Here comes Ashbury Goggles!

02 Jun, 2008

This quote on Ashbury’s myspace sums it up:

Sick Goggs
Sick Company
Sick Riders

Coming out of the woodwork in 2008/2009 is the much anticipated Ashbury eyewear and goggle line. Snowboarders are already wanting to know more about the goggles and where to buy them. A great sign for an upcoming company with killer designs and style you can take to the snow.

I had a chance to talk with Lance Hakker of Ashbury to find out more about the company and products.

Shay: How did you came up with the name and company?

Lance: I think Nima’s girlfriend came up with it. Nima, Mike, and I had been brainstorming for a long time trying to figure it out. Naming is hard business. There’s that intersection in San Fransisco Haight/Ashbury. We didn’t name it because of that, but we’re definitely aware of it. And even some of our influence comes from there. So that’s cool, but definitely not the reasoning behind our name. We just like it.

Shay: What made you decide to go into goggles and eyewear?

Lance: Well we think there is a serious lack in that department. There’s nothing we really dig. Every company is kinda like whatever. And everyone is making crazy goggles that look like aliens designed them. I mean the only way I’d let Ashbury make some of those crazy goggles is if aliens brainwashed me, you know. Goggles are something that go on your face! They gotta look decent, it’s not like we’re flying into space with them, chasing UFOs.

Shay: How long ago did you come up with the idea, get it going?

Lance: Well Mike, Nima, and I have always planned on doing something. We’ve even come close in the past with a few other friends here and there. But with Ashbury Nima called me one day while I was working at K2 and asked if I wanted to start a company, but this time for real. And I jumped on it. I think it was a few weeks before I quit my job and then we kinda got it rolling right away. All that was about a year ago. I was back in California from Seattle at the end of June.

Shay: What are the Ashbury Goggle models?

Lance: We currently have one model of goggle. The Kaleidoscope. It comes in 5 colors: Stars, Tortoise Shell, Rust Red, White, and Black. The black, white, and rust are all matte and soft touch. The soft touch makes them just look and feel a lot better then conventional matted colors.

Sneak Peak at the Ashbury Kaleidoscope for 08-09
TortoiseCourtesy of Lance Hakker (Ashbury)

Courtesy of Lance Hakker (Ashbury)


Courtesy of Lance Hakker (Ashbury)

Shay: What are the influences behind Ashbury?

Lance: Well skateboarding and snowboarding are our biggest influences. If it weren’t for that we wouldn’t even have started Ashbury in the first place. Then our music tastes and just everything we do influences Ashbury. There’s just the three of us and we have pretty similar tastes. Our team and our friends have a pretty big influence on what we do as well. We listen to everyone. Well everyone that we should listen to anyway.

Shay: Are the designs a collaborative effort, or do each of you guys have your own roles in the company?

Lance: Well yes and no. My brother does all of our designs. He’s definitely the art guy, but he listens to Nima and I alot. And always asks what we think. But he’s super talented and we usually just like what he makes. The team feel the same too. His ideas are usually just better than ours. Most of the people that my brother and I grew up with skateboarding and stuff are now designing shoes or clothes or whatever at pretty big companies within skateboarding so he’s always around a very creative group of people. Nima handles the manufacturing side of things as well as sharing team stuff with myself. Nima and I kinda bounce a lot of things off each other. I handle a lot of marketing and sales stuff. But like I said Nima and I share a lot of duties. And Nima is on the team.

Shay: Where can you pick up a pair of Ashbury goggles for this 08-09 season?

Lance: Well you should be able to pick them up at a lot of the core retailers around the US as well as Canada, the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Greece, Australia, Japan, and Korea.

Shay: What other products from Ashbury?

Lance: We just make Goggles and sunglasses. The sunglasses will be out in a year or so. They’re going to be really good. We just got our first samples back and for the first samples they turned out really well. Both goggles and sunglasses are hand made in Italy, so quality won’t be an issue. We also make softgoods to compliment our line.

Shay: What team riders are sporting Ashbury this upcoming winter?

Lance: Our snow team is Nima Jalali, Jon Kooley, Jordan Mendenhall, Justin Hebbel, Joe Sexton, LNP, Matty Ryan, Josh Mills, Gus Engle, Nick Dirks, and Desiree Melancon. We’re putting together a skate team at the moment as well, so look out for that!

Big thanks to Lance!

Want more of Ashbury? Check out the Ashbury Blog and Ashbury myspace!

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. banffbadass
    June 02, 2008

    No venting on the lens? Hmmmmmm……….

  2. Anonymous
    June 02, 2008

    Venting isn’t too expensive, they obviously made a choice not to have them. Besides it looks cool.

  3. Mark
    June 02, 2008

    Lens venting is not neccessary. Goggles fog because of the difference in climate from outside to inside. These gogs look like they have plenty of air volume inside. But testing will cast the ultimate judgement. Much more important is face fit (mmhhmm electric) if they rub the bridge of your nose or have air gaps.

    Function does count, but I imagine these will be one of the most ‘fashionable’ products of 09.

  4. Anonymous
    June 03, 2008

    yeah mark, plus what effects fogging isn’t vents. That is a marketing thing really. It gives customers a reassuance that their goggles won’t fog. What really makes the difference is air flow from the top and bottom of the goggles. Vents could even make it worse. I mean how hasn’t had their oakley’s fog?

  5. banffbadass
    June 03, 2008

    EVERY goggle can fog. Especially if people put them up on their foreheard and get moisture into the lens.

    Look at goggles that have lens venting. Oakley, Anon, Spy, Smith, Dragon, etc. Goggles that have no venting…..Gordini and Ashbury. Venting makes a huge difference if it is done correct.

    I think they look amazing and they’ve obviously got the water transfer graphics dialed but I feel that they are strictly for looks.

    Looking forward to actual tests.

  6. Lance Michael Hakker
    June 04, 2008

    Banff. Nima, Mike, and I never liked the idea of venting. It’s never helped any of us in the past. So in the very beginning we decided that the goggle just looks way sharper with out it. Then a couple people voiced concern about the venting, so we decided to see what the team felt. We didn’t have any fogging problems, but we weren’t out trying to film parts with Mack Dawg either. The first people I talked to were Jon Kooley and Jordan Mendenhall and they both shut the idea of vents down enthusiastically. They wouldn’t hear of it. They said they’d ride all day at Brighton or wherever while it’s storming and then go into the lodge and come out and shred more and never had fogging problems. The rest of the team agreed… And this was during a time when we could have easily added vents. So we decided to axe it.

    And besides what the anonymous guy said above me about airflow is right.

  7. Steph
    December 30, 2008

    Who is making these goggles? They look exactly like cheap Gordini goggles from the 90’s? Having a unique style is one thing but nobody has even touched on the shitty optics in these things. Same price, horrible quality, good team, I’m sooo cool come get me hipster snowboarder douche bags.

    And your sunglasses aren’t original at all. They’re knock offs of knock offs of great designs. Probably outsourced at cheaper places and poorer quality.

    You guys have a great team and I would say you need a great product too but snowboarding is so full of jocks and uncreative followers these days that you’ll probably do well.

    But I hope you guys expand the line into having some products with a little creativity or drop the price.


  8. Anonymous
    March 11, 2009

    haha thats so true.
    I just happened to come across this post and think that its 100% on point.
    I find the goggle that they do very similar to the one that John Kooley had for IS Design.
    I am all for new independent brands coming up but if you are gonna play yourself as being unique and design driven then you really should try to live up to just that.
    I also really hope the whole hipster/rocker trend in snowboarding goes the fuck away. i hate it more than the xxxxl jerseys and oversized headphones. how many people out there really think it is sweet to snowboard in some shitty lumberjack flannel and skin tight jeans…..