ZEB POWELL WANTS ALL THE SMOKE. Literally. His first pro model goggle with Smith is based off an incense box he picked up on a press tour after winning gold at X Games a few years ago, and he hasn’t really slowed down since.
“I don’t even burn incense!” Zeb says with a laugh. “It just reminds me of the moment it kind of all started happening. I didn’t know that was a side of snowboarding—media tours, PR, and whatever. The first ones after X Games were hella stressful. I did a ton of press one weekend in Boston, so I went into a shop called Bodega with Red Bull as a little reward. It’s one of those secret-on-the-outside kind of shops. When I was done, the shop gave me this cool little red box of incense with roses and stuff. It has been hanging on my wall ever since. So I got the inspiration from that when Smith came to me about doing a goggle.”
Plenty more designs are hanging on Zeb’s wall at home, and we are sure we will see them appearing in different ways with Smith over the coming years. But for now, his first eyewear piece definitely stands out, both in fashion and function. The Squad XL features the largest cylindrical lens in the brand’s line and the top anti-fog tech available on the market (a different colorway was even selected as a Platinum Pick for ‘23). The ChromaPop lenses are insanely sharp, the silicone-lined straps don’t slip off your head, and the ability to pair the Squad XL with a helmet comfortably is unmatched. The red print on the outside of the strap and Powell’s name on the inside are just some of the personal touches from the North Carolina-raised rider.
“The design is also from the time when I came up with make the mountains more colorful. I didn’t put that on this model, but that’ll come. It is kind of my mission statement.” And Zeb is holding true to his word. Working with all of his sponsors, he is breaking down barriers, setting an example of contribution to snowboarding through both his riding and providing opportunity for others. In between filming, competing, resort tours, and more, Zeb is on the ground reaching out and working to make snowboarding more inclusive, one run at a time. With outreach programs, partnerships, and events that get him riding with kids and adults from all backgrounds, Zeb really is just getting started…and we might see him actually riding more in goggles.
For those that don’t know, Zeb is rather famous for mostly wearing sunglasses while riding. “Haha, I am lucky to be considered for a goggle!” he adds. “Having my own signature pair definitely makes me want to wear them more but honestly, I just hope other people are hyped and want to wear them.” Before we hopped off the phone, we asked if there were some shades in the works too, and the only thing he could tell us was, “Guess we will have to wait and see.”