I recently picked up a pair of Hobie polarized sunglasses at the Battle of the Paddle 2009 in California and so far so good. Prior to using these sunglasses I used Sea Specs because they are polarized, light, have a neck strap and are fairly inexpensive. I think they cost me $50 or so and I got the Hobie’s on sale for $40.
I think both sunglasses are good but I think the Hobie’s repel water better and seem to fit nicer without touching my face and getting sunscreen on the lenses. I use these in every downwind session and in some of the SUP surf sessions. I use the Hobie’s for downwinders and the Sea Specs for SUP surfing.
One thing that used to totally bug me was the fogging of the lenses until my kiteboarding friend taught me a trick. He told me to use RainX on the lenses and that will cause the water to bead right off the lens. It works like a charm. I use the RainX wipes instead because they are cheap and easy.
You just rub down the lenses with the RainX wipe and then wipe off the residue. I do this every few sessions to keep the coating and the only thing that seems to mess it up is getting oil or sunscreen on the lens. Other than that, it works great.
**Caution: You can’t use the RainX on reflective coated lenses! It will take off the reflective coating.
These Hobie polarized sunglasses already have a hydrophobic coating on the outside of the lens that so far has worked really well.
The only downfall to the Hobie’s is that they don’t have a version with a built in neck strap. That’s ok for now. I just used the one that’s been sitting in my car for the past few years.
In the future I’m going to try more sunglasses but so far these Hobie ones seem to work the best for downwinders where I’m not wiping out and getting hit by waves. That’s one of the reasons I didn’t get the glass lens version. I can’t stand to see a $100+ pair of sunglasses sink to the bottom of the ocean. So far, I’m happy with the ones I have.