Having a surf rash is nothing new to any surfer. Both experts to the beginners have dealt with some type of surf rash. Some of the most common are found on the neckline of your trusty wetsuit (both old and new ones alike), on your bare stomach when you decide to trunk it and/or on your underarms.
No matter where the rash is it always puts a damper on your surf session. In my experience the worst time to have a gnarly unbearable surf rash is when you are on a surf trip. You know when you’ve spent all your life savings to make it out to one of the best breaks and on day 3 you throw in the rashgaurd because it’s just not doing the trick.
I’ve been on a surf trip or two and I’ve spent a good number of surf sessions in a wetsuit or in salty and sandy water so naturally I understand how annoying a surf rash can be. Over the last decade I’ve been introduced to so called “surfer remedies” that cure your rash or make it more tolerable. Trying them out I have found some that help out and some that don’t work at all. Here are the top three I recommend trying.
3. Sunblock: This might sound kind of dumb, but when I lived in Hawaii I would always get a surf rash on my underarms from the salty water. A good friend of mine told me that rubbing some sunblock on it before going out keeps it from sticking when you paddle and allows you to surf longer with less pain. I have used this remedy several times and it does work, but not always and it’s definitely not a permanent solution. It’s more like a last resort if you are about to paddle out and sunblock is all you have.
2. Vaseline: This should be nothing new to surfers, especially those who live in cold water spots where a wetsuit is a must. Every winter, without fail, I get a nice rash on my neck from my wetsuit. Putting a little bit of Vaseline on your neck before throwing your wetsuit on will usually prolong this inevitable neck rash. It also works great under your knees and on the underarms.
1. Diaper Rash Ointment: This is the greatest and newest surf remedy I have come across and as dumb as it may sound it is a complete lifesaver. It’s almost to good to be true. Just go down to the grocery store and grab some. I recommend Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. It’s a funny name, but the best stuff around and you can get it for a couple bucks. All you do is throw it on your surf rash before bed and the next morning you’re good to go. It’s like a little miracle in a small plastic tube. Take it on your next surf trip so you’re not sitting on the boat or on shore wishing your armpits didn’t feel like they were on fire.
Hopefully these remedies will make your next surf more comfortable and rash free. Try them out and let us know what you think. Maybe even leave some remedies of your own so everyone can give them a try.