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Goggle SKINZ
Camo for your Lens
by Bill Mills

You've got 6 sets of camo - all set for 3 different seasons at your two favorite fields.  You've got enough burlap hanging off of you to give an elephant a hair ball.  Your paintgun and loader have been meticulously painted into your favorite camo pattern.  You're the super-sniper.  You've set up the perfect ambush, but one of the players walking down the trail yells "Hey, that bush has a pair of goggles in it", and suddenly all of your handiwork gets an additional coat of paint - a mishmash of RP and Proball.  What's missing in the camo picture?  The goggle lens.  No matter how you cover yourself, the goggle lens has always been a give-away, until Goggle Skinz.

Goggle Skinz are billed as "one way goggle camouflage".  They are basically a sticker that goes over the goggle lens, and is perforated with a lot of tiny holes, making it into a screen.  From the inside, they work like a slightly tinted lens.  Surprisingly they are not even as dark as most "smoke" tinted paintball goggle lenses.  If you concentrate on it, you can see a pattern of blurry dark dots caused by the screening.  However, after wearing the Goggle Skinz for only a minute or so, the brain cancels out the dots, and there is no noticeable effect on vision.  From the outside, things look entirely different.  When the goggle is held up in the open, it can be seen through, but on a person's face, without a light source behind it, all that is seen is the graphic on the Skinz (in the pictures here, you can see through it a bit, due to the camera flash).

Disguising your lens with Skinz is easy - if you're wearing a JT or Scott goggle.  Unfortunately, the heavy curvature of the Brass Eagle Extreme Vision goggles means they won't work with Goggle Skinz.  Installation starts by cleaning the lens thoroughly, as per the manufacturer's instructions.  Cleanliness is not only next to godliness, it means the Skinz will stick.  The Skinz peel off of their protective backing, and are easily smoothed onto the lens.  Viola! you're done.  Meticulous cleaning is important.  With the Skinz in place, a simple wipe is not enough to clear a lens, it needs to be thoroughly rinsed.  The materials in paintball fill degrade the strength of the polycarbonate used in goggle lenses, so cleaning at the end of the day is critical.  Remember too, that goggle manufacturers recommend changing a lens after any direct hit - not because they are in the business of selling lenses, but because the stress cracks caused by a hit are invisible to the naked eye (they are very easy to see with a polarized lens).

Patterns - they have lots of them.  The "Camo Skinz" are available both in woodland and Tiger Stripe patterns, to go with your favorite camo clothing.  Now, if you're not into hiding, they still have you covered with "Loud Skinz".  They definitely make a statement.  The Skull is an erie white skull with dark, empty eye sockets (this one actually looks best when placed on a smoke tinted lens).  "Get Some" features, as one would expect, the words "Get Some" scrawled across a pattern that looks like splash anodizing, while the vortex is a reflective silver spiral on a black background.  Referee Skinz, as one would also predict, say "REFEREE", and make a great way of identifying refs on the field.  If that's not enough, literally anything you can imagine can be printed onto custom Skinz, from wild art to team logos and names.  My first experience on the field with Skinz came with a custom WARPIG Skinz I wore photographing the first Florida Sunshine Series tournament of the season.  I fully expected some interference with my cameral, but found none at all.  In fact, the only way I even remembered I had the Skinz on my goggles was that every couple of minutes someone would say "Hey, what's that? Where can I get one?, do you sell them?"

Skinz follow my motto that how you look is more important than how you play.  Whether you want to blend in, or stand out, there are styles to suit you, they are definitely worth checking out.

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