The mad scientists at Oakley took over California’s Mammoth Mountain this summer, built the futuristic Prizm Performance Lab headquarters on site and rolled out the red carpet for members of the media as well as influencers from all over the globe.
The almost two dozen participants were split into two teams that competed against one another in a multi-sport format that included road cycling, downhill mountain biking, trail running, fishing, golf and outdoor training.
Each participant chose three of the six events, using Prizm tech in each.
“Oakley Prizm technology is revolutionary because it tunes out certain colors and enhances others, so you get enhanced details, more depth perception and more contrast,” says three-time Ironman winner Craig Alexander.
Alexander was the captain of Team Craig, which battled Team Jenny, a group headed up by the winner of the 2012 Ironman 70.3, Jenny Fletcher.
Fletcher is not only fast, but she’s also gracious and lets other riders get their kicks. Case in point: She let myself and Greatist.com writer Molly Ritterback get away from the pack during an early break in the road event that featured a 20-mile and 30-mile option.
While I chose the short course, Ritterback went long and was eventually reeled in by Fletcher and Oakley field-testing manager Dave Steiner. The trio rode in together, and Ritterback crossed the finish line first.
Prizm tech made spotting road debris and potholes second nature. And there’s just a single lens options for all light conditions, so there’s no need to carry additional lenses — convenient and one less thing to think about.
Fletcher received the first production models 18 months ago. “Total game-changer,” she says. “Instead of being reactive, they help me ride and run proactively since I can see so much detail.”
We all got the down-low on the tech at a massive dome resembling a spaceship that Oakley constructed next to Mammoth’s lodge, The Mill.
This is where mountain bikers competed against one another on a downhill section of the Downtown trail. Former snowboard pro and Mammoth Mountain marketing guy Gabe Taylor led the charge and everyone else tried (unsuccessfully) to catch him.
Following the race with some bike climbing on an 80-plus-degree day, two things stood out: the trail (RIMSHOT!) and how great the sunnies dissipate heat. I’ve ridden this trail dozens, if not hundreds, of times, in a lot of different brands of eyewear and just about all of them fogged at one point or other.
Not the Prizms.
I also tested out the Prizm tech at Sierra Star Golf Course.
“If you golf a lot, gauging length is difficult because we’re usually void of depth cues where everything is so green. With the lens on, you feel more confident with estimating yardage,” says Oakley’s Wayne Chumbley.
He wasn’t kidding. Putts were easier to read and contrast was abundant. Prizm tech works like a sound-equalizer preset on your stereo. But instead of choosing jazz, classic rock or opera, you just choose the sport you going to participate in. Oakley does the rest.
And if you do, you may find out what most of us did at Prizm Lab: Whether you’re up for a relaxing day on the golf course or fishing hole or pedaling through your own personal pain cave, Prizm helps you do it faster and more safely.
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