If there’s one thing that swimmers are super passionate about, it’s their goggles.
It’s hard to come by a seasoned swimmer who isn’t a raving advocate for their favourite brand or style.
It also doesn’t take much to get these one-eyed opinions, either. Simply ask for a recommendation on social media and you’ll be flooded with believers.
In my clinics, the question of goggles comes up first-equal with sharks.
It seems the biggest concern people have about ocean swimming is whether they’ll be able to see a shark clearly enough!
Here’s my take.
A great pair of goggles is a pair that fits.
The best pair of goggles is a new pair.
We all have differently shaped faces, different skin and different needs, so there’s no such thing as one-style-fits-all goggles.
And, sorry to burst the believer’s bubble, but there’s also no such thing as a pair of goggles that don’t fog or that won’t leak, eventually.
We put goggles under immense pressure in a gruelling environment; salt, sand, and sun (not to mention, chlorine). We leave them in bags without cases in the back of our stinking hot cars. The fact is they’ll simply break down after a while.
Once you’ve found goggles that fit and you’ve committed to replacing them each summer, you should be thinking about the style you choose and its role.
In my gear bag, I carry a number of options.
I favour the low-profile Vorgee Missiles for the surf because this style of goggles will stay on your face when diving in and body surfing. They’ll just handle the rigours of the wave zone better than most.
For the pool and open water, I wear softer, wider-view goggles, like the Vorgee Vortech, you might even enjoy the larger mask style that has become popular among the masters demographic. This style will open up your peripheral vision and feel soft on your face.
Perhaps the thing I’m most passionate about when it comes to goggles is the lens type. I’ve long been a proponent of clear lenses for ocean swimming and so no matter what style I have, I’ll have it with both clear and tinted lenses, preferably polarised.
The reason for my addiction to clear lenses is three-fold;
- most ocean swimming is conducted in the low light of the early morning,
- I want my vision to be as close to natural as possible so I can see every lump, bump and wave on the water, and,
- they reduce the number of factors that can lead to reduced vision (usually a combination of fog, water, scratches, and depth of tint).
Goggles are the window to enjoying your ocean swimming.
Do yourself a favour, find a pair that fit well and replace them often. You’ll see better, perform better and feel better.