ROKA Launches Ultralight Advanced Performance Eyewear with World-Class Roster of Athletes
ROKA Sports Inc., the Austin, TX based performance multisport company, has announced the release of its new Advanced Performance for Extreme Conditions (A.P.EX) line of eyewear. The collection was designed from scratch for the athlete who requires the maximum field of view, protection, ultra-lightweight, and seamless fit and retention. The Advanced Performance collection is incredibly versatile, coming in five styles and up to ten lens tint options, so athletes can completely customize their eyewear to meet their specific needs.
The unique design of ROKA’s Advanced Performance collection is the realization 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 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,” says 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 – 25 grams, 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 rock-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 contrasts 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,” says eight-time triathlon world champion 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 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,” Visser says. “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 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,” says Martin. “When I looked into the ROKA brand, I knew they fit with my philosophy,” Martin says. “From the moment I put on the Advanced Performance eyewear, I knew ROKA had designed something truly better. The weight and fit are unlike anything else I’ve ever tried.”
Remaining true to its DNA as the top endurance sports brand in the world and its roots as the leading high-performance triathlon brand, a large number of triathletes including Ironman 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 the most advanced high-performance eyewear on the planet 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. 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.” says ROKA Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Kurt Spenser. “This incredible group of athletes all share a commitment to perform at the highest level in their respective areas and to go beyond what was previously thought possible. We work tirelessly to honour that commitment to 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 with a completely 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 the absolutely fastest training and racing days, and they’re equally as comfortable underneath a helmet as they are out on the run. The sleek and stylish TL-1 is a high-performing, twin-lens sports frame that offers versatility, security, and ultralight performance, and is sure to be an instant favourite 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 for every athlete. 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’s 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.”