For any diver, a foggy mask can be more than a distraction or annoyance. It can cut visibility making underwater exploration, at times, cumbersome and unsafe. No longer, says the team behind Sven Can See, which is a new gel created out of frustration in one of the iciest corners of the United States.
Every winter, Scott Newman, founder and creator of Sven Can See, treks through the backcountry of 100 Mile Wilderness in Northern Maine. In late December 2013, while on one of his grueling five-hour hikes, he ran into a friend on the trail. Both men were bothered by the problem of choosing between taking off their eyewear, and exposing their eyes to UV light and debris, or keeping their eyewear on and not being able to see through the fog and frost. Newman, tired of this constant predicament and unimpressed with the other products on the market that were messy and left waxy build up, returned home to invent something different: a gel mostly made of water that, with one application, would last all day.
After a year of testing and adapting the formula, Newman launched the product (named after Sven and Chuck The Goat, a bedtime story he created for his daughter when she was young) at Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City, Utah. Sven Can See was met with rave reviews. But it wasn’t only the snow sports enthusiasts who were thrilled. Divers, among others who get their endorphin and adrenaline fixes on and under water, enthusiastically took to the product because it’s easy to apply, doesn’t cause distortion and lasts all day.
“When we tested the gel in high heat, normal temperatures, humidity and extreme cold, and it worked, I knew we were on to something big because now anyone who wears eyewear, no matter where they are or what they are doing, can spend more time doing what they love,” explained Newman.
Newman also added, “Exploring is something true to my heart, it’s what gets me up in the morning and I really do see this gel as more than a product. It’s a bridge that helps us get closer to what makes us feel inspired, maybe a little more compassionate and very much alive.”
For divers, Sven Can See could become as essential as sunscreen, something to apply to the inside and outside of a mask 10 minutes before heading in (it takes 10 minutes for the gel to set, after which the excess is gently wiped off). Unlike sunscreen, however, there’s no need to reapply during the day. Sven Can See is available in a gel or a spray and is being sold online with plans to expand into outdoor lifestyle retailers across the country soon.