Tips for Protecting Your Eyes While Standup Paddle Boarding

Have you ever experienced going out on a paddleboarding trip, and your eyes hurt so much afterward? Perhaps you are not protecting your eyes right. Wearing eyewear during water sport is also important, just as you need to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays using sunscreen.

Wearing sports eyewear with UV protection reduces the likelihood of developing headaches due to eyestrain, and it helps prevent dry eyes and sunburn on the eyes. Do you know that when you’re on the water, UV rays are intensified by reflection? This is why surfers, paddle boarders, and other water surface sports hobbyists are at risk for cataracts and other eye conditions.

Standup paddleboarders and surfers suffer high risks of pterygium, which is also known as surfer’s eye. It’s a condition wherein a standup paddleboarder experiences itchiness, inflammation, irritation, and redness of the eyes. For some patients, they experience vision problems that need surgery. Surfers who spend a lot of time in the water will start to feel the irritation in one or both eyes, and lubricating eye drops will help soothe inflammation.

To prevent developing eye conditions, you have to protect your eyes first. Here are some tips you can follow:

Where to Buy
airSUP Bucket Hat for Stand Up Paddle Surf & Sun Protection
FCS Wetbucket Surfing Hat
Dakine Surf Cap
Dragon The Jam Owen Wright Frame Sunglasses
Quiksilver Mens Bruiser Polarized Sunglasses
Ray-Ban 2140 Wayfarer Sunglasses
Ray-Ban RB3025 Aviator Polarized Sunglasses


Wear a hat

It’s recommended for paddleboarders to wear wide-brimmed hats, surf hats, or surf caps to protect the face, eyes, ears, and for some, also the neck. It can keep your skin and eyes safe from the UV rays. Here are some great hats you can wear for paddle boarding:

1. airSUP Bucket Hat for Stand Up Paddle Surf & Sun Protection

This is an adjustable bucket hat with a sturdy and fully-adjustable chin strap. It’s made of polyester fabric, so it can offer great sun protection and fast-drying action. The brim is semi-hard, so it can prevent the water from smashing into your face as you paddleboard. It also comes with a removable flap cover for your neck to protect against sunburn.

2. FCS Wetbucket Surfing Hat

Made from quick-dry microfiber, this surfing hat is reliable sun protection for your head and eyes. It comes with a chin strap that keeps the hat on, even in rougher conditions. Its brim is also designed to shed water after a duck dive. It stays on the head

3. Dakine Surf Cap

Perhaps you’re more of a cap wearing guy or gal. The longer brim in front helps protects the eyes better. This surf cap is perfect for you as it is designed for water use. It’s made of quick-dry nylon fabric with mesh ventilation at the ears and a chin clasp to keep it in place.

Wear sunglasses

To prevent risks for eye damage caused by prolonged exposure to the sun, you have to wear sunglasses with UV protection. Since you are paddleboarding, regular sunglasses with UV protection can work well. Sometimes, you just need headbands and leashes to prevent it from getting away from your eyes.

Here are some of the best sunglasses you can wear for standup paddleboarding:

4. Dragon’ The Jam’ Owen Wright Frame Sunglasses

These vintage-looking sunglasses feature 100% UV-blocking polycarbonate lenses that are sure to protect your eyes. It is made of polycarbonate lenses and stainless steel hinges. It stays afloat in the water. What’s great about these sunglasses is comes in different frame designs and colors.

5. Quiksilver Men’s Bruiser Polarized Sunglasses

“Bruiser” by Quiksilver will never run out of style. These polarized sunglasses will be enough to protect your eyes from the harsh rays of the sun. It has a Grilamid injected frame designed for active living, and its polarized lenses have a distortion-free and shatter-resistant polycarbonate design.

6. Ray-Ban 2140 Wayfarer Sunglasses

Ray-Ban is one of the most famous sunglasses brands in the world. The “Wayfarer” is one of the brand’s most iconic sunglasses that has a timeless and functional style. It’s a pair of polarized sunglasses that absorb 85% of visible light and blocks out most of the blue light. This makes a better clarity of vision and a more natural view. It reduces the brightness of shiny surfaces and large bodies of water. It’s perfect for reducing your eye strain. These eyeglasses are even prescription-ready if you have vision problems.

7. Ray-Ban RB3025 Aviator Polarized Sunglasses

Way back before the Wayfarer was invented, the “Aviator” sunglasses from Ray-Ban took the world by storm when it was released in 1937. It was fashionable then and still fashionable until now. These pair of sunglasses are highly functional and come with polarized lenses that improve clarity and reduces glare and eyestrain. The lenses are scratch-resistant and can provide 100% UV protection. It’s available in a variety of metal frame and lens colors to choose from.

Use goggles with anti-fog ventilation

Where to Buy
Spex Amphibian Eyewear with Polarized All-Weather Lenses
Platinum Sun Watersports Sea Polarized Kitesurfing Sunglasses
Ocean Tierra del Fuego Surf and Sports Polarized Sunglasses


Your sunglasses will get wet, so anti-fog is a must. Nothing is worse than losing sight of what you are doing because your glasses are getting all steamy. If you want a more secure substitute for sunglasses, then you can opt for goggles designed for surface water sports, such as surfing, paddleboarding, bodyboarding, and kite surfing. Your swim goggles can work too if it has polarized, anti-fog lenses.

If you wear vision-correcting contact lenses, wearing goggles is a better choice. This way, you don’t have to worry about saltwater getting sprayed into your eyes. Plus, a pair of goggles that also work as shades can help prevent your eyes from getting burned by the sun, which can be twice as harsh for contact lens wearers.

Here are some of the best anti-fog goggles:

1. Spex Amphibian Eyewear with Polarized All-Weather Lenses

Spex Amphibian Eyewear is a great anti-fog goggle for standup paddleboarding, surfing, snowboarding, water skiing, and other water and land sports. It comes with replaceable and interchangeable polarized lenses available in five lens tints. The lens is made with patented anti-fog technology. It also has an adjustable strap to keep your eyewear in place.

2. Platinum Sun Watersports Sea Polarized Kitesurfing Sunglasses

This high-performance watersports sunglasses from Platinum Sun are made to withstand intense UV rays with its UV 400 filter. These sunglasses are made of a shiny PC frame with impact-resistant lenses that are durable and highly suitable for water sports. The lenses are polarized and can float in water. It also has slip-proof rubber tips to keep the sunglasses in place. And to provide comfort, it has built-in internal sponge lining, so you can be comfy wearing it even in extended periods of time.

3. Ocean Tierra del Fuego Surf and Sports Polarized Sunglasses

Ocean Tierra del Fuego is one of the most versatile and comfortable polarized sports sunglasses available. It’s suitable for a number of land and water sports. It has removable arms that can be switched with an elastic head strap. The included removable foam padding and the highly curved frame makes it comfortable to wear and protects the eyes from all wind and splashes of water. These have a hydrophobic coated lens that can be used while surfing.

If you have vision problems, check out prescription sunglasses for standup paddleboarding.

Protecting your eyes from UV rays while correcting vision can be tricky. Thankfully, there are many prescription eyeglasses nowadays that can be coated with a UV protection coating, so it can turn into shades (while still correcting vision) while you’re out in the sun. Here are some tips for protecting your eyes and eyeglasses while on a stand-up paddleboarding adventure