That got me thinking… why don’t surfers wear goggles? It’d be fantastic to see through the sea spray as you take a critical drop. Or check out the waves from beneath the surface.
You can even buy goggles for surfing, with prescription and polarised lenses!
If we are happy to wear goggles for swimming, why not surfing? What do surfers who normally wear contact lenses or prescription glasses do? Read on for answers:
Why don’t more people wear goggles whilst surfing?
In over 20 years of surfing I’ve only ever seen one surfer wear goggles whilst surfing.
The most obvious reason for not wearing goggles is they don’t look cool. We might say we don’t care about looking cool, but really most of us do.
I guess until a pro surfer wears them, they’ll continue to be considered uncool.
Others who have tried them, say they fall off in the surf and restrict peripheral vision.
However, I did some looking around and there’s some damn good reasons to give goggles a go.
Why wear goggles for surfing?
After an extensive search on the internet, for an hour or so, here’s some reasons to give goggles a go:
• Great for body surfing
With bodysurfing your lower in the water, so you get more water in the face. Goggles allow more vision and help you get more barrels.
• See like a mermaid underwater
Goggles help you see clearly beneath the water when wiping out and duck diving. Be amazed at the turbulence and vortexes behind the wave!
• Reduces risk of infection
Goggles will reduce the risk of eye infection for water users, especially contact lens wearers.
• Prevent Surfer’s Eye
Pterygium (Surfers Eye) is caused by prolonged exposure to the sun and commonly affects outdoorsy types, like surfers. It manifests as a pink fleshy noncancerous lesion that grows across the white of the eye. It can cause irritation and blurred vision.
To help prevent Surfers Eye, wear sunglasses or polarised goggles with a good UV rating.
What do people who wear glasses do when surfing?
I know a few surfers who wear prescription glasses, but they don’t wear them when surfing. So what do they do?
I asked a few fellow surfers “Do you wear prescription goggles or contact lenses when surfing?” Here’s what they said:
@surferdaduk daily disposable contact lenses. Got some prescription goggles for swimming pool but it's a bit odd.
— Roger Sharp (@Surf_Photo) May 22, 2015
@surferdaduk contact lenses, but only daily ones because of the risk of infection
— Nick Hearle (@NickHearle) May 22, 2015
@surferdaduk I wear daily lenses too but I take them straight out after surfing to avoid infections – goggles get in the way!
— Kiri (@KiriLeach) May 22, 2015
@surferdaduk I have worn soft monthly contacts for 20 years surfing only ever lost 2 pairs. And Aqua sphere kayen goggles in pool.
— Simon moss (@simonrmoss) May 23, 2015
Should you wear contact lenses whilst surfing?
• There’s a good chance you’ll lose a contact lens.
• Sand can get between your contact lens and eye, causing irritation and potentially long lasting damage to your vision.
• Lenses might fold over and damage your eye.
• Microbes can get under your lenses, cause eye infection and even permanent blindness.
If you do decide to risk it and wear contact lenses for surfing, I recommend taking some advice from Amy at Mellow Waves:
• Remove lenses and rinse eyes after surfing
• Don’t surf in contaminated waters
• Don’t rub your eyes in the water
• Close eyes under water
• If issues arise, go to doctors
Read Amy’s full article about surfing with contact lenses here.
Should you wear surf goggles?
If you wear glasses, contact lenses or are worried about Surfer’s Eye, then definitely give goggles a go.
Personally I’m gonna try goggles in the surf out of curiosity, so will let you know how I get on.
I took some surf goggles out at the weekend in 2-3ft surf, and they were surprisingly good.
• They stayed on and in place
• They didn’t let in any water
• I got to see clearly beneath the waves. Very cool.
• I did feel very self conscious when wearing them, and got a few WTF looks.
• Not sure how well they would perform in bigger surf
In case you’re interested
The goggles I used were AquaViz OTS Pro Core, and here’s some of the goggle’s features:
• Azion technology and a scratch resistant PRO polycarbonate lightweight frame making them comfortable with a watertight fit.
• The lenses provide full UV protection and incorporate an anti-fog coating.
• The single hypoallergenic gasket design protects from knocks to the eye socket.
• The prescription Inzert can be put into any of the Aquaviz and Sportviz range, so you don’t have the expense of buying multiple pairs of prescription sport eyewear.