Why Do You Need Sunglasses for Water Sports

Water sports are activities that are full of fun and adventure. If you play or enjoy these water activities, you know how tiring glare from the water’s surface can be on your eyes. Glare is caused by a difference in brightness between whatever you want to look at and the bright sunlight reflected off the surfaces around you. On the water, the combination of direct and reflected light is much brighter than on land. Unfiltered glare (that is, the light reflected off flat surfaces like water, windshields, bright white decks and sails) is so intense that it impairs vision. Glare also causes squinting, fatigues the eyes and causes visual discomfort and headaches.

Asides from glare, people who do water sports are at high risk for eye diseases such as cataracts and pterygium (a benign growth on the eye also known as surfer’s eye). For this reason, it’s important for every one playing or involved to protect their eyes while they enjoy the sport. Sunglasses are a crucial accessory in this regard. But normal sunglasses just won’t do. You need sunglasses with the right lenses.

Whether it is to practice sailing, surf or to just laying on the beach, water sport sunglasses will help protect your eyes, with their special lenses designed to filter the sun reflections on the endless waves of the ocean.

What Kind of Lens Does The Right Water Sports Sunglasses Have?

Lenses are a vital factor when choosing the perfect sports sunglasses. The main features to look for in the lenses are:

  • UV400 protection: It means that any UV rays equal to or less than 400 nanometres long are filtered completely. Ultraviolet (UV) rays reduces visual acuity and causes long-term damage to the eyes like photokeratitis, snow blindness, cataracts, macular degeneration, pterygium and various forms of eye cancer. UV400 lens block 99 to 100 percent of harmful UVA and UVB rays, which is basically protection from the harmful UV radiation. Sunglasses with this lens will usually have a label that confirms it.
  • Polarized: A polarized lens has a chemical layer to reduce glare. It only allows vertically oscillating light waves through, and cuts out up to 98% of reflected light an reducing glare from the water surface on a sunny or snowy day. Polarized lenses are highly recommended for water sports, snow sports, and even driving. Polarized lenses help to improve distance viewing, minimizes glare and heightens contrast. It also helps you to recognize objects that are under water more clearly.
  • Anti-fog: When the air or water is cooler (winter days), condensation can be a major problem, as water and sweat evaporates off the face and condenses on the cooler lens. Water sports sunglasses should have sufficient venting around the lens frame to allow condensation to vent away.
  • Good water sports sunglasses should also be shatterproof in order to protect the eyes from injury in the event of sudden impact while on or in water.
  • Another useful component in the lens is hydrophobic lens coating, which helps water glide off the lenses so your vision isn’t affected whilst in the thick of the action.

Verdict On Best Water Sports Sunglasses

The general purpose of wearing sunglasses for water sports is to protect the eyes from the sun’s damaging UV lights, and improve visibility and comfort on the water by reducing light intensity and filtering out glare. Therefore, the right water sports sunglasses should ideally have a combination of both UV protection and polarization, in order to be able to enhance the performance and enjoyment during water sports activities. However, if you had to choose one over the other polarized sunglasses would be the best choice for you.