glasses v. contacts

Since everyone’s in a fighting mood, let’s try this one.

I’m at the stage of my kayaking progression, where I roll periodically–sometimes even on purpose. I always worry about losing or breaking my glasses. I have never had a problem yet while kayaking, but in other activities I have broken frames, popped and lost lenses, and even lost entire pairs of glasses (working upside down in a hot environment over water).

Back in my pre-married days, I wore contacts more regularly. And I’ve certainly lost a few contacts by being hit by an unexpected wave. I still have contacts, but paddling in goggles doesn’t seem to be the answer as they would certainly fog up.

I am extremely near-sighted and couldn’t drive home without my glasses or contacts. I always carry back-up but losing either would certainly end my paddling day.

I’m sure at least a third of you desperately need your vision correction. What do you do?

(fight, fight, fight, fight…)

I recommend lasik eye surgery. I had lasik and my wife at prk (because her cornea wasn’t thick enough for lasik) and we both are thrilled with results. The best money I have ever spent in my life, hands down. It is worth saving for. We both had an astigmatism in one eye and the surgery corrected it. Email if you have any questions.


I usually carry a spare set on the boat and keep an old pair in the truck. In a pinch, your old perscription is better than nothing.


I knew lasik would show up, OK. Who would do it again?

I’m going to step away and listen.


My husband is in your position. He
bought special sports glasses with progressive lenses that darken in sunlight. He wears them with heavy crokies that hold them close to his head. He rolls frequently and they’ve never been a problem in the least. He leaves his regular glasses in the car and carries a spare set of contacts in a drybag in the boat just in case.

Why do you want a "fight’ ?
We all love each other on this forum.

With that said; I always keep a spare pair of glasses in the truck glove compartment.

I don’t roll, but love an opportunity to surf in some good breakers and play in a WW river, and I learned the hard way when I lost a pair of prescription sunglasses that even were attached to me by croakies.

Also I now use the “croakies” with the little floats on them.



hear, hear!
Same here - sports frames with photochromatic lenses.

Good strap is a must.

I tried contacts
about 15 years ago. I found them to be more of a PITA than they were worth.

As for operations, my eyecare plan will not cover much, and the balance would better be spent on boats, paddles, tents, bikes, gas… ANd I am unwilling to gamble with my eyesight - there is a large percentage of operations done that result in unpleasant side effects.

As for retention, I lost a set of aviator-style sunglasses that were retained by Croakies. For me, Chums rule. And this spring on the Shavers Fork of the Cheat the Chums float saved my specs.


Chums Rule!

just regular frames for me
I wear prescription sunglasses in a regular titanium-type frame (from cheap section at Costco), held on with strong dental floss tied so that it’s a fairly tight fit to get the glasses over my head, or with a Croakies/Chums-type floating retainer.Both work fine, both for rolling and getting worked by surf. There really isn’t that much force on the glasses during a roll. The only time I’ve nearly lost them is getting rolled over violently by surf without a helmet. But wearing a helmet (good idea anyway!) will prevent the glasses from coming off completely in that case.

I carry a small squeeze bottle of very dilute dishwashing detergent and use it to clean the glasses if they end up with a lot of dried salt on the lenses.

all knowing…

– Last Updated: May-30-08 1:35 PM EST –

all seeing. it's one of the benefits of being advanced - i can paddle with my eyes closed.

...well not really. i can't see a thing either and wear contacts...when i go in the drink my eyes are clamped shut. i've never lost a lens on the water but have a spare set of lenses and saline in the med kit with an old pair of glasses...and since the med kit's the only bright orange bag stuffed in the day hatch there even i can see it!

Thanks All!
I appreciate all the input. I never anticipated the dental floss answer. We are a resourceful bunch! I do wear Chums but might have to look into some sports glasses before mine shatter or pop a lens.

Rick S-your pair must be solid brass, and I’m not talking about your glasses. I always lose contacts in the water even when I try to squint in time. BTW-it was your thread on 'biners in assisted tows that got me thinking people wanted to fight. Funny

Used to use regular glasses
and something called something like a Cats keeper instead of croakies works OK. Glasses got busted in waves.

Now use an expensive pair of prescription Rec-Specs recommended by my Eye Doc. Hated them at first. They fog, they get water spots, they are uncomfortable, but they seem to work pretty well. I wear a helmet when going to be getting worked. These things stay put and offer eye protection.

I couldn’t see the first letter on an
eye test. My glasses were goggles and couldn’t wear contacts because of allergies. I never had problems with contacts until I got older. I got Lasik and now can see 20/20. I’m not going to argue about what you do, but, you ask for my advise so… you have it. If you want to troll try guns.