Sunglasses for Paddling

06 Oct

Eyres Mistral with floating strap.

Apart from a comfortable seat and foot position in the kayak, my next biggest pain in the arse is paddling eyewear. I am totally blind in one eye and can’t see properly out of the other. I wear glasses with some stupid script all day and usually have prescription sunglasses as well. The problem is that to quality prescription sunglasses cost a fortune so I try to get as many years out of them as I can. I have Wiley-X SG1s, Oakley Gascans and some Nike rubbish. All cost me a lot but so far the Wileys are the only ones to hold up. Somehow the glass (plastic) in them hasn’t scuffed away like the other two so they have been my paddling glasses. If you read my review on the Wileys you will know that their big problem is fogging. I drilled holes all through them but it doesn’t help a whole lot. I was checking out some Sea Specs and contemplating ordering online a set of prescriptions but the thought of doing my dough put me off.

Anyway, a few months ago I was doing a solar site inspection up at Lambs Valley out past Maitland for a guy called Max Guernier. During our general conversation, Max decided my glasses needed a clean and then proceeded to do just that but not before anouncing he was an eyewear geek with a shop in Wallsend and a specialization in adventure eyewear. All thoughts of solar power fell away as I had struck paydirt in a different area. Max had everything I needed.  Before leaving his farm I promised to visit his shop EyeMax in Wallsend.

True to my promise, I visited Max in his shop. First, he had me re-examined by a beautiful Vietnamese (I think) optometrist. Worth the trip for that alone. Then sorted my normal eyewear with multifocals. That’s one problem solved. A few weeks later I returned for paddling glasses and he showed me some Eyres Mistrals which are similar to Sea Specs but available and you can try them on before buying them. They are pretty cheap at $130 until you put prescription lenses in them. Max kind of makes up prices on the fly so it’s hard to know what Rx glasses cost but they were a lot. I’m used to that, though. Max also rattles off about a dozen different eyewear technologies such as hydrophobic lenses and all sorts of coatings. I said YES to all of them which is why they were so dear I suppose. He stuffed a whole bunch of anti-fog products into my pockets and sent me on my way.

The proof of the eyewear is in the paddling and I can now say that fog has been completely defeated. These are the pinnacle of adventure eyewear. The ventilation makes them clear no matter how hot you get or how hard you paddle. Water beads and rolls off leaving you with perfect vision for the whole day. These are worth every one of the considerable dollars I paid and have completely eliminated for me a source of constant discomfort. If you don’t need a script then $130 is bugger-all for good sunnies and Max loves the Klan so much he will discount them for us. Won’t you Max.

If you are not paddling with Eyres sunnies or if Max hasn’t sorted your script then you just aren’t serious. Go and see him, say you are a Klanner or paddler and he will make magic. Yes this is an ad for EyeMax but people who paddle really need to know.


Posted by on October 6, 2012 in Paddle Gear


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4 responses to “Sunglasses for Paddling

  1. PaddyThePaddler

    October 7, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Looks like a nice bit of gear. The only thing Im wondering about is the hydrophobic coatings and whatnot. Is that something that comes with the standard lenses or was that an addon with your replacement prescription lenses.

    • rjimlad

      October 7, 2012 at 9:29 am

      Not sure about the standard kit. I was offered it and took it. Makes a big difference.

  2. Shawn

    October 31, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I visited Max after hearing his add on the radio when I was laying carbon reinforcement in and around the cockpit coaming on YELDAT. Aparently he is a motorcylce riding, sport shooting, boating and helicopter flying type of optical dispenser, and for me that seemed qualification enough for understanding my spefiic needs and requirments is some glasses for sea paddling.

    Unfortunately my fat head didn’t fit the Eyres Mistrals, but after considerable discussion with Max about what I was looking for and trying on a multitude of different frames I ended up with some Wiley X “jakes” with polarised optically compensated lenses with all the coatings. And yes, they were expensive, but they are great glasses.

    I had my eyes tested as well missed the nice lady, but had a pleasent enough gentlemen who was very thorough.

    Max at EyeMAx is good. Well recommended. I also got my standard frames and lenses and my work prescription safety glasses from Max as well.

  3. vix- miss fitness life

    February 8, 2013 at 11:54 am

    thanks for your article I ordered a pair of the Eyres Mistrals and they are perfect for paddling! I could see on the water again!!


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