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Old 01-24-2012   #11
adgeiser's Avatar
Denver,, exhaustion
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 578
I am a glasses wearer... (will be going for the Lasek consult soon)
I have not tried contacts.
But can say this about glasses:
they are great in the dead of the summer when they don't fog.
I have never lost a pair (yet), but do wear croakies or the like to keep the glasses on.
Full Face Helmets SUCK for glasses if you use croakies or a sport strap... but is doable (and amusing to your buddies as they watch you try)

the rest of the time it really sucks because of the fogging, i have tried multiple anti-fogging products... NONE WORK. the water is just to cold and your face being the only exposed surface of your body is just putting out to much heat.

It sucks but is a fact of life.

we did figure out that if you can get enough water frozen on your lenses that that does seem to stop the fogging .... but of course then you can't see that well either.

It truely is scary running class IV and V blind... of course if you are new that applies to class III as well.

"We should restore the practice of dueling. It might improve manners around here" -Edward Abbey
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Old 01-24-2012   #12
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 350
For what it's worth, I can now say I've paddled Gore with glasses on.

Fogging is intermittent. I think if you're extra concerned, just make sure they're wet before dropping into a big rapid.

I don't recall ever having any major incidents as a result of fogging glasses.

Regardless though, these TYR goggles I have, have some pretty hefty anti-fog coating on the inside. So them + contacts might be the ticket.

I have pretty horrible eye-sight. I could probably get by without glasses for runs, but if people are trying to signal to me, I wouldn't be able to see them.

Edit: I do plan on getting LASIK eventually, but my eyesight hasn't stopped degrading and I'm hesitant to get it because of that. I might when I'm a bit older.

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Old 01-24-2012   #13
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 428
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Old 01-24-2012   #14
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
Ok, I'm bored with 10 minutes of dead time at work so I'm going to try pressing this one as it's a topic that commonly comes up. Personally I don't get along well with contacts, but I manage wearing them paddling just fine.

I've worn glasses paddling for short periods of time when I had to stay out of contacts and it's f-cking terrible. Even if they're not fogging (which is very common and I've tried 200 brands of defoggers including my own spit and my friend's spit), you're constantly looking through a speckled world. Your visual acuity is compromised.

Paddling class V is where glasses are probably the worst since visual clarity is critical. You're often in micro eddies where fiddling around with your glasses is not an option, and you're frequently hiking around scouting/portaging and generating a lot of body heat. Oh shit, my buddy's pinned on a log, let my jump out of my boat, run along shore and throw him a rope. Oh bummer, my glasses just got all fogged up because of, well, physics. That's ok, I'll just pause a few seconds to spit on them and clean them off, hope his head is still above water!

There are plenty of class V paddlers who wear contacts and almost none that wear glasses. Let me think, Big South opening weekend, how many people are wearing glasses at the top of Double Trouble.... yep, zero.

If these glasses wearers want to justify their own decisions, that's cool, they can do whatever they want, but if you want good advice, here it is. Go to your favorite optometrist during paddling season and tell them what you're up to. Try half a dozen different brands and find which one works well in the water. You'll find a few tricks to help you out like splashing your eyes with water before a big drop and well timed blinks (which is useful with or without contacts - you know what I mean if you've ever been eye b-tch slapped by a spray of water).

I keep a spare contact lens or two in my PFD just in case I lose one on the water, but have never lost one.

I can't imagine wearing swimming goggles paddling. Besides f-cking up your vision they're just not going to stay sealed if you're paddling anything powerful. You're telling me your going to get flushed through Tunnel rapid and those goggles are going to stay in place? When I'm lap swimming in a pool and I push hard off the side of the pool I sometimes break the seal around my eyes. Can't image them staying on in anything powerful.

That's not to say contacts are a perfect solution. I have occasionally had one shift around on me while paddling and had to do some blinking to get it back in place. The best option for kayaking is obviously a surgical correction, but as you stated you're not a Lasik candidate nor are apparently interested in the other options. I contemplate corrective surgery occasionally but am still scared I'll be the one in a thousand whose eyes get jacked up as a result so I keep putting it off since contacts are a workable solution at the moment.
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Old 01-24-2012   #15
Walla Walla, Washington
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 144
Get contacts that you can sleep in. I got some and changed my life. Now on multi days I'm not taking out and putting in contacts with grummy river hands. Only way to go.
In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria.
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Old 01-24-2012   #16
brenda's Avatar
bc, CA
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 316
My hubby has had the same problem for years. Can't wear really blind without glasses...can't have surgery. The fog issue has been huge, it happens all the time and he hates it. I had an idea that he buy some small frame (similar to skinny reading size glasses) that way if they fog he can look above them or below them until they de-fog. This has been the answer for him and he has never lost a pair even when playboating (has a good strap). Try this company
You can get glasses for as low as $19 including prescription - no kidding!
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Old 01-24-2012   #17
Snowhere's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 844
Glasses are awful for kayaking? I have always used contacts for everything except kayaking. The strap is a no-brainer and divers drops, made to keep diving masks fog free, work great on glasses too. The added benifit of glasses are they shield the eyes from the inital splash, if the glasses are not real tiny. There is no contact that would stay in when mystery moving, and what is the point of keeping one's eyes closed underwater? I have had times when I was setting up to roll, and saw I was right next to a rock, so I waited to get past it before rolling. One has to have open eyes to see stuff like that.
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Old 01-25-2012   #18
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 405
contacts that stay put better in whitewater:

1. larger diameter
2. tighter base curve
3. silicone material

There aren't any large diameter, tight base curve, silicone lenses, but there are plenty options that give you 2 out of the three.... ie. Oasys 8.4, Air Optix, Pure Vision 8.3, F55 Aspheric 8.4 etc.....

Of course, I still use glasses because I am too lazy to put cls in, and I like my sunglasses on bright days. Sometime if fogging becomes too bad, I just take them off and float half-blind down the river. I am not recommending that to anyone (it depends on your RX).... I used to paddle class V, and now I mostly stick to class III, so it kind of makes it exciting again for me.
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Old 01-25-2012   #19
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 19
I don't typically need glasses to paddle, but have trouble reading far enough ahead on big water. I could get LASIK, but at my age I wouldn't be able to read books much longer. I ordered some prescription Silverfish surf sunglasses for my upcoming Grand Canyon trip. They have a nose piece that is supposed to hold them further off your face to help with fogging. I didn't order their anti-fog drops, because they were pretty pricey and I figured I may be able to find a better solution talking to other paddlers. Anyway, I'll let y'all know how they work out.
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Old 01-25-2012   #20
adgeiser's Avatar
Denver,, exhaustion
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 578
Once again,
I agree with KSC.... for the most part.

I paddle IV+ and V with glasses and it absolutely SUCKS!

The Fogging is the worst problem. The spots don't bother me that much and i actually like the water blast sheild.... but that said the Fogging SUCKS!!!

If lasik is not an option i will be switching to contacts this spring.

"We should restore the practice of dueling. It might improve manners around here" -Edward Abbey
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