Contacts and Kayaks

Okay, I would like to hear from folks who need corrective vision. I wear contacts and this weekend will be my first time on the water in a yak and we will complete wet exits and assisted rescues. Does anyone here kayak with contacts in and do rolls or otherwise flip the boat over? How do you keep from losing them? I am just trying to prepare myself. I figured I could just keep my eyes closed, but my instructor said it’s helpful to be able to see which side is up.

I keep my eyes closed,
But sometimes wear swim goggles if I need to see.

Been wearing contacts for 30+ yrs.

Get goggles from a scuba shop
For a little bit more money they really do work a lot better to keep water out, and are more comfortable than the ones from regular stores too. I also get the ones with the nose piece - I abhor water up my nose in general, but fresh or pool water are worse than salt water. If you feel comfortable that you can wear regualr goggles and keep nose plugs on your nose, no need to worry.

I can’t open my eyes under water and learned mostly without sight, but I agree that it can help to understand what you are doing at first if you can observe your body and paddle position.

buy comfy goggles or get Rec Specs
Those little ones that swimmers wear are not very comfortable kayaking or anywhere. I think I paid about thirty dollars at one of the chain sporting goods stores. Big and comfortable abut three years ago and about thirty dollars.

In late January I decided to not renew my contacts for awhile and just get more glasses and update a older pair or two. I miss the contacts sometimes, but I’m getting older and it much easier to have that third choice which is my own bare eyes for small print.

Glasses called Rec Specs, I’ve found totally comfortable during day time kayaking in sun, wind, and rain. They were not all that expensive when you consider the cost of contacts and maintaining them safely.

Seal Mask
About seven years ago, I asked this same question because I was taking my first kayak class and would be doing wet exits. I wore hard contacts and was worried about accidentally opening my eyes and having them float away. Someone on this site suggested the Aqua Sphere Seal Mask. I now have two of them and still use them, especially since I learned to roll this year. They seal very well and are pretty comfortable. Actually, when they seal, it feels like a suction cup on your face (but not uncomfortable). You have to stick a finger under the seal to break the suction to get them off. I believe many triathletes use them. They don’t go over your nose, so you also need to use noseplugs. They worked well for me, but I really no longer have to use them for my original purpose since I had laser surgery almost four years ago. Gotta love it!

here’s what i do
i am totally blind without my contacts. as a whitewater paddler, i was having issues with splashes moving my contacts out of place, which is not a good thing in the first few moves of a long class V rapid, let me tell you. i have learned that as i approach a rapid, if i splash my face first with my hands, that the contacts seem to “stick” much better to my face. I’ve had no issues since i started doing that, so if you splash some water into your face before rolling or doing a wet exit, you should be good to go.