Rash guards

Hi Everyone,

I’ve tried Capilene and Underarmour, but am still getting rubbed raw towards the back of my armpits on trips over a few miles.

Has anybody found a solution to this problem?

Thanks for any advice…Lyn

You might try…
putting some vaseline on the area prior to paddling.

It was my old stand by back in my marathoning,(running) days.



Rash guards
Assuming that the rash is caused by your PFD rubbing, the solution may be a different, better fitting PFD.

Good luck


If it’s from skin to skin
rubbing - a rash guard should takes care of it - as a close fitting one gets in between and the fabric slides over itself.

Use “real” rash guards. Stick to surf or paddling gear brands. Look for ones with the extra panel running under the arm so there is no seam in the pit.

“Under Armour” looks about the same - but is not. Capilene serves a different purpose - wicking. Some wicking fabrics can be abrasive. Lycra/Spandex used on rash guards is very slick - and the fabric moves better.

thanks for the advice
I used to use vaseline as a long distance swimmer, and have considered that, but wasn’t sure how it would work under clothes.

I’m pretty sure it’s not my PFD, though I’m going to try one of those made for women PFDs this season. I never realized how mashed I got by mine, but after reading the other thread on PFDs, that are designed for specifically for women, I zipped mine up on Sunday and just started laughing.

Any brands to recommend for a “real” rash guard? I’ve seen NRS and others but want one for summer weather as that’s when I do the longest trips. Most of them seem to have neoprene which isn’t great on a humid summer day.

Thanks again…Lyn

Hmm… I’m spoiled there as I have surf shops everywhere. Really best to try them on.

I have a couple from O’Neil, a Rip Curl, an Oakley, and a long sleeve Nike lycra shirt that technically isn’t a rash guard, but works well too (chillier in wind as it goes right through AND wicks - I need to find a white one for mid summer down here!).

There are many other brands.

None of mine have Neoprene - one has a light fuzzy layer inside and is a little warmer. I mostly wear the O’Neils as they seem a bit tougher and are basic black and less clownlike!

I used to get by with sleeveless t-shirts until I started doing over 10-15 miles. Then the arm openings brushing against me would leave welts. Over thousands of strokes even the most minor friction can add up and leave a mark.

Rash Guard
I am a novice paddler and have been having the same problem using Capilene a few times this winter. I tried an IR Thin Skin (Polartec Powerstretch)rash guard last weekend and it seemed to be a lot better, but the jury is still out.


I agree
We need more black rash guards on the market. I liked the feel of the IR tops, but at some point, in my case just past my 50th b’day, I realized that I wasn’t going outside in anything skin tight unless it’s black.


Mountain Surf
makes a REAL nice top, pants, and shorts. I picked it up at my local paddle shop. I wear mine anytime I am in the water.

mountain surf
makes great products. I have their farmer jane and love it, and the fellow who owns the company was down at the FL symposium (with the cutest puppy I’ve ever seen). I’ll check to see if they have a website.

skin chafing at the back of the armpit might be coming from your stroke style. Are you by any chance keeping your arms close to your body at the end of the stroke? If that’s the problem, then letting the paddle move away from the boat a bit (like a wing paddle), followed by using your deltoid rather than biceps to get the paddle out of the water (the so-called “chicken-wing exit” might solve the problem. An ill-fitting PFD seems more likely to be the cause, with the best sol’n being a better-fitting one, so that you wouldn’t have to wear a rash guard all the time.