Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Avoiding Gravity Gear Faux Pas: From the Top

We want all riders to look and perform their best out there, and that's what this series is all about. It's a community service. The guidelines of fashion are dictated first foremost by safety. You may not violate any of the laws of gravity fashion, but maybe you know people who do. This series could be the intervention they need so that they can keep all of their teeth until they fall out from natural causes.

I briefly touched on helmets and eyewear in our last article, and there are a few things that need a bit of clarification. As long as you're wearing a helmet, it can be a cross country, skate-style, or full face. I definitely wouldn't recommend riding too much downhill gnar in your XC cap, but hey, it could still be the difference between a coherent you and a concussed you.

Allie brought another important point to my attention. Wearing a full face helmet can often prevent tooth, face, and brain injuries while riding dirt jumps, slalom, and BMX tracks. The mouth guard will often hit the dirt first, preventing your jaw from slapping the ground and resulting in the aforementioned tooth loss and/or concussion. We're no scientists here, but there's a reason why athletes who go big usually opt for the full-faces.

I'll stand by the my statement that for safety reasons, you should always wear goggles (not sunglasses) with your full-face or skate-style helmet when riding and racing downhill. When you're pushing 40mph on a fireroad on your downhill rig, nothing protects your baby blues from wind and grit like a pair of goggles. However, it can be a real pain in the rear for prescription wearers to find goggles that'll fit over their glasses, inside their helmets, and prevent fogging. My advice is to keep looking and keep trying on goggles. The last thing you want is to crash, have your $300 prescriptions go flying, and find yourself stranded in the woods with a bunch of big fuzzy brown blobs--any of which could be a tree, a bear, a moose, or a Sasquatch.

Finally, a word about goggles. There is a difference between snow and moto. Snow goggles are designed to insulated from the cold, while using that cold air to vent and prevent fogging. Moto and gravity goggles are meant to be worn in warm temperatures, and use even more venting to prevent fogging. You'll sweat less and be more comfortable when you wear moto-specific goggles. Also, snow goggles usually don't have the grippy rubber on the straps. The grippiness helps to keep your riding goggles from slipping off your helmet while you're po-go-ing down rock gardens and through breaking bumps.

Join us next time for an enthralling discussion about upper body armor.

Click here to read the first installment of Avoiding Gravity Gear Faux Pas.

1 comment:

Dany said...

I wear contacts and I've found that I need some goggles 'cause those contacts dry out quick when you aren't blinking and going dh....definately some good advice here.