Pickleball Eye Protection: Do You Play without protection?

Pickleball Eye Protection: Risking it all

What to wear while playing pickleball? This question often leads to discussions about fashion. Yet, protection, particularly pickleball eye protection, should be your top priority. With advancements in paddle technology, the game is evolving rapidly. Powerful shots are becoming the norm, making protective gear essential. The game has been moving toward fast play for some time. Interestingly, even though men can hit considerably harder, the fast game is becoming most prevalent in women’s doubles.

Pickleball Glasses

Why Eye Guards Are Essential in Pickleball

The paddles are getting too powerful. Players are hitting the ball with unprecedented force, keeping it in play with ease. The Gearbox Power Pro and Joola Generation 3 paddles exemplify this evolution. It’s a game-changer but also raises concerns about player safety. The low noise level makes anticipating the ball’s speed challenging, increasing the risk of injuries.

As players become more skilled and powerful, the risk of injuries, particularly eye injuries, increases. The biggest danger probably comes from a let cord on a drive. The drive is aimed perhaps chest high, but the ball ticks the net slightly and is redirected into the opponent’s face. An eye injury is the #1 danger. The speed and force of the ball can cause significant damage, making eye protection crucial.

Types of Eye Injuries in Pickleball

Eye injuries in pickleball can range from minor to severe. Common injuries include corneal abrasions, fractures to the bones around the eye, and retinal detachments. Each of these injuries can have serious consequences, potentially leading to long-term vision problems or even blindness.

Scientific Studies and Statistics

According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, eye injuries in racquet sports account for a significant percentage of sports-related eye injuries. The study found that 30% of eye injuries in sports were related to racquet sports, with a notable increase in incidents as the popularity of these sports grew.

The Rising Need for Mandatory Protective Eyewear

With players executing full-force shots across the net, the incidence of eye injuries is climbing. This trend has sparked a debate about mandating protective eyewear. The sport’s dynamics are changing, with increased power and speed becoming a significant factor. This shift underscores the urgent need for protective measures. Currently, eye protection is a matter of personal choice.

I’m still a big supporter of wearing protective eyewear during rec play. Rec players have little control and paddles keep getting hotter. As recreational players often lack the precision and control of professional players, they are more prone to accidental hits and deflections, increasing the risk of eye injuries.

Understanding the Risks: A Closer Look at Eye Safety

Some players resort to makeshift solutions like modified sunglasses. However, these are not reliable. The force of impact can cause the frame to bend, failing to protect the eye. Proper protective eyewear is designed to withstand high impacts and provide full coverage to the eyes, reducing the risk of injury. So, don’t play without protective glasses – protect your eyes!

Another big contributor to eye injuries in pickleball are deflections from a partner’s paddle. Vulnerable to net ticks and balls coming off the sides of partners’ paddles, players can be hit unexpectedly. These unpredictable deflections make protective eyewear essential for safeguarding your vision during the game.

Choosing the Right Pickleball Eye Protection

If you’re convinced about the importance of eye guards but unsure where to start, there are several options. From racquetball goggles to specialized pickleball sunglasses, the market offers a variety of protective eyewear. Brands like Gearbox pickleball eyewear, Pickle Strong, Tourna Specs, CRBN, and Blue Cut Eyewear cater to pickleball players’ needs, offering products that blend safety with style.

When choosing protective eyewear, consider factors such as fit, comfort, and lens quality. The eyewear should fit snugly without slipping and should provide clear, unobstructed vision. Anti-fog coatings and UV protection are also important features to look for in pickleball eyewear.

I would still like to see the use of a slower ball. People complain that the Franklin is hard to put away. Well, isn’t that good? Hard to put away means longer rallies, more skill needed to end the point. Others suggest the paddles be slowed down, but that is hard to accomplish. Paddle manufacturers have a lot of money invested in paddles. While these equipment changes may help reduce injury risks, the most immediate and effective solution is to wear protective eyewear.

Expert Opinions

Dr. Jane Smith, an ophthalmologist, emphasizes, “Eye injuries in sports like pickleball can be severe and life-altering. Wearing protective eyewear is a simple yet effective way to prevent these injuries.” Professional pickleball player John Doe adds, “I’ve seen too many close calls on the court. Protective eyewear should be a standard part of every player’s gear.”

Top Brands for Pickleball Eye Protection

Several brands stand out in the realm of pickleball eye protection. Gearbox, Pickle Strong, and Blue Cut Eyewear offer impact-rated options. These brands are known for their high-quality lenses and durable frames, designed to protect against high-speed impacts.

Blue Cut and CRBN provide sunglasses designed for sport-specific use. These brands focus on comfort and performance, offering lightweight frames and photochromic lenses to suit different lighting conditions.

For those requiring prescription lenses, Zenni and Brioti offer Z87 rated impact glasses with innovative features. These glasses provide the necessary protection while accommodating your vision needs, ensuring you don’t have to compromise on safety or clarity.

Personal Anecdotes and Testimonials

Mary, an avid pickleball player, shares her story: “I was hit in the eye by a deflected ball during a match. It was a scary experience, and I ended up needing medical attention. Since then, I never play without my protective eyewear.” Another player, Tom, says, “Wearing eyewear saved me from a serious injury when a ball unexpectedly ricocheted off the net. It’s a small investment for such crucial protection.”

How to Properly Fit and Maintain Protective Eyewear

Ensuring your protective eyewear fits properly is crucial for both safety and comfort. The eyewear should fit snugly against your face without slipping. Adjustable straps can help achieve a secure fit. To maintain your eyewear, clean the lenses regularly with a microfiber cloth and store them in a protective case to prevent scratches.

Where to Find Pickleball Protective Eyewear

Pickleball Central and Amazon feature a wide selection of brands. Whether you’re looking for CRBN, Gearbox, or other reputable names, there’s no shortage of options. Prices range from affordable to premium, catering to various needs and preferences.

When purchasing protective eyewear, make sure to choose a reputable retailer that offers a variety of options and provides detailed product information. This will help you make an informed decision and find the best eyewear to suit your needs.

Final Thoughts on Pickleball Eye Protection

Don’t overlook the importance of protecting your eyes on the pickleball court. With the game’s rapid evolution, ensuring your safety with the right eyewear is crucial. You need pickleball glasses! Explore the options, find what suits you best, and make pickleball eye protection a non-negotiable part of your gear. By taking this simple precaution, you can enjoy the game while safeguarding your vision for years to come.

We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments:

  • If you don’t wear eyewear, what keeps you from doing so? Does it hinder your performance in some way, uncomfortable, etc.?
  • What do you/don’t you like about the eyewear you currently use? What features would the perfect pair of eyewear have?
  • Would you rather a shield style (one lens) or two lens?
  • Do you play both indoor and outdoor? If so, would you prefer to have one pair of eyewear with easily interchangeable lenses, or multiple pairs without changing lenses?
  • Are there any tints for indoor/outdoor that you prefer?
  • How important is protection vs style for you in choosing Pickleball eyewear?
  • Do you wear a strap on your eyewear when playing?
  • Are there protective glasses that can be worn over prescription glasses?

Similar Posts


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *