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 45+ years experience in the surf, snow ski, jetski, sailing and sailboard industries. Kevin began as a surf, sailboard and snow ski retailer then progressed to Manufacturers Agent, representing companies such as; O’Neill wetsuits, Oakley eyewear, Vans shoes, Freestyle watches, Hot Buttered surf products, various bodyboard companies 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 ) and 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 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 hand 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. 6 years and three design developments later the frame was produced by injection moulded using a hybrid nylon TR90 in our Currumbin factory as are five other components. The assembly was also carried out in the same facility enabling a capacity of 1200 pairs per week.
Barz in their early years were approached by many companies in the optical and sports industry to supply or develop variations of the Arfa. These companies include include Arnette, Yamaha, 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 twenty five 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 materials. Our full range is featured on this web site including our floating models, photochromic lenses, prescription swim goggles and the Kiama cross sport sunglass / goggle. While Barz Optics have remained a small family company we are one of the most innovative optical companies in the world.
Enjoy our products knowing your eyesight has the best protection available!