OTG Turbo Fan: A fog-free goggle for sweaty skiers
The time has come for new goggles.My current pair is starting to disintegrate literally right before my eyes. But just any ‘ol goggles won’t do because I have a vision condition.
I have a near-phobic sensitivity about anything getting near my peepers. Putting in contact lenses looks to me like an act of medieval torture and felt like as much the first (and last) time I tried them.Hence my glasses, which don’t work so well on the mountain. I thought the problem had been solved when, a few years ago, I found goggles that extended a half-inch or so to encapsulate my spectacles.They worked well as I rode up the lift. Actual skiing also went fine as long as I didn’t perspire. The goggles have a nice orange-brown tint to them, too. It’s like skiing on Mars.But anytime I broke a sweat – in powder, for instance, or on moguls, or, actually, every time I ski – the temperature would rise inside the goggles and my glasses would fog up. Which was good for neither myself nor other skiers.
I realize that fogged-up goggles rank fairly low on the list of the world’s worst problems. But they still suck, especially on a powder day.Since my old goggles are cracked anyway, I decided to shop for new eyewear.At Hamilton Sports, Steve Ornowski showed me the Smith Storm OTG. At $75, the OTG (over the glasses) is much nicer than what I own. And Ornowski assured me that “we sell our fair share.”But I wanted more. I asked him about souped-up goggles, the ones rumored to have a battery-powered fan. He dug around in a backroom and found a pair called the Knowledge.
The Knowledge OTG Turbo Fan Series cost $150 and have a “micro-electronic” fan that runs continuously to eliminate fog. Apparently reading my mind, Ornowski said, “if you sweat a lot when you’re skiing, these are the best.”He allowed me to try them on in the store (when I wasn’t sweating), and I felt invincible. This was the Rolls Royce of goggles, with a couple of flaws. The motor, described in the sales literature as silent, is anything but.So on an otherwise silent powder day, you would hear the constant whir, powered by two AAA batteries, right above your eyes. And the notion of tiny spinning blades next to my eyes really makes me squirm. But for fog-free skiing, my phobia will have to take a back seat.Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org