10 Best Rash Guards for Surfing: Your Buyer’s Guide

Many surfers liken the feeling of catching a wave to the way a bird feels gliding along the wind. Whether you’re an old pro or a newbie looking to find your water wings, when you want to catch the surf you must have the right gear. And one of the most versatile surfing essentials is the best rash guard you can find.

Rashguards are primarily designed to protect surfers’ chests from surfboard or boogie board rashes. They also provide warmth in colder water as well as protection from the sun (every rashguard provides at least some sun protection even if not specifically stated).

Some water goers choose to wear their rashguard alone or layered under their wetsuit for extra heat too. Another cool characteristic is that most rashguards come with connectors that you can attach to board shorts so they don’t ride up.

When looking for a rashguard there are a few important things to keep in mind:
1. Fit: Most rashguards are made to fit tighter/snug. Size up for a looser, yet still form-fitting look.

2. Fabric: The best selections are made from a combination of polyester or nylon with elastane which makes them breathable and quick-drying.

3. Details: Quality seams and a mock- or higher-neck are two features that denote quality and performance.

Check out our top ten best rashguard options, listed in no particular order. These crucial surf shirts will keep you protected and help you look the part.

10 Best Rash Guards for Surfing

rashguard, rash guard, surf shirt, surfing Amazon Customer Reviews
  • UPF 50+
  • Machine-washable
  • Durable
Price: $20.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
http://amzn.to/2pO4r5F Amazon Customer Reviews
  • UPF 50+
  • Quick-drying
  • Comfortable
Price: $26.43 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
rashguard, rash guard, surfing, surf shirt Amazon Customer Reviews
  • UPF 50+
  • Nice color options
  • Flattering fit
Price: $37.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Tesla rash guard Amazon Customer Reviews
  • UPF 50+
  • Four-way stretch
  • Water-shedding fabric
Price: $13.98 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
rashguard, rash guard, surfing, surf shirt Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Hybrid material
  • Machine-washable
  • Fits truer to size
Price: $47.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • UPF 50+
  • Flat-lock stitching
  • Quick-drying
Price: $21.97 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
rashguard, rash guard, surfing, surf shirt Amazon Customer Reviews
  • SPF 40
  • Higher collar
  • Flat-lock stitching
Price: $24.48 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
rashguard, rash guard, surfing, surf shirt Amazon Customer Reviews
  • UPF 30+
  • Silicone waistband
  • Money-back guarantee
Price: $54.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
rashguard, rash guard, surfing, surf shirt Amazon Customer Reviews
  • UPF 50+
  • Four-way stretch
  • Nice color options
Price: $26.09 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
rashguard, rash guard, surfing, surf shirt Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Comfortable
  • Rubberized waistband
  • Reflective for added visibility
Price: $29.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
DRSKIN Rash Guard Amazon Customer Reviews
  • UPF 50+
  • Good color options
  • Water absorption layer
Price: $12.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Kanu Surf Platinum Rashguard

    Pros:
    • UPF 50+
    • Machine-washable
    • Classic color options
    • Durable
    Cons:
    • Neckline fits a little larger than is desirable
    • Fits tighter/smaller
    • Some users felt the fabric stretched out after a few uses

    Kanu Surf specializes in beachwear essentials that combine performance and great design. Their Platinum Rashguard is an overall pleaser too.

    The fabric feels very durable and maintains its shape and look after multiple wears and washes. The material also provides for an unlimited range in the shoulders which makes paddling all the more comfortable.

  2. 2. O’Neill Wetsuits Basic Skins Crew

    Pros:
    • UPF 50+
    • Quick-dry, flat-lock stitching
    • Comfortable
    Cons:
    • Not as durable as other options
    • Sizes run a bit small
    • No boardshort loop

    An excellent choice for added insulation under a wetsuit, the O’Neill Men’s Wetsuits Basic Skins Crew also features four-way stretch for a quality fit that won’t shift or ride up when you’re in the water.

    Prime style, performance, and comfort—What else would you expect from a surfwear brand that originated on the California coast all the way back in 1952?

  3. 3. Quiksilver Performer Rashguard

    Pros:
    • UPF 50+
    • Nice color options
    • Flattering fit and fabric
    Cons:
    • Hand wash
    • Sizing runs small
    • Coloring of shirt tends to bleed after repeated use

    The Quiksilver Men’s Performer Rashguard is a standout.

    It’s not too thick and not too thin. It fits snugly, but won’t make you feel like a stuffed surf sausage.

    Plus, the style and colors are really sharp and allow you to stand out and be seen in the water, without being too obnoxious.

  4. 4. Tesla MSR Series Rash Guard

    Pros:
    • UPF 50+
    • Four-way stretch for added comfort
    • Nice color options
    Cons:
    • Tighter fit harder to get off when wet
    • Sizing runs small
    • Not as durable as other optioms

    The Tesla MSR Series Rash Guard is all superstar surf performer. It’s most exceptional feature is the four-way stretch material with water-shedding abilities for optimized swimming and surfing.

    Plus, it also has a deodorization function that helps keep the sun, sweat and sand funk out.

  5. 5. Hyperflex Wetsuits Rashguard

    Pros:
    • 50% mesh skin neoprene/50% rashguard material
    • Fits truer to size than other options
    • Machine-washable for added convenience
    Cons:
    • Special material mix feels heavier on
    • No specifically stated UPF protection
    • Some users may prefer a long-sleeve

    This short-sleeved style is the only featured one on our list. And for good reason. It offers more flexibility while still adding warmth and protection to your upper body.

    It’s also made 50% mesh skin neoprene and 50% rashguard material, a hybrid fabrication that helps wick away moisture and keeps lingering odors at bay. It also clearly feels thicker and more durable than the standard nylon of other rashguards.

  6. 6. XStream Rashguard

    Pros:
    • UPF 50+
    • Flat-lock stitching
    • Quick-drying
    Cons:
    • Only comes in one color combination
    • Sizing runs small
    • Black fabric gets hot in the sun

    The XStream Rashguard looks basic but has some nice details that elevate it beyond boring. The high neckline and sleeves are designed to provide maximum sun and rash coverage while still allowing the most comfortable ride possible.

    The understated styling looks sleek and sharp and is designed to resist saltwater and sun fading. Finally, the flat-lock, parallel stitching offers strength and durability. This one’s definitely a keeper. Short-sleeve more your speed? That style is also available for $49.97.

  7. 7. Cressi Rashguard

    Pros:
    • SPF 40
    • Nice, high collar
    • Good quality
    • Flat-lock stitching
    Cons:
    • Sizing runs small
    • Only comes in blue
    • Not as durable as other options

    Cressi is a brand rooted in a passion for the sea and performance, so they know what they’re doing when it comes to a rashguard.

    While this handsome style only comes in blue/white, it’s still mighty good looking and boasts multi-stretch fabric for the ultimate in comfort. The fit is a bit more generous around the waist too—which is a pro or a con depending on your personal preference.

  8. 8. Platinum Sun Gradient Rashguard

    Pros:
    • UPF 30+
    • Inside silicone waistband
    • 30 day money-back guarantee
    • Flat lock stitching
    Cons:
    • Only available in red color
    • Some may find silicone waistband uncomfortable
    • Not as durable as other options

    Here’s a bit of a bolder take from Platinum Sun. The sublimated printing stays vibrant after continued saltwater wear and offers a more fashion-forward style than other options.

    It’s also highly functional and comfortable, with antibacterial fabric and a special, inside silicone lined waistband that helps prevent it from riding up while you ride heavy surf.

  9. 9. Phantom Aquatics Rashguard

    Pros:
    • UPF 50+
    • Classic solid color options
    • Four-way stretch fabric also dries quickly
    • Flattering style works for women too
    Cons:
    • Sizing runs small
    • Some users found the color bled after use
    • Not as durable as other options

    While Phantom Aquatics products are designed with underwater sports in mind, their Rashguard is a winner for snagging some serious waves above too.

    Each product is also tested by divers, which explains why their Rashguard is a great pick if you’re looking for added warmth or a rashguard that performs more like a wetsuit. The four-way stretch also provides for an optimum range of motion.

  10. 10. Meister Rush Rashguard

    Pros:
    • Reflective silver lettering and logo for visibility
    • Comfortable yet durable material
    • Rubberized waistband
    Cons:
    • No UPF
    • Only three color options
    • Not as durable as other options

    While many of us primarily think of rashguards when it comes to surfing, the rise of MMA and other grappling sports has seen an uptick in demand for high-performance, quality rashguards for the more physical indoor sports circuit.

    This last option is exactly that. While it doesn’t offer UPF protection, it still ticks off many surfing-need boxes: a rubberized inner waistband to keep it in place, thick and durable material, and a form-fitting yet comfortable fit.

  11. 11. DRSKIN Compression Rash Guard

    Pros:
    • UPF 50+
    • Good color options
    • Water absorption layer for better drying
    Cons:
    • Sizing runs small
    • Thinner fabric than other options
    • Some users sa threads around the wrist area unravel after a few uses

    DRSKIN creates sportswear that is the “harmony of comfort and safety.” Their products feature an “odd ramp sewing method” that results in no overlapping of fabric and also provides strong elasticity. 

    All of these elements really shine in their rash guard. It’s quick-drying, comfortable and durable for long time use so you can stay out in the water as long as you’re in the zone. 

See Also:

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