Goggle Quest 2009

With my increased swim yardage, a once-annoying problem has grown more pressing: goggle woes. It’s a long and boring saga, with a few high points. These include the time a few years back when Wes took me out to a Valentine’s dinner. I sported two black eyes I’d inflicted on myself by racheting the tension on a new pair I was trying out to blood-vessel-bursting levels. I can’t count the many sideways glances and actual “What’s wrong, you look tired” remarks I’ve received even hours after a swim. Trying to preserve my eyes, for the last three years I’ve been swimming in the completely uncool Aquasphere Seal and Seal XP, models that follow the styling of a scuba mask. They afford good visibility, and they don’t leak too much, but they just transfer the eye problem and wind up lining my forehead, cheeks, and nose. This last issue is really getting to me; I have a semipermanent red mark on the bridge of my nose that requires artful application of concealer each day, and I’m sick of it.

I picked up two new styles this week, and neither is working for me, at least not yet. One is the Speedo Hydrospex, a model similar to the Aquasphere Kaimans that Wes loves (even he, who proudly lugs my pink pull buoy to the pool, won’t accept these as a hand-me-down, declaring them “too pink”). The other is the TYR Tracer, a minimalist (but not Swedish) model that is promising, if I can just figure out which of the five nosepieces to use.

Next on the list:
  • Blue Seventy Elements
  • Sable WaterOptics 922
  • Barracuda B-300
  • Speedo Air Seal XR
  • Speedo Vanquisher (this last one looks a lot like the TYR Tracer)

What a first-world, silly, selfish problem to have. If I had the seed money and business skills, I’d start a custom-goggle business (I’d happily pay $50 or more for a pair that really works!), make oodles of money selling to triathletes, and use all the profits to support worthy causes. For now, though, I’m stuck with trial-and-error.

Do you have any recommendations or fitting advice? How did you find your magical pair? Or is there simply no such thing?