A man surfing in a red rash vest

Rash vests can be a lifesaver, and if you're considering investing in one, it's always worth finding out a little bit more about them! In this article, we'll be exploring what rash vests are and why we highly recommend them!

What Are Rash Vests Used For?

Rash vests, otherwise known as rashies or rash guards, are tops that come in various thicknesses, materials and styles. They are used for two main reasons.

The first is to protect against surf rash or abrasions on the skin that wetsuits, sand and saltwater can cause.

Secondly, rash guards are used to protect your skin from the sun. When you're out in the water for long periods, you don't get a lot of opportunities to reapply sunscreen, which can be detrimental with the constant exposure to UV rays and its refraction from the water. Rash vests provide a great alternative to sunscreen; that way, your arms, back, shoulders and neck can remain covered.

Rash vests can also help regulate your body temperature if they have a thermal liner, which can help to keep you out in the water for longer - these are called thermal rash vests

Do I Need a Rash Vest for Surfing?

You don’t necessarily need a rash vest for surfing - it often comes down to personal preference. Most good wetsuits will help you avoid developing rashes; however, if you have sensitive skin and want to ensure you're as comfortable as possible, we recommend you consider a rash vest.

A rash vest can also be helpful in the summer months if the water is warm enough not to require a full wetsuit. The rash vest can offer you some protection from the sea and sun without having to wear a wetsuit.

Depending on the type of protection you’re after, you can find rash vests in a range of materials, including nylon, neoprene and polyester, so that you can be as comfortable as possible.

The Best Shorty Wetsuit

How to Wear a Rash Vest

Rash vests are suitable for men, women and children. With O'Neill and Billabong being two of the leading rash guards for women, you can guarantee that you will be purchasing a high-quality product at a very reasonable price.

They provide excellent protection from the sun, sea, sand and saltwater, and can help to protect your skin from becoming sore or uncomfortable. They're especially worth considering for children and toddlers who will be joining you at the beach!

Rash vests are designed to be worn over swimwear and under wetsuits. When the weather gets warmer, many surfers opt for a rashie instead of a wetsuit to keep things cool.

Another thing to consider when wearing your rash vest is what colour to choose. It's always worth noting that the brighter your rash vest, the more vivid you will be amongst the waves. Or you could simply opt for a more styled rashie or even try to match it to your surfboard!

A man surfing in a white rash vest

How Tight Should a Rash Guard Fit?

Rash vests should fit a little snug; this way, you can avoid surplus material from getting in the way of your surf. They're also kept tight to keep chafing and uncomfortable rubbing at a minimum. However, you can find certain styles that are a bit looser if you're feeling a bit body-conscious.

If the rash vest is a bit too tight, you run the risk of having your movement restricted, and maybe even your circulation. In that case, you might want to consider going up a size.

Whether you love to surf or prefer other water sports, wearing a rash guard can protect your skin from the sun, retain a little warmth and prevent irritation. For more information about water sports equipment, browse through our blog or contact a member of our team today!

Check out our Most Popular Rash Vests