Sun Protection

It’s a wise idea to wear clothing and sunscreen to limit sun exposure. Damage is cumulative. I’ve recently have been diagnosed with actinic keratosis, and am currently being treated. Untreated, it could turn into skin cancer. I Plan to cover up from now on when on the water, more so than before.

Good that you noticed and are being treated. Lots of brightly colored sun protection clothing is available. We have few hot days here, but even then long sleeves are comfortable. Also fingerless paddling gloves to protect hands.

Thanks. I’m doing screening more also. I used to just slather on the sunscreen when I thought I was at risk for a burn. I recently started putting it on for shorter outings.

My former Doc was insistent that I needed sunscreen every time I left the house. I thought that was a little over the top . I found out later that his daughter had died of melanoma.

I am becoming a big fan of longsleeved lightweight shirts because I get tired of wearing sunblock. Still gotta smear the face and neck, but at least my exposure to the chems in sunblock is reduced by two arms.

I decided I knew enough folks with sun/skin issues that I just throw on the Kokatat Destination Paddle Shirt or SunCore long sleeved shirt anytime I’m hitting the water in the warmer weather. I’m on the water and outside in the sun enough, no sense in looking like a lobster with medical risk down the line. Also that Destination Shirt is darned comfy, attested to by my in-laws whom are golfers, not paddlers.

See you on the water,
The Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
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I am always covered and sun screen. Sun can go through clothing and some paddle clothes have ratings. I wear my kokatat hat winter & summer. Reflection​ off the water is bad also. When I was a kid 60"s there were many clam diggers with skin cancer. UV will damage your eyes so.

Been applying Carac cream daily for a week now, my face has red splotches on both upper cheeks and the bridge of my nose. This will continue for a month, then 2 weeks later face should be clear…for now.

The Kokatat Destination shirt is a sweet shirt indeed (although I just looked at their website and it looks like they no longer sell it but do sell a “Paddling shirt” that seems very similar). Anyway, I’ve taken to wearing a short sleeve fishing type shirt. I don’t like the way the long sleeve shirts I have used scoop up water when rolling. The Destination shirt had a Velcro closure to cinch up tight but I guess my wrists are too skinny because I only had about 1/4" of overlapping Velcro. Still a great shirt. So I use sunscreen on my arms, hands, face, and neck.

Thanks Andy for this important post.

@Andy_Szymczak said:
Been applying Carac cream daily for a week now, my face has red splotches on both upper cheeks and the bridge of my nose. This will continue for a month, then 2 weeks later face should be clear…for now.

Have you considered using a Buff? Not only will it protect your skin, but you’ll look quite dashing.

Another dermatologist disciple here! Have been cut on, frozen off and chemically peeled more times than I can recall. My incentive to first get checked out was learning my Dad’s skin cancers had metastaticed into lung and brain cancer that ultimately killed him. I had been ignoring a slow healing sore on cheek in typical male fashion. Local skin doc wondered why I waited so long. Was under the knife the next day for that and another spot on shoulder. I have a standing derm checks every 6 months and never hesitate to go sooner when I or lovely wife see or feel something suspicious. Have also learned the most benign looking spot can be the most sinister. I am very dedicated to hats, long sleeves and lots of suncreen applied heavy, early and often.

The new thing is face shields. Is anyone else seeing side-bar ads for face shields with comical face patterns printed on them when on this site? I’ve been working at one particular construction project pretty regularly over the last couple of weeks, and there’s an iron-working crew that’s there every day, and among the guys on that crew I see lots with long-sleeved shirts, and a couple of them are even wearing wrap-around face shields (even on cloudy days) so there’s not even a speck of exposed skin (no comical prints on the face shields, though). Being extra careful about the sun is getting a lot more common.

Except for young people, who need it most. I supervise my grandson’s application before we go out.

In the 1800’s people didn’t want a tan because it meant out were on the lower scale of society and worked outdoors.

Exposure adds up. I go to the skin doc twice a year for inspection and burn offs. So, oh ya, I’m a big believer in covering up, just came to it 40 years too late.

I use sun screen, too, on any exposed skin, but feel a little guilty about it. Some ingredient in the high SPF, waterproof sunscreen is implicated in the die off of the coral reefs. So, another reason to go with covering up vs slathering up.

I’ve kayaked with a guy that wears the no-face shield. Pretty weird looking, but the fellow says it is comfortable and that, without the sun beating on him, he finds himself less tired after a long day on the water. It’s on my list of things to try.

I have long arms relative to my shirt size, so I usually have a several inch gap above my wrist. I cut off some socks at the heel, threw away the foot part and slide the top half of the sock over my wrists. Works pretty great. Get some snappy patterns and call it a fashion accessory. I call them “calcees,” (cut-off version of the Spanish word for socks) and threaten to market them as a paddling accessories. What do you think, $15 a pair?