For decades I have been taught that you can’t hit what you can’t see. Little did I know how true this was until I started my path in clay target shooting sports. Often times we take for granted our vision and just how vital it is to our everyday lives. Participation in shooting sports takes our eyes to a whole new level by requiring us to focus intently on a small colored disc being thrown away from us at increasing speeds and angles. In this article we will explore the various aspects of safety glasses and how they influence not only our ability to protect our eyes but also how they can potentially help us break more targets!
PROTECTING YOUR EYES ISN’T OPTIONAL
With safety being the League’s number one priority, it’s no surprise that athletes, coaches, and volunteers are all required to wear eye protection when at the range. Safety glasses are there to protect your vision from dust and debris that can occur while you’re on the line.
Eye protection is defined in the League’s Policies and Procedures as any eyewear specifically designed to protect the eyes when competing in shooting sports. So while you have no choice but to protect your vision, when it comes to choosing your protective eyewear, you have options.
FUNCTION OVER FORM
While looking stylish on the line is great, selecting safety glasses is more about functionality. Comfort and fit should be the most important factors when selecting eye protection.
Eye protection comes in a variety of styles day at the range so it’s important to select a style that’s right for you. The glasses you select should not distract or impede your vision. They should fit your face making sure that the eyes are protected at all times. Glasses that don’t fit properly can leave gaps or openings which allow for debris to enter the eye.
Do you wear prescription glasses? Are you near or far sighted? These things can certain- ly play a factor in which glasses you select. Check with your optometrist regarding safe- ty eyewear to see if you can purchase safety glasses with your prescription. Prescription polycarbonate lenses might be an option for you, as they are up to 10 times more impact-resistant than plastic or glass lenses.
Shooting glasses can be a huge complement to your game. They allow you to use a variety of lens colors, which can enhance your vision of the target in various shooting conditions and background types. Typical lens colors include clear, shadow, light blue, violet, amber, rose, and yellow. What color you choose depends on your preference and the conditions you’re shooting in.
While each shooter has their own preferences, generally yellow tinted lenses can enhance the color of the target during over- cast conditions, while purple lenses may help to enhance the target when thrown against woody backgrounds. Make sure you spend some time trying to shoot with each lens color in your kit to better under- stand how they affect your perception of the target.
SCRATCHES, STREAKS, AND SMUDGES
A few simple tips for protecting and enhancing your vision can be the difference between a perfect round and just another day at the range. There’s nothing worse than rocking a new set of high-end shooting glasses only to throw them on and find out there’s a big scratch in the lens.
Maintain your eyeglasses with the right cleaning solutions and with clean, soft, lint-free cleaning cloths. Also be sure to store your shooting glasses in a protective case when not in use. Your glasses should be wiped down prior to each event ensuring you have the optimal view of each target.