Since we are slowly saying goodbye to summer and getting ready for the winter sports season I thought this post may help some that are gearing up for it. I am dedicating this blog post to a family friend who is a keen snowboarder.

Ever since I have started the blog back in 2011, I have seemed to become a glasses guru amongst my friends so whenever any of them have a question, they will ask me. This family friend of ours is Stephen, he is a keen snowboarder (and has just hit 60). Yes, snowboarding is not just for kids, Stephen is the adventurous type.

Like most adults in their 50’s, it is quite normal to need glasses to help with reading things close up because the muscles in our eyes start to loosen around that age. Whenever my parents forget to take their glasses out, they are one of those people who stretch the menu out as far as they can just so they can read it. Ha!

The request

So, Stephen was desperate to get some progressive lenses made into sunglasses, but he was having some trouble dealing with opticians.  For my readers who aren’t sure what progressive lenses are, they are basically another term for Varifocal lenses.  It is where prescriptions are combined into one lens. For example, one for distance, one for intermediate and one for close up (or any combination of those).

Now, Stephen wanted a pair of good quality sunglasses that protect his eyes from the sun up on the snowy mountains.  Also, because they are for extreme sports, he wants them to have a slight wrap around and to have progressive sun lenses. It is quite a complex combination to have all that in one!

Stephen in Zeal Optics

Stephen in Zeal Optics

Zeal Optics were the Solution

His local optician told him that it is impossible to do, so he asked me if this was true.  I said that is was actually (achievable from my knowledge).

Zeal optics came straight to my mind when he asked because I saw their range back in July 2016 where I was having an in-depth chat about them with the sales director.  I got in touch and asked for help. Indeed, they were able to help. Another reason why Zeal came to my mind was that they make some really good polarised lenses.  They are the sister company to Maui Jim which in my eyes, make the most amazing sunglasses lenses.

Polarised lenses are so important when you are snowboarding because it blocks out the glare of the sun that bounces off the snow. That glare can be really damaging to our eyes so I thought Zeal will be a fantastic option.

The Zeal team were extremely helpful with helping Stephen out and I cannot thank you all enough. They had everything arranged for Stephen, and  even arranged to send him to a Zeal stockist, James Bryan Opticians in Chelmsford to get all the important eye measurements done.

With progressive lenses (especially for extreme sports) I have learned that getting all the right measurements as to where your eye sits from how high you want the graduation in the lens to sit, all matters. It is far more complicated than getting your ordinary single vision lens and without the correct measurements, Stephen will not be able to see out of his glasses.

All the measurements also need to be done while wearing the actual Zeal frame to ensure there are no errors because those measurements are specifically for that frame.  A lesson learned there for me too.

Zeal Optics

Zeal Optics

Some of you may think, well, why didn’t Stephen just wear contacts? The answer is quite simple. He does not get on with them, never has and never will. Not everyone enjoys or wants to wear contacts. That is also fact.

I wanted to share this blog post with you all because I found it very interesting and just in case any of you readers are having the same trouble. All Zeal sunglasses are available in prescription, they come with some high-quality sun lenses too and the range is pretty big, something for everyone. Check them out online and find your nearest stockist. A massive thanks once again to the Zeal Optics team and James Bryan Opticians for doing all the important measurements.

Stephen’s thoughts

Stephen also passes on his thanks you to the Zeal team and also to James Bryan Opticians. He said on his first day of snowboarding, he was really worried the progressive lens wouldn’t work out (in case of wrong measurements etc). So he carried all his glasses with him to read maps etc. He said by day 3, he was so confident with Zeal that he ditched all his other frames. He said the sun lenses were incredible, they really did block out a lot of the glare, which helps massively when the sun was so strong.

Stephen (having been a long term loyal Oakley fan), said that Zeal are one of the best sun lenses he has ever worn for snowboarding.  Zeal Optics, I think you may have a long term advocate and have shown that Oakley is not the only option for extreme sports.

The Competition

Now, Zeal has very kindly given me one sunglasses styles to give away to one lucky reader (modelled by me below). For your chance to win, simply answer one very simple question.

Was my friend Stephen a
A) Skier
B) Hiker
C) Snowboarder

Zeal Competition

Zeal Competition

How to enter

Email your answer to
Use the subject “Zeal Comp”
Please include:

  • Full Name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Which country you are from
  • and the all important answer!

One name will be picked at random. A winner will be announced on Friday, October 13th, 2017 and the competition close on Sunday 8th October 2017 at 11.59pm. You have a whole month to enter so go, go, go! The competition is restricted to UK and Europe only. Good luck!