whitewater kayaking and corrective eyewear

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shawn_rackley81
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whitewater kayaking and corrective eyewear

Post by shawn_rackley81 » Thu Dec 11, 2014 12:26 am

Ok. So I wear contact lenses, or glasses. What's the best thing to wear for whitewater kayaking? Here's my problem. If I wear contacts I'm fine as long as I don't have to roll (because I can't open my eyes under water with contacts in) or as long as I don't take any huge splashes open eyed. Lol. I have been getting more and more into whitewater kayaking and have been facing this problem since I started to learn to roll back this summer. I simply wore a face mask then for scuba diving. Well we all know I can't run the river with a scuba face mask on. Lol and when I have tried to wear glasses I get splash up and being soaked I can't see out of my glasses. And can't wipe them off cause I have nothing dry handy. Especially when running long sets of rapids.Lol. so...... any advice?

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paddledog
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Re: whitewater kayaking and corrective eyewear

Post by paddledog » Thu Dec 11, 2014 3:01 am

Take up knitting...........
Just kidding, ya gotta take extra.
and give a spare pair to another boater (the best on the trip)
so if you swim and lose your boat your covered.
Jim Swan used to paddle in swim goggles covering his contacts on
hairy 4+ runs.
Fighting for peace........
Isn't that like screaming for quiet?

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BEubanks
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Re: whitewater kayaking and corrective eyewear

Post by BEubanks » Thu Dec 11, 2014 7:46 am

Stick with contacts. I never open my eyes to roll. Seeing helps while learning, but I would recommend transitioning from open-eyed to close eyed rolling. It simply requires practicing enough times so that you know the motion without having to see to place your paddle, etc. I do carry an extra contact in my first aid kit in case I lose one paddling. Have never lost one paddling. Have taken a splash in the face that temporarily blocked vision, but same would have happened had I been wearing glasses.

It is possible to open eyes under water with contacts but you'll have to squint and look through minimally-opened lids to prevent water from washing contacts out. Easier just to keep 'em closed.

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Tim Eubanks
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Re: whitewater kayaking and corrective eyewear

Post by Tim Eubanks » Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:04 am

Ditto what Byron said.

Somebody told me a few years back that if you splash your face with water before entering a rapid, it helps. NOt sure why, but it does in fact.

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Tim Eubanks
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Re: whitewater kayaking and corrective eyewear

Post by Tim Eubanks » Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:04 am

Ditto what Byron said.

Somebody told me a few years back that if you splash your face with water before entering a rapid, it helps. NOt sure why, but it does in fact.

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Re: whitewater kayaking and corrective eyewear

Post by philllll » Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:39 am

my teenage son relies on these. he loves them.
prescription swim goggles.
he's a -11 prescription but the -10s are good enough for paddling.

he really likes open eyes when rolling. contacts would move and with the amount of correction he needs, lost lens would be a big deal.

you do need to learn to relax your face while under (no scrunching). they've not failed him in anything like play boating or any rapids on ocoee.


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How long is the drive?

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magicmike
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Re: whitewater kayaking and corrective eyewear

Post by magicmike » Thu Dec 11, 2014 12:26 pm

I wore contacts for over 10 years kayaking. I always rolled with my eyes closed, and never had an issue. For the last several years I wear my prescription sunglasses for UV protection, and to look cool. Only had one issue with them fogging up , last year on Richland when the dew point was just right. As far as just water droplets, I guess I've just gotten used to looking past them. I thought about getting some of the "sport goggles" , but then again , the"cool factor"-M- 8)
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority,it's time to pause and reflect".

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okieboater
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Re: whitewater kayaking and corrective eyewear

Post by okieboater » Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:07 pm

I agree with the tips already posted.

I have done the water splash in the face routine so much it has become a habit. As Tim posted, I do not know why it works but it does for me.

I used to do a roll soon as I entered the water at the put in. If the roll did not work, that was a good indication what my day was gonna be. Gives you a test of how your gear is setup as well. If things do not work out, maybe your vehicle is there for what ever use you need.

For a while I wore glasses and there were several brands I purchased from goggle type to sun glass type just for paddling.

for years I have used a brand of sunglasses called Silverfish specifically the Whistler model. These are made for California and Oregon surfers and related sports. They are polarized, have secure attachment schemes and will take more impact than the usual sunglasses. I think they will grind in your Rx as well. The pair I have incorporate a nose add on little clip that puts the glass a bit further out from the face and this has reduced my eye glass fog issue to a rare occurrence. My Whistler's glasses fit along inside my helmet comfortably. The only pair I lost was I left them at a Middle Fork lunch stop and did not realize it till some time later. I have done my share of swims, rolls and related moves and not lost my Whistler glasses. These glasses are not cheap, but mine have worked well for me for many years. I have no connection to Silverfish except as a customer.

As far as rolling. I use swim goggles a bunch as a student helpful gadget when teaching a person to roll. I used to open my eyes under water as I rolled. Several decades ago, several of us locals spent most of the summer in the Tulsa Wave hole, just down stream of the refinery. That was when I started to roll with eyes closed. By that time my roll was pretty much grooved and from then on it was automatic to close my eyes when rolling. I am a big fan of visualization and as I did the roll I mentally saw my paddle blade move and arc out from setup to setup.

For what it is worth!!
Okieboater AKA Dave Reid

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Jim Krueger
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Re: whitewater kayaking and corrective eyewear

Post by Jim Krueger » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:38 pm

I've worn glasses for a long time in my everyday life, so that's what I wear on the river. Most times when changing prescriptions/getting new glasses, I've typically had the old pair tinted for use as sunglasses. However, I decided just to have some sunglasses made up last time with polarizing, darker lenses ( and 'Ray Charles' Ray Ban style frames).I normally wear tri-focals, but bi-focals are just fine for me when boating and other outdoor stuff. Like Magicmike, I too have few if any issues with water droplets on the glasses bothering me. I just pair the glasses with a nice comfy pair of Chums retainers for a snug fit and all fits well under my helmet. The only thing that can be somewhat of a nuisance about polarizing lenses whether paddling or other activities is that they don't get along with I-phone screens, computer screens, or digital displays in vehicles very well.

Best Regards
Jim

shawn_rackley81
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Re: whitewater kayaking and corrective eyewear

Post by shawn_rackley81 » Thu Dec 11, 2014 3:16 pm

Thanks for all the advice folks. I guess I will stick with contacts and carry an extra er two. And as far as rolling. I have never done it eyes closed yet. When the weather warms up I will try it. Lol I doubt have a drysuit. Or any other dryware except a paddling jacket which becomes useless when I roll :). When I was referring to te droplets obstructing my vision it happened one time running dead man's curve on the spring river. First drop was fine. Then the second drop blinded me me cause my glasses were covered in water...... so couldn't see the third drop cominglol. It was a good time. Still pulled it off blind. I'm used to kayaking in contacts. So I think that's the way I will go. Was just concerned about the rolling. Since I have never had to in a rapid. Just when I'm practicing and prepared for it. I really need to practice with eyes closed. Anyone know of a place in northeast Ar that has an indoor pool I can use for some winter roll practice? I'm in pocahontas. Thanks again!!!

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magicmike
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Re: whitewater kayaking and corrective eyewear

Post by magicmike » Thu Dec 11, 2014 3:34 pm

I did forget to mention, like Jim said. If you go with glasses, some brand of glasses retainer is a must. I usually only take an extra pair on the gnar, but should probably make it an every trip thing.-M-
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority,it's time to pause and reflect".

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Dr. Steve Yaney
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Re: whitewater kayaking and corrective eyewear

Post by Dr. Steve Yaney » Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:30 pm

Our tears are about 1% saline, so the fresh water you splash in your face actually "dries" your eye and contact lens out. This "tightens" the contact lens so it is less likely to "pop" out. So many brands of soft contacts come in different base curves. For example Accuvue 2 has an 8.7 and 8.4 Base Curve, so if you normally wear the 8.7( which I like you wearing as loose of a lens as we can get by with for everyday wear) you could get a pair of the 8.4's for paddling. There are some brands that go down to 8.1 B.C. Again the looser lenses are healthier and don't tend to dry out as much and stay more comfortable through the day, but to occasionally wear a tighter lens would not normally present a problem. If you tell your eyecare professional what you are doing, I'm sure they would give you a trial pair for this purpose. :twocents:

shawn_rackley81
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Re: whitewater kayaking and corrective eyewear

Post by shawn_rackley81 » Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:15 pm

I have an eye exam Monday, thanks I will bring up the tighter contacts. Lol. Although like others, I haven't lost a contact yet. From splash up. But next time I paddle my local spot I will try the splash in the face.

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Re: whitewater kayaking and corrective eyewear

Post by tball » Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:26 pm

I've always worn glasses, up 'til just a few months ago.

I've had a lot of fogging issues, especially on cold-water runs. I never found a foolproof way to prevent it. Spit and catcrap didn't help. I did notice that smaller lenses would de-fog quicker, I suppose because of the increased airflow.

I've just switched to some contacts (Paragon CRT) that you sleep in to temporarily reshape the cornea. Pop them out in the morning and this gives me corrected vision during the day. Sounds good in theory, but it's not without its drawbacks... The lenses are RGPs, and are a little uncomfortable. This may get better over time, but when they're in, I definitely know they are there. Also, at my prescription (-4ish), my corrected vision is not as good as it is with glasses, but is tolerable.

Time will tell if I can put up with the drawbacks long term, but it's nice to paddle without any lenses on.

Trey

shawn_rackley81
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Re: whitewater kayaking and corrective eyewear

Post by shawn_rackley81 » Thu Dec 11, 2014 11:17 pm

Thanks for that info trey. I'm going to look into that. Only thing my right eye has astigmatism. So I'm not sure how that will complicate things. I have wore glasses for about ten years. Then switched to contacts over a year ago. Really enjoy not having glasses to deal with.

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