In collaboration with Bloc Eyewear
Essential pieces of beach volleyball kit… Let’s face it, there aren’t many. We don’t exactly wear a lot-for us guys, it can be as little as a pair of shorts (Speedos if you are Italian, Brazilian or have a lot to show off); for ladies, it’s often just a bikini/sports bra and bottoms. Everyone, though, needs a good pair of sunglasses, so it’s worth getting a pair that suits exactly what you are looking for. But, with so many sunglasses out there, what are you looking for? I’m going to use three different Bloc frames to talk through all the options open to you.
Fox & Titan frames: the wraparounds
Bloc’s Fox and Titan glasses are quite similar, really, so I’ve put them into one category. They both belong firmly in the category of the classic ‘wraparound’ sports glasses, meaning that they have a curved design that sits quite closely to the face. What I also like about Bloc’s glasses in particular is the snazzy adjustable nose bridge you get with these models-you can make sure they have a nice, snug fit on the nose, which stops them jiggling up and down. There are two small differences between the two models. Number one is the width of the frames; the Titans are slightly thicker, which means they are a little weightier-not necessarily an advantage, just personal preference. The Titans also have small vents in the glasses. Great if you have big eyebrows like me, as it stops them fogging up so much, but not so good if you are sprawling around in the sand all the time, as bits of sand can just about creep through. One final plus point with both these frames is that you can get spare frames, which you can really easily swap in and out-great if you are playing in different light conditions, or if you just like to keep things fresh!
Riser frame: the wayfarers
Although most pro players do choose the wraparound style of glasses, if you are after a more all-round pair of glasses I would definitely recommend the Risers. They are the classic ‘Wayfarer style’, so are just as good for sitting and having your after-game beer as they are for diving around in. I’m normally a bit apprehensive with sunglasses in this style as they tend to fall off very easily, but these are great-the arms pull in quite closely to your head, meaning they don’t bounce or fall off at all. They’re also the cheapest of the bunch, at £35.
The New Ones: The Taylor Crabb Look
It’s the hottest look in beach volleyball right now, but it’s not for everyone. The wider frame sunglasses were originally made for cycling, but they actually have considerable advantages for beach volleyball. Because they are a little heavier, they sit well on the face, and the wider frame and lenses mean you never catch a glimpse of the frame, regardless where you look. These new Bloc glasses will be coming out in Spring 2020, and I’ve been lucky enough to try them out. So far, I really like them-they, like the Fox and Titans, come with the ability to easily change the lenses, and they are super comfortable. Pricing and the range name is still to come on these, I will let you know once they have been released!
Looking after your glasses
Now that you’ve bought a decent pair of glasses, you need to look after them. There is nothing worse than buying your glasses and not being able to see throught them within a couple of months because they are so scratched. Of course, they will eventually scratch (playing in sand makes it pretty inevitable!) However, there are a few simple steps to making them last longer:
- Get a cloth and a case, and keep them together. There’s nothing worse than wiping your glasses on your sweaty, sandy vest that you’re playing in-you’re just asking for trouble. If you keep your case and a cloth with you wherever you are playing, then you won’t need to resort to it.
- Try not to put them on your head, for two reasons. It stretches the arms of the glasses, so they won’t stay on as well. Hair is also pretty greasy-once you stick them on your head they are going to be horribly smeary the next time you need them. I tend to keep mine around my neck or in their case when I need them.
- Don’t leave them lying in your bag (or strung up on a net!). It’s tempting, once you’ve finished the game, to just chuck the glasses in the bag and head off. Just take a few seconds to put them back in their case, and they won’t have fresh scratches on them when you next come to play.
- Replace the lenses, not the glasses. It’s cheaper and means you aren’t throwing away perfectly good glasses. Save some plastic, and some money.
That’s it! Hope this has been useful. If you’ve got any more top tips that you’d like to share, please do fire away below.