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Old 12-11-2012, 11:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Oakley Airwave impressions

I had the chance to try out the new Oakley Airwaves and thought I would share my impressions with you. Although I think Oakley makes quality products, my overall impression was negative and ultimately had to return them.

I won't cover all the features, so if you aren't familiar with them you can check out the website for all the details: Oakley Airwave Goggles | Official Oakley Store

Pluses:
- beautiful looking goggles, in my opinion the nicest looking you can get right now; Airbrakes are pretty close contenders though

- its not obvious on Oakley's website, but if you go to their retail location you can get most of the lenses as replacements, including the H.I. Yellow which covers you when its not bright and sunny outside. Price was decent for replacement lenses, I think about $75 CAD for HI Yellow.

- the remote control requires no charging which was a pleasant surprise; it has a battery which needs replacement after about 3 years

- there's a power saving mode, where you can turn off the HUD but continue collecting stats, this can let you extend the battery of the goggle from 4 hours up to 8 hours

- wireless control of my tunes was the biggest selling feature for me, does anyone know if you can get the remote as a standalone, or if there's a similar wireless remote available for my iphone?

Minus:
- my biggest problem with the Airwaves, and ultimately the reason why I returned them, is that there's a significant amount of viewing angle blocked off by the HUD device. This might not be that big of a deal for some people, but in my opinion I don't think its worth sacrificing any amount of peripheral vision for the geek stats. I did some comparisons with my Anon Hawkeyes, which have great peripheral vision, and I would lose about 3 feet of vertical vision for objects about 8 feet away in my right eye. The left eye is obviously better because it doesn't have the HUD device blocking you, but the frame outline of the lens is visible which I found distracting. The loss in vision might have bothered me more because I ride goofy, so I lead with my right eye.

- I'm slightly near sighted in my right eye, so the HUD appears blurry on the edges. Most screens this is ok, but some of the text can be annoying for me to read. For me this wasn't a deal breaker and would have put up with this.

- I tried these on a cold day, about -20 C / -4 F, and only got about 2 hours from them, instead of the advertised 4 hours. I imagine the 4 hours requires normal temperatures above -10 C.

- I found out after purchasing the goggles that I needed an iPhone 4s or 5 for the bluetooth hookup, and I only had a 4. Check your phone compatibility before buying

- I really didn't check the HUD at all when ripping down the hill which is when I would most want to see the stats in real time. I have an app called Ski Speed which reads out my speed to me through my headphones, I find this much more convenient than taking my eyes off my line.


So, the Airwaves might be ok for some, but they weren't for me. Ultimately I felt like they were a novelty, not worth dropping the $600 + $75 on them, and not worth losing even a small amount of viewing angle. Time to order a new pair of Airbrakes ...
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Great post. Finally, real life feedback on them. I never even thought about the peripheral loss, but that would probably kill it for me too. I was in my friends new Mercedes and all the stats (speed, odometer etc) were projected up onto the windshield. It was sweet, and not gimmicky at all. Something like that would be a much better option because you can still easily see through it, and control the opacity. Only 2 hours of screen time is also lame, and wouldn't that render the backcountry friend finder feature useless, not that I would likely ever use it.

Could you confirm if a go pro cam could actually be used with it i.e. be able to view what the go pro is recoding via the screen?

I was initially really excited about getting these, but I think it was because of what I hoped they would be from watching the initial commercial, but what they are. In time they may be able to prefect it because I think the idea is great, but the implementation seems to be lacking about as bad as the frame color choices. At $600 it should be a custom option like the Splice or Airbrakes.

At least there is more then just two lens options lie the site shows.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassicaia View Post
Could you confirm if a go pro cam could actually be used with it i.e. be able to view what the go pro is recoding via the screen.
The goggles come with an apps section, which currently includes an app for live feed from a Contour. My Hero3-Black doesn't work with it right now but I think that's because GoPro hasn't unlocked bluetooth on their devices yet. Once they unlock bluetooth I'm sure they'll make an app for it which will be awesome (digital rear view mirror!).

Other apps included something that ties in with heart rate monitors, and a basic stop watch.

I forgot to mention, another big plus is always knowing the time.


I completely agree with you, concept is great, it just needs a better implementation. I'd pay 600 for a second gen version if it had a projected HuD (even if it was just text and simple graphics) and 8-12 hour battery.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassicaia View Post
Great post. Finally, real life feedback on them. I never even thought about the peripheral loss, but that would probably kill it for me too. I was in my friends new Mercedes and all the stats (speed, odometer etc) were projected up onto the windshield. It was sweet, and not gimmicky at all. Something like that would be a much better option because you can still easily see through it, and control the opacity. Only 2 hours of screen time is also lame, and wouldn't that render the backcountry friend finder feature useless, not that I would likely ever use it.

Could you confirm if a go pro cam could actually be used with it i.e. be able to view what the go pro is recoding via the screen?

I was initially really excited about getting these, but I think it was because of what I hoped they would be from watching the initial commercial, but what they are. In time they may be able to prefect it because I think the idea is great, but the implementation seems to be lacking about as bad as the frame color choices. At $600 it should be a custom option like the Splice or Airbrakes.

At least there is more then just two lens options lie the site shows.
I am with you, I have tried on the Airwave and I/O Recon and I think I may wait until the second gen after they figure out how to get it working with a GoPro and a couple of other minor features.

One thing I did want to ask you, is what jacket are you wearing in your pic Sassicaia?
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by CovetFile View Post
I am with you, I have tried on the Airwave and I/O Recon and I think I may wait until the second gen after they figure out how to get it working with a GoPro and a couple of other minor features.

One thing I did want to ask you, is what jacket are you wearing in your pic Sassicaia?
Last years Burton AK Hover in True Black. Sadly all of this year Burton AK (aside from 1 or 2) look like balls. Perhas next year they will go back to the proper zippers etc. Although I did see one on ebay not long ago..
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Old 09-05-2013, 04:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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hey guys

i own a pair of the airwaves and rode with them for a month in whistler and loved them, id strongly recommend everyone to invest in a pair. only slight downside is the size of the strap for the wrist controller, it is really long and doesn't fit around my wrist so i have to put it on the outside of the jacket. apart from that, they are so cool and useful...hit 73kph (45.3601mph) which is pretty mad and using the airwaves i was able to really push myself to reach higher higher speeds but i stopped at this speed because the snow was getting choppy and i didnt want to stack it
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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My last day of the last season was at Hemsedal...



And my highest speed ever was this... Not sure it was a good idea though, as i am 190lb and 5'11 riding a 154 K2 Fastplant when this happened, and it was pretty scary.. Hehe

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Old 09-05-2013, 06:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Kevin137 View Post
My last day of the last season was at Hemsedal...



And my highest speed ever was this... Not sure it was a good idea though, as i am 190lb and 5'11 riding a 154 K2 Fastplant when this happened, and it was pretty scary.. Hehe



holy shit that is crazy!!! what level run was it (black, double black etc)
mine was on a green run dodging between asian beginner skiiers lol and im 6ft 4 so an even longer way to fall down
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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It was a black, which is not that steep, just has to be graded as that because it has a couple of crazy drop offs that get you serious air at anything over 60kmh...

I think i have a vid of it somewhere, i will try to dig it out...
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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It was a black, which is not that steep, just has to be graded as that because it has a couple of crazy drop offs that get you serious air at anything over 60kmh...

I think i have a vid of it somewhere, i will try to dig it out...
sweet chuck it up on youtube..sounds mad
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