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Playing tennis can require several pieces of equipment, but one piece many players may not consider is the addition of sunglasses.
Especially for players who commonly compete on an outdoor tennis court, sunglasses work to protect a player’s eyes and help them better see the whole court without light interference.
There are a variety of sunglasses designed for tennis player’s use, including several different lens options for both indoor and outdoor court uses.
One such lens color design is the polarized sunglass lens. These lenses are often used outdoors and work to block harsh glares from light sources around the court and those caused by the sun.
But are polarized sunglasses the best option for tennis players to use or would different colored lenses be more suitable?
Benefits of wearing sunglasses when playing tennis
No matter which sunglass lenses you decide to use for your best tennis fit, it is important to wear them when playing on an outside court.
Protecting your eyes from harmful damage caused by the rays of sunlight can not only allow you to better see the entire court and follow your shots more carefully, but also limit over exposure of the light rays during long tennis matches.
Exposure to UV rays, whether the day’s weather features no clouds or a gray sky, can lead to several eye related diseases.
Some of these diseases are just minor irritations while others require more attention such as cataracts and other permanent problems to your eyesight.
It is important that no matter what lens type you select, polarized or other, that they are able to support and provide UV ray protection.
This is the real point of wearing sunglasses, not limiting the brightness of the sun.
Using sunglasses is a way to prevent this damage and lower the chance of missing a shot due to glare and spots disrupting your vision.
Wearing glasses can also allow you to better see the tennis ball on bright days, with different lens colors offering greater clarity to track the bright yellow ball.
Outdoor court environment
The surface of an outdoor tennis court is made with synthetic layers that are topped off with either asphalt or concrete.
These materials vary in their color options, but do not produce any real glare caused by the sun.
This is a big benefit to limiting sunlight exposure to players, as other sports such as fishing, often deal with sunlight glaring off surfaces.
However, softer outdoor tennis courts such as clay courts can sometimes produce a glare if the clay’s color and position of the sun are in the right spot.
The natural bright light features on outdoor courts can make it difficult to monitor the tennis ball.
This is especially true for these hard courts as they are designed to speed up the flow of the tennis match.
What are polarized sunglasses?
Polarized lenses featured in sunglasses are designed to block out any occurring glares of sunlight that are reflecting off nearby surfaces.
When it comes to blocking glare, polarized lenses are the way to go as they offer the best protection from such light annoyances.
The polarized lenses are constructed with a filter that prevents intense amounts of reflected light from disrupting your vision and hurting your eyes.
This causes a huge reduction in the amount of glare and overall discomfort that occurs when outside.
These lenses are a great option for many sports people and to those who struggle with sensitivity to light.
The filter of the lenses also works to improve the visibility of their users, decrease any eye strain that might occur and substantial squinting.
These sunglass lenses are especially encouraged for those people in their late 40s and upward who spend a great deal of their time outdoors.
This is recommended as their eyes are at greater risk for damage and disease.
A reason these sunglasses can prove to be a great option for tennis players is that their filter will enhance a specific color spectrum- yellow.
As yellow is the bright color of the average tennis ball, it can be easier to spot it even with the shades blocking out light.
Downside to polarized lens
Like all tennis sunglass lens options available to players, there are some downsides to using polarized lens sunglasses when playing tennis.
The major downside being that there is very little glare action occurring around a tennis court.
Even outdoor clay courts which can produce some glare, do not generate a large portion of glare that will distract and ruin players.
While this is a deterrent for polarized lens use, that does not mean the glasses will not provide some benefits still.
Glare may be the main focus of these lens options, but the polarized sunglasses will still work hard to protect you from regular sunlight very well.
Another downside is the darker tone of the glasses can mess with how players are able to view electronic devices.
If you need to check your phone in between matches or use some other device with a similar screen and brightness level, the glasses will distort the lighting of the device.
This will make it difficult to see the screen and may even require you to remove the sunglasses in order to fully observe the screen.
A final downside to polarized lenses is their effect on depth perception.
While this is not reported as an issue for every player, some say the glare preventing filters on the glasses can mess with a player’s depth perception.
Improper depth perception can make it difficult to monitor a shot and form precise placement of your shots.
The negative feature has also been reported to make tracking a fast-moving object, like a tennis ball, more straining to the eyes.
Again, this is not a trait noted by all tennis players, so you may not encounter these struggles if you rely on polarized lenses.
But with various lens options available to tennis players, noting each of their negative traits can help you better select the sunglass lens color for you.
Unpolarized lens options
While polarized sunglasses are a great option to limit light glare interference, they are not always the best option for players.
Many players need different options to better fit their needs, such as indoor court tennis glasses, sunglasses that affect the color of the player’s environment, and those designed to be used for darker light conditions.
Classical sunglasses, which feature traditional lenses, are a great option to those who play in a variety of light options.
These lenses feature UV ray protection and a darker tone to their color in order to limit the sunlight hitting your eyes.
For those you play strictly outside and experience many bright days, a darker lens will be more appropriate to your gaming style.
The darker a lens color you select the greater the UV ray protection offered by the sunglasses.
Gray colored lenses are made to reduce any brightness that occurs while not affecting the colors of the court and tennis ball.
Brown lenses are darker in nature and are designed to enhance the colors, specifically hue colored objects, to make visibility and clarity better.
Similarly, yellow colored lenses are used to improve the contrast of colors for indoor courts and outdoor courts in darker light settings.
Are polarized sunglasses good for tennis?
Polarized sunglasses are not a bad option for tennis players to consider using as a way to protect against UV rays and limit the amount of sunlight affecting their visibility.
Sunlight can cause squinty which can lower a player’s visibility, cause players to see spots, and even damage their eyesight in permanent ways.
While there are drawbacks to polarized sunglasses, there is nothing stopping players from trying the sunglass lens out.
They are a great ally to players often competing in sunny, outdoor courts. It is an option these tennis players should definitely consider.
Benefits of wearing polarized sunglasses include features like their ability to prevent glare.
Their specialized filter works to block glares that occur when sunlight reflects off a surface.
These surfaces include things like water, metal, and even clay tennis courts. Glare can also occur whenever a specific color is present
The lenses also block out the sunlight intense, bright light as well. Much like traditional lenses, polarized lenses will work to limit the sun ray’s effect on you.
This includes limiting its ability to distract you by lowering your visibility, causing you to see spots, and UV ray protection.
The filter used on these glasses also works to enhance the tennis ball’s yellow color so you can see it more clearly on the court.
- Reduce and block glare from the sun
- Prevent damages from exposure to UV rays
- Enhance yellow colors of the tennis ball
- Prevent distractions and interference from sunlight during tennis matches
The disadvantages of these sunglasses include their disability to function well in low light settings such as late into the evening, indoor tennis courts, and extremely cloudy days where sunlight is limited.
The polarized lenses can also cause other difficulties to players such as limiting their ability to clearly see the screens of their technology devices, like phones.
Some players have noted that the sunglasses can also affect a player’s depth perception, which can cause them to struggle with placement of their shots.
- Can sometimes cause depth perception issues which can make placement more challenging
- Difficult to see your device’s screens
- Not ideal for low light settings