UPF Paddle Boarding Clothing
Paddleboarding is a water surface sport where the swimmers paddle with their arms while lying or kneeling over a paddle-board. Advanced paddleboarders do it in a stand-up position. Paddleboard is done in ocean water, to ride waves and sea currents.
Water Sports and UV Skin Cancer Threats
There are four main threats for paddleboarders:
1. Most of those who do paddleboard begin their first strides at young age. Children’s skin is more vulnerable to UV, the skin is thinner and more UV penetrate it.
2. This sport takes hours to practice. Meaning paddlers are in the water for hours training, surfing, paddling and swimming. Being hours in the water during summer means hours of direct sun light and UV radiation. There are no shaded areas in the sea, even the resting between waves is done lying over the board floating under deadly UV rays for hours.
3. Water reflect UV radiation. The amount of UV the skin is exposed to when in the water is nearly +25% more than outside. The water reflect UV light like a mirror reflects light. This means that except from the solar UV from the sun, there are sideway UV from the sea water.
4. Sun protection creams efficiency drop drastically in water. Most SPF creams protect only from short UVB rays and not from the more dangerous UVA (longer ray UV). On top of this, most of the SPF creams wash off or absorb in the skin, reducing it’s protection level nearly to zero. Even the FDA has published warnings sunblock cream manufacturers to change the labeling because they actually can not stand behind their claims for UV protection.
Here is more information on skin cancer risks from the THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION OF DERMATOLOGISTS:
Anyone can develop a skin cancer, and this risk increases with time. However some people are more likely to do so than others; they include those who have:
- Fair skin that burns easily
- Light coloured eyes: blue, grey or hazel
- Naturally blonde or red hair
- Numerous freckles
- Outdoor work and/or -intense sun exposure in the past
- Frequent use artificial sun lamps and sunbeds.
- Have suffered from sunburn
Sun Proof Clothing For Paddleboarder Swimmers
Basic recommendation to reduce UV exposure are to stay away from mid day sun radiation. Training at morning until 10:00 or after 16:00 is much safer because then UVB is less intense.
Applying broad spectrum sun block creams is recommended. Try looking for these which have UVA & UVB sign on them. They should also be water resistant so their protection may last longer. Apply heavily 30 minutes before exposure and then every hour.
Wearing UV protective clothes is highly recommended. These clothes block 98% of UV radiation, their protection level is at the same rate all day long (unlike creams which lose effectiveness over time).
There are several levels of protection, clothes UV protection is measured by UPF rating. This means Ultraviolet Protection Factor. Paddleboard swimmers need the highest level UV protection which is 50+.
Professional Surf UV Clothing
Some professional paddleboarders use rashguard suits which are meant for real sea surfers. The professional rashguard suits, are tight on the body. If you need one for causal sun protection get two sizes larger than your body. For paddleboarder in ocean, take the same size you are.
These have UPF 50+ rating, they are made from comfortable fabrics, and have four way stretch.
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