Design is a funny thing isn't it? Especially when it comes to a product like goggles; the eyes are the windows to the soul, apparently, so when you're covering them from the world you want something that not only does the job but also looks good.
But as usual with the weird world of snowsports, many designers throw away the good composition rulebook and instead loyally follow the idea that no winter holiday is complete without willingly dressing like an absolute tool. Cue some crap, hilarious and quite disturbing goggle design concepts.
If you'd like to see some goggles that are actually quite good, feel free to check out our selection of the best new designs for next season here.
The Top Gun
'I think I'll go embarrass myself with Goose.'
Ever been bombing it down a run and thought 'these rubbish straps on my goggles are just offering too much wind resistance?' Well then, these goggles were designed for you.
By doing away with the frames and the straps they've effectively eliminated two thirds of the design process, unfortunately if they'd used the time to make the lenses three times better we're not sure they could have achieved much...
If you see someone wearing this on the hill make sure the first thing you say is 'that son of a bitch cut me up!'
For fans of Cyclops from the X-Men, these googs can help you force your way through any lift line by channeling your steely glare at those that dare stand before you.
The 'strip' goggle comes in many varieties, we have the 'streamline':
The 'science fiction convention':
And the 'Devo':
These have obviously been around for decades now, so expect Dragon to release their own version next year as some sort of retro throwback, fashion is cyclical after all.
The Sensible Choice
For those who reckon snow wear is all about functionality rather than appearance. Just look at the guy above, he knows what's up.
All you really need is something to protect your eyes from all those pesky kids spraying you; they pretty much perfected the goggle design during world war two so why change it up?
Alternatively there is the 'Brains from Tunderbirds' option:
The Swimming Lesson
Some people just can't help taking things literally; when they hear the word 'goggle' they can only think back to the trauma of school-enforced swimming lessons aged six.
Luckily, if you want to relive the horror (I sure would love to!) some design genius has come up with these beauties. Some pairs even come complete with the blister-provoking hinge in the middle, a 90s design classic.
But if even that is playing it safe to you, you should probably look these up online, as I'm pretty sure no real life shop would dare stock them; The Mad Max:
I swear to Glob I have actually seen people wearing these on the hill. Really, really cool people... like this guy.
During my regular powder day tomahawking sessions, whenever I lose all my shit in a particularly vicious yard sale I always find myself wondering, 'surely there's a way to propel my goggles even further away from me?'
Good news! The kind people at Cas Co (yup, me neither) have fitted their goggles with what looks to be special elastic bands that can handily chuck your lenses away at velocity, in just the same way we all pinged elastic bands at our teacher when their back was turned.
And it comes in red! Wahoo!
The Riot Police
We can only assume this was created especially for Ukrainian urban shoots. That, or to protect friends of the type of person who's nose bursts forth with streams of blood everytime they get on a chairlift above 1000m.
The Halitosis Enchancer
OK, so we're not really looking at just the goggles here, but the Ruroc integrated-goggle and helmet look is not only a bit naff, but quite terrifying at the same time.
But who are we to judge? The Ruroc facebook page currently has over 6x the amount of followers as we do, so they must be doing something right. With fans like these:
The Frowny Monobrow
We've all rocked this look at some point, admit it. At some point one goggle designer must have held a meeting that decided 'every beginner skier/snowboarder must start out by looking like Baby Gerald from The Simpsons.'
See what we mean?
Every cheapo French supermarket own-brand goggle seems to come with that weird dip between the eyes that only adds to the confused look ski school members have rocked since the first resort opened.
You can look cross:
Or really cross:
And you can even make your kids look cross, in houndstooth! The most old school of all Windows desktop backgrounds.
The Card Sharp
Designed by cross-country skiers desperate for specialised eye-wear to go with their lycra fart-bags, you will definitely have seen these if you've been within 100 miles of a Norwegian ski resort.
Like all great Scandinavian design, they do come in a range of horrible colours to match any sponsor-splattered Tour de France style speed suit you might want to take up the hill with you.
The HD Vision
Can we all finally please agree that although helmet cam footage can be awesome, no one, not even Travis Rice can possibly ever hope to pull wearing one off. Thankfully plenty of optic designers have evidently seen the gap in the market for head cams that also make you look cool.
What they lack in the versatility of a mounted action camera they make up for in style. Lots of style.
Everyone knows the best place to put something is right between the eyes, like sniper dots.
Thanks to Illicit Snowboarding for pointing this design gem out, this is easily one of the most disturbing ski-fashions we've ever see. Especially when you see it in motion, on repeat, with horrible music like in the video below.
Be warned, do not watch if you're eating.
Vile. It's like watching a sketch artist for Dr Who repeatedly imaging what a condom would look like as it bursts.
They also make the hood without the jacket, god knows why, so we're pretty sure the day when they start producing onesies that allow you total immersion in your own farts won't be too far off.
The Excel Spreadsheet
Do you like having fun but you're never quite sure how much fun you're having? Do you miss analyzing statistics whilst your on holiday? Hate 'getting away from it all', or do you simply need evidence to back up your apres ski bragging?
This is admittedly a personal opinion, and one that I feel may bring about the wrath of the internet, but I think head's up display systems in goggles are one of the most boring things to happen to snowboarding. Ever.
It doesn't matter how fast you're going, or how far you jumped, or what the stock market is doing whilst you're on the hill. If you need actual figures to look at whilst you're shredding then you're dong it wrong. I bet Terje has never wondered exactly how many seconds of airtime he got off of that last windlip, and why should he?
I hope they give that guy an electric shock every time he grabs tindy.