Why sun protection is important when surfing ?

Right! You’re ready to set off on holiday at long last: boardshort, surf, wax, fins, and beach towel: everything’s ready to set off globetrotting to find the perfect spot, to surf THE wave of your life or just simply have a great time surfing. But have you remembered to protect yourself from the sun?
Our passion for boardsports, especially surfing, means we’re exposed to the sun for several hours a day in an intense manner. In spite of the benefits of surfing – well-being, creating endorphin, input of vitamin D…too much sun exposure can prove dangerous.


Just a few minutes’ exposure to the sun provides real benefits for our bodies, notably topping up on vitamin D. They contribute to the health of our bones and teeth, are essential for growth for children and make everybody look good.




After these few minutes of exposure, the sun can become a real problem for surfers whether they’re in the water or on the beach waiting for the ideal time to start surfing. Continued exposure can cause serious sunburn, make your skin age earlier than it would do normally and even result in skin cancer which can turn into melanoma. Did you know that skin cancer affects close on 80,000 people every year and that 80% of the harm occurs before the age of 18.

Find out more about the risks related to overexposure to the sun by clicking here!
Surf session with a blue Parlementia boardshort and neo blue long-sleeved Top 900.




The main burn factor is due to the fact that when in the fresh water, surfers don’t feel (or very little) the heat of the UVs, and so don’t expect to get sunburnt. However, once you’re out of the water, the first burns appear and can prove harmful afterwards.
It’s worth underlining that without the right sun protection, surfers can suffer from sunburn even on cloudy days.

Did you know that 90 % of UVs pass through clouds and 10 to 35 % reflect on water?!


sun protection while surfing




Firstly, even if it may seem obvious, avoid surfing in the hottest part of the day i.e. between midday and three o’clock when the heat is the most intense and dangerous for the skin. As the sun is at its highest point, you can get sunburnt in the space of a handful minutes.
If the waves are a sight to behold, it’s difficult to resist all the same…so make sure you cover yourself with waterproof sun cream every hour, wear a UV top, a cap or a hat and don’t surf for more than two hours.
Once you’re back on the beach, don’t forget that 25% of UVs reflect on the sand so it’s highly advisable to use a PARUV parasol, wear a cap, sunglasses (guide to choosing the right ones – just click here), and a tee-shirt with long sleeves if possible.
Whether you wear a UV top or a shorty throughout the day, it is recommended to put sunscreen on the areas of your body that aren’t protected: face, arms,…… and also on your calves. It’s easy to forget them, but they are particularly delicate and surfers often get sunburn there on them!


Depending on the type of skin you have, use a waterproof sun cream with the right SPF for your skin. Fair skin tends to mark more than darker skin so go for a high index (SPF between 30 and 50).
In the water and on the beach, don’t forget to put sun cream on every other hour or even once an hour. Get more details by reading our sun protection golden rules.



Romain, Sun Protection Product Manager, a short surfing session on a fish in the Hendaye sun.
For surfers who are parents of small children it’s best to choose a sun shelter such as the Iwiko to allow the kids to enjoy themselves on the beach while Dad or Mum are in the sea surfing….
You’re now ready to enjoy the summer waves! And don’t forget: protect yourself when surfing!

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