In the 1940s, a bootmaker in Maryland named Israel Kroop was asked by a professional horse jockey to develop goggles for him to use in horse racing. Being a highly creative craftsman, Kroop designed a cutting edge goggle that was slim, light, and offered outstanding peripheral vision. More importantly, the design allowed the goggles to be stacked so that one by one they could be removed as mud accumulated during a race. This simple but effective design element changed the sport of horse racing forever. Kroop's original design has proven so effective and timeless that it is still worn today by nearly every jockey in the world. Kroop's brand of goggles is still considered the gold standard in the horse racing industry.
A decade after Kroop invented his first goggle, Parachuting (Skydiving) became a sport. Kroop’s goggles were quickly adopted as the goggles of choice since they were well suited for protecting the eyes of jumpers at the high speeds of free fall. Kroop is now widely credited as the inventor of the first skydiving goggles. Nicknamed the Boogie Goggles by parachutists, the design is still the most widely used skydiving goggles in the world.
Now located in North Carolina, many of the same designs still live on using some of the same machines. Although the company has expanded well beyond horse racing and skydiving, we take pride in our beginnings and still intend to keep a strong focus in those markets.