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Surfing "long-sleeves" rashguard

A rash guard, also known as rash vest or rashie, is a type of athletic shirt made of spandex and nylon or polyester. Rash guards are used for light coverage in warm to extreme summer temperatures for several watersports including surfing, scuba diving, snorkelling, wakeboarding, body surfing, body boarding, windsurfing, and kayaking. People who are uncomfortable without a shirt will sometimes wear rash guards while swimming.

Rash guards are most often worn in surfing when the weather is too warm for a wetsuit, and to prevent wax-based chafing from sliding on and off of the surf board. The board's wax holds sand from the beach that would rub against the surfer's torsos as they paddled out to the break. Rash guards also offer some protection from the sun and slight protection against jelly fish stings and are sometimes worn under wetsuits to prevent chafing. Some rash guards offer Ultraviolet Protection Factor to protect against the rays of the sun. A rash guard helps to prevent irritation caused by rapid impact with surface water and waves as well.

Rash guards are thought to have originated in Australia, where they are commonly referred to as "rashies" or "rashys." Variations of the rash guard have made their way into many other sports including baseball, American football, water polo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Mixed Martial Arts and football.

Other important components of a rash guard include flatlock stitching, and six panel construction. Flatlock stitching creates a seam where the seam allowances lies flat to the garment instead of hanging loose from it. It is made by adjusting the overlock or the thread overedge stitch. Flatlock stitching increases the strength of the garment for intense exercise or recreational activities. Six panel construction versus the conventional 4 panel tee shirt construction enables the user increased mobility wet or dry.

The combination of products used to construct a rash guard differ slightly depending on the designer. The use of nylon and spandex create a garment that is lightweight, quick drying, flexible, durable, naturally antibacterial and water wicking.

Swim shirts

Swim shirts are relatively new to the consumer market, but are growing in popularity. They are generally more loose fitting and casually worn. Their primary purpose is to offer an alternative to sunscreen to protect the wearer's skin from the sun's UV radiation and possible skin cancer. Many swim shirts carry a UPF rating of 50+, which blocks out over 98% of the sun’s harmful rays. Swim shirts were created as an alternative to sunscreen and other forms of sun protection. Many people find that sunscreen isn’t always enough; it is often not used correctly and some have skin allergies or sensitivities to chemicals that sunscreens can contain. Although the name implies water sports, people use swim shirts for an array of activities: swimming, boating, golfing, tennis, gardening, playing in the sprinklers, water parks, beach trips, pool play, rivers and lakes, water skiing, surfing, snow skiing, sledding, skimboarding, and even in martial arts (to protect from practitioners rashes caused by the keikogi).

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