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How to Buy Sunglasses

Choose the Best Sunglasses for Surfers


If it’s one thing I repeat on this site is to always wear your sunglasses. The sun will tear up your eyes in the long run. Take it from me. The long days and many years spent riding waves have left my eyes red, ravaged, and aged from a condition called pterygia. They are wing-shaped growths that encroach on the pupils, causing itching and a sever redness across the “whites” of the eyes.

I wouldn’t wish these nasty devils on my worst enemy. Well, there is this one guy…

Seriously, even repeated surgeries have not kept my pterygia at bay. They returned within a year of each operation. So I warn surfers to keep their eyes covered during ALL beach time and even look into using water eye protection like the wonderful Sea Specs. But you don’t have to pour a lot of money into your eye wear. It’s easier to simply go by some basics, so here are a few tips:

1. Always look for the OSHA label with 99 or 100 percent UV protection.

2. Look for sunglasses that are close-fitting and wrap-around to help prevent UV rays from getting in the sides and top of the frames.

3. Price is not important! The bottom line: look at UV protection. The higher price just means you are getting a hipper style or more expensive metal frames. Cheaper plastic frames actually last longer.

4. Don’t go by color or darkness of the lens. The outer coating (which is clear) filters out the UV rays, not the color. The color does provide some comfort, but without a UV coating, the darker colors actually fool your eye into opening up more and let in more harmful rays.

Please, wear your sunglasses at all times and start early. Get your kids a pair and get them in the habit of putting them on and leaving them on. A comfortable pair of quality sunglasses can be used all day with very little inconvenience. Also, get yourself a strap, so that you can simply hang your glasses around your neck when your not using them and then toss them back on quickly.

Currently, I can recommend the glasses I have been wearing, which I love for style, comfort, and protection. They are the Arnette 4052 sunglasses. I really love the style and comfort of these shades. They are polarized and provide 100% UV A/B/C protection. These and similar styles are priced between $70 and $100. But if you cruise around the site, you’ll find lots of styles to fit your budget and taste.

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