Rash guard : Swim, snorkel and dive with a rash guard
If you go on vacation to the sun and plan to go swimming or snorkeling, it is important to take good precautions. Many people who go to the sea to cool off or snorkel assume that a layer of sunburn is enough to protect themselves from the sun. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and they notice at the end of the day that they have been badly sunburned anyway.
There are also a number of swimmers and snorkelers who try to protect themselves from the sun with a simple t-shirt. When you lie in the water you burn as hard as when you lie on the beach… maybe even faster than when you lie on the beach. Also when you wear an ordinary t-shirt, because the sun’s radiation goes right through it.
The advice is to use a rash guard. Using a rash guard prevents burning, but can also protect you from other dangers of the sea.
What is a rash guard
What is a rash guard : A rash guard, also called a rash vest or rashie, is a shirt that is often made of spandex, nylon or polyester. These swim shirts / rashguards are specially made to be used in the water. It looks a bit like the top of a diving suit, but it is a bit thinner.
A rashguard is used for a few reasons.
Burning : Rash guards are there to prevent you from getting burnt if you lie longer in the water. A good rash guard offers a high protection against UV radiation. The harmful radiation doesn’t get through, which happens with a normal t-shirt.
Cooling down : A rash guard also prevents you from cooling down too quickly. Even when the water is colder, you will stay warm much longer than when swimming in a t-shirt or without a shirt. Divers sometimes use a rash guard as an extra layer of insulation. The rashguard is then worn under the diving suit.
Protection : A rash guard also protects you against damage to your skin due to abrasion along a rocky bottom, or when you unexpectedly come into contact with coral. There are rash guards with short and long sleeves.
Origin of rash guards
Rash guards were once specially designed for surfers. By falling down and climbing on their surfboard again, the skin of the surfers was often damaged and irritated. By wearing a good rash guard this was a thing of the past.
What is a rash guard – 2
So a rashgard is a sturdy shirt. In addition, it is water-repellent, and therefore quickly dry. The shirt is very stretchy and, if you have the right size, fits tight around your body. Because rashguards don’t absorb water, you don’t have the problem that you will swim heavier than with a normal shirt. There is often a UV filter in the rash guards, so you’re really well protected against the sun. With a normal t-shirt you can still burn… right through your shirt. So a rash guard is also handy to have with you when you’re doing a day at the beach. Especially for children playing on the beach, it offers extra good protection against the sun. Are you planning to buy a rash guard, pay attention to the protection factor against UV radiation.
In addition to a rash guard alone, it is wise, especially if you plan to swim or snorkel for a longer period of time, to buy pants made of the same material. This will prevent your legs from getting burned, or damaged against a sharper bottom.
Don’t forget your head…it’s above water most of the time. Special swimming caps with a UV resistant layer are also available for this purpose. Swimming with a swimming cap on may not be that cool, but it prevents your head from burning… especially with men with less hair.
What to pay attention to when buying a rash guard
Important when buying a rash guard, is the degree of protection from the sun. The higher the degree of protection against UV radiation, the better the rash guard is in that respect. In addition, the shirt must be sturdy and well stretchable. The shirt should be tight, so that no air bubbles can form under the shirt, making it a bit harder to swim or dive.
Also make sure the shirt has smooth seams. Flat seams prevent your rash guard from rubbing against your body, which can cause you to get sensitive spots in the long run.
Price of rashguards
Rash guards in themselves are not that expensive. You already buy a good rash guard for a few tens. In general it is true that the more expensive models last longer. If you use a rash guard once in a while, then you are already cheap. Are you going to use the rash guard more often, or are you going on a snorkeling vacation to for example Egypt, then it is advisable not to save on your rash guard.