Tips for Stand Up Paddle Boarding with Prescription Glasses

Wearing prescription glasses can make you look smart; but if you like getting active, these glasses can be quite bothersome. A sporty person with poor eyesight always experiences inconveniences. When playing ball sports, there’s a risk of the eyeglasses getting smashed if a ball accidentally hits the face. When hiking or climbing, there’s a risk of it falling from the nose. Even when you’re just casually swimming, you have to remove the pair of glasses to protect it from the water and just deal with having blurry vision for a while. 

In the case of standup paddle boarding, wearing prescription glasses is less of a hassle since you’re standing up, but it still can get in the way of your SUP adventure. There’s always the risk of water drops or some debris landing on your glasses. In addition to being risky for your navigation, stand up paddle boarding may also cause damage to the eyepiece. 

Fortunately, there are steps we can take to make sure that our glasses remain intact while stand up paddle boarding. These tips will also help a person retain their eyesight while enjoying this sport:

woman stand up paddle boarding with yellow sunglasses

1. Get an Eyeglass Retainer

One of the greatest worries about wearing eyeglasses while engaging in water sports like kayaking, surfing and paddle boarding is losing the glasses. In some cases, the waves might yank the pair off your nose and slip it into the water. To make sure your precious eyeglasses stay in your face, whatever happens, use eyeglass retainers.

What is an eyeglass retainer?

Eyeglass retainers are gadgets that can prevent your glasses from slipping down your nose. In the same way, these retainers might be enough to prevent any water or waves from washing your glasses away. 

Some eyeglass retainers might be made of soft woven neoprene foam that you can insert to your eyeglass frames. This design would fit snugly around your head to prevent your glasses from sliding or slipping anywhere. If you experience some struggle in putting this contraption on – it’s a good sign. The fit is supposed to be snug in order to keep the glasses in place. Make sure that you choose a model that doesn’t absorb water and can float eyeglass frames up to a certain weight.

2. Bring Wiping Cloths for Your Eyeglasses

Another problem associated with SUPing in eyeglasses would be droplets that splash on your lenses, which can cause difficulty in seeing. Though you can see through them, having these droplets in your vision is hardly an ideal situation at any point. Also, if you’re paddling in saltwater, some salt can dry on the lenses and cause spots. These can further hamper your vision even after the water has evaporated. This is why you should always bring some wiping cloths for your eyeglasses. Pack these cloths in a waterproof bag and try using them the second you notice any water droplets on your glasses. 

Common eyeglass cleaners are made of microfiber cloth. The ones you choose should be of good quality and soft so that they don’t scratch the lenses. A quality microfiber cloth should effectively remove water, smudges, dirt, and fingerprints on your eyeglass lenses.

If you want a more convenient option, use cleansing wipes that are individually wrapped. Check the market for specialized lens-cleaning wipes. These can clean up dried splashes immediately as they’re pre-moistened. With a high-tech ammonia-free formula, these wipes also won’t leave scratches on your lenses.

3. Use Anti-Fogging Solutions

Sometimes, what gets in the way of SUPers with glasses is fogging. When paddle boarding in hot and humid, the increased humidity (and sometimes the sweat), can contribute to lens fogging. The good news is that this issue can be avoided by using anti-fogging solutions.

A spray lens cleaner might be the most effective and convenient option here. Before going out to go paddle boarding, spray this on your lenses, wait for several seconds, then wipe it off. The spray bottle packaging will make sure to limit any leaks, so you can easily take it on the go. If you find the perfect packaging, a solution like this could be among your essential stand up paddle boarding accessories

4. Try Wearing Contact Lenses Instead

woman inserting a contact lens into her eye

Contact lenses are a great alternative for glasses for sporty people; however, they’re certainly not for everyone. If you don’t have an issue like extra-dry eyes and you don’t scratch your eyes often, then try wearing contacts when paddle boarding. 

When using contacts during this sport, you’ll need sunglasses or goggles to protect your eyes. Splashes of water on your eyes may adhere to your contact lenses, which may cause an eye infection. Also, you need to prevent the risk of your contacts being lost in the water (though it doesn’t happen very often). If you do plan on using this option, make sure to read up on preparedness for people who wear glasses or contact lenses beforehand. 

To protect your contact lenses while also protecting your eyes from sunlight, wear a quality pair of sunglasses. A full wraparound frame will provide the most protection. You may also want to look for UVA & UVB protection while choosing a model. 

5. Opt for Prescription Goggles

A pair of prescription swimming goggles

If you’re planning on paddle boarding a lot, and you love to swim as well, it’s time to invest in at least one pair of prescription goggles. There’s no need to settle for having poor vision in the water (or risk using contact lenses that might fall off or get damaged) if you have your own prescription goggles. Getting a prescription goggle is also recommended for beginners in paddle boarding, as they are the ones most likely to fall off into the water.


Outdoor activities can be a little more challenging when your eyesight is impaired. However, this doesn’t mean that people with glasses can’t enjoy stand up paddle boarding, rock climbing, snorkeling, and a whole host of other activities. 

If you wear glasses and are planning to go stand up paddle boarding soon, this is the time to start preparing. With the right equipment on hand, you can enjoy these sports to the utmost. Try out two or three methods first—take some lens cleaning wipes with you along with some sunglasses and contact lenses. A few experiments will hopefully reveal what solution suits you best. For other outdoor activities, you may want to check out this guide to rock climbing with prescription glasses