Should You Consider Surfing With Goggles?

Goggles are a common wearable accessory in many water sports. You can wear them for activities like water skiing, jet skiing, snorkeling, and so on. But they aren't typically a part of surf equipment like surfboard fins, fin keys, traction pads, leg rope, etc. On the other hand, you may be thinking of wearing glasses for surfing, especially if you use prescription glasses on land.

This guide will answer your questions about whether wearing goggles or glasses is right for a surfer. You may even be able to use either one of these accessories to ride the waves!

Can You Surf with Goggles?

You can surf with goggles, but the idea of using them for surfing isn't a popular thing. Nonetheless, this accessory may be needed to properly protect your eyes from salt water that can cause dryness, redness, itching, and or a burning sensation. Beginner surfers will greatly benefit from such safety precautions during lessons.

Most surfers don't use goggles for wave-riding, but technically, it's possible. However, it may attract awkward or amused reactions from spectators or other athletes in the lineup. So be prepared to try not to feel embarrassed about the eyewear when other people are present. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and safe while wearing it.

Groms or trainers should appreciate goggles as a preventive measure that shouldn't be taken for granted. Thankfully, there are prescription goggles that you can buy to help you see better above and inside the water!

The goggles are also useful to bodysurfers whose faces are usually closer to the water and can easily get splashed. Surfers who wear contact lenses should adopt surfing goggles as an added protection against eye infection.

It's even a requirement by some regulatory organizations for contact lens users to have well-fitting goggles over their eyes when in the water or during water sports. Daily disposable lenses are recommended as well so that you can get rid of them right after you leave the water. However, you may have noticed that some athletes wear lenses without goggles and experience no problems.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Surf Goggles

Take a look at the pros and cons of wearing these specialized goggles below.

Advantages of Surf Goggles

The merits explained here will make you understand why these goggles are important to beginner surfers as well as advanced surfers. You'll see that you need them not only for protection from salt water.

  1. Safeguarding the Eyes

This should be considered as the primary reason for wearing goggles. There are many harmful things or harsh substances in the ocean that could come in contact with one's eyes. Read on to see how this accessory will shield your eyes from the sun's rays, bacteria, salt water, etc.

  1. Protection from the Sun

Our eyes can get sunburnt, just like the skin. So, it will be a good idea to wear goggles to minimize the impact of UV (ultraviolet) rays. Those with sensitive eyes will find this to be helpful.

  1. Prevention of Bacteria

Bacteria can get into the human body via the eyes. It doesn't help that the ocean isn't clean enough to not worry about such a threat.

  1. Shield against Salt Water

Salt water can dry your eyes out and cause so many discomforts as stated earlier. And if you're riding the waves without eye protection, you're more likely to get salt into your eyes than when you have surf goggles on. Although advanced or experienced surfers learn to get used to the feeling of salt water in the eyes.

  1. Reduced Splashes

Having protection on means fewer splashes on your eyes. For example, you're more likely to get water spraying on your face due to offshore wind. It would be difficult to surf at your best, with the splashes always hindering your sight and you having to wipe the water away with your hands.

  1. Ability to See Clearly Underwater

Surfing is mostly done above water. But the few times that you duck dive or bail will require your vision to be uninterrupted for smooth transitions.

Disadvantages of Surf Goggles

The following are why the use of goggles isn't popular among surfers and why you may be discouraged from using them.

  1. Possible Headaches

These accessories need to be worn tightly around your eyes. The pressure can lead to headaches after some time.

  1. Uncomfortable Pressure Around the Eyes

The tight pressure on the area around the eyes will get less and less bearable as time passes. It will also make the resultant headaches worse. Eye pressure can cause red rings to appear around the eyeballs, and there’s the potential to sustain long-term eye damage.

  1. Stigma

Remember the possible awkward and amused reactions mentioned earlier? Be ready to face negative criticisms for looking “eccentric.” Still, this demerit is for those who care about what others may think.

  1. Unclear View Above Water

The eyewear can get misty or unclear due to water droplets or moisture from splashes while surfing. This will make it difficult for you to see.

Can You Surf with Glasses?

Thankfully, you can surf with glasses, and they might just be the better option for you, given the disadvantages of goggles. Surf glasses are a more comfortable alternative. Another good thing about them is that they aren't worn to fit tightly around the eyes. Yet that means it's easier for the waves to rip them away from your face.

You can use prescription lenses with the glasses. There are also sunglasses for surfing that feature anti-glare lenses. Many makers of surf eyewear produce glasses that come with sophisticated attributes like impact resistance, elastic straps to secure them in place, etc.


Thinking of purchasing surf goggles? If so, it's advisable to ensure that they fit securely and comfortably around your eyes as well as feature adjustable straps. You could get yours with a standard prescription with the aid of an optician.

It's worth noting that there's a possibility that your goggles won't work or keep water out well due to the water pressure from the waves. You may end up spending time evacuating water from them while surfing. Lastly, the heavy waves could make you lose them in the water!

Oliver Jones

Written by Oliver Jones

I'm a dedicated surfer and writer, and my heart truly belongs to the ocean. Surfing is not just a sport but a way of life for me. I ride the waves in the water and on paper, pouring my passion into every word I write.

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