Prescription glasses - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-20-2017   #1
Pretoria, Alabama
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 2
Prescription glasses

Hi, I have been paddling with glasses for the last 10 years and always used what was available in-store, mostly the cheapest, and they never last long. I want to get proper prescription frame for whitewater kayaking. Any recommendations?


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Old 04-20-2017   #2
evanston, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1968
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 41
Depends on needs

Since your post was on the kayak section; don't waste money on good glasses in water in which you might have practice your roll. You will trash/lose them even with a head strap.If you need glasses to see well,get soft contacts and disposable polarized shades.Your doctor will tell you NOT to use CL in river water.To really see; get polarized( reduces glare and makes sneaky water features more visible) prescription shades in a flexible frame( $$$) Most serious fly fishermen use polarized.I'm a optometrist;trust me!
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Old 04-20-2017   #3
Ft Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 213
Hmm... I've been paddling for 40 years with prescription glasses, and I guess my take is a bit different. No question that good quality frames will last longer, but if you're careful (and I am), then boating is very rarely what kills my glasses.

I think the advice really depends on the type of paddling you're doing, the conditions, and your personality. If you're not wearing a helmet, then glasses _will_ fall off if you're upside down. Obviously this will vary if you have a strap under a ponytail, etc.

The best frames I ever had for boating were titanium. They were extremely strong, very flexible, and when "flexed" returned to their original shape. But they were also very expensive. If you're careful (not everyone is!) then get the best you can, with polarized lenses, and be very careful with them, especially cleaning the lenses (for scratches). Watch the screws holding the temple pieces on - they tend to loosen and the lenses can fall out. But if you've been using glasses for 10 yrs you've surely figured these things out. Use a hard case for storage.

When looking at frames, you want maximum ventilation between your eyes and the lenses. Wrap-arounds and similar will dramatically increase fogging. I use wire-rim glasses, which maximize the lenses to frame ratio, but I don't know if that's really important.

If you ever find a solution to fogging, please post it!!!

Check your health insurance policy. You may have coverage for glasses that you don't know about.

I've lost/destroyed only 3 pairs of glasses when kayaking. One pair from a stupid practice roll (sans helmet), one from a serious butt-kicking that pulled the glasses out of croakies (I lost the glasses, but the croakies were still around my head...), and the third pair was destroyed by an unsuccessful attempt to move a rock with my face. I think that's pretty acceptable for literally thousands of days on the river. I use the same glasses for everything - kayaking, driving, in the office, etc.
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Old 04-20-2017   #4
Conejos Canyon & Houston, CO & TX
Paddling Since: 1979
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 104

since you asked about fogging, I share a recommendation passed along to me years ago

50/50 mix of baby shampoo and rubbing alcohol - keep a small squeeze bottle in your pfd and give each lens a squirt once in a while

works surprisingly well
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Old 04-20-2017   #5
the grove, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,781
Not everyone can wear contacts. I can't wear them, and can't see well enough without glasses to paddle. I have been wearing recspecs kayaking for several years. These are great, I have prescription, polarized, transition lenses (that get darker or lighter depending on the amount of sun, so at dusk you can still see). Wear a helmet and you wont loose them. I have had some significant swims with these and never lost them (class IV creeking).

Recspec Maxx 21 model:

For fogging, I do the same thing as with my perscription dive mask, a coating of human spit has always worked great for me.
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Old 04-20-2017   #6
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,113
If at all possible, contacts.
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Old 04-20-2017   #7
evanston, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1968
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 41
RecSpecs can be good as they have a strap and no temples or bows. If you must do glasses,be sure lens are safety spec. Usually polycarbonate. Poly does scratch more even with coating.
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Old 04-21-2017   #8
Pretoria, Alabama
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 2
Thanks! The RecSpecs looks like they could work, but is there enough space between the face and frame for the water to get out quick enough? I have done mostly grade 3-4 creeking but planning a trip to some high volume paddling. I'm not sure if the strain on my glasses will be higher in high volume? The times that I have lost glasses was with contact with rocks and/or kayaks.
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Old 04-22-2017   #9
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 179
check out Glasses as low as $6.95 a pair. I've been boating for 20 years with glasses. I highly recommend polarized as well. Makes a huge difference. I usually just get a fairly cheap frame but wil spend the extra on polarized. Don't forget a pair of chums to hold them on. In all my years I only had one incident and it was losing a pair while playboating. Thy got sucked right out of the chums. Transition can be a nice thing for those times you are out there later than expected.
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Old 04-23-2017   #10
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1
I have been kayaking with prescription sunglasses for 25 years, and never lost or broke a pair (used to be a class V boater). Silverfish ( makes The Best Sunglasses for boating (originally designed for surfing which they also work great for). They have a bomber detachable adjustable strap and a removable nose bridge piece that keeps them away from your face to help prevent fogging. You can get the frames without lenses (under parts and accessories) for $60.00 and have them filled with polycarbonate lenses at the optician of your own choosing. Th S Rat II is really good for high cylinder prescriptions due to the lack of curvature.
I also use Cat Crap spray (EK USA) for anti fogging. Apply let dry and buff off with a cotton rag (not microfiber) before every session. Along with the nose attachment I almost never fog up. Get the spray, over the paste. Available on Amazon. Silverfish makes their own which is also hydrophobic. It is great for surfing because it prevents salt sheeting on the lenses, but the Cat Crap is a better anti fog.
Give them a try, you'll love em!
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