BeachWear: Rashguard Buying Guide
Rashes from sliding or falling on sand, from rubbing against coral, or from the sand that sticks to the wax of surf and bodyboards are a common problem present in many oceanic activities. Sometimes a rash can form from too much contact with the wax itself if you have sensitive skin. The solution is the rashguard. Rashguards (sometimes called rash shirts) are outdoor shirts used in athletic activities to protect your chest and arms while surfing, body-boarding, or body surfing. Rash shirts are typically made out of spandex and nylon or polyester. These materials are naturally lightweight, quick drying, flexible, durable, naturally antibacterial, and water wicking.
Boardshorts are a great complement to rashguard shirts. They provide the wearer a bit of protection against the elements of sun, sand, coral, and wax. They are usually made of the same materials as rashguard shirts. It can be fun to mix different prints and styles of boardshorts to coordinate with the rashguard shirt. Many times the boardshorts are sold with the shirts though, so it is not hard to match.
Some important elements to look for in boy's rashguards and girl's rashguards and boardshorts are that they provide an adequate amount of UV protection. Ultra violet protection (UPF) of at least 50 is recommended for all clothes intended to be worn outside on the beach. This is especially true for children, toddlers, and babies. If greater amounts of protection are required, then you should look for Beach Swimwear like long-sleeve shirts instead to protect the arms.
The best rash guards are constructed using a triple flat lock stitches along every seam. This makes for a garment that is very strong, and it will not cause friction along the wearer's body, nor will it leave indentations in your skin. Look for a rip-stop material.
Some girls' bikinis now can be bought with a rashguard, as a three-piece purchase. This is a great way to get your daughter or little sister to practice safe skin care, since some girls can be picky about matching just so. The rashguard can be worn with the girl's bikini and double as a cover-up when walking on the beach.
The same is true for boys' rashguards. If you look at the right specialty stores, you can find boy's swimshorts alongside matching boys' rashguards.
Rash shirts come in all different styles: long-sleeve, three-quarter length, no sleeves, etc. Long-sleeved rash shirts are best for people who body surf (ride the waves without a body board) because their arms are more likely to come in contact with the sand if they ride the waves all the way to shore. They are also good for the more sun-conscious or fair-skinned individuals who like to stay in the sun under beach hats all day without reapplying sunblock every hour or so. While three-quarter length can be a happy medium for some, they can leave a funny tan line, so that is something to think about. Sleeveless rashguards are popular kids swimsuit and best for those who simply want some good protection for their chest