< Update: Total Eclipse (black) and Storm Troopa (white) masks in stock at £55 each - includes a FREE dark smoke lens while stocks last. You can buy them online at the RIBnet shop. JK >
Since I first started driving a RIB I've been looking for the perfect solution for protecting my face from rain, wind and spray. Unless you're going really slowly, rain hurts; cold wind makes your eyes water,especially at speed; and facefulls of salt spray get tiresome really quickly.
A few years back the recommended solution was a cheap moped helmet with a visor. However they are too heavy for comfort, the lining gets waterlogged, and if you get thrown overboard they can be lethal.
Gecko helmets (and other like the Gath and Future Safety marine helmets) have solved a lot of these issues. Some people swear by them, but they are really more than most people need -- it's a lot of money to pay just for something to hang a visor on! I have never found any of them particularly comfortable in use either.
Until now my preferred option has been dirt bike goggles. They are cheap and light, and protect the eyes but are far from perfect. They tend to fog up (some more than others), they leak through the vents, the foam gets soggy,and they leave most of the face open to the elements.
I've now found something much better, the Save Phace "Sports Utility Mask".
I tried one last weekend on the Folly cruise, and it was brilliant. Easy, comfortable (even over glasses), and really does the job. Unfortunately (!) the weather was good, so I had to hang my head over the side of the tubes to catch some spray, but the mask coped superbly.
They are currently available in the UK from a few snowboarding shops at £69.95, but RIBnet members can buy them for just £49 plus postage
which is not much more than a decent pair of goggles.
I'll post some more details shortly, but in the meantime you can get the full-on hard sell from the manufacturer's web site www.savephace.com
Mask designs below (L-R) Total Eclipse, Storm Troopa, Firewater, BlewByU