Don’t Get Burned

Don’t Get Burned

Skin cancer is a thing. A thing you don’t want. Quality rash guards and Technical UV tops help you avoid it — and still surf all day.

We surfers get a lot of sun. Like a lot. And while that’s great for our vibe, it means our skin takes more abuse than a haole at Pipe. In fact, one in every five Americans will develop some type of skin cancer. And since it’s a safe bet that the average surfer gets more sun than the average American, those ain’t great odds for us.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to reduce your chances of being that one in five. For instance, you could stop surfing. Okay, okay, once you stop laughing, let’s explore other options. 

Obviously, sunscreen is a must, but it has a nasty habit of rubbing off and being difficult to apply to backs. Which is why rashguards are a great way to go. But to avoid getting burned — first at the register, then in the surf — it’s vital to get a well-made, high-quality one. Many rashguards are poorly made with subpar materials. These can provide less-than-optimal UV protection and, ironically, sometimes even cause rashes.

“A low-quality rash guard will stretch out over time, with the fabric separating and becoming rough,” says Lance Varon, Xcel Design Director. “In six months, they're worse than no good.”

With lines for both men, women, kids, and toddlers, Xcel UV shirts and rashguards are available in a range of styles and advanced materials, and are the equivalent of applying up to 50 SPF sunscreen — and unlike sunscreen, they deliver the confidence that you’re covered no matter how long your sesh lasts. They also protect against nipple and rib rash, so you won’t be paying for that epic day for the next week.

“Our rashguards are technically advanced and use a tighter blended material with four-way stretch. Many inferior rashguards use a two-way stretch or a thinner material,” says Varon. Thanks to years of tech development and R&D, Xcel rash guards and UV tops block 94 to 98 percent of the sun’s harmful rays, allow freedom of movement and can be worn in and out of the surf comfortably, he adds.

So, before you get burned, let’s check out the different options in Xcel’s Technical UV protective tops and rashguards, so you can choose the best one for your ocean addiction.

Premium Stretch (RashGuard)

This line is in the style that most think of when they imagine a rashguard, a performance piece that has a UVA/UVB protection factor of 98%. Made of premium materials with four-way stretch, this rashguard will outlast and out-perform most. “This gives you excellent lightweight protection from the sun, and doesn’t stretch out like cheaper rash guards do,” says Varon. “It stays true to the body, wet or dry, and allows for top comfort and functionality in the surf.” And for all of us dad-bods out there, it also comes in a relaxed fit.

VentX (Technical Performance)

If you prefer a looser fit, and want something you can wear in the water surfing, and just as comfortably above or out of the water, the VentX line is a great choice. It has a four-way-stretch, breathable and wicking fabric weave that dries fast and keeps you cool and protected from the sun, with a UVA/UVB protection factor of 96%. “These are great for trips,” says Varon. “You’re getting a full sunscreen. You’re getting a moisture-wicking, quick-dry material. And you’re getting performance and style wet or dry.” Basically, you’re covered, in and out of the water.

ThreadX (Lifestyle Meets Wet/Dry Performance)

This is the ultimate in cross-functional benefits and comfort, says Varon. With a spun cotton traditional T-shirt feel and style, but also able to keep its shape in the surf better than your favorite Bad Religion T, the ThreadX line is technically superior sun protection and fit. “Most people who won’t wear a rashguard, will have no problem wearing a ThreadX. It has that soft, cottony feel, but with the in and out of water shape retention of the best rashguard,” says Varon. It is also antimicrobial, so say goodbye to that post-surf stink. “Like the VentX line, it’s a great travel piece,” says Varon. “You could surf all day in this, and then be at the bar a half hour later totally dry and looking like you have a normal shirt on.” And let’s face it, we all want to look as stylish at the bar as we do in the surf.

Shop Xcel UV tops for men here and for women here 

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