Must-have: Goggles that change color | VailDaily.com
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Must-have: Goggles that change color

Carolyn Pope
John Faegin and his wife, Martha Head.
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LAS VEGAS – The 2006 SnowSports Industries America Trade Show was held the last week of January in Las Vegas at the convention center at Mandalay Bay.

It’s a unique experience to see the world of snow sports in an entirely different light – it’s an exhibition of the products that keep people on the hill and looking fashionable and enticing new concepts and gimmicks.From the old standards we’ve know for years – Descente, Obermeyer, Head, K2, SKEA – to some cool little companies like Skullcandy, MooCow Boards and Cozee Critters trying to forge a place for themselves, the place was rocking.

One side of the convention center represented the up-standing, conservative ski industry. The other side emanated a hip-hop energy – it’s no surprise that’s where the snowboarders were. Business was certainly happening, though the atmosphere resembled a Friday night at The Club more than a wholesaler’s show.

It’s an interesting juxtaposition holding the ski show in Vegas. Las Vegas, for all intensive purposes, is the antithesis of the snow sports world. Las Vegas is for spectators, those sitting on the sidelines watching. Ski areas are built for the players on the field of life.After one day I was ready to come home and ski.Even before the first presentation was made or order written at the trade show, the industry got a taste of next season’s hottest trends at the Snow Fashion Show. With well over 1300 attendees lining the runway of the Las Vegas strip’s Fashion Show Mall, it was clear the 2006-07 season will have plenty of urban appeal, technical features, sass and style.

Neon colors known as “day-glo” in earlier eras are back, but are now referred to as “slime.” At least you won’t lose little Joey when he bolts for the trees. I’m still undecided on the Walk-EZ system, which are curved contraptions that clamp on to the bottom of your ski boots to aid in walking, and are said to actually affect the curvature of the spine, improving balance, alignment, comfort, safety and ease.

I figure if models, who are paid for looking good on catwalks, can’t walk in them, I’m going to look really foolish. The coolest must-have I saw were new UVEX goggles that have a polarized LCD in the lenses, so that, with a push of a button, low-dose voltage is sent to liquid crystals in the lenses, which change color to help skiers and snowboarders eyes adapt to different lighting.

The goggles have been featured in Popular Science magazine. And you can get them in black with embedded Swarovski crystals. Look out, Paris Hilton…Vailites spotted around included Kitty Seaman and New Wallace in the Descente tent, Tom Gart of Specialty Sports, and Anne Barnett and her crew from Base Mountain Sports.Vail, Colorado

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