Surfs Up

The popularity of surfing starting growing in the1960’s when movies like “Gidget” and “Beach Blanket Bingo” exposed the rest of the world to a sport only known to ‘locals’ who were lucky enough to live near the beach.

Surfing is popular largely because it requires no formal training, a minimum of equipment and can be enjoyed by almost anyone at any age. All you need is a surfboard, some swimming ability and a nearby beach.

What started out as ‘The Sport of Kings” and was practiced mostly by men has exploded to include women and young girls in increasing numbers. While in the 1960’s through the 1980’s it was unusual to see women in the water you can go to the beach now and see sometimes up to half of the people in the water are female.

While many men enjoy seeing women out in the lineup there are still some who refuse to share the waves with their female counterparts.

There are even surf clothing and surfboard manufacturers who cater specifically to women. Just look at Roxy Clothing and Trixie Surfboards.

Today there are many surfing accessories in use that were not available to surfers of the 1960’s such as wetsuits, leashes and rash guards.

Before the advent of wetsuits to keep them warm, many a surfer braved the frigid ocean water, especially in winter, in his bare skin. Now surfers can surf year-round, as well as in places with freezing cold water, and keep warm.

Made of neoprene rubber, a wetsuit fits tightly against the surfer’s skin. It traps a layer of water, which the body warms, then holds it against the skin, keeping the warm water inside of the suit.

More recently neoprene hoods, gloves and booties are used to cover and warm all the extremities as well.

The leash was another welcome addition to the surfing world. Basically a rubber cord that attaches from the fin area of the surfboard to the ankle, a leash keeps a surfer’s board in arm’s reach even after a wipeout so he can quickly retrieve his board without a long swim to shore.

Rash guard shirts were yet another great addition to a surfer’s arsenal. Made from a special lycra material, rash guards are made to be worn in the water and dry very quick. They are light and form fitting for comfort so they don’t get in the way of a surfer’s performance.

Rash guards protect the surfer’s body against irritating skin rashes they can get from laying on their surfboard as they paddle or rashes that can occur under their armpits when they wear a wetsuit.

Not only do they protect from skin rashes but they also offer the best UV protection you can get in the water with many providing SPF 150 protection. With the advent of rash guard shirts, surfers could say goodbye to slippery sunscreens that wash off in the water.

These few accessories have made a world of difference to surfers everywhere and made the sport of surfing more accessible and popular to the masses.

You can learn more about rash guards and see them in different styles and colors for men, women and kids at