Just like fingerprints and the flakes we snowboard upon, each of us are different. Understandably so, for decades, goggles have been designed to fit the “average” person. Yeah, if you’re a kid, there are petite-average options available, and for women, goggles are available that are smack dab between a kid fit and an average men’s fit…whatever that means. With the exception of a low-bridge option, designed specially for a broader face shape and smaller nose bridge, for some of us, the fit of a goggle is actually kind of a limited endeavor, and as that’s all that has been available, we just run with it.
Even though I’d consider myself exceptionally average at most things in life, I constantly encounter goggles that just don’t fit well. I have a below-average-width face and above-average-length nose. The result? More often than not, I end up with small air gaps right between my cheeks and each side of my nose.
Most days, these small gaps aren’t an issue, but when I haul ass down the mountain, my eyes water inside my goggles. In deep powder, I end up with accumulation all up in the frames. I used to refer to this as being “snow blind” and blamed it for my floundering around in the backcountry, but in all actuality, maybe this was because I just suck. Anyway, the point is that average doesn’t always work.
Yeah, there are ways to get all of that nice, thick face foam to fill in gaps, like cinching down your goggle strap until you can feel your pulse in your eyeballs, but having your head feel like a watermelon wrapped with rubber bands is no way to spend a day on the hill.
Now, thanks to Smith, all of our individual fit challenges are about to be a thing of the past. The futuristic Imprint 3D is the solution to anyone who is tired of fighting gaps and dealing with pressure points on their nose, cheeks, or temples.
How does all of this work? Well, it’s pretty magical, actually. To get your hands on a pair, first choose the two ChromaPop lenses you’d like to use with your Imprint 3D goggles. Then, complete your order by heading on over to the App Store to download the SMITH app, and follow the instructions, which involve using your smartphone’s camera to create a 3D scan of your face. From there, your individual parameters are sent off to Smith’s production facility in Utah, where your custom frame is printed, assembled, and shipped within fourteen days. Before you know it, you’re rocking your own pro model goggle, which has been made specifically to fit your uniquely wonderful face.
Now, I know what you’re thinking–3D printed stuff is stiff and crunchy, and you don’t want stiff and crunchy against your face. Completely agree, except that, the print media which Smith uses in their HP Multi Jet Fusion printer is just the right amount of strong and flexible to take the same abuse as any goggle frame you’ve come to trust. Several of Smith’s athletes have been torture testing the Imprint 3D out in the wild for the last year.
How did that slip past you? Well, the Imprint 3D uses the standard I/O MAG lens that fits on any other standard I/O MAG frame. So, the only difference between the two goggles is right where they meet your face. When you get a pair of these puppies, you can use your existing lenses if you already have a pair of I/O MAGs, and you can easily replace a scratched lens by just hitting up your local snowboard shop and picking up a fresh lens. Pretty easy, right?!
As part of the custom interface, the Imprint 3D utilizes a thinner foam between the frame and your face for a closer fit, which results in more peripheral view, without having to crank your strap super tight, and due to the Imprint 3D’s outriggers, which are the same as the existing I/O MAG, they work seamlessly with helmets.