‘A.P.EX’: ROKA launches ultralight advanced performance eyewear

ROKA Sports has announced the release of its new Advanced Performance for Extreme Conditions (A.P.EX) line of eyewear. ROKA notes that the collection was ‘designed from scratch for the athlete who requires maximum field of view, protection, ultra-lightweight, and seamless fit and retention’.

The Advanced Performance collection is positioned as being versatile, coming in five styles and up to ten lens tint options, so athletes can customize their eyewear to meet their specific needs.

The unique design of ROKA’s Advanced Performance collection is the result of ‘more than two years of stealth R&D by ROKA’s eyewear division, an all-star team of designers and engineers based in Irvine, California, who were assembled specifically for this mission and were drawn from Apple, Oakley, Under Armour, and other leading brands.’

Upon formation, ROKA Co-Founders Rob Canales and Kurt Spenser challenged the team, which reportedly has over 110 years combined experience making performance eyewear, to ‘design and build the best sport optics on the planet from the inside out, with a primary focus on function in extreme conditions.’

“This is truly a breakthrough in performance eyewear,” said ROKA Co-Founder and CEO Rob Canales. “We build products for the most demanding athletes in the world, and through meticulous attention to detail and the aggregation of incremental gains, our team has delivered. While other brands are cutting performance and quality to satisfy their monopolist owners, we’ve gone all in with a truly independent line that is with uncompromising performance.”

The A.P.EX line consists of three different frame options, with multiple lens height configurations: the SL-1, SL-1x, SR-1, SR-1x, and TL-1. Weighing in at only 21-25g, every style features ultra-lightweight materials and construction without compromising durability. An adjustable titanium core offers a customized fit, and advanced materialization with ROKA’s patented GEKO technology on the nose pads and temples ensure a solid fit under the most adverse training and racing conditions.

All five styles feature premium nylon lens options by Carl Zeiss Vision that come standard with market-leading hydrophobic, oleophobic, anti-scratch, anti-fog and anti-reflectance coatings. Whether riding in the glaring sun or running through rain and snow, athletes will have multiple contrast and mirror options for the specific demands of the day.

“The moment I slipped on the ROKA sunglasses, I knew they had set a new standard in the performance eyewear market,” said eight-time triathlon world champion and ROKA sponsored athlete Javier Gómez. “There is nothing else that comes close in terms of weight, security and optics. ROKA’s technical apparel and goggles have been a secret weapon for me in multiple world championships. I’m thrilled to have that same world-beating standard for my eyewear.”

Gómez is one of more than 40 elite athletes to debut the Advanced Performance eyewear in 2018. Regardless of the arena or challenge, ROKA adds that its A.P.EX eyewear is designed for athletes seeking to redefine standards, to break barriers, and to find every advantage possible. Within a few weeks of their release, Carlos Sainz drove them to victory at the Dakar Rally in South America, and Esmee Visser took them to the top of the Olympic podium in speed skating in PyeongChang.

“I first tried ROKA sunglasses in January – about a month before the Olympics,” Esmee Visser said. “The sunglasses I used previously were good, but I always had problems with my eyes tearing up. With ROKA’s SR-1 sunglasses, I had better protection and fewer tears, and they weighed less, so it was an easy decision to use them at the Olympics.”

Advanced Performance optics have also helped pro cyclists Bryan Coquard and Magnus Cort Nielsen reach the top of the World Tour podium in 2018, out-sprinting some of the best cyclists in the world. They will also be the eyewear of choice for Dan Martin this July when he attempts to become the second Irishman ever to win the Tour de France.

“I pride myself on being innovative and finding every little advantage that I can,” said Dan Martin. “When I looked into the ROKA brand, I knew they fit with my philosophy. From the moment I put on the Advanced Performance eyewear, I knew ROKA had designed something truly better. The weight and fit is unlike anything else I’ve ever tried.”

Remaining true to its DNA as a top endurance sports brand in the world and with its roots as a leading high-performance triathlon brand, a large number of triathletes including IRONMAN athlete Linsey Corbin, the fastest American woman at the iron distance, have chosen ROKA as their eyewear partner for the hardest single-day endurance event in the world, joining Gómez and original ROKA athlete Jesse Thomas.

The mission to create advanced high-performance eyewear began with the challenge presented by ROKA’s first sponsored athlete, Jesse Thomas, who wanted to blend his classic style of retro aviators with the lightweight fit and protection of high-performance optics.

“We’re passionate about designing the most advanced high performance products on the market for athletes who seek to redefine the standard,” said ROKA Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Kurt Spenser. “We are a dedicated team of creators, designers, engineers, and athletes who share that mission. We are incredibly proud of the results thus far. Stay tuned.”

Spenser continued, “This incredible group of athletes all share a commitment to perform at the highest level in their respective arenas, and to go beyond what was previously thought possible. We work tirelessly to honour that commitment by delivering the most advanced eyewear in the world.”

Each of the five styles in the Advanced Performance collection has been optimized for specific use cases to accommodate a range of fit and function preferences. With its rimless design, the SL-1 and SL-1x provide athletes a fully unobstructed field of view and venting, even while in the extreme forward aero position under the hottest conditions. The SR-1 and SR-1x are designed for security, confidence, and speed for fast training and racing days. The sleek and stylish TL-1 is a high-performing, twin-lens sport frame that offers versatility, security, and ultralight performance, across a variety of applications.

All five styles feature ROKA’s patented GEKO pads on the nose and temples for optimal traction and comfort, as well as titanium core wires in the temples to provide a customized fit. The SL-1, SL-1x, SR-1 and SR-1x feature nine interchangeable accessory lens options, so athletes can quickly change the tint to take on the specific conditions of any ride, run or race. The polarized lens options in the TL-1 are cut for superior optics and ‘exceed all industry standards for polarization efficiency’. ROKA claims that its proprietary polarization process minimizes distortion and warpage better than any other eyewear on the market.

“When we debuted our first line of eyewear in 2016, we sought to be the first brand to blend classic optical style with high performance and comfort,” said James Oman, Vice President of Engineering. “With the Advanced Performance line, we are pushing beyond limits to create a new standard of optics, protection and versatility. It’s a bold new category of eyewear that will forever change what athletes expect from a pair of sunglasses.”



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