Although it can be exciting to pick out the gear and clothing that you'll wear on your upcoming snowboarding trip, wearing goggles is about more than just matching the accessory to your outfit. Many snowboarders wear goggles while making their runs, and whether you're a beginner or an experienced boarder, this simple item can protect your eyes and face from dangers that could quickly ruin your day.
Wind and Snow
Even if it's not a particularly windy day, the breeze that hits your face as you're descending the hill can wreak havoc on your eyes, causing them to get teary and sore. Likewise, snow or ice in the air or kicked up by another boarder can negatively affect your vision. Ice, particularly, can lead to an injury if it hits you directly in the eye. Wearing goggles protects your eyes from the wind, snow and ice that you'll encounter during your run.
If you enjoy snowboarding off-the-beaten path, goggles are a necessary piece of protective equipment to shield your eyes from harmful objects such as tree branches. Standard snowboard runs are typically clear of trees and other obstacles, but riding around bushes and trees can be dangerous to your eyes without goggles. The large size of goggles can also protect your cheeks and part of your forehead from scratches.
Whether it's sunny or overcast, the whiteness of the snow creates a bright reflection that can cause you to squint and take some of the enjoyment out of your snowboarding trip. Goggles are available in a variety of tints that can help you block out the sun's rays and also the reflection of the sun on the snow. If you're concerned about the sun's ultraviolet rays, tints can reduce the effects of the rays on your eyes.
The chief benefits of snowboard goggles are all related to safety, but you should note the other benefits before you shop for a new pair of goggles. The prevalence of different styles and colors allows you to easily match your goggles to your outfit or board, provided that's important for you. Some goggles have a built-in camera, which is ideal if you enjoy recording your runs to post online. Others have GPS-style software that tracks your speed and location.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.