The idea of wearing a hat while surfing may seem laughable to many people. But when you consider that the scorching hot sun has no regard for your skin, especially your face that isn’t covered with your clothing, then a surf hat might start appealing to you. The problem most people have with wearing hats for surfing is how to secure the hats. Well, this won’t be a problem with dedicated ‘surf hats’.
You probably know that the radiation from the sun isn’t your friend. They can cause sunburns or in some cases, skin cancer. Too much radiation isn’t also good for your eyes as it can cause a range of vision problems in the short or long term. Wearing shades may help but it isn’t practical for surfing. Your best bet for protection from the sun while surfing remains a surf hat.
However, not all surf hats in the market are worthy of being called surf hats. In fact, some expensive surf hats are just useless. This is why I have created this quick and easy guide to discuss what to look for in a surf hat.
What is a Surf Hat?
Surf hats, like your regular hats and caps, are headgears. These gears called surf hats or caps are more or less sunscreen. They act by serving as a shield to protect your skin from the sun- mostly your face and eyes. These gears also provide you warmth when surfing, swimming, diving, etc in the cold.
Why is a Surf Hat the Best Against the Sun?
As you would see later in this article, there are other ways by which you can protect your skin when surfing on a hot sunny day. However, surf hats are the best protection you can get against the sun.
Surf hats are the coolest- they are fancy, unlike sunscreens that you need to keep applying over and over again. Once you put on your surf hat, you are protected from radiation for the amount of time they are on.
In the past, surfers complained about losing their surf hats now and then. This is no longer the case, as many surf hats now have chin straps that help keep your hats in place. Also, there are lots of hats that float when lost in the water. You need not worry about having to replace your hats often.
Also, there are lots of surf hats that have a sort of neck gaiter. This ensures that your neck is not left out. As your face is protected, your neck gets protection. And for individuals that feel these neck flaps aren’t cool. Some of these hats have means by which they can be kept away, some have Velcro compartments while some could just be tucked in.
What Makes a Good Surf Hat?
With the knowledge of what a surf hat is, and what it is used for, the answer to this should already appear simple to you. However, not all surf hats are good enough. Some are just fancy and wouldn’t get the job done. There are even expensive fancy hats that are more or less useless. Before you can call a surf hat a good one, there are certain features that you need to look out for.
The first is its ability to guarantee sun protection on a hot sunny day. Also, it should also be able to provide warmth on cold days. A good hat should stay longer on your head. Not the one that falls off easily that will require you to keep picking them from the water and having to wear them now and then.
I think you should also choose a stylish one. I’m sure you’d like to have a fancy surf hat, yet a quality one.
What are Some Alternatives to Surf Hats
Even with all the lots of benefits that come with the use of surf hats, there are still some individuals that still choose to go surfing without one, even when surfing at midday.
For people with dark skin, surfing under the sun with no skin protection might not be that harmful. Studies have shown that people with dark skin are less likely to get skin cancer, thanks to the larger production of melanin by their skin which serves as protection.
This is not the case for other skin types. Hence, the need to protect the skin, especially when surfing on a hot sunny day. Here are some other means by which you can protect your skin if you choose not to use the best form of protection- surf hats.
Surf at dawn, before the sun comes up, or at dusk when the sun is already going down. This way your skin is exposed to minimal ultraviolet rays.
You could wear a surf helmet. This too should give you protection. However, hats provide you with a better shade. More so, with helmets, your neck is left unprotected.
Use of sunscreen. Reports have shown that most people fail to apply up to half of the recommended amount of sunscreen. This is to remind you that you’d need to apply lots of sunscreen on your skin when you choose to use them as your shield against UV rays.
Surf at night. At night, the sun is down- meaning you are protected. However, surging at night might not be cool. Visibility is impaired.
You could also decide to wear a nylon balaclava. This too gives less protection when compared to surf hats.
Surfing should be done at any time of the day without having to worry about your skin getting burnt by the sun, or worse, getting melanomas. What you need to take off this worry is a surf hat. This article is a guide to help you make the right choice when deciding on getting yourself a nice and quality surf hat.