Item of discussion: Headwear a.k.a. Hats & Sunglasses
Unfortunately, the summer season is winding down with only a a few weeks left before schools are back in session. Fortunately, the regatta calendar is not completely done for the year. If you happen to enjoy fair-weather sailing without proper headwear, you might find your skin resembling the color of lobsters occasionally. Red Lobsters.
We at APS have decided to start our Opti-Must Have Apparel Guide with one of the more important tools on the water, your head...
Necessity Scale: 7 out of 10 (Highly Recommended/Not exactly mandatory)
Good news: APS makes cool hats that will fit any head (not just juniors') and stocks various styles made by
Bad News: Occasionally, your opti sailor might be faced with a tough decision I call “The optional 360” when their favorite hat gets knocked off their head into the water during a race. To lose precious time, circle, and retrieve? Or not...
APS hats for Opti-mum (lol) Performance Include: You read it right, APS has a good selection of APS branded hats prime for the picking. There's your good ole go-to ball cap styling with an adjustable strap, custom embroidered visors if you'd like some ventilation, and my personal favorite, the APSCL25, which comes in camouflage for those sailors who want to be out of sight. (Unfortunately, the camo style is a favorite to many, and they are currently back ordered. My second favorite would have to be the Flexfit black and white APS hat - APSCL27.)
Recommended Name Brand: The Musto Waterproof Performance Cap is by far one of the most comfortable hats on the market. In addition, it is completely waterproof.
•Hat clips are very effective.
•Any hat will do as long as it provides shade to your face so your nose won't blister up and peel.
•APS branded hats are comfortable on your head and good for your wallet as they typically sell for 25% less than most other Name-Brand hats.
Necessity Scale: 6 out of 10 (Put it this way, I would never go sailing without some sort of eye protection, but there’s always sailing with your eyes closed... Looking at glare off the water is basically the same as looking at the sun through a mirror.)
Good News: Gill happens to make affordable sunglasses with some designs made specifically for juniors. Not only are they polarized with lenses produced by Polaroid (who might know a thing or two about lenses), they are under $70.00! This means the glasses will actually fit an opti sailor's face/head properly, which means that gravity is not going to cause you to have to get another pair of sunglasses ever again.
Bad News: Unfortunately, sometimes opti sailors find super special ways to take their sunglasses off with out using their hands. This will oftentimes mean the sunglasses have been launched out of the boat and into the water if my experiences have taught me properly. If they don’t go in the water, they somehow end up in 10+ pieces the second they hit the deck.
Best News: Gill had all the bad news in mind, and they made their sunglasses super durable….and they FLOAT.
Personal Recommendation: Go with the Junior Seafly polarized sunglasses because they are the most reasonably priced polarized sunglasses that APS carries. They are made for juniors. They are polarized. They are affordable. They float.
Also, to cover all your bases, consider buying Croakies (not crocodiles) because they are effective, and if you prefer another option over their normal neoprene band style, check out the Terra Spec Cords.