Sailing Accessories like Hats and Sunglasses are a MUST for sailors and Opti-MUST sailors alike
With the summer season winding down and only a a few weeks left before schools are back in session we can be comforted by the thought that the regatta calendar is not completely done for the year. If you’re like me and happen to have made the mistake of enjoying summer time sailing without one of the most important Sailing Accessories (i.e. head wear) then you might have occasionally find your skin resembling the color of a lobster.
With this sometimes painful mistake in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to start our Opti-MUST Have Guide with a focus on one of the most important pieces of Opti hardware you can have on the water, yer noggin!
First step, get a HAT!
Necessity Scale: 7 out of 10 (Highly Recommended/Not exactly mandatory)
Good news: APS makes cool hats that will fit any head (not just juniors’) and stocks various styles made by Patagonia, Musto, Zhik, and Outdoor Research.
Bad News: Occasionally, your opti sailor might be faced with a tough decision I call “The optional 360” when their favorite hat gets knocked off their head into the water during a race. To lose precious time, circle, and retrieve? Or not…
Best News: We sell hat clips, too. You have a few options in that department. Have a quick brows through our Hats category to the a look.
Recommended Name Brand: The Musto Waterproof Performance Cap is by far one of the most comfortable hats on the market. In addition, it is completely waterproof.
- Hat clips are very effective.
- Any hat will do as long as it provides shade to your face so your nose won’t blister up and peel.
- APS branded hats are comfortable on your head and good for your wallet as they typically sell for 25% less than most other Name-Brand hats.
Next up SUNGLASSES
Necessity Scale: 9 out of 10 (Put it this way, I would never go sailing without some sort of eye protection, but there’s always sailing with your eyes closed… Looking at glare off the water is basically the same as looking at the sun through a mirror.)
Good News: Gill Sunglasses are an affordable choice with some designs made specifically for junior sailors. Not only are they polarized with lenses produced by Polaroid (who might know a thing or two about lenses), they are under $70.00! This means the glasses will actually fit an opti sailor’s face/head properly, which means that gravity is not going to cause you to have to get another pair of sunglasses ever again.
Bad News: Unfortunately, sometimes opti sailors find super special ways to take their sunglasses off with out using their hands. This will oftentimes mean the sunglasses have been launched out of the boat and into the water if my experiences have taught me properly. If they don’t go in the water, they somehow end up in 10+ pieces the second they hit the deck.
Best News: Gill had all the bad news in mind, and they made their sunglasses super durable….and they FLOAT.
Personal Recommendation: No matter how well your sunglasses may float, or how well they protect your eyes, your sunglasses will do you know good if that flew off your head at the last mark rounding. Cover your bases and get a pair of Croakies. They are always a good idea.