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Sunglasses are extremely important if you’re heading out SUPing because they protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
When out on the water, your eyes are subject to direct sun exposure and UV that is reflected off the surface of the water.
With many options on the market, it’s hard to decide which are the best sunglasses for stand up paddle boarding. Lucky for you, we’ve broken down the top 9 options that will not only keep your eyes protected, but also keep you looking your best.
On our list today, we have both standard and floating sunglasses. We highly recommend a sunglass strap if you purchase non-floating glasses to prevent them from falling off and sinking to the bottom of the water, never to be seen again.
Before we get into our top 9 sunglasses for SUPing in 2023, let’s go over some deciding factors that’ll help you choose which glasses are right for you.
Sunglass frames can be made from materials like plastic and different metals. Plastic frames are lighter and generally less expensive.
If you’re spending a day out on the water, a plastic frame will be more comfortable on your face and won’t sink as fast, if at all, as metal frames would.
Lenses are the most important part of sunglasses as these are what actually protect your eyes from UV rays.
Sunglass lenses come in different colors and aren’t just made for style like you may think. There is a difference in the color of the sunglass lenses and in how they protect your eyes.
Polarized lenses give you the best protection against UV. They’re the most popular choice for water sports use as they cut out glare that is reflected from the water.
Polarized lenses can be partnered with the varying colors to give you the best protection possible.
Yellow and orange-hue lenses help keep your eyes protected in darker conditions. For example, if you plan to paddle down rivers or lakes that have shaded cover, yellow lenses would be a great option for you.
Blue-blocker lenses block out glare and blue light that bounce off the surface of the water.
Mirrored lenses reflect the light off the lens, preventing it from harming your eyes.
The size, shape and style of your sunglasses should be considered when buying a new pair for a few different reasons.
The size of the sunglasses will ensure that your eyes are properly protected. You need to find a pair with lenses that align with your eyes and with a bridge wide enough for your nose.
The shape depends on which frames suit your specific face shape. Some shapes may suit you, whereas others won’t, and that’s fine. You just need to know what your shape (and style) is.
The style of your glasses is a personal preference, but it is important to purchase a pair that you feel comfortable and confident wearing. Sunglasses can be expensive, and buying a pair that you don’t particularly like or feel confident in can be a waste of money.
The sunglasses you buy for your SUPing adventures can also be worn day to day, so it’s best to find a pair that are versatile and will suit all occasions.
Price is also a personal preference, and there are sunglasses to suit all budgets. It doesn’t matter if you spend $20 or $200, just make sure the lenses are 100% UVA approved.
As you’ll be using your sunglasses for a water sport, durability is a big factor in deciding which pair is right for you.
Polycarbonate, nylon, and blended nylon frames are durable and lightweight, making them a good option for water sports activities.
The Plutonite lens material offers UV protection that filters 100% of UVA rays, UVB rays up to 400 nm, and some harmful blue light.
Strong shatter- resistant polycarbonate lenses provide 100% UV protection.
Their category 3 lenses have a high level of sun glare protection, while the frame is made from high quality durable material.
Let’s take a look at the best sunglasses for stand-up paddle boarding.
The Oakley Split Shot sunglasses made it onto our best overall pick for a few different reasons.
The frames come in 12 different colors, and all have different types of lenses. Oakley also has a customizable feature where you can build your own Split Shots to best suit your needs and style preferences.
If you have trouble keeping sunglasses on your face, the Pro-Red Jetski Vented sunglasses could be a great option for you!
The added sunglass strap protection means you don’t need to worry about your glasses falling off, even in the event of a fall in. Polycarbonate lenses provide 100% UV protection with a REVO lens coating that cuts out glare from the water.
The Smith Optics Chief sunglasses have a larger frame that gives optimal protection against UV rays. They come in various colors and lens types, meaning there is something for everyone to choose from.
Another pair of customizable sunglasses are the Fantail sunglasses. They have 5 colored frames to choose from, as well as different polarized glass and polycarbonate lenses.
Their lenses are scratch resistant and give you clarity as well as being lightweight.
If you’re on the search for a pair of sunglasses that are affordable, provide a good level of eye protection that float, then the SeaSpecs Stealth Extreme Floating sunglasses tick all of those boxes.
SeaSpecs are a great option for SUP surfing or whitewater paddling because of the strap that keeps them in place. If they do happen to come off, they will simply stay on the surface of the water until you retrieve them.
The Electric Tech One sunglasses come in different colors that range in price. With these frames, you have the option of choosing polarized or non-polarized lenses.
They also have a re-engineered wrap-around design that provides glare reduction to keep your eyes as protected as possible.
Our top pick of the best quality sunglasses went to the Tidal X Dragon. The category 3 polarized sunglasses provide a high level of sun glare and UV protection to help keep your eyes safe while out on the water.
The Tidal X sunglasses can also be worn for numerous water sports activities thanks to their floatable H2O frame.
An affordable option that comes in 4 different colors is the Smith Transfer Polarized Sunglasses. They feature hydrophilic megol nose pads for a secure fit and anti reflective lens coatings.
The Maui Jim Peahi polarized sunglasses are totally customizable, and you can choose from 6 frame colors and 7 different lens types. The frames are durable and wrap around your head to give protection to your eyes from all angles.
Yes! Polarized sunglasses should always be worn while paddling. You can buy glasses specifically designed for water sports that have floating capabilities or straps to keep them in place.
Sunglass straps can be purchased alongside your sunglasses to help keep them on while paddling.
Wearing glasses that fit your face perfectly also helps to keep them in place.
While out on the water, your eyes are not only exposed to direct UV rays but also to rays that bounce off the water's surface.
UV exposure can cause serious damage to your eyes, so it’s important to have a pair of sunglasses that protect them sufficiently.
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