Spending hours in the water surfing can be hard on your body in many ways, but surf rash and sunburn are two of the most common problems surfers regularly face.
A rash guard is essential to any surfer and can minimize your risk of getting sunburnt and surf rash due to the friction from the board on your skin.
Protect your skin with a rash guard!
Check out the top pick below.
The Roxy Women’s Essentials Long Sleeve Zip-up Rashguard is made with soft, stretch-resistant fabric.
The front zip closure makes this rash guard incredibly convenient and easy to put on and take off – even when it is soaking wet!
This rash guard features UPF 50 sun protection, to ensure that you’re protected from the sun all day long!
- Easy to clean – This rash guard is machine washable, making it incredibly easy to throw in the washing machine with your other swimwear.
- UV protection – UPF 50 sun protection minimizes the risk of you getting sunburnt when you’re out in the water.
- Recycled materials – This rash guard is made with sustainable polyester that is made from plastic bottles.
- One customer noted that the color of this specific women’s rash guard was slightly different from the picture.
TSLA Women’s UPF 50+ Long Sleeve Rash Guard, UV/Sun Protection Swim Shirts, Water Beach Surf Swim Top
The TSLA Women’s UPF 50+ Long Sleeve Rash Guard is designed specifically for water sports and surfing!
This rash guard is made out of durable high-density fabric that protects against rashes and abrasions.
Featuring the Ultraviolet Protection Factor of 50, this rash guard is designed to protect you from harmful UV rays even on the hottest of summer days!
- Quick dry time – The TSLA rash guard is designed to quickly dry, keeping you warm during and after your surf session.
- Durable fabric – The fabric is designed for your comfort and protection without ever sacrificing quality.
- Multiple colors – This rash guard comes in a variety of different colors to choose from so you can match your rash guard to your personality perfectly!
- One customer noted that this particular women’s rash guard ran small so they had to size up from their regular size.
The O’Neill Women’s Basic Skins Upf 50+ Long Sleeve Rash Guard is designed for durability!
The Basic Skins offers U.P.F. 50+ Ultraviolet Protection with cleanly designed graphics and minimal seam placement for rash prevention.
The form-fitting, tight long sleeve rash guard fits like a second skin to protect your skin!
- High-quality materials – This women’s rash guard is made with a comfortable yet durable 6oz polyester/spandex construction that doesn’t limit your movement when you’re in the water.
- Versatile – This rash guard is perfect for a variety of water sports including surfing, swimming, paddle sports, boating, and beach days.
- Skin cancer foundation recommended – Featuring an Ultraviolet Protection Factor of 50, the O’Neill rash guard minimizes your risk of skin damage and sunburn.
- A few customers struggled with the size guide of this women’s particular rash guard.
The Roxy Women’s Whole Hearted Long Sleeve UPF 50 Rash Guard is designed to protect your skin!
This rash guard features a stylish design with the iconic Roxy logo on the left sleeve and front.
Cleaning has never been simpler! Rinse your rash guard as you would your wetsuit with fresh water!
- Versatile – This rash guard is ideal to wear for a variety of different water sports, including swimming, surfing, kite surfing, and
- 50 UPF – You needn’t worry about how much time you’re spending in the water with this rash guard on as it minimizes your risk of getting burned.
- Multiple colors – Comes in a variety of colors with different colored branding to match your style.
- One customer noted that it was inconvenient that this rash guard is only safe to hand wash and can’t be put in the washing machine.
The O’Neill Women’s Basic Skins UPF 50+ Short Sleeve Rash Guard is designed for your protection and comfort.
This product features minimal seam placement for maximum rash protection, allowing you to surf for longer!
The form-fitting tight layer fits like a second skin, meaning your surfing ability is never hindered!
- Skin Cancer Foundation recommended product – 50+ UPF keeps you protected all day.
- Durable – This rash guard is made of a comfortable yet durable polyester/spandex construction.
- Versatile – Whether you’re swimming, surfing, or diving, this rash guard will protect you.
- A few customers noted that this specific rash guard took longer than they were expecting to arrive in the mail.
There are a few things to look out for when it comes to purchasing a rash guard, but it mainly comes down to the sun protection, the material, and its durability.
You’ll also want to make sure that you’re investing in a rash guard that is made of high-quality materials with a high UPF. UPF is what will protect your skin from the sun and is absolutely essential when you’re out surfing or are in the water for long periods of time.
Read the factors below before buying your new rash guard.
Arguably the most important factor that you’ll need to consider when purchasing a rash guard is the sun protection that it can provide.
Rash guards are also known as UV shirts because of the protection they provide our skin from the sun. Sun protection is one of the most important reasons to wear a rash guard when you’re out in the water for long periods of time.
Rash guards provide sun protection because of their specially-blended fabric that contains a sun protectant known as a UPF.
Protecting your skin from the sun is fundamental to minimize the risk of skin damage and cancer. Although a rash guard with a high UPF is absolutely essential, you should also be regularly applying sunscreen to ensure that you’re always protected.
The most effective way to protect your skin is to apply sunscreen with a high SPF around 20-30 minutes before you hit the beach to allow it to properly sink into your skin before you get into the water.
It is worth mentioning that this doesn’t just apply to sunny days. Even on cloudy days that don’t feel as hot, the sun is deceptively strong and you need to make sure that you’re protecting yourself from UV rays.
Additionally, you will need to keep applying sunscreen throughout the day as it wears off more quickly in the water. That being said, make sure that you get out in between surfing sessions to reapply sunscreen.
An important factor that you’ll need to take into consideration when purchasing a rash guard is the size. The most important thing to remember when choosing your size is that a rash guard should fit you like a second skin.
You’ll want to make sure that you are buying a rash guard that is tight but not uncomfortable. Making sure that you get a rash guard that fits properly is essential, and it’s better to size down than up if you’re between sizes.
An ill-fitting rash guard will prevent it from protecting you properly, as this can lead to chafing and the rash that the product is meant to protect you from.
The best way to protect you is if it’s tight in all the right places. A rash guard should feel tight on you but shouldn’t prohibit your movement.
It’s also important that you steer clear from unisex sizing as often as possible. Male and female bodies are shaped entirely differently and you need your rash guard to fit you perfectly for it to perform its function properly.
Having a form-fitting item in unisex sizing is optimistic at best and indicates a lack of investment in quality or thought from the manufacturer.
A women’s medium looks very different from a men’s medium and considering you need your rash guard to fit like a second skin it’s best to avoid these types of products. One size doesn’t fit all in this context.
Always make sure that you are purchasing a rash guard that is made with women’s sizes in mind. When a product is specifically made for a woman, it is much more likely to accommodate your specific body shape.
Additionally, if you’ve never tried on a rash guard in person I highly recommend that you do so in-store. Although sizes vary from brand to brand, you’ll have a much easier time figuring out your sizing if you initially try one in-store before buying it online.
That being said, always do your research and make sure that you’re buying the right size rash guard for the best protection.
Ideally, you’ll want a rash guard made out of high-quality material that isn’t going to rub your skin.
A rash guard’s primary purpose is to protect surfers from the abrasions that can be caused by sand and the waxy residue on their surfboards, so you want to make sure that you’re investing in one that is doing its job properly.
A good rash guard will be fast-drying, form-fitting, and provide UV shirt protection to protect your skin all day long.
The majority of rash guards feature flatlock stitching and are made out of lightweight, quick-drying material, allowing surfers a longer, more comfortable ride.
The seams of your rash guard should also help to prevent chafing and are designed to stop you from getting surf rashes.
That being said, the quality of the material is important in this regard as lower-quality materials tend to cause more friction when they rub against your skin. You need a soft yet durable rash guard to prevent this from happening.
A good rash guard designed to stretch and fit your body like a second skin. This snug fit is what makes rash guards a great option to put under your wetsuit for another layer of insulation during the winter, but is also what makes them lightweight in the summer. The material shouldn’t prohibit your movement when you’re in the water.
An important factor to consider is the brand of the rash guard. The easiest way to ensure that your rash guard is of good quality is to make sure that you do your research and buy your rash guard from a reputable brand.
Although you might not be someone who is passionate about branded clothing, when it comes to surfing and sports equipment, it’s definitely a worthwhile investment.
This essentially comes down to the fact that reputable surf products are made by surfers for surfers and anyone who wants to enjoy the water comfortably.
You’re much more likely to get a better product if you’re investing in a brand that specifically specializes in that particular sport, and the quality is second to none.
An important factor that you’ll need to take into account when purchasing a women’s rash guard is durability.
As a product you’re going to be using every time you go surfing, you’re ideally going to want a rash guard that can withstand frequent use and the test of time.
Read next – Do You Say Do or Go Surfing?
A good indication of whether a product is durable or not is to check the product reviews section. Here, customers can leave feedback, good or bad, that gives you a better idea of whether the product is durable or not.
Alongside this, the customer reviews section also gives you a better understanding of the brand itself. This is especially important if you’re considering buying a product from a brand that you’ve never heard of before.
Long sleeve v. short sleeve rash guard
You’ll also need to think about whether you want a long sleeve or short sleeve rash guard. This will largely depend on your preferences, however, there are pros and cons to both.
Long sleeves are great in the winter to wear for extra insulation. You can specifically get thermal rash guards that provide you with an extra millimeter (mm) of protection under your wetsuit, bringing your 4mm wetsuit to 5mm.
Additionally, they are also great for providing you with extra sun protection and means you have to worry less about getting burned than you would if you were wearing a short sleeve rash guard.
Short sleeve rash guards, on the other hand, are great during the summer. They can feel more freeing and comfortable as you have less material on your body, which can be great if it’s a super hot day.
That being said, you have less protection from the sun and will constantly need to reapply more sunscreen to ensure that you’re not getting burned.
That being said, if you have a good quality long sleeve rash guard, then your movement shouldn’t feel prohibited anyway.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should you wear anything under a rash guard?
Although you don’t have to wear anything under your rash guard, many women often choose to wear their bathing suits under their rash guard. Rash guards will not give you any chest support which is something to consider when doing any strenuous activities.
As surfing and other water sports are often high impacts, you’ll probably want to wear your bathing suit under your rash guard for maximum support.
The stretched fabric of a rash guard also has a tendency to become transparent when wet, so you’ll probably want to wear a bathing suit to ensure that you’re comfortable.
That being said, you won’t want to wear a bathing suit with lots of accessories including knots, metal rings, and decorations that can get in the way.
Although these contribute to the aesthetics of your bathing suit, they aren’t practical to wear under a tight rash guard and they can be uncomfortable and rub against the skin.
To ensure you remain as comfortable as possible in the water, make sure you opt for a plain bathing suit under your rash guard.
How should a rash guard fit?
Making sure that a rash guard fits properly is essential. An ill-fitting rash guard will prevent it from protecting you properly.
A rash guard should feel tight on you and definitely not loose. If it flaps about, it’s not going to protect you against chafing and might actually contribute to irritation when you’re out surfing.
It should be form-fitting and you should feel a small degree of compression. The garment will gently squeeze you and slightly increase the blood flow initially so it feels like you’re being hugged.
A rash guard should be as tight as it can be without being super uncomfy. If at any point that it’s irritating or restricting movement then this can be a sign that it is too tight.
As sizes vary between brands, I recommend going in-store and trying on a few rash guards before you commit to buying one.