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Do I need to wear goggles at the ski area?: The importance of ski goggles

Many first time skiers are often unaware of how important ski goggles are. First and foremost, they protect your eyes from the strong sunlight and UV rays.

Just like how the water reflects the light at beaches, the ski areas are covered with white snow that reflects the sunlight like none other. Not only can your skin become affected by this light, but your eyes may also be harmed by the rays. The reflective surface makes it hard to navigate your way around while skiing because of how bright it is, and long exposure can even lead to more serious symptoms such as photokeratitis and cataract.

Ski goggles also protect your face. The goggles are framed with a thick outer layer and a spongy inner layer to protect your eyes and face from damage. There are often cases of another skier’s ski poles hurting the eyes of someone behind them, and the goggles are the main things to help avoid injuries happening from accidents like these. The wind can also get very strong, and the skier in front of you may spray snow in your face that can make it hard to keep your eyes open. Not having your full sight can be especially dangerous when skiing at high speeds.

Like all products that have UV protection, ski goggles need to be replaced after a while. The recommended period of usage is five to ten years. While you may not see the damage, the protectiveness of your ski goggles can be affected by the damage on the coating or small scratches. Old goggles may still lower the brightness for your eyes, but this can make old goggles extra dangerous because UV rays can enter your dilated pupils more easily. Make sure to store your goggles in a cloth case in a dry place that doesn’t get direct sunlight. Hard goggle cases are extra protective. If you leave your goggles hanging by sunlight for a long time, the UV rays can damage the lens, sponge, frame, band, as well as the important anti-fog coating. Leaving your goggles hanging may be the worst way to store them.


Now that you’ve learned why you should wear ski goggles, let’s find out about how to pick the best goggles.

Good visibility
  1. Pick goggles that don't fog up. Although the design of the goggles is important, make sure you look at the reviews that talk about how good or bad the anti-fog properties are. Having foggy glasses can make skiing dangerous and difficult.

  2. Check out if the goggles narrow your view. Some goggles may look like they have a big lens, but the design may make it hinder your view. Either try the goggles on yourself or check out the reviews to make sure you can get a wide view of the slopes.

Pick the goggles that pick your skiing environment
  1. The best goggle choice for you can depend on where and when you plan to ski. During the day time, sun protection is key, but light transmittance is important for night skiing. This is why goggles can be divided into day time, night time, and color changing lenses. Daytime lenses allow you to see even when the sunlight is strong, and nighttime lenses allow you to see when it is darker while protecting you from the wind and snow. Color changing lenses can do both because the transmittance of the lens changes to get the appropriate transmittance depending on the sunlight and UV rays. Although these color changing lenses are more expensive, they may be worth it if you are planning on skiing both during the day and at night.

  1. You need to make sure the goggles fit your face to assure the protection. If the goggles don’t fit your face type, there can be some space between your nose bridge and your goggle where wind can get in and disrupt your skiing. You can find goggles for different nose bridge heights and cheekbones, and you can try styles that are designed for Asian or European skiers to help find the goggles that fit you best.

  2. The compatibility of your helmet and goggles is also important. If the helmet and goggles do not fit well together, there can be a space on your forehead. In this case, a lot of wind flows between the goggles and makes skiing difficult. If you buy a helmet and goggles from the same brand the designs will fit well together. A helmet attached with visor-shaped goggles are also available if you are looking for a perfect fit.

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