Chris Nicholson

Writer & Editor

Visual Aids

Teaching pros, and players, risk damaging their eyes in the sun. Here are tennis-specific sunglasses that can keep you seeing clearly.

Every pro knows that long days outdoors can take a serious toll on your skin. But another major organ can also suffer: your eyes. Wind and sun can cause immediate discomfort and cumulative damage, ruining a day on court. What's more, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun can lead to cataracts later in life.

To help the discerning pro, RSI lists eight new and highly regarded models of sunglasses from eyewear industry leaders. When choosing glasses, look for lenses that block UV rays and for frames that are sturdy, but light. Also consider using polarized lenses, which eliminate the glare of summer sun rising off hard courts.

Adidas - The Shield - $110 The Shield sunglasses are designed to last through many long days on court. The break-proof SPX frame, quick-release hinges and scratch-resistant lenses make for equipment that can weather everyday abuse. Additionally, the class-1 optical quality pro- vides 100-percent protection from UVA, UVB and UVC rays.

Maui Jim - Little Beach - $299 Little Beach sunglasses from Maui Jim feature a hingeless design, reducing weight and making for a snug, "hugging" fit. The frames are made almost entirely from titanium, fur-ther reducing the load and increasing their resiliency. Available in a variety lenses for eliminating glare, boosting color or increasing contrast.

Oakley - Enduring - $180 Designed specifically for women, Oakley's Enduring sunglasses provide a secure fit. The trademarked lens coating repels water, dust and skin oils, providing resistance to smudges and other visual impairments. Moreover, they're light and comfortable, and they stay on.

Rudy Project - Noyz Golf/Tennis - $175 Rudy Project designs sunglasses for precise visual clarity and eye protection in the sports environment, as demonstrated by Noyz, one of its best-selling models. The interchangeable lenses and the adjustable temple tips and nosepiece allow you to custom-fit the frames to almost any head size and shape.

BoIle - Kicker - $110 BoIle's CompetiVision lenses de-saturate every color except yellow, making tennis balls stand out against a subtly duller background—a great defense against injury in a situation where dozens of balls are flying in every direction.

Nike - Skylon Ace - $99 Nike's Skylon Ace sunglasses are designed to stay securely on your head all day, with locking "cam-action" hinges, a ventilated nose bridge and a tread pattern on the arms. Additionally, the wrap-around frame helps pro-tect your eyes from the sun, wind and other harsh weather elements.

Ray-Ban - Tech - $199 Ray-Ban's Tech line of sunglasses are built for comfort and durability, featuring a construction of carbon fiber and resin composite that allows them to be simultaneously light and strong. The arms are capped with non-slip rubber temple tips for a secure fit.

Tifosi - Tyrant - $60 The shatterproof GT lenses on Tifosi's Tyrant brighten and boost contrast, making your vision feel almost super-human. Moreover, the obstruction-free view of the open frame and the de-centered design of the lenses help optimize your visual acuity on court.

by Chris Nicholson
published in Racquet Sports Industry magazine, August 2010

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