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Surf Sun Glasses and Goggles - Reviews

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Let’s start this review with some background information. I have been surfing since I was 8 years old. Around my late teens, the ocean salt and intense sun began affecting my eyes by way of a partially genetic disease called a pterygium . Pterygia are fleshy masses of blood vessels that creep from the side of your eyeball toward the pupil and permanently scar the white surface. The more salt water and sun you enjoy, the redder and more aggressive pterygia will be. The disease itself is termed “benign” because although it is a cosmetic nightmare, these “sunshine cataracts” won’t hurt your vision unless they extend all the way over the pupil of your eye. That said, after decades of beating myself to a pulp in the ocean, I have taken to wearing surf sun glasses in the water during peak sun periods in order to extend my surf life. I am not leaving the water without a fight.

For years, there were only a few surfing sunglasses on the market, so the options were quite limited. But today, various companies are developing new styles and models made especially for surfing and water sports activities. When looking for a good pair of surfing sunglasses, one should look for a combination of function, comfort, and style. Surfing is a free expression and the last thing anyone wants is to be fettered with another accessory to worry about when enjoying a session . So to help you choose the right pair of surf sun glasses , I put a few new brands to the test.

To start, NONE of the models below posed any issues in terms of depth perception while surfing. Early goggles and glasses sometimes visually distorted the curvature of the wave, but the modern surf sunglasses offer a view that is just like wearing nothing.

Surf Shades

I paddled out into some fun, punchy shore pound wearing the “Surf Shades X” polarized model (retailing around $75). I liked the feel and look of these glasses. They look less like “goggles” and more like a standard pair of shades you would wear on any day at the beach. The strap is adjustable but is elastic, so it stretches and conforms to your head for a snug fit. They are light, and they float. Also, Surf Shades come with an added neck strap (leash) that will keep them tethered even if they come off.

After a full session, they did pop off a twice during wipeouts, but the neck strap kept them near. There was very little fog or beading. For the record, I surfed during early spring in 80+ degree weather. All in all, these glasses performed well and were without a doubt the most aesthetically pleasing models I tried. So if you are looking for style, the “Surf Shades X” will give you full eye protection in the lineup with a “normal” sun glass look.

Ocean

I wore the models from Ocean over the course of a morning session in smaller, weaker waves than the Surf Shades. These glasses looked a bit more spacey than I like, but I really liked the feel and performance of the Mauricio model ($59) because they are extremely light. Also, I liked how the bottom of the lens had no border to obstruct the view. I was a little concerned that the sharp lens edge would cause a problem, but it never did. The Mauricio does not have a stretchy strap, so it must be adjusted for tightness. These glasses never came off, but the surf was pretty mushy and gutless. These glasses felt like I wasn’t wearing glasses at all, which is a plus. Also, Ocean offers interchangeable lenses for varying conditions.

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