The swim goggle is a fundamental part of our training and our racing.
Like the smell of chlorine, soggy suits between practices, and the occasional kick board getting thrown at our heads, it’s an essential part of our sport.
Here are six fundamental truths about goggles that only competitive swimmers will understand:
1. The moment you realize your goggles are staying put off the dive is a great one.
For non-swimmers watching the Olympics they might scratch their non-chlorinated heads at the fact that a lot of swimmers wear two caps.
The explanation is simple—we are all terrified of our goggles cracking a leak, or worse yet, coming down the bridge of our nose on the dive.
It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time where swimmers didn’t put their cap over their goggle straps.
The bravery these men and women had!
We, alas, don’t trust our goggles this much. It’s gotten to the point that we double wrap our heads with silicon caps to make double-sure that those bad boys stay plastered to our face when we dive in.
2. There are goggles for swimmers, and then goggles for everybody else.
These are not swim goggles.
Sorry to be snobbish, but you would never catch a competitive swimmer wearing these.
End of story.
3. The ever-lasting myth of the anti-fog goggle.
Anti-fog? More like anti-hahahahahaha yeah right.
Sure, they last for a week, maybe two.
But then what happens?
We can’t help ourselves, or forget, or simply buy the hype on the packaging of those brand new goggles, and put our greasy, chlorinated thumbs in there to give the lenses a little wipe.
Anti-fog go bye-bye.
If you swim in a darker pool, which I still do on occasion, it means you gotta wipe down the condensation from your goggles at the end of every rep just to see the pace clock.
(All jokes aside… if you are fed up with your goggles fogging up, and don’t want to lick the inside of them old-school style, consider picking up an anti-fog spray.)
4. When you find a good pair, you never, ever wanna let them go.
When a pair of goggles fit your weird little face it’s like meeting your soul mate.
The length of the nose piece is just right.
The straps are just tight enough that the goggles are snug to your melon while also not squeezing the top of your head like a pimple being popped.
It makes from 15% more blissful swimming until the goggles eventually succumb to wear and tear.
5. You have nightmares about your goggle strap snapping behind the blocks.
Even if you have two spare pairs in your pockets behind the blocks, the thought of your go-to goggles snapping while you are moments from racing is terrifying.
It keeps you up at night.
You try to visualize yourself overcoming this situation but let’s be honest, it’s almost right up there with your suit ripping straight down the middle off the start.
6. They are your secret weapon for getting in the water ten minutes late.
Some swimmers use this procrastination tactic to the point of exhaustion, but let’s be serious, we all, at one point or another, have seized upon a goggle malfunction to delay getting into that frigid water.
What’s that coach? On this top? Sure, sure, just gotta McGyver these goggles right herrre. Oh look, can’t get the stringy thing in through the lense transductor port, better go stand in the showers for a while, err, go to my locker and get another pair.”
You’ve done it.
We all have.
Those nicely timed equipment malfunctions that may or may not have been self-sabotage.
More Stuff Like This:
Swim Gear Guide: Swedish Goggles Review. They are among the most popular goggles competitive swimmers wear. Here’s the good, the bad, and a buyer’s guide too.
TYR Socket Rocket Goggles Review. My favorite go-to goggle at the moment are these Swedish knock-offs from TYR. Here’s the dealio on these bad boys.
Featured Image Credit: David Kalsbeek