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spacer A developing niche in the optical marketplace, sports eyewear is sold based on its performance in the activities and environments in which it is used. Due in part perhaps to the proliferation of resources for participatory-sports enthusiasts both in print media and on the Internet, patients and customers looking into sports eyewear today arrive in the dispensary armed with more knowledge and technical information than ever before.

Several companies also conduct wind-tunnel testing to ensure that products withstand extreme wind conditions. According to product manager Jeff Gilberti, Smith Sport Optics (a division of Sfilo) performs wind-tunnel testing on all its products, using a facility at a nearby university. To test the eyewear for both mountain and road cycling, a rider fitted with test eyewear is placed in the wind tunnel and tests are performed on different types of cycles.

Nothing captures the pioneer spirit of professional snowboarder Tina Basich more than her daily jaunts through the snowy mountain trails near her Utah home.

For Basich, being first is nothing new. Growing up in Northern California in the mid-1980s, she and her compatriots (including younger brother Mike) were at the forefront of the snowboarding phenomenon in the United States. Once cast off the mountain slopes in favor of skiers, Basich and her cohorts literally pavedor "shred," to use a boarding termthe way for the scores of board fanatics that followed.

"Out there is where I feel my best. Its you and nature. Alone. Nothing beats the feeling of being the first person to hit that fresh powder," Basich explains.

"Its a weird feeling," Basich says of her popularity and status within the sport. "Kids see the videos and the magazine covers and they want to live the dream."

spacer All of this is what makes it paramount for dispensers selling sports eyewear to get "on board" with Basichs rapidly growing sport.

Today, it is becoming more and more likely that a dispensarys younger patients will want to emulate athletes such as Basichin her clothing and eyewear stylesthan even more commercially exposed athletes such as Michael Jordan. Thats why sports eyewear companies such as SmithSport, which signed Basich to a sponsorship deal in 1990, have looked to sign "alternative" sport athletes such as skiers, snowboarders, cyclists, surfers and skateboarders as the 90s draw to a close.

"Smith was one of my first sponsors and their support has been key for me, especially being in a growing sport and being a woman," Basich says. "I feel like I have a great rapport with them. I wear their product everyday. Their goggles have become a vital part of my equipment because they make it easier to see, no matter what the weather conditions."

Reprinted Courtesy 20/20 magazine
Popular Smith Sunglass Models
Specialist | Cause | Madison | Aviatrix | Factor Max | Southbound | Sequel | Bauhaus | Undertow | Factor |
Popular Smith Ski Goggles Sunglass Models
Disciple Turbo Cam | Triad Spherical Series | Rhythm PMT Pro Airflow series | Sundance PMT Airflow Series | Triad Regulator | Anthem Regulator | Cascade PMT Pro Airflow Series | Anthem Spherical Series | Rhythm Regulator Series | Knowledge OTG Regulator Series |

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