Goggles and Glasses

March 2020

Our ski community has always been populated by a rough and tumble group of renegades known to train hard and play even harder.

That’s why it’s not surprising that a few members of the group spawned an idea to turn the ski goggle and sunglass business upside down.

XSPEX is the brainchild of two local entrepreneurs Andrew Kondor and Dave Bradley, whose innovative lens technology sets their products apart from others.

Kondor, is a graduate of Lakehead University and a teacher of International Business Management and Aerospace at Confederation College. “My venture into the optical field came about during a trip to China where I met with a company making interesting changes in technology and industrial designs to a Ski Goggle. Looking back at my roots as a skier I saw an opportunity both in marketing and further improving this already pretty cool design. I also recognized that all major players in the ski goggle industry were from the U.S. or Europe and I felt that Canadians deserved having a Canadian owned high quality ski goggle brand of their own,” said Kondor.

But Kondor needed an unbiased opinion about the product, someone who would level with him – that’s where Dave Bradley came in. Dave is a quintessential ski guru, a lifetime ski instructor and coach to the highest level of Alpine skiing in Canada including international experience at the World Cup level. “After showing him the goggles and sharing my story, he agreed to take all the samples on a week trip to do some real testing on the slopes of Mont Tremblant and provided me with some no-BS feedback. He was as hooked on the technology as I was”, said Kondor.

Bradley admits the whole experience of bringing their innovative design to North America has been fun and exciting.

“I’m pumped about how our goggle/lens technology promotes rider safety and performance. With my XSPEX goggles I am switching lenses instantly when needed and truly enjoying skiing in all light conditions.”

Together Kondor and Bradley introduced the largest full-line selection of ‘magnetic release’ lenses in the alpine goggle industry. “This unique design means that in 3 seconds you can swap your lenses with your gloves on. No more worries about freezing fingers, going back to the chalet to change conventional lenses and messy fingerprints all over your lenses. It means maximum visibility in the right conditions all the time. All of our goggles include two lenses for day and low-light conditions. We currently have eight models in a variety of colours including a Junior model,” says Kondor.
They’re proud that the brand is starting to gain traction across Canada with sales representatives on the ground in Western Canada and Eastern Canada. Locally several retailers both in the ski and power sports industries have jumped onboard too by carrying their product.

“Looking forward to next season we are creating new innovative straps for the goggles inspired by indigenous reconciliation. We have commissioned local artist Rod Ostimus to paint locally inspired themes that we are adapating to the new goggle straps. These pieces will include the Sleeping Giant, and Northern wildlife images. We use local printing companies and graphic designers almost exclusively,” Kondor proudly states.

XSPEX products are available locally including Half-Way Motors Powersports.

For more information go to www.xspex.ca

Bill Wrightsell is a marketing consultant and regular contributor to Bayview Magazine. Email him at wrightselladto@rogers.com

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