If you are a scuba diver it’s easier and cheaper than you would think to get a mask made to your prescription.
Anyone who enjoys sailing should give careful consideration to the sunspecs that they choose. Being out on the water with so much reflected light requires, at the very least, the peace of mind that full ultra-violet protection gives.
Whether you are ultra-competitive or a more leisurely sailor the choice of lens colour is a key factor to the sunglass-wearing experience, with specific tints performing better in certain conditions.
Grey tints block the sun’s brightest rays without altering one’s colour perception, giving the wearer a darker version of what is seen with the naked eye, or the most natural view. This makes it a good, all-purpose tint that many prefer for days with intense sunlight.
Of all the light waves interacting with our eyes, those at the blue end of the light spectrum are the most powerful. The cones in the retina distinguish colour, and it is the blue light that dominates our vision, washing out our perception of other colours. By minimising this blue light and enhancing other colours, such as red and green, it is possible to improve visual acuity, though this does involve a distortion of colour. If the wearer does not mind an altered view of the world then there are many different lenses that will highlight certain colours and diminish others; which can be extremely effective in variable and low light conditions.
Copper, amber or bronze tints are ideal for variable light conditions because the contrast created by the lens heightens visibility. This works by highlighting colour and separating light from shadows which allows for definition of small details in tonal colour, such as the water’s surface, which is otherwise one colour. Such contrast determines how sailors see wind velocity and direction, as well as current.
Yellow is another colour used to enhance contrast and block blue light and is ideal in overcast and low light conditions. Blue lenses should also be considered, particularly those with a blue mirror coating. Mirror coatings reduce glare and because the mirror is blue, the blue light is specifically reflected away from the eye. If you don’t want colour shift then choose a grey base with a blue mirror coating; whilst a copper base tint with a blue mirror coating will enhance contrast and augment details on the surface of the water.
Polarised lenses are also a sensible and popular choice with sailors as this feature will eliminate glare from the surface of the water. It is important to be aware, however, that screens can appear black, and be difficult to read, when viewing instruments with LCDs from a certain angle.
Although different colours perform better in different light conditions there is ultimately no right or wrong decision when it comes to choosing lens tints and Radyr Eyecare can offer many models with interchangeable lenses so that you are not restricted to one tint choice for all conditions.
Lens tint is a personal choice based on light conditions and the type of information that the wearer wants, and more contrast is not always best. As a general rule, even with the top sailors, grey tends to be a favourite of the more intuitive, seat-of the-pants sailors; and contrast enhancing coloured lenses tend to be favoured by the more analytical sailors.
What this means is that there is no right lens tint for everyone and that personal choice remains the determining factor.
Much of what is said above will also be relevant to rowers or canoeists. Water is highly reflective, impairing vision and creating an unnecessary distraction. Most water sports enthusiast’s surfer the added distraction of being hit by water spray and potentially high winds in a highly active environment. The correct specification of sunglasses can help to reduce these effects, improve performance and enable you to concentrate on the enjoyment of the sport. A good example of this would be a hydrophobic coating which causes any water to bead and run off the lens instead of sitting in blobs on the lens surface.
For your free full sports eyewear assessment please contact us at Radyr Eyecare and we will help you see the difference that the right eyewear can make to your performance.