There’s nothing better than a day at the beach. With ocean waves, soft sand, and gorgeous sun, the beach is a favorite location for fun, relaxation, and letting go of life’s stresses. And while some people use beach time as an opportunity to laze on a chaise lounge and work on their tan, others like to get moving. If you’re going to be participating in beach sports, read about the features your sunglasses need for an active day on the water!
Tristan Boyd, BeachTraining.com
Water Repellent Coating (hydrophobic)
If you enjoy swimming, surfing, windsurfing, kayaking, or just recreational boogie boarding, be sure your sunglasses have a water repellent coating. This hydrophobic feature will make splashes of water bead up and disappear, rather than smear across your lenses.
Small Rubber Nosepad
Are you going to be moving around a lot? A rubber nosepad grips your face to keep your shades secure during abrupt movement. If you’ll be diving for the volleyball, leaping for the frisbee, or jogging down the beach, a nosepad will guarantee your comfort. The smaller the better to permit more central vision on those bumps & sets.
Scratch Resistant Lenses
Let’s face it: The beach can be rough on a pair of sunglasses. One drop into the sand or on the boardwalk, and your lenses can sustain damaging scratches. Opt for shades that have scratch-resistant lenses; these will lengthen the life of your beach sunglasses.
Floating Frames or Neck Straps
I’d venture a guess that sunglasses are lost to the ocean more than any other item. When a huge wave catches you off guard, there go your shades! Increase your chances of retrieving your sunglasses by investing in some floating frames or sunglasses that have a strap. Davy Jones only needs so many pairs in his locker!
No matter what beach sport you participate in, it’s essential that your sunglasses protect your eyes against UVA and UVB rays.Sunglasses that don’t block UVA and UVB rays can actually damage your eyes more than going sans shades — their tinted lenses will dilate your pupils, letting in a surplus of unfiltered sunshine. Also remember, the closer you are to the equator, the stronger the sun’s rays are.
For a long day in the sun, be sure to have wrap-around sunglasses. If your shades sit too far from your face, UVA and UVB rays will find their way to your eyes through the gaps and spaces of your frames. A wrap-around style that hugs the sides of your face will work the hardest to keep out unwanted sunlight.
If you’re serious about sports, especially beach volleyball, make sure the frames of your sunglasses aren’t hindering your vision. Thick frames can create blind spots that make tracking overhead balls difficult. A thin, streamline pair of sport sunglasses help you keep your eye on the ball.
Polarized lenses + Anti-Reflective Coating
Polarized sunglasses are always a good investment if you spend a significant amount of time waterside. Polarized shades have a coating that reduces glare from reflective surfaces like water and sand. You can also add an additional anti-reflective coating if you’re serious about blocking reflective glare.
The right lens color
Did you know there are different lens tints to accommodate varying levels of sunshine? For a bright day at the beach, gray and green-tinted lenses will give you the clearest vision. On partly sunny days, shades that have amber, red, or yellow-tinted lenses will keep your vision sharp. And don’t forget that on cloudy days, the sun’s rays penetrate clouds, which is still damaging to your eyes. Protect your eyes on a cloudy day without compromising your vision with yellow or orange-tinted lenses. Choosing the right lens tint will create contrast to help you zero in on the ball — or even help you track your bobber on the water!
A day at the beach is always meant to be fun, so before you head out, always double check that you have your shades handy. Nothing can ruin a day on the ocean more than dealing with bright sun and glare — what a [literal] headache!