I wear glasses and wanted to be able to see clearly whilst surfing. So I bought prescription (Rx) sunglasses from Silverfish which are designed to be worn whilst surfing, wiping out and duck-diving. I’ve had them for about a week, surfing 5 or 6 times and I think that they are great.
Here I mention a couple of alternatives and then review the Silverfish sunglasses.
I considered several options. I used to wear contact lenses (not surfing) but found them uncomfortable. Besides, while surfing, they could get washed out easily. I decided that prescription goggles would be uncomfortable for extended use and did not look cool. I seriously considered corrective laser surgery but it was expensive (Â£2000) and required that you stayed out of the sea for 6 months.
I read about Silverfish sunglasses on some forums which testified that they stayed on and did the job. The other prescription sunglasses I considerd were the Oakley Men’s Water Jacket (~Â£364) and SeaSpecs ($199). The Oakley’s were too expensive and the Seaspecs could not be worn as regular sunglasses.
I bought the Whistler frames from Silverfish. With polarized prescription lenses they cost a total of $287.95.
- $149 – Prescription lenses
- $49 – Frames
- $39 – Polarized tint
- $39 – Premium lab (they do it quicker)
- $11.97 international shipping
I can see normally whilst wearing them and don’t get blinded by the sun. The improved vision helps with selecting waves, keeping an eye on reference points on the beach as well as figuring out where my friends are in the water. They also help with learning from other (much better) surfers. I’d read that some people have trouble with the lenses fogging in cold water. I’ve had no trouble in 20Â°C water. Out of the water they are great for finding the car. They do not form any kind of seal with your eye, water can flow in and drain out. The nose piece holds the frames further from you face than regular glasses, which aids draining.
The non-elastic strap securely attaches the glasses to your head through wipeouts and duck-diving. I spend much of my time wiping out while surfing, so the head-strap has been well tested. The glasses have always felt secure and never budged – even after I’ve been rolling around inside a wave for 10 seconds. The most they move is when a wave breaks on my head. Sometimes when this happens one arm of the glasses folds down my ear a bit – not really a problem.
The strap holding the frames on is not elastic. It clips into the frames so can be removed for dry land. The strap is tightened by a little buckle which is easy to adjust in the water. There is no need to have the strap squeezing your head like a pair of goggles and so is really comfortable for long sessions. The glasses are prevented from lifting up towards your eyebrows by the “eye socket engager” nose piece, which is stopped by the top of your eye socket. Again this is completely comfortable – despite its scary name – and definitely does not poke around in your eye!
A leash provides an extra level of security. This leash connects the key loop inside your wetsuit to the strap. I found that it rubbed a bit the first couple of days but is comfortable now. So far the leash has not been needed but it is nice to have a backup.
The frames are simple wrap around sunnies. The photos on the web shows them with little
“Silverfish” logos in the corner of the frame. Mine have no logo on them whatsoever. Some might call them plain. I think that these are more a utilitarian than a fashion product. Having said that I do wear them out of the water with the strap and nose piece removed.
Silverfish Customer Service
Silverfish is based in the USA and I ordered the sunglasses from South Africa. They were dispatched just 4 days after I ordered them (and this was over the weekend!) Getting across to South Africa took a while longer. I emailed them to see where they had got to a couple of weeks after ordering. I was told that they had been dispatched but that they did not track international orders. Would have been better if it had a tracking number or something. They eventually got to me about a month after I ordered them. The guy from Silverfish got back to me to make sure they’d arrived – which was nice.
I’m very happy with the Silverfish sunglasses. They are comfortable and stay on while I’m surfing. The sun protection is a great bonus. I also wear them as my main prescription sunglasses whilst out of the water.