contacts vs. glasses

Okay - stupid question, except I had a bad ripped-contact experience while out on the water yesterday (couldn’t get 1/2 of the lense out of my eye for over 4 hours). I’m pretty blind without glasses or contacts. Problem: rolling practice causes contacts to degrade (in my eye!), and break apart. Glasses don’t stay on, are quickly spotted, etc. What do other near-blind kayakers do w/this problem?

I have had no problem like this with contacts on while rolling in fresh or salt water–though I think I did lose one early on. Now I just to keep eyes closed when moving–just a quick peek to make sure paddle blade is where it should be.

I always carry spares: ditch kit, first aid kit, dop kit. At least six extra lenses.

I find that the peripheral vision afforded by the CLs far outweighs their disadvantages. Also frees up face for good polarized sunglasses.

For rolling practice, maybe goggles would be a good option. The low profile swimmer type.

Once your roll becomes second nature, muscle memory, you can just keep your eyes closed and CLs in tact.

When I have an extra $5k to spend, you better believe I’ll be going under the laser.

a set of the smaller swim goggles? I haven’t learned to roll my kayak yet but I do a lot of mountain biking and the trail dust irritates my eyes so I occasionally wear a set of the smaller swim goggles to protect my eyes. I don’t see why they wouldn’t protect your contacts from the water.

Can be had in sports frames that really take abuse. Straps keep them in place, can be washed. If fogging becomes an issue, diving anti-fogging sprays work.

held on with a strap. I like this one.

You can tighten or loosen the tension by sliding the float. I keep it moderately tight. Using it, I’ve worn glasses during many sessions of practice in the surf with lots of rolling and tumbling and they stay on through almost anything. Only once had them come off, when pitch-poled backwards and completely trashed. I foolishly did not have a helmet on, and despite the strap the glasses were pushed off over the top of my head. Wearing a helmet prevents that. And it’s only an issue in surf. Just rolling normally, the strap alone works fine.

An optician I asked recommended against wearing contacts in the surf, unless also wearing goggles.

The spotting from spray on my glasses bothered me the first couple of times I was on the ocean, and when I started practicing rolling. I used to take along a squeeze bottle of fresh water to clean them. I no longer bother - in fact I longer even notice the spotting - it just seems like part of being on the ocean.

I make sure I stay upright nm

Get some BCG’s
I tried contacts for paddling and just got tired of the hassle. For WW and any major moving water I just wear my BGC’s (Birth Control Glasses). They are ugly but work extremely well. I got them from my local optical shop, they are safety glasses with real glass lenses, should save my face in the event of an upside down rock face collision.

Here’s me rocking them

Remember Kareem?

I personally have had no problems with contacts, during lots of kayak surfing and wiping out. Of course, even if I lost a contact, or both contacts, I can still see reasonably well. If it’s a concern, I recommend getting sport-style glasses like those worn by Kareem Abdul Jabbar. I imagine they have gotten more stylish since he stopped playing.

When I wore contacts
I only wore them in salt water. Fresh water made them very uncomfy when I rolled.

I need bifocals now to see anything closer than 3 feet, so the contacts had to go, unfortunately. I found them to be very good for paddling in salt water and paddling canoes.

I wear polarized Sea Specs now. Really good glasses, and they don’t come off if you get trashed (At least they haven’t in 3 years). I also wear them for cycling and skiing. Bargain!

Polarized prescription sunglasses…
strapped on when needed.

I keep the new pair in the truck, and use my old ones for the yak.


contacts vs. glasses
Thanks for the good ideas - I’m rolling in fresh water (sort of w/all the boat traffic), and it’s a real treat when they get sucked onto my eyeballs and refuse to come off. Until this weekend, when they split apart and went off in different directions in my right eye. Not good. I’ll give strap-ons a try (heehee), and will save pennies for BCG (cuz they’re so ugly?). Thanks!

Sea Specs
I was browsing their site last night. Those are much better looking than my BCG’s. Do they really stay fog free?


Go whole hog
I got Lasiks done last year

Went from about 20/400 to 20/15, of course NOW I can’t see much out to about arms length, which took some getting used to. But now when I need a pair of glasses I can see where they are AND they cost $3 instead of $300.

Not on me
But I do find if I don’t wear a hat, it is a lot better. Problem is, I’m bald & need a hat. A breeze helps a lot, too.

Overall, I like them, and use them for more than just paddling.

Contacts for me
Do you wear daily disposables? I wear monthly disposables and have no trouble with them falling apart. I just make sure to wash them extra good after being in a pool or ocean. I have even opened my eyes underwater with the contacts in and they seem to stay put.

I just wear soft contacts - 30 day. Sure, they’re a hassle and I have had one stuck that I couldn’t get out for awhile but that’s really rare. It works well enough for me.

Sport Safety Goggles
These work well for me… They are made for tough conditions and stay on really well , even when rolling… Give em a try…

perscription sunglasses
wear these with a strap that floats, works well if you get dumped.(or in your case, roll)

I’ve almost pulled the trigger on these several times in prescription version but I’m afraid with my astigmatism the curved lens would produce poor vision like a pair of curved Oakley’s did. I called Sea Specs and they were totally non-committal so any of you near sighted folks have experience with them in prescription?

Sorry to change the subject off contacts but since you almost always have to wear sunglasses even if you have contacts in I prefer to just wear prescriptions with a good eyewear retainer and it’s worked ok.