Groovy Gazing With Goggles Galore

Groovy Gazing With Goggles Galore

Open water swimmers and triathletes can use all kinds of goggles nowadays.

From the compact, size-them-yourself Swedish goggles to the larger panoramic-vision Aqua Sphere Vista Goggles with UV coating, swimmers literally have hundreds of models to choose from. With faces of humanity that comes in all shapes and sizes, the market has responded by offering goggles of all shapes and sizes.

But the goggles of yesteryear just seemed so cool.

Keo Nakama from Hawaii (shown above), an inductee in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and one of the greatest swimmers of his era, used some classic goggles. Hip and cool…without any fear of creating Swedish lids.

Marilyn Bell of Canada (shown on left) and Florence Chadwick (shown on right), both International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmers, also seemed to wear similar goggles on their marathon swims (in Lake Ontario in Canada and the Catalina Channel, respectively).

As we reminisce about old-school goggles, we should not forget these home-made types from yesteryear or around the world. On left, Antonio Abertondo of Argentina, an International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer, shows off his goggles and cap.

Above right and on left, these photos by James Morgan show the goggles made out of wood fashioned by the Bajau free divers in the South Pacific.

Tom Blower used some old-school goggles on his unprecedented 15 hour 26 minute crossing of the 33.7 km North Channel between Ireland and Scotland in 1947.

Gertrude Ederle, wearing some shaded goggles during his 1926 English Channel crossing, did not have to worry about the nose piece digging into the bridge of her nose.

It was Adolph Kiefer, the Olympic swimming star who invented the first nylon swimsuit and kickboard, who also distributed the first soft molded swim goggle gasket that many swimmers around the world found most comfortable.

Copyright © 2008 – 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Steven Munatones