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Introduced at the Summer Olympic Games in 1992 as a demonstration event, beach volleyball became an official Olympic sport as of 1996. Over the last two decades, it has become an increasingly popular activity around the globe—first in California and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and now in Europe as well. Whether you’re a professional beach volleyball player or just like to play with friends on weekends, sunglasses boost your overall performance and love of the game.
As you serve up the competition, comfortable and well-designed sunglasses will help you anticipate your opponent’s movement while simultaneously keeping both the sun and the elements out of your eyes.
Not only do sunglasses protect eyes from the sun’s glare and harmful UV rays; at the same time, they prevent irritation from sand and wind. Used for a variety of outdoor Olympic sports—including beach volleyball, along with rowing, soccer and tennis—sunglasses are definitely an essential accessory when it comes to keeping athletes' eyes safe and guaranteed good vision while playing. Beach volleyball sunglasses should also be lightweight, offer traction grip features to keep sunglasses secure during movement and provide anti-fogging and distortion-free lenses for the best optical clarity. Professional beach volleyball player Misty May keeps her eyes sharp with specialized protection that also keeps sand out of her eyes to prevent painful corneal scratches.
Sports-related eye injuries can range from corneal abrasions and bruises on the lids to internal eye injuries, such as retinal detachment and internal bleeding. The good news is, almost all sports-related eye injuries can be prevented using appropriate protective eyewear. Sports sunglasses usually wrap around the eyes to protect against sand and wind as well as ultraviolet radiation. In most cases, they also provide adjustable nose pieces which makes wearing them for sports-related activities comfortable. Moreover, sports sunglasses are usually lightweight and fit easily for both men and women.
Beach Volleyball Space, a blog devoted to the sport, notes that while polarized lenses do not offer better UV protection in the first place, they nevertheless improve vision in high-glare environments during outdoor activities. Wearing polarized sunglasses for beach volleyball is a wise choice being that it is so close to the ocean and the lens can reduce glare in terms of sunlight reflected from the water.
Most lenses are made of polycarbonate—a strong, shatter-proof material. For beach volleyball in particular, selecting colored lenses that provide strong contrast (think orange or yellow). The darkness of a lens is measured in terms of visible light transmission (VLT). For bright sunshine at the beach, a VLT of 8 to 17% (Category 3) is recommended. Some sunglasses styles also offer interchangeable lenses or photochromic lenses that darken or lighten according to light conditions.
Follow the lead of Olympians and wear proper protective eyewear for all sporting-related activities. Here, we rounded up a selection of polarized sunglasses with wraparound silhouettes from Blenders Eyewear—the perfect accompaniments for volleyball players.
Who says you can’t play a sport, protect your eyes, and look steezed out all at once? Check out our site for even more styles ready to be worn at your next volleyball tournament.