Tips for Protecting Your Eyes While Bodyboarding

One of the best water sports out there is riding the waves with a bodyboard. Bodyboarding is said to have started with the Polynesian people. They would ride the wives in prone position on a paipo board. So, bodyboarding actually predates surfing!

Another name for this sport is “boogieboarding” and is attributed to the Boogie Board invented by Tom Morey. Riders use a soft, square-nosed, flexible board that is around 33” and 46” in length and swim fins for propulsion. It is relatively safer than surfing or skimboarding. If you have a poor balance, this might be the best watersports for you! 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 sun’s harmful rays. Interestingly, when you are bodyboarding, the glare is intensified, and the UV radiation can penetrate your eyes because your face is closer to the water.

Because you are lying on your belly with this sport, your eyes are constantly exposed to the water. This would be the stinging saltwater if you are playing in the ocean. Like any other sports, you would need protection against sports related injuries.

Father and son surfing on boogie boards

Common eye problems among water sports aficionados

Common eye problems among water sports enthusiasts are pterygium and cataracts due to frequent exposure to UV rays, spray, and wind. These eye conditions could have been avoided with the right eye protection.

1. Pterygium

 Also known as the “surfer’s eye”, this clear, white or pinkish membrane starts growing from the inner corner of the eyes. This starts out as a dry and itchy feeling, like something is stuck in your eye. Then it could even grow to cover the pupils causing vision problems. If not caught and treated in its early stages, a surgery might be needed.

2. Cataract

This is often observed among people who have been exposed to long-term UV radiation. For bodyboarders, you get this by staring out into the ocean and waiting for the perfect waves to ride. Because your lenses get cloudy, your vision also gets cloudy. Surgery is always a good option; otherwise, you might go blind.

To avoid developing pterygium and cataracts, use lubricating eye drops when by wearing 100% UV-protected surfing sunglasses or, better yet, goggles. The advantage of goggles is closed off so water cannot also enter your eyes, and you can focus on riding the waves.

Bodyboarding - young women surfing in the pacific ocean having fun in summer. Water sport bodyboarding surfer woman on summer beach vacation holidays travel. Waimanalo Beach, Hawaii

What to pick in terms of nonprescription goggles and sunglasses

Polarized Swimming Goggles 

Choose a brand that comes with a specialized polarized lens and a face fitting technology. This is important to restore true color, and eliminate reflected light and scattered light. You can also opt for 3D double-seal frame that provides excellent fit and water resistance. The tight seal keeps the water away from the eyes and prevents fogging. A product that comes with a high-grade silicone gasket, adjustable strap, and TPR nosepiece is a big plus.

Versatile Sunglasses

Aside from selecting polarized glasses that filter out light and reduce glare from reflective or bright surfaces, it is also recommended that you pick sunglasses that have hydrophobic lens. This one helps repel moisture on the lens surface to avoid fogging. Having this one adds to the versatility of your set of sunglasses. You can also include a  strap to keep the glasses from falling off when you are in the waters, but even if it does, it is buoyant and easy to spot.

Women who have a body board in the sea

Fun color sunglasses

 Your 100% UV protection polarized, hydrophobic and shatterproof glasses can also come with colors that you like. Find some glasses that have different colors so you can have fun choosing your favorite. However, having fun color sunglasses are not for professional and serious bodyboarders though.

 UVA and UVB Sunglasses

 These polarized glasses with straps give protection against both Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB). UVA has a longer wavelength and is associated with skin aging, while UVB has a shorter wavelength and causes sunburns.

 Swim Goggles

 Look for this type of polycarbonate goggles because it is solid and tough. It also has an anti-fog coated lenses and outdoor UV-coating that defects the sun’s harmful rays. Make sure the goggles have a wide 180-degree view that gives you a clear and long-range view of swimming underwater. With the multi-coating protective lenses. Its frame and gasket are made from flexible silicone for maximum comfort. It also has a convenient clip at the back to keep it in place and a modified nosepiece.

What if you Wear Prescription Glasses?

If you are either nearsighted and wear prescription glasses, you might feel like your vision problems is a disability that is preventing you from living life to the fullest. However, there are alternatives for you to enjoy the waters too. Here are your two options:

1. Wear contact lenses then swimming goggles

You can use long-wear contact lenses then use goggles to protect your eyes from the water. Saltwater, especially, can be abrasive to the eyes and could even leave mineral deposits on your lenses.

2. Wear prescription goggles

 You could also get a prescription pair of sunglasses or goggles. They were a bit expensive, but they will do the job well!

You can check prescription swimming goggles coupled with anti-fog UV protection swimming goggles for nearsighted. 

Check the inner surface of these HD wide view prescription glasses, make sure they are anti-fog coated, while the outer surface is UV coated and protected. This type of eyeglasses comes in sizes from 0 to -6. Due to the refraction underwater, you will need to choose 0.5-1 lower than your lens, not higher. Make sure the frame is made of thermoplastic elastomers. 

For kids and early teens, you can look for high-quality swimming goggles that are made with silicone material. It is recommended that you try glasses with anti-fog and UV protection. Make sure it has a side strap to make sure that it stays in place.


Whenever you are outdoors, always remember to protect your eyes from the sun’s glare. More so when you are out bodyboarding because the sun’s reflection on the waters is much more intense.