Lip Sunglasses contacted me a while ago and asked if I would like to test their light-weight watersport sunglasses. Personally, at first I was not convinced that this was something for me.
I have used windsurfing sunnies before and I never had good experiences due to foggy and blurred lenses, and not to mention an uncomfortable hard plastic frame. But I also was obviously not using the best watersport sunglasses out there.
Romain, before take-off
But as I often windfoil in the evening with the sunset, the low sun sometimes blurs my eyes, and makes it difficult to analyse the sea surface to spot chops and gusts. For that reason I decided to give it a try and test Lip Watersports sunglasses and make a review for you guys.
Lip Sunglasses have the reputation of being the best watersports glasses in the industry, and are in particular very popular as windsurfing shades. So after hearing this, I thought to myself why not try windfoiling with Lip sunglasses on.
I didn’t regret it, I have tried them and since then, they have become a must-have accessory each time I’m on the water. I can confirm and attest that Lip Sunglasses are the best watersports sunglasses I have ever tried, and probably the best sports watershades available on the market.
READ ALSO ABOUT WILDSUITS, THE ECO-FRIENDLY WETSUIT
Lip's sunglasses assortment
Lip Sunglasses have three models of watersports sunglasses available as we speak, the Surge, the Typhoon and the Flo. The Surge is the entry model, starting at $99, and the Typhoon is the more advanced model, starting at $218. The Flo is the new model launched in 2019.
The Flo are floating watershades, whereas the Surge and the Typhoon are watersports sunglasses with an advanced security line which makes it 100% safe to windsurf in any conditions without losing your precious sunglasses. I have tested all shades for you, and I want to share with you the biggest difference between these 3 watersports shades.
I received the Lip watershades a few days later. They arrived in a premium black cardboard box with the Lip logo on it.
The first difference between the Lip Surge, the Flo and the Lip Typhoon is visible right away. While the Typhoon comes with a large, high quality and soft EVA case with a zipper opening, the Surge and the Flo are presented in a more simple way, in a smaller box, though still looking premium.
Lip Typhoon's premium EVA case
The sunglasses were placed inside a microfiber cleaning bag and came with a clip-on safety leash and a silicone rubber necklace, which is used to retain the glasses in case you lose them in a wipe-out. There was also a small leaflet with warranties and instructions for use.
The presentation was flawless with all three pairs, and it gave me the impression of very premium products.
The real surfer sunglasses
Taking out the glasses from the pouch, I discovered super cool glasses with a real “surfer” look: large lenses, broad sides with a discreet logo.
I’ve never been to Hawaii before, but that’s the kind of sunglasses I would think every surfer dude would wear in Maui. Not too extreme, just cool. They look also very solid, and will obviously handle being used in water sports.
Time to try the sunglasses on the water
Next day it was time for the real test - out on the water for a windfoiling session. I used both the Surge and the Typhoon watershades during the same windfoil session to be able to compare both products in the same environment.
The Lip Surge and Typhoon sunglasses are not meant to float on the water. Lip have instead made the necessary to avoid losing the shades in the water. The glasses are therefore equipped with a removable safety leash, which is easy to clip on to the extremities of the glasses. The leash is easy to adjust to your head with a snap-lock.
If you are worried about losing your shades, you can even take on a rubber necklace and attach it to your safety leash, to be sure that you still have the shades attached in case they would fall off your head. Personally, I didn’t use it, as I felt that the safety leash around the head was more than enough to secure the sunglasses. I also wear a helmet above the leash, which will make it almost impossible to lose the glasses in the water, even after a heavy wipe-out.
The Lip Surge watersports sunglasses
I started my test with the Surge: First try, no issues. Perfect fit, light and comfortable.The water was cold on the day of the test, which created some fog on the lenses during the first few seconds after entering the water, but thanks to effective ventilation (small holes between the lenses and the frame on both the Surge and the Typhoon), it disappeared very quickly, so no issues. Also, for hot summer days, the holes also help in reducing heat.
I had the Surge sunglasses with VIVIDE Ice Blue lenses. These are high contrast lenses created specifically for watersports to tackle the overwhelming amount of blue hues on the water. The lenses are also polarized, which removes glare bouncing back from the surface of the water, helping to also reduce any further eye strain. The theory proved to be a fact. The contrast on the water was amazing. It was very easy to spot the gusts, the chop and the kite lines whistling around me, even with the low evening sun.
Testing the Lip Surge
I was afraid that the water drops on the lenses would be irritating, but I was surprised to see that the water just slid off the lenses and it was not an issue at all. The Lip lenses are treated with a hydrophobic and oleophobic coating, which repels water effectively from the surface of the lenses.
I rapidly understood that water shades are not just fashion accessories, even if they look cool. When you are on the water scanning the surface for gusts and chop, your eyes are the best tool you can use. Polarized water sunglasses will not only protect your eyes from UV reflecting on the water, but also enhance your vision by filtering out the reflected sunlight that bounces off the water. Not to mention there is no more glare!
All in all, the Surge sunglasses met my expectations: nice looking, comfortable to wear, and very good polarized lenses which makes them the perfect pair if sunglasses to have with you out on the water.
Safety leash system
Light and comfortable frame
Great vision with polarized lenses
Water-repellent and oleophobic coating
3 years warranty
Free 30 days product return if you don't like the purchase or it does not fit well.
The Surge lenses are not as scratch resistant as the Typhoon lenses
Lip Typhoon in action
The Lip Typhoon watersports glasses
I then put the Typhoon glasses on. They also had a perfect fit to my face and felt both light on the nose, and closer to the face than the Surge. This is probably because the frame is a bit larger and the space between the face and the glasses is tighter.
The Lip Typhoon were even more comfortable than the Surge thanks to the TPU rubber sides.
This is one key difference between the Surge and the Typhoon. The Typhoon has shock absorbing TPU rubber all the way around the frames, whereas the Surge only has TPU rubber on the nose and bridge. The process by which this TPU rubber is moulded onto the frame is called double injection, and it adds to the cost.
What this means for us is that during long sessions, and especially for instructors or watersports addicts on the water for long periods, the Typhoon remains comfortable throughout your time on the water, even though the Surge is a marginally on the lighter side.
The Typhoon worked perfectly on the water and they impressed me even more than the Surge. The vision was absolutely amazing! It’s difficult to describe, but the difference between the Surge and the Typhoon was really noticeable. I had great peripheral vision, and the low sun was not an issue at all. The colors were amazing, giving a bright orange tint to the world.
We find the same ventilation feature on the Typhoon as on the Surge, but the big difference between the two is the lenses: Lip Typhoon has Zeiss lenses, and even if the quality of the Surge’s VIVIDE Ice Blue lenses is really good, you really understand that the Zeiss lenses are on a higher level - even when you first try them on.
That being said, the Zeiss lenses are built to last longer than standard lenses and the coatings are bulletproof. No matter how much you buff them and protect them from fingerprints, smudges, and scratches, which are common on the beach these glasses are resilient.
I LOVED the Typhoon. Fantastic product with great vision, comfort and a nice look.
The retail price is currently €185 (USD 218). Quite expensive compared to other brands on the market, but as always you get what you pay for. These sunglasses give you a superior experience and last longer!
Safety leash system
Light and very comfortable frame with TPU sides
Superior vision with Zeiss polarized lenses
Water-repellent, oleophobic and scratch resistant coating
3 years warranty
Free 30 days product return if you don't like the purchase or it does not fit well.
More expensive than the Surge and many other brands
The Lip FLO watersports glasses
The Flo is the latest product in the Lip’s Sunglasses range. It is presented in a nice but simple hard-shell case and a microfiber bag.
It’s a functional but good looking watershade designed for light wind watersports. The Flo is very versatile and perfect for everyday use as well:
They are lightweight, offer a perfect fit thanks to the curved frame which contours the face perfectly and gives great peripheral vision, while the Zeiss polarized lenses offer the best vision possible. I love to use them for every kind of outdoor activity.
While you can be sure that you will never miss the Surge or the Typhoon in the water, as they are designed to never fall off, the main feature of the Flo is that they are floating if you drop them in the water. No need for safety leash! This is fantastic security for us who love to spend time on the water.
I would, however, argue that these sunglasses are ideal for light wind days, and perfect for activities such as sailing, SUP or light wind foiling.: You usually won’t get heavy wipeouts, and the sunglasses will be easy to retrieve in a calm sea, without whitecaps. For stronger wind conditions I would definitely choose the Surge or the Typhoon which I’m sure not to lose in the water.
The Flo comes in 2 different frame colors (matt black and mustard yellow), and 5 types of lenses, satisfying all needs and budget. I have to say the Pacific Blue Nylon lenses are incredibly good, and I get blown away by the clarity every time I put mine on.
Buoyant & unsinkable thanks to FLOT8 technology
Light and very comfortable frame, flexible and durable
Superior vision with Zeiss polarized lenses (also available with non-polarized lenses)
Hydrophobic, oleophobic and scratch-resistant coating
8 base curve radius lenses for excellent peripheral vision
100% UV protection
Good looking, aesthetic
3 year warranty
Cheaper than the Surge and Typhoon (from $78)
Free 30-day product return if you don't like the purchase or it does not fit well.
We would have appreciated a simple safety leash, even if the Flo is floating.
What about prescription glasses?
There is an option for prescription lenses for all Lip’s watershades and urban sunglasses. You only need to fill in your prescription details using the RX form on Lip’s website. There are options for both single vision and progressive lenses. The price for prescription glasses starts at €410.
More info about the watershades RX on Lip's website.
Ben Profitt of Windsurfing.tv is also using Lip sunglasses.
Conclusion: Lip Typhoon watershades, probably among the best polarized water sunglasses
Lip sunglasses are probably among the best polarized watersports sunglasses. The Lip watershades impressed me a lot.
They look great and are really so comfortable and enjoyable to have on when windfoiling. The quality of the product is high: they are durable and strong while at the same time, being very flexible and light-weight.
There is a real difference between the Surge and the Typhoon, and I would say that the Typhoon are definitely worth the price, especially because I know that they are more resistant to scratches and will last longer, giving an average low "cost per wear". However, if you are looking for a good but affordable pair of watersport sunglasses, the Surge or the Flo will do the job, no doubt about it.
They work well as urban sunglasses as well, no one would tell that they are specifically made for watersports, but Lip has also their own Urban collection if you prefer.
As many people like to try the glasses on to be sure that they fit well, it's great that Lip offers free product return in case you don't like your purchase. Lip is obviously confident that most of their customers are happy with their sunglasses!
Special offer for Windfoil Zone readers:
I have been using Lip Sunglasses for two years now, during my windfoiling sessions but also in more urban settings, when playing tennis or driving.
I really enjoy these sunglasses and the Typhoon in particular, and I'm sure that many watersport enthusiasts like me will enjoy this product as well. I have therefore agreed with Lip Sunglasses to make an exclusive offer for Windfoil Zone's readers:
Follow this link and use the promo code LIP4LIFE
You'll get 10% off (*) and free shipping worldwide!
(*) The coupon code applies to the Surge, Typhoon, Flo and all the Urban range, but it does not apply for the RX products (Typhoon RX and Surge RX)