Surf Sunglasses
Everything Surfers Need to Know about
Glare
Discomfort Glare VS Disability Glare
There are two classifications of glare.  It the glare makes your eyes hurt, but you can still distinguish objects it is discomfort glare.  Discomfort glare makes differences in light intensity across the object of focus difficult to see.  Discomfort glare becomes disability glare starts when your vision is diminished.  If you are having trouble seeing the swells in the distance, it is disability glare.
How Surf Sunglasses Reduce Glare
All surf sunglasses will diminish the total light intake of the eye, helping to make the glare more bearable.    Since blue light is most easily scattered surf sunglasses with blue blockers will help more with glare reduction.  Most surf sunglasses come with polarized lenses and this is the best way to reduce glare.  However they reduce the glare so much that they can make reading the waves more difficult.
More Glare Info
For more information on glare check out Wikipedia and this articale on glare.
Glare is the primary cause of eye strain and all surfers are familiar with it.  The water is glassy and the sun is starting to set in the west behind the waves.  It would be beautiful, if you could see!  The sun is hitting you straight on and it is also reflecting off the water.  Too much light!  You can't see a damn thing.  Wish you had surf sunglasses now!
What is Glare?
Glare is the light brilliance surrounding the point of focus that makes it difficult to see.
Glare Causing Factors
  • Total Amount of Light

  • Angle of Reflected Light:  Even though there is less total light, glare is much worse towards sunset.

  • Amount of Reflected Light:  Glare has always been a hindrance in the snow, ice and surf, surfaces that reflect lots of light.

  • Amount of Blue Light Present:  High intensity visible light, like blue light, scatters more easily and causes more glare.  The sky and ocean are blue!

  • Age:  As the lens and cornea age they scatter more light, causing glare.

  • Cataract Removal:  The natural human lens is better at reducing glare than artificial lenses

Glare on water
glare on a wave face
Notice how different places on the wave reflect different amounts of glare.  The brain uses this information to calculate the steepness for different areas across the wave face.
Identical photos, one taken through a polarizing filter to reduce the glare
glare reducing surf sunglasses
Polarized surf sunglasses like these will greatly reduce glare
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