Skiers and snowboarders rejoice! The ski season is upon us and it looks like we’re in for an incredible year. The slopes are covered with a blanket of gorgeous white powder and skiers and boarders are anxious to head for the hills. But before you make that first run be sure you’re equipped with the right eyewear. Wearing the proper eyewear can make a huge difference in your ability to see the slope’s terrain clearly while protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. EYE-Q Vision Care offers these tips on how to protect your eyes this ski season and what to look for when purchasing eyewear.
Find the Perfect Fit for Your Face
While sunglasses look cool and can do a great job of blocking UV rays, they don’t provide full face protection and can fall off during a tumble so ski goggles are the best option. Goggles should fit snugly on the face with a wide enough lens to allow for a full range of vision and protect against wind, snow and other flying debris. Make sure the goggle fits your face comfortably (with or without a helmet) and the strap easily adjusts. Some goggles are designed with larger straps which are more comfortable and stay in place when skiing in rough conditions. With goggles, the days of one size fits all are gone. Today, manufacturers design goggles to accommodate a variety of face shapes and sizes to provide you with the best fit for the unique contours of your face. Whether you have a narrow face with a shallow nose bridge or a broader face that requires a larger goggle, there is a goggle designed to with your face in mind. Remember, if you wear eyeglasses make sure the goggles fit over them.
Protect Your Eyes from Harmful UVA/UVB Rays
Purchase goggles with impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses with 100 percent UVA and UVB protection and anti-fogging features, such as air vents and anti-fog coating. Everyone knows that the sun’s UV rays can be damaging to the eyes, but did you know that the risk increases dramatically in the snow? Snow reflects up to 80 percent of UV radiation, which means that your eyes are getting a double dose of UV radiation when skiing on a sunny day. This is because the thinner atmosphere in higher altitudes filters less UV radiation. UV exposure increases by approximately 10 percent with every 1,000 feet of elevation gain.
Check the VLT
When purchasing ski goggles, be sure to check that the lens VLT (visible light transmission) is appropriate for your skiing conditions. The VLT represents the amount of light that can pass through the lens. A high VLT, such as 70, provides better color and depth perception on low-light days. Lower VLT offers less eye fatigue on sunny days. Most manufacturers include how much VLT the lens tint provides and the conditions in which those lenses work best.
Select a Lens Color That Suits Your Skiing Conditions
The color of the lens tint is critical for visibility. Wearing the wrong color of lens can leave you unable to see what’s ahead, including icy patches and moguls. The optimal lens color depends on a number of things. Weather, terrain and level of activity all come into play. There are dozens of lens colors available that filter light differently, offering unique advantages in all types of weather and light conditions. Some lenses are designed to perform better in low light, low visibility situations and have a higher VLT. These lenses are typically yellow, amber, rose and blue. Other lenses perform better on sunny days with high visibility. These lenses have a low VLT and are typically darker in color – black, gray and gold. Photochromic lenses automatically adjust to changing light conditions.
With today’s snow gear technology, finding the perfect pair of goggles should be pretty painless. From goggles with quick release lenses that can be swapped out when ski conditions change to goggles with built-in turbo fans that provide the latest in anti-fog technology to face-fitting goggles with anti-pinch padding for a comfier fit, there is a goggle designed to suit all types of conditions and to tackle every kind of problem. No matter where you’re skiing or at what level, the right pair of goggles can be one of your most important pieces of equipment. To check ski conditions at China Peak, click here.