Sunguarding – Watersports

Sun protection guidelines for all those who enjoy outdoor recreation. The following specific tips and advice have been developed with the help of the British Water-Skiing and Wakeboarding Federation.


  1. Apply a broad-spectrum SPF30 sunscreen at least 15 minutes before activity. This is especially important when water is involved as wetness can wash away sunscreen before it’s had a chance to ‘set’.
  2. When reapplying sunscreen, do so on dry skin whenever possible.
  3. Pay special attention to your ears, nose, and any body part that will stay submerged, like feet, since UVA rays can penetrate water.
  4. Although sunscreen can be ‘water resistant’ it cannot be truly ‘waterproof’ so reapply after being in the water.
  5. Remember, sunshine reflects off surfaces, so sun exposure can be more intense near water.
  6. The sun is strongest between 11am and 3pm so, if possible, hit the water outside of these hours.
  7. When removing wetsuits, remember to apply plenty of sunscreen to newly exposed skin.
  8. Although sunscreen is effective, the more you sweat and are in water, the more sunscreen you’re washing away into the water. For this reason, consider clothing like a rash vest, guard or arm sleeves to provide sun protection even when wet.
  9. Wear a cap when on the water, or a wide-brimmed hat during breaks or whilst spectating.
  10. Be aware of the absence of shade when out on the water and make sure to take regular breaks from the sun.
  11. Whilst spectating, do so out of direct sunlight and remember to use wraparound sunglasses.
  12. Consider sunscreen without chemicals that can harm marine life.

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