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What Do You Wear Under a Rash Guard?

Scuba diving and other aquatic activities require quite a lot of equipment that have functional uses and also keep you safe. Though there is the main list of gear that you need to own, such as an oxygen tank and a wetsuit, there is also a long list of recommended but optional gear.  

This optional gear is not generally required, a lot of water sport enthusiasts incorporate it as a part of their main kit. Rash guards are one of the most popular elements of additional gear that people choose to wear, but strangely enough, there is a lot of confusion when it comes to wearing them. A lot of people tend to wear rash guards under their wetsuit, but rash guards only cover so much skin. Because of this, people tend to have the need to wear more layers under the rash guard. But what exactly can you wear under a rash guard? 


What is a rash guard? 

A rash guard is very commonly used in a number of water sports and can come in a number of forms. The most common kind of rash guard is actually a rash vest, but you can also get longer sleeved vests.  Rash guards are used as a sort of barrier from the elements. Water can be extremely harsh on the skin, so surfers and swimmers will often wear rash guards to protect their bodies from the waves’ impact and the currents. When you are in the water for an extended period of time, you are also overexposed to the sun.  Rash guards serve as a protective layer between someone’s skin and the sun, which means rash guards can prevent any potential burning of the skin.  

Usually, rash guards are worn under a wetsuit and often they live up to their name of being ‘rash guards’ as they prevent the wetsuit from rubbing against the skin, which can lead to rashes or injury. The thick material also works as a preventative layer between the person wearing it and potential items that someone could encounter in the water.  

Why should you wear something underneath rash guards? 

Though you do not necessarily have to wear anything at all under your rash guard, it is recommended that you wear something for a number of reasons. 


More often than not, if you are doing any water sports you will be using rented equipment or equipment provided by a company. This means that hundreds of other people have used the gear you are also using, so you will want an extra layer. This layer will mean that a rash guard is not having direct contact with your skin and will prevent you from picking up any additional bacteria that could be passed on by someone else.  


As previously stated, rash guards do not always cover the entirety of your body. Because of this, it is often important to have an additional layer that will cover the remaining parts of your body that aren’t protected. This can prevent issues such as sunburn and other issues. When you are in the water, you are also at risk of attracting sharks and so it is important to have material that can cover any reflective equipment that may be exposed. A lot of people will wear long-sleeved cycling gear that can cover their Suunto Zoop Novo dive computer, as these sit on the wrist and could potentially reflect and attract an unwanted predator.  


Believe it or not, the water can be an extremely cold place. Unless it is summer, you can expect to experience some extremely low temperatures which can make being in the water feel unpleasant. An extra layer underneath your rash guard will insulate the heat closer to your body and prevent any potential issues such as hypothermia. 


What can you wear under your rash guard? 

Cycle pants 

As previously stated, a rash guard will not cover the lower half of your body. Obviously, it isn’t just your top half that needs protection and so you should wear something on the lower half too. In warmer months, we recommend that you use something along the line of cycle pants. This is because cycle pants are tight to the body and are quite thin. This is great during the hottest month, as they dry quickly once you leave the water. The last thing that you want after a long day in the water is to return to the land and have to wait for ages for your clothing to dry, on top of the rest of the issues that you have to overcome such as having to get rid of blocked ears after diving. The material that cycling shorts are made of is great for this and won’t cause you too much hassle.  


Sports bra 

It would be quite difficult for a woman to wear nothing under a rash guard as rash guards over very little support, which could lead to back pain or discomfort. Instead of wearing an entirely new level, a lot of women choose to wear a tight-fitting sports bra. Sports bras offer a lot of support and will leave a woman feel secure, which means all that she has to worry about is watching out for obstacles while doing aquatic activities. Sports bras are once again quite thin, so you won’t have to worry about them taking forever to dry once you are out of the water. 


What to wear in the colder months 

People choose to wear clothes under their rash guards in colder months as the water can be quite cold.  The main items that they choose to wear in these months are often quite thicker, which means that they are also much more susceptible to staying drenched for longer. A lot of people make the mistake of wearing leggings under their rash guard and other gear, but this really isn’t recommended. Instead, you should wear yoga leggings made of thinner material.