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goggles for timid skier

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

So for those of you who haven't seen my budget related post before, let me get this straight. I'm 15 and do not have a lot of money so budget is almost #1

 

My mom loves to ski. She is a blue groomer kind of person but she loves to ski with my brother and I. However, she is a very timid skier and anytime its cloudy, she finds herself sitting in the lodge or skiing very slowly. If its whiteout, she won't even ride the lift up. This is due to visibility. She likes to be able to see bumps and other things that can upset her balance. 

 

Her current goggles are some Salamon goggles with a  s2 red mirror (think lighter Smith red Sol-x). I want to get here a lightly tinted yellow or other low light lens to help improve her confidence when skiing. Budget is about $40 (assuming I can get my brother to join me in funding). 

 

Recommendations? An extra lens is not important. In fact, separate goggles are almost preferred. If I can get recommendations for a confidence inspiring goggle on the cheap, that would be awesome. Anything white or red (goggle frame) is bonus since thats here favorite colors.

post #2 of 34
I would recommend a smith goggle with the blue sensor mirror lens. It's a great low light lens – I use it all the time when it's overcast or snowing or white out conditions. I got my goggles on eBay for about 40$ Canadian. If you're OK with having a goggle that separate, where the lenses aren't necessarily interchangeable, it should be pretty easy to find that within your price range.
post #3 of 34

I'm going outside the box here admittedly.........Is there night skiing where you live?  Seriously, night skiing is amazing for being able to see every little bump and mark in the snow.  It might boost her confidence, not to mention it's a whole other experience at night.  Tons of fun.

post #4 of 34

http://www.opticsplanet.com/snowboard-and-ski-goggles.html?_iv_gridSize=120

 

You should be able to find something within the budget.

post #5 of 34
post #6 of 34

Smith has a new lens Chromapop Storm, which appears to be available only as a replacement lens for the I/O series of goggles and which also seems to be sold out. It is being marketed as being better than other Smith low vis lenses. It is also ridiculously expensive. Perhaps in the future it will be available in more affordable styles. I haven't seen any reviews and have no personal experience so I don't know if the hype is warranted. 

I have tried other low light specialty lenses, like the Smith Blue Sensor Mirror. The are certainly brighter and they help contrast a little but they are no miracle. I doubt better goggles alone are going to make your mother into an aggressive storm-day skier.

 

The best way to improve visibility in whiteout conditions is to ski in the trees, which obviously requires a lot of skill, or near them. Steeper terrain actually makes it easier to keep one's balance by giving an obvious reference of which way is down. In a whiteout people can fall over just standing on level ground. The other things that help in low light are lightning fast reflexes and leg muscles of steel to deal with sudden bumps and pitch changes. Unfortunately it doesn't sound like any of these things are practical for your mom. For now the best thing she can do is to ski as much as she can, take lessons if she can, and improve her sking. The better her skiing is the less low visibility will bother her. 

post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post
 

I'm going outside the box here admittedly.........Is there night skiing where you live?  Seriously, night skiing is amazing for being able to see every little bump and mark in the snow.  It might boost her confidence, not to mention it's a whole other experience at night.  Tons of fun.


Actually, Nordic Valley right near Snowbasin is a little local's place that depends on night skiing.  It's tiny.  Reminded me of places in the southeast.

 

But goggle lenses that are good for night skiing are not necessarily the best for low visibility day skiing.

post #8 of 34

True.  But the reality is there is no lens that will magically make low viz days somehow "good".  Oakley's Yellow, Smith's Sensor, etc can only do so much with the given light (or lack thereof).  Bad viz is like skiing in soup.  Heck, I'd take a clear lens and go night skiing than anything on the market and low viz where you can't see where you're going.

 

Other option is to dive into the glades in low viz.  Depending where you are, it's MUCH easier to see in the trees.  And you don't need to be an expert to have fun in the trees (Western trees.....Eastern trees are icy bumps unless you know the locals' stashes)

post #9 of 34
The Smith Blue Sensor had worked well for me until I skied in a blizzard 2 years ago at Sunday River. It was just tolerable but made me look for a new option. I have a new pair of Smith IOX waiting for this season with the same BS lenses but it is noticeably lighter held side by side and on my face. Not sure what gives there. The IOX will give me the option to go clear. Does anyone have experience with the Smith Yellow Sensor lenses? It looks like another good option for the OP (and me).
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post
 

I'm going outside the box here admittedly.........Is there night skiing where you live?  Seriously, night skiing is amazing for being able to see every little bump and mark in the snow.  It might boost her confidence, not to mention it's a whole other experience at night.  Tons of fun.


Actually, Nordic Valley right near Snowbasin is a little local's place that depends on night skiing.  It's tiny.  Reminded me of places in the southeast.

 

But goggle lenses that are good for night skiing are not necessarily the best for low visibility day skiing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post
 

True.  But the reality is there is no lens that will magically make low viz days somehow "good".  Oakley's Yellow, Smith's Sensor, etc can only do so much with the given light (or lack thereof).  Bad viz is like skiing in soup.  Heck, I'd take a clear lens and go night skiing than anything on the market and low viz where you can't see where you're going.

 

Other option is to dive into the glades in low viz.  Depending where you are, it's MUCH easier to see in the trees.  And you don't need to be an expert to have fun in the trees (Western trees.....Eastern trees are icy bumps unless you know the locals' stashes)

What sold me on the I/OS years ago was the Ignitor grey lenses for night skiiing.  I was shown the Ignitor at a shop in  the NC mountains where all the mountains have night skiing every night.  While they are better than nothing in daytime low visibility (fog, clouds), there are better options.

 

Agree that night skiing is good practice for someone who is nervous in daytime low visibility.  Especially for someone who is working and can't get on the slopes midweek.

 

I completely understand about western trees.  One of my ski buddies has serious issues with low visibility.  Even green runs off Sunnyside in fog were a major problem.  She had a great time at Alta once she learned how to get into the trees as soon as she got off Sugarloaf.  

post #11 of 34
Thread Starter 

So I've been looking around and talked to my dad and brothers. We have come to the conclusion that better goggles should help, but will be no miracle. We are thinking about all pitching in to get her a lesson. That should do more than goggles ever would. Found some Bolle goggles with a yellow lens for $16 though.

 

BTW, id be amazed if she went up in whiteout at all. Its overcast we are working on.

post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbat11700 View Post
 

So I've been looking around and talked to my dad and brothers. We have come to the conclusion that better goggles should help, but will be no miracle. We are thinking about all pitching in to get her a lesson. That should do more than goggles ever would. Found some Bolle goggles with a yellow lens for $16 though.

 

BTW, id be amazed if she went up in whiteout at all. Its overcast we are working on.

 

Thumbs UpThumbs Up on the lesson. 

post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbat11700 View Post
 

So I've been looking around and talked to my dad and brothers. We have come to the conclusion that better goggles should help, but will be no miracle. We are thinking about all pitching in to get her a lesson. That should do more than goggles ever would. Found some Bolle goggles with a yellow lens for $16 though.

 

BTW, id be amazed if she went up in whiteout at all. Its overcast we are working on.

+2. Excellent choice!  If I may say, that is very mature of you.  Well played.

 

Have fun out there this season.

post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbat11700 View Post
 

So I've been looking around and talked to my dad and brothers. We have come to the conclusion that better goggles should help, but will be no miracle. We are thinking about all pitching in to get her a lesson. That should do more than goggles ever would. Found some Bolle goggles with a yellow lens for $16 though.

 

BTW, id be amazed if she went up in whiteout at all. Its overcast we are working on.


Does she only ski with the family?  Perhaps making friends with women who ski Snowbasin would be helpful.

 

Lesson is a great idea!  During early season, a group lesson could end up a solo or semi-private lesson with a very experienced instructor.  New instructors aren't always fully on board yet.

post #15 of 34

Second GunnerBob's sentiment: impressively mature approach to a delicate situation!

 

All the options well covered above, except:  how  old is  your Mom?  Does she wear prescription glasses?  Has she had her eye checked recently?  Perhaps you covered this in the other thread - I'll check.  

 

As we age, low light vision is usually one of the first things to really impact our situational comfort level.  I hope this is not the case, but if it is, then the only solution is more light - fortunately there's usually more sunny days than not! 

 

Best of  luck to you!

post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbat11700 View Post

So I've been looking around and talked to my dad and brothers. We have come to the conclusion that better goggles should help, but will be no miracle. We are thinking about all pitching in to get her a lesson.

Agree with others about the lessons. But will go a different direction, that may offend: Why are you and your family so compelled to get her out on flat days?

You might want to consider some alternative explanations besides timidity (which sounds like a sex stereotype, however you meant it).

First, she may honestly have visual issues about discerning detail in flat light. If she's middle aged or older, she's already lost some of her ability to discern low contrast boundaries. It happens to nearly everyone.

Second, she may know something about her body you don't. Women have a higher risk of osteoporosis, and have lower bone density at any age past puberty than men, on average. They also have less muscle, on average, to support that bone. Perhaps she knows her own risks and is trying to make what she thinks is an intelligent choice. Or maybe she, after a lifetime of living in her body, knows its limits of reflexive responses and balance. Yep, lessons help. But all of us face biological constraints lessons won't cure.

Third, isn't her own emotional comfort zone more relevant than your desire to have her fit into model of family fun? She's your mother, y'know, not a bro you're maneuvering. Is this for her? Isn't skiing supposed to be about everyone's fun, including her's?

Now if you read this, you'll disagree strongly and maybe be offended that I'm delving into your family business. To which I'll respond that I just hope you think about my comments and sorry if I am talking about stuff outside my pay grade.

Out.
post #17 of 34
I've just gone for another option. I don't want to carry a spare set of goggles around so I've bought some yellow lens Bolle safety spectacles to keep in my pocket. Uvex do them as well. Not skied them yet but brightening and contrast seems good indoors.
post #18 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 


Does she only ski with the family?  Perhaps making friends with women who ski Snowbasin would be helpful.

 

Lesson is a great idea!  During early season, a group lesson could end up a solo or semi-private lesson with a very experienced instructor.  New instructors aren't always fully on board yet.

She primarily skis with the family, she has a few friends she likes to ski with but not nearly as often. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Lutes View Post
 

Second GunnerBob's sentiment: impressively mature approach to a delicate situation!

 

All the options well covered above, except:  how  old is  your Mom?  Does she wear prescription glasses?  Has she had her eye checked recently?  Perhaps you covered this in the other thread - I'll check.  

 

As we age, low light vision is usually one of the first things to really impact our situational comfort level.  I hope this is not the case, but if it is, then the only solution is more light - fortunately there's usually more sunny days than not! 

 

Best of  luck to you!

My mom does wear prescription glasses, and her eyes were checked this past spring. All I know is she came home with glasses. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post


Agree with others about the lessons. But will go a different direction, that may offend: Why are you and your family so compelled to get her out on flat days?

You might want to consider some alternative explanations besides timidity (which sounds like a sex stereotype, however you meant it).

First, she may honestly have visual issues about discerning detail in flat light. If she's middle aged or older, she's already lost some of her ability to discern low contrast boundaries. It happens to nearly everyone.

Second, she may know something about her body you don't. Women have a higher risk of osteoporosis, and have lower bone density at any age past puberty than men, on average. They also have less muscle, on average, to support that bone. Perhaps she knows her own risks and is trying to make what she thinks is an intelligent choice. Or maybe she, after a lifetime of living in her body, knows its limits of reflexive responses and balance. Yep, lessons help. But all of us face biological constraints lessons won't cure.

Third, isn't her own emotional comfort zone more relevant than your desire to have her fit into model of family fun? She's your mother, y'know, not a bro you're maneuvering. Is this for her? Isn't skiing supposed to be about everyone's fun, including her's?

Now if you read this, you'll disagree strongly and maybe be offended that I'm delving into your family business. To which I'll respond that I just hope you think about my comments and sorry if I am talking about stuff outside my pay grade.

Out.

Thank you for the different view. I had just assumed (and I think I'm right) that she doesn't like sitting in the lodge while the rest of us ski. We know she can carve around smiling and laughing  at a pace where we try to keep up with her on bluebird days. I just want to give her that enjoyment for more days. I don't think she will ever get off-piste but thats not the point.

 

And no, I'm not offended, I actually appreciate the point of view.

 

So we are leaning toward the Snow Divas for woman by woman lesson. Is that a smart choice? Or is a shorter private lesson the better choice. Or even a group lesson.

post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbat11700 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 


Does she only ski with the family?  Perhaps making friends with women who ski Snowbasin would be helpful.

 

Lesson is a great idea!  During early season, a group lesson could end up a solo or semi-private lesson with a very experienced instructor.  New instructors aren't always fully on board yet.

She primarily skis with the family, she has a few friends she likes to ski with but not nearly as often. 

[snip]
 
So we are leaning toward the Snow Divas for woman by woman lesson. Is that a smart choice? Or is a shorter private lesson the better choice. Or even a group lesson.

Snow Divas sounds like a great idea!  Four full day (10-3) sessions weekly with other women.  Not only for the lesson time, but also to perhaps find new friends for her to ski with every so often.  More mileage should help with getting more comfortable in low visibility on trails that she's skied often on blue bird days, assuming that's of interest to her.

post #20 of 34

The choice of lens is very personal.  Everyone's eyes are different.  I know how well liked the blue sensor lens is, and it doesn't work well for me.  My second favorites are Smith Rose Copper, and my favorites are Oakley Prizm Snow Rose (probably out of your budget).  Smith's lens selector picks their newer Red Sensor as the best for a snowy day.

 

I'd suggest taking a few minutes in a shop on the hill on a cloudy day.  With the clerk's permission, take several goggles over next to the window and let her look outside through each.  One will work better for her than the others.  That's the one to buy!  She also will be able to get the frame size that best fits her face.

 

Here's a cloudy day tip---find another skier that goes about the same speed and keep the eyes on their boots.  If their boots go up, expect a rise.  If the boots drop, expect a drop off.  If they disappear---don't ski there.  It can be a different skier each run, just follow the boots.  From watching the boots, she'll see what the invisible snow surface is doing.  The other critically important thing about skiing in poor conditions is to remember to ski with good form.  Even exaggerate the good form if that helps.  Don't get defensive.  Hold that good form.  And, wear bright colors.  Lime green, orange, red, anything that stands out, especially a color that stands out when viewed through amber goggles.  Never white (or worse, white camo).

post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
 

 

 

Here's a cloudy day tip---find another skier that goes about the same speed and keep the eyes on their boots.  If their boots go up, expect a rise.  If the boots drop, expect a drop off.  If they disappear---don't ski there.  It can be a different skier each run, just follow the boots.  From watching the boots, she'll see what the invisible snow surface is doing. 

That's excellent advice. Especially on cattracks with whoop-di-dos or perpendicular drifts. Works for driving in a blizzard too. Many a time I've been leading a pack of drivers until someone gets impatient and passes and finds out they can't go any faster than I was. Much easier to follow, as long as the guy you're following doesn't drive off the road.

 

I was skiing an open bowl on a very bad visibiltiy day and a helpful patroller was scattering pine twigs the way they do on race courses. That helps a lot, but it was the only time I've seen it done on a recreational run.

 

Not all bad visibility conditions are on cloudy or snowy days--in a bowl sometimes the light reflects onto the snow surface from so many different directions that there are no shadows and all contrast is lost.I remember skiing Regulator Johnson at the top of Snowbird on a sunny cloudless day and not being able to see  three foot bumps five feet in front of me.

post #22 of 34

Polarised goggles help with ^that^

post #23 of 34

One thing nobody touched on is if she wears bifocals or progressive lenses.  I do, and in flat light I find myself looking closer to the ground in front of me rather than farther down the slope, which puts my line of vision into the bifocal area.  If this is the case with her, single prescription lenses may help.  

In my case, I do not ski anywhere near as fast in flat light conditions as I do on a sunny day.  I just plain can't see the terrain well and I have yet to find a lens that changes that.  Some help, but there's nothing that magically changes how well I see.  So in flat light I ski more cautiously.  That said, if I'm in deep snow, it's much less of an issue, unless I'm in a total white room, in which case I have experienced a bit of vertigo.  That's a bitch...LOL

post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJskier164 View Post

One thing nobody touched on is if she wears bifocals or progressive lenses.  I do, and in flat light I find myself looking closer to the ground in front of me rather than farther down the slope, which puts my line of vision into the bifocal area.  If this is the case with her, single prescription lenses may help.

This is an interesting point. I first skied with progressive lenses in my glasses, but got tired of them fogging up. When I switched to contacts, I got them with a single prescription and no more fogging, but I realize now that I probably started looking further down the slopes instead of right in front of me in the lower focal range since the latter was no longer in as good a focus.
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by XLTL View Post


This is an interesting point. I first skied with progressive lenses in my glasses, but got tired of them fogging up. When I switched to contacts, I got them with a single prescription and no more fogging, but I realize now that I probably started looking further down the slopes instead of right in front of me in the lower focal range since the latter was no longer in as good a focus. 

 

In my case, 8-10 feet in front of me is not in focus if my head is held straight up.  I would have to tilt my head down quite a bit to see clearly.  So when I am looking down the slope, what my brain is "seeing" in peripheral vision right in front of me is not in focus.  In sunlight, I see terrain further down slope in sharp focus and know what is coming up, and what is in semi-focus directly in front of me does not have to be super sharp.  But in flat light/poor light conditions, I have to rely more on what is directly in front of me and react quicker, almost to the point of "touch" skiing.  

 

I may have to experiment with single lens contacts or glasses..that may help me in those conditions.  It will just make reading a trail map a bit difficult  LOL

post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJskier164 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by XLTL View Post


This is an interesting point. I first skied with progressive lenses in my glasses, but got tired of them fogging up. When I switched to contacts, I got them with a single prescription and no more fogging, but I realize now that I probably started looking further down the slopes instead of right in front of me in the lower focal range since the latter was no longer in as good a focus. 

 

In my case, 8-10 feet in front of me is not in focus if my head is held straight up.  I would have to tilt my head down quite a bit to see clearly.  So when I am looking down the slope, what my brain is "seeing" in peripheral vision right in front of me is not in focus.  In sunlight, I see terrain further down slope in sharp focus and know what is coming up, and what is in semi-focus directly in front of me does not have to be super sharp.  But in flat light/poor light conditions, I have to rely more on what is directly in front of me and react quicker, almost to the point of "touch" skiing.  

 

I may have to experiment with single lens contacts or glasses..that may help me in those conditions.  It will just make reading a trail map a bit difficult  LOL


My contacts are for skiing only and for distance only.  Carry around basic reading glasses if I need to read something when indoors.  Mostly only look at the big trail maps posted around the ski area/resort.

 

Was nice when they redid the Alta trail map because the new outdoor ones are much bigger than before.

post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post


My contacts are for skiing only and for distance only.  Carry around basic reading glasses if I need to read something when indoors.  Mostly only look at the big trail maps posted around the ski area/resort.

Same here. If I need to read my phone screen, I'm usually out of luck! I take the contacts out as soon as I'm finished skiing for the day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NJskier164 View Post

In my case, 8-10 feet in front of me is not in focus if my head is held straight up.  I would have to tilt my head down quite a bit to see clearly.  So when I am looking down the slope, what my brain is "seeing" in peripheral vision right in front of me is not in focus.  In sunlight, I see terrain further down slope in sharp focus and know what is coming up, and what is in semi-focus directly in front of me does not have to be super sharp.  But in flat light/poor light conditions, I have to rely more on what is directly in front of me and react quicker, almost to the point of "touch" skiing.  

I may have to experiment with single lens contacts or glasses..that may help me in those conditions.  It will just make reading a trail map a bit difficult  LOL

An article posted in a recent thread discussed our visual acuity when driving, but it applied in general to skiing. Your peripheral vision is never "in focus" or that detailed. We have to be looking right at an object to get detailed focus. I would conjecture that we are most comfortable looking at an object in focus rather than out of focus and our attention will be drawn there.

http://www.epicski.com/t/147408/avoiding-collisions
post #28 of 34

Interesting article.  I have begun participating in shooting matches with multiple targets, and moving your eyes first to acquire the next target is a basic part of the process to increase speed and as a result decrease the time to complete a stage.  After reading that article, I understand better the "why" of that.

 

And that's exactly my point of not needing any sharpness to close range vision while skiing in nice weather, since it's mostly peripheral anyway.  

post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbat11700 View Post

 

Thank you for the different view. I had just assumed (and I think I'm right) that she doesn't like sitting in the lodge while the rest of us ski. We know she can carve around smiling and laughing  at a pace where we try to keep up with her on bluebird days. I just want to give her that enjoyment for more days. I don't think she will ever get off-piste but thats not the point.

 

And no, I'm not offended, I actually appreciate the point of view.

 

So we are leaning toward the Snow Divas for woman by woman lesson. Is that a smart choice? Or is a shorter private lesson the better choice. Or even a group lesson.

 

Make sure to communicate with the instructor and with mom your perceived 'why' for the lesson.  Specifically, overcast skiing conditions and how to cope with bad visibility. 

 

Then when you all ski on a bad lighting day, let mom choose the runs and speed of those runs.

 

When lighting conditions are bad, I do a few things --

- Stick to runs I can scout from the lift first (if first time on that particular run)

- Stick to runs that are narrower or with trees to provide contrast/depth perception references

- Talk to mountain guides to figure out which runs are best for bad lighting conditions

- Stick to runs I skied on previous days, so I know where the tricky bits are from prior experience in good conditions

 

 

post #30 of 34
Thread Starter 

Talked to a friend who works for Smith Optics and worked out a deal with them for some older model I/O 7's. She now has the green sol-x and red sensor mirror lenses for her birthday. And we will be doing the Snowbasin Snow Divas lessons for Christmas. She loves the goggles and can't wait to try them. We will see how much they help.

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