Tennis and the Sun.
If a tennis purist could chose were to play their beloved game it would certainly be on a lush green lawn, blue skies, whispey clouds and a gentle breeze. Can you smell the freshly cut grass and the sunscreen wafting in the air? It takes me back! Tennis is an outdoor sport even if it can be played indoors.
I have written at length about the importance of tennis rackets, tennis gear and tennis footwear but have never explored eyewear for tennis players. I have yet to meet a tennis player yet who hasn’t been bothered with a high smash with the sun blinding them. Some try hats, others try visors and others sunglasses. Use casual sunglasses and the chances are they will likely fly off as you charge to the net or fall off at a key time in a point. Think about how important being able to see the ball is in the game? Its vital.
Let me introduce Hawaiian brand Maui Jim, born on the beaches of Maui on the beautiful volcanic island of Hawaii. There are loads of fantastic features with these Ho’okipa glasses which can read about and watch on their site. I am not about to list them all. But key for any tennis player will be the anti glare and polarising technology.
First impressions of the Maui Jim Ho’okipa Sunglasses
Like all product tests that we carry out, we take the product and test it on court conditions. We want to be thorough and ofcourse do the best possible review for the consumer.
Initially I really liked the protective case which houses the glasses. The case also houses the soft case too which doubles up as a cloth. It is hard, protects the glasses and will fit easily in a racket bag or hand bag depending the occasion. First impressions of these glasses are they are very finely constructed, lightweight and very stylish. The Maui Jim Ho’okipa fit pretty snugly around the face and provide amazing clarity and colour boosting lenses. Its almost as if you have put on a VR Headset such is the improvement in brightness. Even when I used these glasses driving they were great. Such an improvement in my old pair of sunglasses.
On court these glasses required no break in time whatsoever. I felt no need to have a period of adjustment to get used to these sunglasses. The nose piece allows the glasses to sit comfortably on the face. After a while I forgot they were there such was the comfort of the fit.
Play Testing with Maui Jim Ho’okipa Sunglasses.
These Maui Jim glasses performed well in our play tests. In both singles and doubles the glasses stayed put, provided protection for the eyes and didn’t fog up when things got a little warm on court. For the most part I forgot I was wearing sunglasses which allowed me to focus on the ball.
To really put these sunglasses to the test we tried to recreate some situations on court in which create problems for tennis players regardless of their level.
-The overhead smash with sun directly above?
We recreated the overhead smash with the sun directly above the court. We tried this loads of times and the glasses stayed put on my head and also prevented any glare from the suns rays. Top marks!
-Chasing the lob back from the net.
We tried this time and time again and found that we could not destabilize the glasses on the head. Whatever way we turned and twisted the glasses stayed put. We can attribute this to the nose grips and the arms of the frame which really allow the glasses to sit flush on the face.
These glasses are not just for bright sunlight. Once we tried them on a dull day they still worked well and provided good coverage and clarity. The lenses really are outstanding and somehow they make colours more vibrant and come alive.
The Maui Jim Ho’okipa is more casually designed model that are great both on and off court. The main characteristic and feature demanded by players is good vision. The clarity of the Maui Jim lenses are just great and it does help you catch sight of the ball as early as you can. The lens covers all of the eye and there were never any gaps between the lens and the ball.
The styling of such glasses is that they can also be worn casually. I wore them as driving glasses too and they proved to be the perfect foil for that low lying sun. These sunglasses are a great addition to my tennis racket bag. They are lightweight, reliable and provide superb clarity to ensure you see the fluffy yellow ball heading straight for you. You can purchase the actual model here.