When I was six years old the pediatrician scanning all soon-to-be school kids told my mom that I needed corrective lenses. I am wearing glasses since then, and I like it. Never tried and never will try contact lenses. In this, a decade ago when I started my humble career in racing bikes and running Marathons, I soon needed “sports glasses”. This isn´t so easy because corrective glasses are very expensive and the variety of brands and products to choose from is not that wide.
Racebike mates suggested I check the “Evi Eye”, at tat time a brand of Adidas. Which I did. For more than 10 years I was a very satisfied and excited user of the Evil Eye pro by Adidas. I even used those glasses when I started sailing after giving up cycling and running. I mean, how many “daily use”-product can you name which last for a decade and more?
Why you need sunglasses when sailing
The sun is a pretty strong star. Their UV-rays can seriously harm and even damage your eyes too. More so on the water because the surface of the water reflects back much of the radiation, kind of doubling the negative effects of UV. Not to mention blinding and difficult visibility during sunset and early morning hours.
Also, different colored glasses to be inserted to the frame an heavily improve visibility conditions, for example in fog and mist or the above mentioned hours when the sun is setting or rising again. Another huge thing is the wind: At least for me though. My eyes instantly start to produce teardrops when sharp wind hits their surface. That is especially annoying and hindering when the wind blows from the side – which is almost 100 per cent of all the time I am sailing. So, creating a wind-free zone around the yes is something that I deem very important for sailing glasses too.
Sticking to what worked for me: Evil Eye
Since the Evil Eye pro worked perfectly fine for me, that was the first brand I was looking for when I finally decided to get a new one. After more than 10 years of constant use the frame was a bit worn down and honestly, my girlfriend said that the design was a bit dated and “too aggressive”. Well, I don´t know but it´s already in the name, Evil Eye means … that it was evil, right? Anyway, I checked the current designs and learned that the company/brand is not owned by Adidas anymore but a free and independently operating Austrian business.
I found a model on the website that I liked and after trying it on at a local optometrist (who managed to get the frame delivered within 24 hours!) and receiving a go-ahead from my beloved girlfriend, I ordered the frame. Price-wise, as I said, glasses are expensive, I ended up with a total bill of some 450 Euros, which on the other hand is quite an okay budget for a frame, high quality corrective lenses and tainted glasses. It took the company four more days to get the corrective lenses ready and here I was, happy to receive my new pair of sunglasses for sailing (and more).
Pros and cons of the lens-click-system
For the Evi Eye I went for a click-system. In this, not the tainted glasses are doing the correction, but a clip-in that is put behind the glasses. This has some advantages and disadvantages as well. First of all, having the clip doing the correction means that I can buy more tainted glasses to put on to handle different visibility-situations, like bright sunlight, fog and even blinding. Otherwise every pair of those inserts would have had to be treated, which would make the whole thing much, much more expensive.
Secondly, I fee that the whole setup is much lighter when using the clip-in system rather than having the big “outside” glasses being the corrective lenses. On the contrary, there are some downsides too. What I find most annoying is that my eyelashes are smearing up and down right over the inside of the lenses. Either I am a lucky owner of especially (beautiful) long lashes or the distance from the clip-in surface to the lashes is too short, but especially after bathing or washing myself, when the lashes have some of the face lotion residue on them too, I often have thick vertical smears from bottom to he upside of the lenses. This is just a “cosmetic” issue, but it annoys me.
Another – rather long term – negative effect of the clip-in-system could be that the lenses, when cleaned remaining clipped in, will overtime do “scratches” resembling their outline into the inside/backside of the tainted glasses. You will never “see” those when using the glasses since those scratches are masked by the corrective lenses anyway, but after 10 years the inside of my old Evil Eye had clear scratch marks. Another remarkable detail is the polarizing filter, which is excessively strong and efficient on Evil Eye: In my BMW car the Head-up-Display is completely cancelled out by the Evil Eye, which is a powerful demonstration of the efficiency of the filters. These “downsides”, I would say are negligible, the pros clearly win.
My overall verdict: Go for it!
I have my new Evil Eye in use since a few months now and since I am sadly boat-less right now I was only able to real test-sail them on a few occasions, but judging from my heavy everyday use and the few windy miles having sailed with them, they are just great! My girlfriend likes the design much better, they are also a bit lighter than the old Adidas-glasses and I am truly satisfied.
Much more since I learned that those frames and glasses are not just designed but also produced in the wonderful Austrian city of Linz, which set this brand apart from many others producing in China or other low-budget countries. So, if you look for a high class product to fit your precious eyesight, go for the Austrian Evil Eye!
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