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.