I was down at Team Aquatic the other day trying to find my son a swimsuit that wouldn't cost $50. (I shouldn't be cheap but damn... the suit is the size of a handkerchief!)
Never one to pass up a chance to shop for myself instead, I wandered over to the goggle section...
At $7.70 the Swedish Goggles were calling my name. I have wanted to "go swedish" for some time now... and this time I did.
For those of you that don't know, Swedish goggles are the equipment of discerning, competitive swimmers everywhere. They are primarily distinguished by the complete and utter lack of rubber or foam seals. Plastic meets skin in the same no-nonsense way that meatballs meet gravy in the Ikea restaurant.
First Impression: Just like Ikea - I will have to assemble these myself. No allen key required however. No instructions required either evidently. (Do Swede's assemble everything themselves? "Jesper put together the flatscreen Entourage is on in 15 minutes!") Find instructions here if you need them.
Assembly: Unless you are unfamiliar with how human eyes are aligned on the face (i.e. one beside the other) you should have no issues assembling these goggles. The single complexity is to get the distance between the eyepieces correct. This is not hard. Having said that, there are several choices that one may not be aware of in the assembly.
1. Colour. The first choice comes at the shop.... there are LOTS of lens colours: clear, amber, red, pink, green, blue, mirrored, black and so on. Since these are self-assembly you could even mix and match eyepieces... which might cause some sort of swim vertigo for all I know.
2. Nosepiece. Whether to use the string+blue nosepiece combo, or to use a piece of the rubber strap as the nosepiece. I tried both and far preferred the rubber strap. It also looked WAY cooler (if I do say so myself.)
Click below to enlarge and compare for yourself...
2. Double strap or single strap. Seems obvious to go double... but there's a photo down below that could convince you otherwise...
3. Tightness. Since these goggles are so cheap I think it would be prudent to have two pairs (at least) - one that is snug (for training) and one that is tight (for racing.) Arrange yours accordingly.
Result: Ouch! WTF? The initial result was terrible. The plastic was sharp and my skin was suffering. I fired up google to find out what part of this swedish jigsaw I was missing... Turns out everyone files or sandpapers the edge of the eyepieces. Thanks for mentioning that in the non-instructions Bjorn!
Result (take 2): OK. That feels better. Nerdlinger mirror check - yeah! these are cool looking! Wait! Is that a draft I feel on my eyeball? Yes, it is... $%!#. I bet they're going to leak.
Swim test: Push off the wall, streamline position... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and... yep they're full of water. Stand, look around... ok, good nobody looking... walk back.... What the hell is wrong with these things?
Adjust, readjust, re-readjust. Push off again.... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5... come up, stroke, stroke . . . . . . No water! I swam a full workout - readjusted the goggles a few times and found the sweet spot every time.
If the Swedes aren't on properly they are about as leak resistant as a "waterproof compartment" on the Titanic. BUT, put them on properly and they are sealed as well as any other goggle.
Final Verdict: Name another instance of arguably the BEST product (well, at least the one worn by tons of Olympians) costing the LEAST. It's awesome!
This is the goggle for you if:
- you like the retro chic of an all-time classic
- you are a two-practice-a-day competitive swimmer that blows through goggles like a Swede blows through tealights
- you want to look like a two-a-day competitive swimmer
- you like total customization
- all things being equal you'd rather go fast!
- you like insider tricks like the sandpaper... makes you feel like you're in the know (glad to help;)
- you like to save money
This is NOT the goggle for you if:
- You don't know how to put together a puzzle suitable for a 6 year-old.
- You like to look slow and uncool.
- You are happiest when others can immediately identify you as a beginner swimmer.
- You'd rather pay MORE for goggles that Olympians DON'T wear.
I'm not sure that eyelash will fit inside the Swedes...
Yes. You in the Speedo...
Yours truly...Tweet this!