Bodyboarding is a fun sport in which the surfer rides a bodyboard in a prone position, instead of a standing position as in surfing. It’s also referred to as “Boogieboarding,” due to Tom Morey’s invention of the Boogie Board. This sport is safer, and some would say, easier than surfing. It’s the perfect practice for beginners if you want to learn how to surf one day.
While you’re having fun on a bodyboard, sometimes you may forget that your eyes need protection too. You may slather on a lot of sunscreens to protect your skin, but you also want to protect your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun. When you are bodyboarding, the glare is intensified, and the UV radiation can penetrate your eyes because your face is closer to the water.
What happens if you don’t protect your eyes?
Occasional bodyboarding without eye protection won’t do any harm, but if you’re going to be in it for the long run, you have to do something now. Especially if you are already bodyboarding for a long time. Almost all mature surfers and water sports enthusiasts have permanently damaged eyes, due to a lifetime of exposure to spray, wind, and ultra-violet radiation. Most of them develop pterygium and cataracts, which are both debilitating, common, and wholly avoidable.
Pterygium is an eye condition that is so common among surfers that it has been called “surfer’s eye.” It causes a clear, white, or pinkish membrane that grows over the inside corner of one or both eyes. This starts small, just lying in the corner of the eye, and spreads out in a triangular shape from it. During the beginning stages, a pterygium will cause your eyes to feel itchy and dry. You may want to use eye drops to alleviate the dryness and itch. When it grows, it can cover the pupils and cause disruption in vision. An advanced pterygium would need surgery to treat.
Cataracts aren’t just for the elderly; it’s also commonly developed by active people who are always under the sun. The cause for cataract is long-term exposure to UV radiation, as anyone who spends plenty of time staring into the sun looking for waves is highly at risk. This condition happens when there is a permanent clouding of the lens that focuses light into your retinas. As the lens becomes cloudy, the vision becomes cloudy, too. And if it remains untreated, it can lead to blindness. Surgery is also a way to treat this condition.
To avoid developing pterygium and cataracts, use lubricating eye drops when your eyes are dry. Most importantly, keep it protected from the sun, spray, and wind as you bodyboard by wearing surfing sunglasses or, better yet, goggles. Since goggles are closed off, it will provide better protection against water spray than sunglasses. But whatever you choose, it’s best to choose eyewear that offers 100% UV protection.
Best Goggles and Sunglasses for Bodyboarding
Bodyboarders have their face on a level with the water, so the spray is always getting into the eyes and disturbs vision. Bodyboarding and surfing goggles can help keep the eyes shielded with a physical barrier so you can pay attention to the waves ahead.
Here are some great goggles and sunglasses for bodyboarding:
The Zionor Swimming Goggles are the type of eyewear that can make you look sporty cool. It’s minimal and very durable. It comes with a specialized polarized lens for better eye protection and UV protection. The face fitting technology produces a tight seal around the eyes to keep water away from the eyes and prevent fogging. It comes with high-grade silicone gasket, TPR nose piece, and adjustable strap to fit different head sizes.
Ocean Tierra del Fuego Surf and Sports Polarized Sunglasses are one of the most versatile, quality, and comfortable polarized sunglasses in the market. It’s suited for a wide range of activities such as bodyboarding, surfing, windsurfing, kayaking, fishing, and even land sports. It offers excellent optics, thanks to its polarized and hydrophobic lenses. These can effectively block out UV rays. You can use it in two ways: with arms for land use, and with head, straps to keep it in your head when you do water sports. It’s a two-in-one eye protector that does it all for you!
Surf Shades X is a cool water sports sunglasses that are fun to wear. On land, it looks like a pair of normal sunglasses. The easy clip-in head strap and leash can prevent you from losing the sunglasses in the surf. Best of all, its polarized lenses that are hydrophobic and shatterproof can provide 100% UV protection. The frame wraps around nicely for adequate protection from the sun, spray, and other objects. However, since it’s a sunglass, it’s only preferable for leisurely bodysurfing.
Here are other cool-looking sunglasses. Made of polarized lenses, the SeaSpecs Classic Extreme Sports Sunglasses are able to block harmful glare and provide 100% UVA/UVB protection from the sun’s rays. It comes with a secure strap system to keep the lightweight floating glasses sit comfortably on your head when you’re in the water. Plus, these sunglasses can float in the ocean so you won’t lose your sunglasses again.
Bodyboard in style with aegend Swim Goggles. Its lenses are anti-fog coated and come with a colorful outer surface – thanks to its UV-protected coating that can reflect harmful UV rays and protect the eyes from heat and damage. The lenses are made from polycarbonate, making it strong and tough. The flexible silicone frame and gasket provide maximum comfort. It comes with a convenient clip at the back to keep the goggles in place, and a modified nose piece so you can wear it comfortably for long periods of time.
What if you Wear Prescription Glasses?
If you have blurry vision and wear prescription glasses normally, watersports become tricky. But it doesn’t mean there’s no option. First of all, you must not wear your prescription glasses while body surfing. It costs a lot, so it would be hard for you if you lose them at sea. Plus, it may not handle saltwater very well. Here are your two options:
1. Wear contact lenses, then protect it with swimming goggles
If it’s possible with your eye condition, you can purchase some contact lenses to help you see clearly. Protect your contacts with goggles – never go bodyboarding with contact lenses only. Splashes of water can irritate your eyes with the contacts, plus contact lenses are not ideal for wearing for prolonged periods of time under the sun without adequate protection. Swim or surf goggles with UVA/UVB protection is your best option for eye protection.
2. Wear prescription goggles
Alternatively, you can get yourself a pair of prescription goggles or sunglasses for bodyboarding. Prescription swim goggles can do the job.
If you have myopia, these goggles are for you. ComeLife Optical Prescription Swimming Goggles is a reliable bodyboarding companion. The inner surfaces of the lenses are anti-fog coated, so you can see a clear view while you’re on your adventure. It has soft and flexible silicone seals to match the shape of your face properly, and it won’t hurt your nose and leave a mark on your face. It also comes with connected earplugs to prevent water from leaking to your ear canals.
Aguaphile Prescription Swim Goggles allows you to see clearly without paying for the high price of custom prescription goggles. These goggles are made with quality craftsmanship made from high-quality silicone material. It’s comfortable without being heavy; it forms a waterproof seal without leaving an indentation on the face. The lenses are anti-fog with UV protection.