do you wear contacts when

you work on rolls and wet exits or just swim work for you? i have just started doing some of these exercises and keep forgetting to slap a pr. of goggles on, but so far i haven’t lost a lense. am i tempting fate? or should i wear the goggles? and what is your opinion of wearing goggles to practice these exercises w/ or w/out contacts? we practice in yucky rivers.


I wear disposables when I kayak, especially when I camp. I have never lost a lens, even when I opened my eyes underwater on a WW rafting trip.

I wear glasses and usually just put them on a rock when it’s time to practice rolling. I also keep some disposable contacts around for when I actually want to see something while playing in the water, like when getting drug around behind a boat at 30mph.

Never lost any (glasses or contacts) but I don’t open my eyes underwater either. Not that there’s not much point, underwater visibility in most lakes/rivers around here is 2 inches.


I don’t wear them
I have the habit of always opening up my eyes while under water. I lost a pair back before i started wearing disposables when swimming, so i’m alway afraid of losing them. And the few times i’ve been in the water unplanned i felt like i almost lost one a couple of times. What i have done though is when i get a new pair of disposables each month i save the old pair for a while. They make a great 1 day throw away pair when camping, swimming, out somewhere having a little too much to drink, etc.

I just keep glasses on
I just keep my glasses on, with a good solid strap (with a float in the back that also allows tightening).

I like this one:

Holds them on very securely, even in surf. I find the water drains off the lenses fast even with no special treatment (I found Cat Crap to be more hassle than it’s worth) and there’s no more left than you’ll get from spray.

I think it’s too easy to lose contacts when you’re messing around underwater.

Don’t roll, but I do swim…
pretty frequently. Went to a rolling clinic a couple of years ago and lost my contacts on the first attempt. (No, I still don’t have a roll, but my low brace is much better.) In hindsight, I really didn’t need the contacts anyway. I wouldn’t wear them next time.

I mostly paddle rivers, and have only lost my contacts once on a trip. Floated into a wave with my eyes open and it flushed out the lenses. Now I bring a spare pair. Goggles aren’t from me.

a cork will work as
a float for keys or sunglasses…just drill a hole through it and slip your cord in. the new plastic ones sorta seal back up after you drill them also. a fun way to save a special cork also.

so far i haven’t lost a contact…keeping my fingers crossed though.

Always wear them
My vision is only a little worse than a bat’s, so I always wear my contacts.

If I blow a roll (which is often) I will often open my eyes to see that my set up is like I think it is. Never lost a lens.

However, I do always carry two extra pair (disposables) in separate dry-bags on trips. Without my contacts, I’m Brownie food.


thanks, all great
tips…someone suggested lasik eye surgery. something one could consider i suppose. but getting in the habit of taking and old pair etc. along is really smart.

Ah Yes!
Right up my alley (eye doctor)…yes you can wear contacts but yes you should also wear goggles. Lots of nasty little bugs in lakes and rivers that can get under your lenses and cause some nasty infections. You should also rinse out your eyes with at least some artificial tears after practice sessions. You may also want to consider getting daily disposable contact lenses for your practice sessions. That way you can just toss them out after you’re done. Hope this helps.

eyes closed
only way to learn a great roll, IMO.

sand, grit, salt, etc. gets in your face, with or w/o contacts.

yes I wear 'em.


i try to keep
my eyes closed, but the open anyway…what’s up w/ that?

it’s all fun though!

Contacts and roll practice
When I practice rolling, I usually use googles. The googles can fog up so I usually just close my eyes.

When I’m on the river, I usually just close my eyes when I practice.

My contacts are always giving me fits. Any bit of water in my eyes will cause my contacts to get knocked off line. They ususally don’t fall out, but they sort of roll around on my eyeball so that I have to sit there trying to get the blasted thing back in place.

When I’m paddling whitewater, I use one day disposable contacts because my eye doc told me there were a lot of bacteria that could really mess with your eyes.

I’m blind as a bat. There have been several times where I ran a rapid blind because my contact was washed off line…it’s not fun!

rolling with contacts
I wear gas-permeable hard lenses while kayaking and rolling. Never had a problem. I just keep my eyes closed in the water. Only time I used goggles or a face mask was when I was first learning to roll. It actually wasn’t all that helpful. I find it more helpful to roll by “feel.”

As to “yucky” rivers, I don’t mind mud, slime, and such. Possibly toxic chemicals are another matter. I don’t roll much while paddling around Manhattan : )