Best Sunscreen For Surfing That Will Help You Enjoy The Waves

What’s even better than enjoying the entire day in the waves, under the comforting sunshine, doing your favorite water activity – surfing?

However, there is one thing that could ruin all the fun. What is it? Well, it would definitely be the painful sunburn you get after. Take note that the water can magnify the sun’s strength so it would only be wise to do our best to keep ourselves protected.

Lucky for you, I’ve researched and tried out the best sunscreen for surfing currently available in the market! Do you want to know what I found out? Then please keep on reading below.

Best Sunscreen For Surfing

BADGER SPF 35 Sport Sunscreen


What made this physical sunscreen on top of my list is that it does not only provide broad-spectrum protection but it is also very water resistant. It provides a very high water-resistance of up to 80 minutes of protection while you are in the water. 

This sunscreen is composed of only five ingredients plus it is 100% natural as well as 98% organic, so it is not only perfect for your skin but for the ocean as well. So for all the environmentally-conscious surfer out there, with this sunscreen’s low environmental impact, I must say this is a good choice for you. Moreover, it is also biodegradable and even coral reefs friendly so there’s no need to be guilty whenever you use this sunscreen for the beach.

Anyway, BADGER used highly concentrated zinc oxide (22.5%) for this sunscreen as its active ingredient, so we can be sure that it provides excellent protection for every surfer. Though it may make take some time to rub in the product to your skin and it has the tendency to leave white cast, this is still an advantage since it is the best way to remind the surfers when is the best time to reapply as you can really easily tell that the product has already been washed off. I know some of you might find this quality to be unappealing, but I suggest you give this a go first.

This sunscreen also has a pleasing scent of an oatmeal. It also contains vitamin E, jojoba oil, beeswax and sunflower oil which makes the product an ideal choice for anyone with sensitive skin and for everyday use.


  • It has a high concentration of zinc oxide
  • It has a simple formula which that is biodegradable and environment-friendly
  • It has a water resistance of up to 80 minutes


  • It comes in a thick formula that takes time to rub in and tends to leave a white cast

BurnOut Ocean Tested Physical SPF 30+


Here’s another excellent sunscreen for surfers that also delivers broad-spectrum protection and is very water resistant. It also uses a high concentration of zinc oxide (20%) as its main active ingredient so we can be sure that you are well protected as you enjoy surfing

And since BurnOut is a brand that is passionate about taking care of the environment, this physical sunscreen is also eco-friendly especially. They made sure that this sunscreen is free from PABA, petroleum, parabens, and chemicals. It is biodegradable, cruelty-free, ocean-safe and suitable for vegans too since they BurnOut only used safe and natural ingredients like aloe vera, seed oi as well as antioxidant vitamins.

Just like every physical sunscreen, this will also likely leave a white cast on your skin but I’m sure you will be impressed on how wonderful the texture of this product is, plus it rubs in fairly well too. It also comes with a mild pleasant scent.


  • It has a high concentration of zinc oxide
  • It contains ingredients that are hydrating to the skin
  • It is water resistant for up to 80 minutes


  • It might take some time to rub in the product
  • It has the tendency to leave a white cast on skin

thinksport Sunscreen SPF 50+


Here is another physical sunscreen and this time it is from a popular brand thinksport. Like the other products mentioned above, this is a physical sunscreen too. The main active ingredient used to provide broad-spectrum protection is zinc oxide (20%). It is also water resistant for up to 80 minutes.

thinksport is working really hard to produce sunscreens that are safe for its users. They strictly follow the directives of FDA by avoiding any chemical ingredients that have bad reputations. They are also not producing spray formulas for sunscreen. What’s impressive is that they are using plenty of natural ingredients for their products, these are papaya, cranberry seed oil, raspberry seed oil, olive oil, jojoba oil and sunflower oil.

No wonder why this sunscreen is being highly recommended by most dermatologists. It’s quite impressive that it does not leave your skin feeling greasy too. Its formula is very light on the skin and it has this mild scent. This makes this sunscreen ideal for everyday use, even those with sensitive skin.

However, just like every mineral sunscreens, it will leave your skin with a white cast.


  • It has high SPF rating
  • It is a good value for your money
  • It comes with reliable and durable water resistance


  • It comes with a thick formula that tends to leave you with a white cast

Bull Frog Land Sport Quik Stick SPF 50 Sunscreen


Bull Frog is another brand that has been tried and tested by the surfing community. It comes in a spray and gel formulas that are frequently talked about on surfing forums. However, this is considerably much pricier compared to the other sunscreens I mentioned above. So I don’t recommend this to be used all over your body but it is best to be used on your ears, neck, face as well as the in-between parts. If you are wearing a rash guard while surfing or you are more comfortable to be using more than one sunscreen, then this could be your best bet. 

Take note that this product has been designed for sports so we are guaranteed that it is very water resistant that it will last up to 80 minutes. It uses the following active ingredients, zinc oxide (10%), octinoxate (7.5%), homosalate (6%), octisalate (5%) and octocrylene (5%), so it can provide broad-spectrum protection. 

What I like about this sunscreen is that it has a clear formula, it can be easily applied and it is fragrance-free as well. And if you are someone who’s always on the run, you will be glad to know that this product comes in a conveniently sized stick.


  • It has reliable and durable water resistance for up to 80 minutes
  • It comes in a very convenient packaging and size


  • It is an expensive product
  • It contains chemical ingredients

HeadHunter Suncare Face Stick SPF 45


HeadHunter has built a good reputation within the surfing community so this list will never be complete without this sunscreen. This product actually received a fantastic rating for UVA protection from EWG and it provides well-balanced broad spectrum protection.

This product is actually a combination of both physical and chemical sunscreen and it uses the following active ingredients, zinc oxide (10%), titanium dioxide (10%), octinoxate (7.5%) homosalate (5%) and octocrylene (1.5%). We can see that they have included both zinc oxide and titanium oxide so we can be sure that this sunscreen will not only create a great protective barrier but it will also be much easier to apply. However, this sunscreen has a long list of ingredients, this is the reason why it only ranks last in this list.

It is also on the pricier end but it is very water resistant that it can last up to 80 minutes while you are surfing. It also has a thick texture, so you can easily tell when is the best time to reapply. However, to make sure you get the best protection that you need, I suggest you towel dry before you reapply the product.

Another impressive feature of this sunscreen is its unique packaging. It actually looks like a deodorant stick so it is very convenient to carry around. Plus, it doesn’t take up too much space, you can just easily stash it in your backpack.


  • The active ingredients it used are highly concentrated
  • It features reliable and durable water resistance for up to 80 minutes


  • It is a little expensive
  • It contains chemical ingredients

Your Guide To Protecting Your Skin When Surfing

Moreover, I will be sharing with you how you can further protect your skin to make the most of your surfing vacation.

  1. Apply sunscreen before leaving home. Make sure to apply sunscreen first thing when you get up in the morning or just right before leaving your home. This is the best way to allow the product to properly sink in and provide yourself with a base level of protection all day long while you are out on the beach.
  2. Make sure you don’t forget applying sunscreen on your hands and ears. This is one of the most common mistakes most surfers make. They cover themselves with sunscreen and put on their suits, thinking that they have been totally protected. But at the end of the day, you will be sitting and looking at your sore hands. Of course, you don’t want to be wincing every time you touch your burnt ears. Remember that your hands and ears will constantly face up towards the sun, so don’t miss them.
  3. Try to surf earlier or later. Yes, you can keep your skin protected even during summer, but there are days that are really too damn hot. So why don’t you check the weather forecast first and try figuring out if you really have to be out there during the hottest time of the day? In addition to less chance of sun damage since the sun’s rays are much weaker and cause lesser harm, surfing early in the morning or later on in the day will also allow you enjoy the chance of surfing with a lesser crowd.
  4. Don’t forget to take off your suit immediately. Once you get out of the water, make sure that you take your suit off immediately. Wearing your damp wetsuit for hours will eventually lead to skin irritation. This is because of the salt and sand that get stuck with your suit which will act like a sandpaper while you are moving around. Also, if you already have a burn, this could get irritated by your suit. So remove your suit right away and apply some aloe vera to your sunburn.
  5. Try to accessorize. While you are resting in between your surfing session, make sure that you are still well protected. You can wear a cap to protect your head as well as a face against the scorching sun. Don’t forget to wear your sunnies too, it would be great if they are UV protected. And when you are hanging out on the sand, you can also try out the best sunscreen for the beach.

Final Thought

Sunscreen is a very important item that any surfer should make sure to have. So if you have been addicted to surfing lately, don’t forget to look for something that can keep you protected against the harmful and damaging rays of the sun.

All these sunscreens I mentioned above are definitely worth a try! They are reliably water resistant and can protect you from potential sunburnt. No matter which one you choose, it will have a drastic influence on your life. It will absolutely be worth your health as well as safety, so don’t skimp out on the money and invest in an amazing sunscreen so you can go surfing for a very, very long time to come.

Anyway, if you still have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to leave it in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you. Don’t forget to share this article with your friends too!