If you’ve ever been awake during the coalescent period when the sun begins to rumble under the shadowy, still-silhouetted blankets of the mountains and a banana moon side-eyes the incoming day, then you’ve indulged in a blue hour. That electric stream of first light emerging in the gradient of cobalt-blue twilight has been frozen in Elena Hight’s signature Smith Squad MAG. Decorated with a peach-rose ChromaPop lens and a bright teal tracing of an endless mountainscape on the straps, the two-time Olympian and Natural Selection Champion’s pro model goggle is a sweet reminder of why we love snowboarding.
The mountains. Their grandiose nature allows us all to enjoy this sport, this artform, this lifestyle. “Some of my favorite moments in the past have been the ones where I’m standing on top of the peak and I look out and see an amazing mountainscape,” says Elena. The Tahoe-based boarder’s passion for peaks and ridgelines goes beyond her competitive career and backcountry exploration; she is a bold proponent for environmental stewardship and recently went to Washington DC to advocate for these majestic spaces. “I’ve been a Protect Our Winters ambassador for ten years now,” she says. “We went to lobby on behalf of all the POW members.” While Washington may seem far away from high-alpine playgrounds, it is actually quite connected to the places we love. It turns out snowboarding is a political sport, especially if you care about the sport’s future. Elena explains, “We were there for a bill being introduced to congress that would create equitable transmissions for clean energy through projects in rural communities.”
No matter if you’re on the Hill meeting with senators and government officials or on hill ripping lines, climate change affects us all. As snowboarders we can’t continue to be on the sidelines when it comes to these issues, and Elena is a dedicated leader in this arena. The abstract lining of her Squad MAG encourages riders to imagine their favorite peaks. To understand how vulnerable they are. And most importantly, to take care of our chosen home mountains and through that, hopefully the world.
Elena, motivated from her trip to Washington, acknowledges, “There are so many initiatives happening in different states around clean energy.” And that it’s a continual necessity to protect our climate. These wild spaces in which we adventure, explore, compete, and learn new tricks will always need our voices. Joining local efforts really can make a world of a difference.
When I ask Elena if the goggle strap design is from a particular region, she shares that it’s based on a few of her favorites. “The places I can picture when I close my eyes,” she explains. “One of them is Tahoe, which is where I’m from. One of them is Alaska, which is my favorite place to snowboard.” We all have mountains we cherish. We all have moments chiseled into our brains. For Elena, as well as for me, there’s something really special about sunrises. Maybe we’re just morning people.
Elena Hight’s Squad MAG allows her to enjoy those predawn, blue hour moments. No need for distortions. Elena, a champion of breathtaking moments, both on the podium and in the backcountry, is all about flawless transitions. And whether that’s metaphorically represented in the timeless aesthetic of her goggles or in the high-functioning quick lens change design Smith is known for, Elena’s signature goggle is go-to gear for high-elevation exploration. So whether you love being on the mountain super early or mad late in the evening, you’ll find the sun and the moon positioned right alongside you in Elena’s signature Smith Squad MAG.