The first day of summer was a couple days ago (in my corner of the multiverse, anyway), and for me this season always conjures up images of fun in the sun, not the least of which is going to the beach. I’ve lived near the beach for most of my life, and in fact the beach is still only a 30-minute drive from my home. As such, I’ve seen and interacted with many lifeguards throughout my life.
Being a lifeguard is an important job because lives are potentially on the line. Plus, visual clues are critical because lifeguards must constantly scan crowded waters to look for swimmers in trouble. So I started to think about what the ideal lifeguard sunglasses might look like, and the best ones are those that offer super-clear vision, offer maximum protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun, and have polarized lenses.
Hopefully the bit about super-clear vision is self-explanatory. Simply buying quality sunglasses and avoiding the dime-store variety will accomplish this requirement. UV protection is also relatively obvious. Lifeguards are in the sun all day long, so their sunglasses should have polycarbonate lenses that offer maximum UV protection (specifically UV400 protection, which comes standard with all of our Matrix Sunglasses and is the best protection for your eyes).
UV rays that reflect off of water are particularly damaging, and the associated glare can hinder a lifeguard’s ability to see clearly. Therefore polarized lenses are an absolute must. Polarized lenses help to diffuse the reflective light that bounces off horizontal surfaces like the ocean. They help protect your eyes from the damage of glare, and enable enhanced clarity of vision.
Additionally, it is recommended that the lenses be made of plastic instead of glass, as the latter can break if dropped from the top of the lifeguard station. The lens color should be green, grey, brown or amber, and the overall style should either be oversized or wraparound to maximize the facial coverage.
To sum it up, lifeguards should buy high quality wraparound or oversized sunglasses with polarized and polycarbonate UV protecting lenses made from plastic, with a lens color of green, grey, brown or amber. Life’s a beach, but only if you wear good sunglasses!