Surfing as a sport or as a lifestyle is about as healthy as you can get. Constantly in the salt water, constantly moving, having fun and being “one with nature”.
Most of us surf everyday and a lot of surfers spend all day at the beach in the sun. As a part of that “fun in the sun” we expose ourselves to a heap of harmful sun exposure. We lay on our boards in between waves, we sunbake and let’s face it, most of us don’t have the most strict sunscreen habits.
Most countries have a recommendation to have a skin cancer check after the age of 18, however we thought as surfers and (as mentioned above) having spent so much time in the sun from such a young age we decided that from the age of 16 we would get a yearly skin cancer check.
So every year since 16 years old we have a pre-booked appointment with our local skin cancer clinic to have our skin checked and have an expert look at any suspicious looking spots or moles etc.
Last week was our turn again to get a check up and whilst all was good with our skin, the skin cancer specialist always gives us a scary (but necessary) talk about the damages that prolonged sun exposure can do to the body. We always leave the clinic feeling better about our bodies and sleep easier after the process knowing we are all good.
So fresh of our talking to by him we wanted to add these points for everyone to try and follow:
- Always wear zinc, especially on your face, ears and lips.
- When you’re not in the water be conscious of your time in the sun.
- If you are spending the day at the beach take a beach umbrella and a good hat for sun protection.
- Surf in a t-shirt or rashy in summer, if not every surf, every other surf.
- Drink lots of water.
- Never let a sunburn get sunburnt again.
- Once a year (from the age of 16) get your skin checked by a skin cancer specialist.
These simple things are easy to do and could one day be a lifesaver.
So for those of you that are in summer or about to go into summer have fun, get a heap of waves, enjoy some shade and stay safe!