padding to improve ventilation.
  • Advanced goggles for eye disabilities. For prescribed glass users, check out for goggles that fit your face, often referred to as OTG (Over The Glass) style. Some glasses have space to accommodate pressure from your face. You can apply the anti-fog treatment on your glasses to keep them clear under goggles.

Additional Features

Remember to take your time and research extensively before buying new snowboard goggles. When you want to buy a pair of new snowboard goggles, you can read more on snowboard goggles or look into some of these features:

  • Digital display. Some goggles come with advanced technology. They can provide GPS navigation, pair with Bluetooth, enhance performance and also provide information in real-time.
  • Interchangeable lenses. You can easily swap lenses to different colors that suit you and the weather conditions.
  • Mirrored lens. There are partial and complete lens coatings outside of the outer length. More light reflected allows in less light by 10%-50% than non mirrored lense.
  • Photochromatic lenses. The feature allows automatic changes to their tint level according to the condition and UV intensity. The lens stays lighter when it’s snowing or overcast. Indoor, it also stays light no matter the light intensity.
  • Polarized lens. The primary function of the polarized lens is to reduce glare from snow and water.
  • UV ray protection. All goggles in the market today come with 100% UV protection from all types of UV rays – UVA, UVB, and UVC when cloudy UV rays bounce off the snow.

How To Maintain Snowboarding Goggles

As mentioned above, visibility is vital in snowboarding, as it helps to optimize visibility and also last longer. As it were, it’s just as critical to properly clean and maintain your snowboard goggles  as it is to buy the best quality. 

Here are some tips to keep your snowboard goggles clean:

Avoid Using Cleaning Products With Chemicals

Using a chemical cleaning agent can cause harm, especially goggles with anti-fog coating.

If you have to clean your snowboard goggles, avoid using a cleaning product. Instead, grab a dry piece of cloth to wipe the goggles — you can use microfiber material or your goggle bag. 

Dry Lens Properly When They Get Wet

It isn’t necessary to clean the lens every time. You can occasionally dry them off. 

When wiping the lens, avoid being aggressive or brutal to prevent scratches on the lens. Wipe gently over the surface of the lens.

In case you need your lens to dry up right away, here are some tips to follow:

  • Shake the goggles and wipe against your hand gently.
  • You can dab your lens instead of wiping. Dab the excess wetness with a cloth. Make sure you have your microfiber cloth with you always.
  • Don’t dry directly to sunlight to avoid fading.

Handle Snowboard Goggles With Care

The best way to keep goggles clean is to handle them with care. They’re vulnerable to damage if not correctly handled. 

The inner lenses are particularly vulnerable to damage if not handled with care. Try as much as possible not to wipe the inner lens, as it houses the anti-fog coating. But if it does get wet, you need to clean it as soon as possible. Wiping or dabbing dry is the best way to do this.

Keep Goggles in a Clean Place

As said earlier, snowboard goggles are vulnerable. If tiny particles get into the goggles, it may reduce vision. The only solution is to take good care of snowboard goggles properly and keep them as clean and safe as possible.

The snowboard goggles should be kept in a box or anywhere that would be out of reach to children to avoid scratches or inner lenses from breaking. 

Sources

Ryan Conner

Outdoor enthusiast with several years of snowboarding experience in the winters and watersports activities all summer. Living within 3 hours of 4 well-known ski resorts, I get plenty of board time from Nov-March every season.

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