Way to go! You are taking one large step toward protecting yourself from skin cancer by wearing sunscreen made for surfers. Being surfers, we naturally love being out in the elements. We crave the ocean, dream about the perfect left, and love the feeling of saltwater on our skin. We want to be out there as much as possible. However, the activities we love pose a serious risk. A study at the Southern Cross University found that us surfers are 6 times more susceptible to melanoma versus the general population. Melanoma is one of the most dangerous types of skin cancer because the cancer can expand to other parts of the body.
We need to protect our skin from sun exposure! One of the best ways to do that is by wearing surf sunscreen. Luckily, you stumbled upon TropicSport, a sunscreen company that is made by surfers for surfers. Our founder, Tony Palmer, has surfing in his blood. His father and grandfather were talented watermen and competitive surf lifeguards. Their love of surfing, diving, water skiing, and sailing all got passed down to Tony. Having surfed everywhere from the Maldives, West Papua, to Noosa Australia,Tony knows the harsh conditions of surfing first hand and created TropicSport to withstand them.
With a firsthand connection to the dangers of chemical sunscreens to our health and our planet, he set out on a mission to create the best surfing sunscreen, one that braves the sun, the wind, salt, and waves - but that is also gentle on our ocean’s ecosystems. After 5 years of trial and error testing with surf pros and scientists, the perfect surfing sunscreen was born. One made without compromise. Made for you and our planet.
But don't just take our word for it, listen to other surfers like you...
“I’m honored to be a TropicSport brand ambassador. The company and I are perfectly aligned in our commitment to protecting and preserving our oceans’ reefs and ecosystems. Their sunscreen works very well. I’ve used it surfing, in the water under intense sun for hours, one application and no sunburn. TropicSport does the job!” said Lopez.
The best sunscreen for surfing is a highly water resistant, high SPF, broad spectrum physical sunscreen. You better have a water resistant sunscreen for surfing because… you're in the water! A sunscreen that isn’t water resistant will be good as gone after you paddle out. The higher the water resistant rating the better. You won’t have to reapply as often, which means less chance you miss the perfect wave. Water resistance is broken into four categories: none, 40 minute FDA, 80 minute FDA, and Australian 240 minute. Only a few sunscreens here in the U.S. have passed the 240 minute test and TropicSport is one of them.
After finding the right water resistance level, you want to look at your SPF rating. Think you know what SPF actually means? Here’s a little quiz! Will a SPF 30 sunscreen protect you for 30 times longer than bare skin, or 30 minutes longer? If you can’t answer this question, go check out our What is SPF blog to get up to speed on the science behind these numbers! If you don’t care, keep on reading...
I highly recommend using an SPF 30-50 rated sunscreen for surfing. At these levels of protection you significantly decrease the amount of UV radiation reaching your skin. An SPF 30 sunscreen will block 97% of UVB rays and an SPF 50 will block 98%. This is much better than a big fat 0% if you weren’t wearing any. However, that remaining percent of UV radiation is still dangerous for you. Wearing sunscreen does not make you invincible to sun damage! That is why you should take other sun exposure precautions as well, like surfing when the UV index is lower and wearing tight knit clothing.
The next characteristic you need to consider when picking your sunscreen is if it is broad spectrum or not. A broad spectrum sunscreen protects your skin from both UVB and UVA rays, while a normal sunscreen only protects you from UVB rays. UVA rays are not as strong as UVB rays, but make up over 90% of UV radiation that reaches the earth. Both types of UV radiation contribute to skin cancer development and play a large part in skin aging. So, unless you want to be that golden wrinkly surfer when you're 40, I recommend you lather on broad spectrum sunscreen!
Our final piece of sunscreen pie is picking a truly physical/mineral sunscreen made without nanoparticles. This decision is not only for your safety, but for our planet as well. A mineral sunscreen is made with only mineral active ingredients. The only two active ingredients for mineral sunscreen are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide - also the only two active ingredients considered safe and effective by the FDA! If you don’t use a mineral sunscreen, chances are you are using a chemical one. Chemical sunscreens are dangerous because they contain carcinogens and endocrine disruptors that enter into your bloodstream contribute to coral bleaching. As a result, local governments around the world banned their possession, use, and distribution. The latest being Maui County of Hawaii.
As a user of the ocean, it is our responsibility to protect it. Make sure that the sunscreen you lather on keeps you safe and doesn’t destroy what you love. Choose a sunscreen that was designed for surfers and a healthy planet. Choose TropicSport.