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About Barz Optics
Barz Optics is an Australian based family company located at Burleigh Heads in Queensland on the east coast of Australia. The Company was established in 1996 by Kevin Barr - a former surfing champion with 40 years experience in the surf, snow ski and sailboard industries. Kevin began as a retailer then progressed to Manufacturers Agent, representing companies such as; O'Neill wetsuits, Oakley eyewear, Vans shoes, Freestyle watches, Hot Buttered surf products and Creatures of Leisure accessories.
During his years in the surf industry Kevin encountered many surfers and outdoor sports enthusiasts who suffered eye problems such as pterigium (a type of cataract caused by prolonged exposure to UV rays wind, spray and salt )who expressed the desire to protect their eyes from UV rays and obtain sunglasses to withstand their sports, and into which prescription lenses could be fitted.
This desire inspired Kevin to develop the sunglass / goggle in collaboration with the optical industry and materials manufacturers from around the world to assist surfers in reducing the chance of developing pterigium and ensure maximum protection from UV rays and the elements. Originally hand made from cellulose acetate requiring 16 routing processes and three days of of tumble polishing, each pair took twelve days in production. A maximum of 200 pairs could be produced per week.
Fourteen years of design and development has culminated in the fourth generation ARFA . The frame is injection moulded using a hybrid nylon TR90 in our Currumbin factory as are five other components. The assembly is also carried out in the same facility which now has a capacity of 1200 pairs per week.
Barz have been approached by many companies in the optical industry over the last 14 years to supply or develop variations of the Arfa. These companies include include Arnette, Tommy Hilfiger, Smith Optics, H2O Optics and Bolle, but we have remained true to our vision and continue to research, develop and manufacture in Australia.
Over the last ten years Barz have expanded their products to include a wide range of unique sunglasses which contain polarised or non polarised lenses utilising many different lens material variations. Our full range is featured on this web site including our floating models, polycarbonate photochromic lenses, prescription swim goggles and the Arfa cross sport sunglass / goggle.
New products include our Melanin infused polarised sunglass lenses available in polycarbonate polarised and polycarbonate polarised photochromic and our latest floating model - the Cabo, as well as the new kids floating model the Grom.
Enjoy our products knowing your eyesight has the best protection available!
Kevin Barr - Managing Director