Lip Sunglasses Review – the Best Polarized Watersports Sunglasses?

The Verdict
Lip makes excellent watershades for any water sport you're involved in. If you have money for sunglasses in the $80-200 range, you can't go wrong.
WZ Rating
9.5
The Good
Designed for watersports, lots of thought into design
Excellent leash system
Free shipping worldwide
The Bad
On the higher end of watershades
9.5
Overall Rating
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Finding a quality pair of sunglasses to take sailing can feel like a quest for the Holy Grail. I’ve used windsurfing sunnies in the past but never had good experiences due to foggy and blurred lenses as well as uncomfortable hard plastic frames.

Being on the water without sunglasses can be unbearable at times, though. If you’ve ever gotten a headache from squinting from the glare of the sun on the water, you know what I mean!

This began my quest to find the best watersport sunglasses out there.

Not too long ago I found Lip Watersports Sunglasses and put them to the test to find out: are they worth the money?

I often windfoil in the evening. When I’m looking towards the sun without sunglasses on, it makes it difficult to analyse the sea surface to spot chops and gusts. This is the main reason I started looking for some watersport sunglasses.


LiP Surge

Sunglasses designed for watersports!
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I decided to test the Lip Watersports sunglasses because they have the reputation of being the best watersports glasses in the industry, and I’ve seen a lot of serious windsurfers and kitesurfers using them.

The short version is I didn’t regret buying them. They have become a must-have accessory each time I’m on the water. Lip Sunglasses are for sure the best watersports sunglasses I have ever tried, and probably the best sports watershades available on the market.

Here are my thoughts on why they’re so great.

Lip Sunglasses Product Lines

Lip Sunglasses have three models of watersports sunglasses available –


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  • Typhoon – “the ultimate watershade”, this is the top of the line model with high-end Zeiss lenses.
  • Surge – this is more of the entry-level watershade with much of the same benefits as the Typhoon but a cheaper lens and slightly different frame design.
  • Flo – this is a more casual watershade that looks a lot more like regular sunglasses. It doesn’t have the “FAILSAFE” leash system built into the arms, but they do still float.

The Lip Flo sunglasses are floating watershades, whereas the Lip Surge watershades and the Lip 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 watershades for you, and I want to share with you the biggest difference between these 3 watersports shades.

The Lip Typhoon comes with a large, high-quality case with a zipper opening which will easily protect your sunglasses during transport. I wouldn’t be worried about tossing this in with your other gear.

Typhoon Glasses and Case

The Surge and the Flo come with a more traditional, less exciting clam-shell style glasses case.

All of the sunglasses come with a microfiber carrying bag. The Surge and Typhon come 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.

Lip Surge Review

I couldn’t wait to get out on the water for a windfoiling session. I used both the Lip Surge and the Lip Typhoon watershades during the same windfoil session to be able to compare both products in the same environment.

The Lip Surge and Typhoon sunglasses were made to be as comfortable and performant as possible, not floatable, so they use a leash system to keep them safe.

The glasses are therefore equipped with a removable safety leash, which is easy to clip on to the back of the glasses. The leash is easy to adjust to your head with a snap-lock.

If you are worried about losing your shades, they also include a silicone necklace which you can wear and attach the leash to for ultimate security.

Personally, I didn’t feel that I needed the silicone necklace. I felt that the safety leash around the head was more than enough to secure the sunglasses. If you’re doing a lot of freestyle tricks and jumps, or doing any kind of kiting then I could see the necklace being a big benefit.

Surge On the Water

I started my test with the Lip Surge sunglasses: 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. 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.

These lenses worked perfectly for me. 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.

I was afraid that the water drops on the lenses would be block my line of sight, 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 came to the belief 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.

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.

PROS:

  • Safety leash system
  • Light and comfortable frame
  • Good ventilation
  • Great vision with polarized lenses
  • Water-repellent and oleophobic coating
  • Good looking
  • Affordable price
  • 3 years warranty
  • Free 30 days product return if you don’t like the purchase or it does not fit well.

CONS:

  • The Surge lenses are not as scratch resistant as the Typhoon lenses

Lip Typhoon Review

lip typhoon

Next up, the Typhoon glasses. They had a great fit to my face and felt both lighter on the nose and closer to the face than the Lip Surge.

The Lip Typhoon were even more comfortable than the Surge thanks to the TPU rubber sides. This is one key difference between the Lip Surge and the Lip 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 molded 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.

Typhoon on the Water

The Lip Typhoon worked perfectly on the water and they impressed me even more than the Lip Surge. The vision was absolutely amazing! It’s difficult to describe, but the difference between the Lip Surge and the Lip Typhoon was really noticeable. I had great peripheral vision, and the low sun was not an issue at all.

The Typhoon has the same ventilation feature as the Lip Surge, but the big difference between the two is the lenses: Lip Typhoon has Zeiss lenses.

Zeiss polarized 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 Lip Typhoon watershades. Fantastic product with great vision, comfort and a nice look.

The retail price is currently ~€185 ($218). Quite expensive compared to other brands on the market, but as always you get what you pay for. These watersports sunglasses give you a superior experience and last longer!

PROS:

  • Safety leash system
  • Light and very comfortable frame with TPU sides
  • Good ventilation
  • Superior vision with Zeiss polarized lenses
  • Water-repellent, oleophobic and scratch resistant coating
  • Good looking
  • 3 years warranty
  • Free 30 days product return if you don’t like the purchase or it does not fit well.

CONS:

  • More expensive than the Surge and many other brands

Lip Flo Review

The Lip Flo watershades are the latest release and aimed towards someone looking for more traditional sunglasses that can double as watershades.

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 the Surge and the Typhoon are designed to never fall off in the water due to their leash, the main feature of the Lip Flo is that they are floating if you drop them in the water. No need for safety leash!

These sunglasses are ideal for light wind days and perfect for activities such as sailing, SUP or light wind foiling. I would be leary about taking these out into rougher waters or heavy winds though. Fishing them out of waves or breaking waters won’t be so easy.

The Lip Flo sunglasses come in 2 different frame colors (matt black and mustard yellow), and 5 types of lenses which have a wide range of prices depending if you want to pay extra for the Zeiss lenses or not. 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.

PROS:

  • 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.

CONS:

  • We would have appreciated a simple safety leash, even if the Flo is floating.

There is an option for prescription lenses for all Lip 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.

The Lip sunglasses are probably among the best polarized watersports sunglasses.

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 Lip Surge and the Lip Typhoon, and I would say that the Lip 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 unless they’re really studying the arms of the frames.

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.

I have been using Lip Sunglasses for three years now, during my windfoiling sessions but also in urban settings, when playing tennis or driving.

Lip Sunglasses Coupon Code

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 with a coupon code offering 5% off on Lip sunglasses!

Click this link and use the promo code WINDFOIL-NATION

(*) The Lip sunglasses coupon code applies to the Lip Surge, Typhoon, Flo and all the Urban range, but it does not apply for the RX products (Typhoon RX and Surge RX)

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