Swimming with a rash guard | Lands' End

Can a rash guard be used for swimming?

If you are a surfer, odds are you have a rash guard in your wardrobe, and you may be wondering if it is appropriate to wear when you go swimming. The answer is yes — a rash guard can be used for swimming, though it may not be as comfortable as other options.

What is a rash guard?

A rash guard is a shirt made of polyester, nylon, spandex, or a combination of these materials that is often worn by surfers. It can also be referred to as a rash vest or sometimes a "rashie." The name reflects the primary use of the product, which is to protect the wearer from rashes caused by abrasions.

Rash guards are a popular choice for surfers for multiple reasons. First, a rash guard can provide users with light coverage when out in extreme temperatures. It also can protect your upper body from exposure to the sun's rays much better than a swimsuit can. Rash guards also keep your skin from rubbing up against the wax on a surfboard. Rash guards can be worn on their own or under a wetsuit.

Are rash guards only for surfers?

While rash guards are predominantly used by surfers, they are also used by other water sports enthusiasts. For instance, rash guards are often used in scuba diving, snorkeling, freediving, wakeboarding, bodysurfing, windsurfing, canoe polo, and kite surfing. You can also find lower body rash guards that can be used for these sports.

Benefits of rash guards

Rash guards are used by a number of sports enthusiasts because of the many benefits they can provide.

Protection from the cold

Water sports enthusiasts know that when the conditions are right, you need to get out there. That sometimes means going out during times when there is a bit of a chill in the air.

Rash guards are created using a very tightly woven fabric that stretches over your body to provide the proper coverage. You can buy them in varying thicknesses and sleeve lengths to achieve the right amount of insulation. When the temperatures are particularly cool, a good rash guard can provide you with extra insulation under your wetsuit. On warmer days, it can keep the chill off when the water is not as warm as you would like. The material also dries more rapidly than most clothing fabric, which allows you to get warm faster once you have left the water.

Better movement

Movement is important when participating in water sports. A rash guard not only helps you perform your sport better but also provides increased safety when in the water. If you wear bulky material, such as a regular T-shirt, you run the risk of getting caught up in the fabric or being weighed down when you go underwater. With a rash guard, you will be able to move as well as if you were shirtless.

Protection from the sun

Wearing protective clothing when out in the water is essential, as the sun's rays can be more intense than they are on land. By avoiding as much of the ultraviolet rays as you can, you will lower your risk of skin cancer on your covered areas. Many rash guards will often be labeled as providing this protection.

Protection from board wax

The original purpose of rash guards was to protect surfers from the sandy and waxy surface that is common on boards. Sand can lead to abrasive rashes, and waxy surfaces can attach to hair and cause it to be ripped out when pushing off. With a rash guard, you will be able to slide easily on your board without the risk of pain.

Are rash guards a good idea when simply swimming?

A growing number of swimmers are using rash guards as part of their beach or pool attire. They are a great way to maintain sun protection, help you stay warm on cooler days, and give you a better streamline when swimming than wearing a shirt. This will allow you to swim faster with less resistance.

The fact that rash guards dry quickly can make going from the water to the beach much more comfortable. If you are swimming in the ocean or a lake, you may also enjoy using a rash guard to protect you from algae, other plant life, and even dangerous marine wildlife like jellyfish.

Before using your rash guard in a pool setting, you should always check the pool rules to ensure that they are allowed. It is also essential to check the label on the rash guard to make sure that it is fine to use in a chlorinated environment. Otherwise, your rash guard may not hold up as well as you'd like.

While rash guards have long been a staple for surfers and water sports enthusiasts, they are also an excellent option for those who would like more coverage when swimming or spending a day at the beach. By following the manufacturer's guidelines, you can safely use a rash guard for swimming.


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