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Old 06-23-2009   #1
Slunk's Avatar
Weyers Cave, Virginia
Paddling Since: 2001
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Opinions on something some may overlook

With all the tight gear like spectra ropes, helmets, rescue PFDs, and what not. I've found that a piece of the safe/enjoyable-time-on-the-river puzzle; Sunscreen is not the typical thing discussed. I am finding that many of the "sport" sunscreens don't cut the mustard.

Anyone have a brand that they like, mainly something that doesn't wash off after the first wave to come over the bow.
Is there such a thing or should I just burn up.


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Old 06-23-2009   #2
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
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I was a surfer before I was a kayaker. I'm fair-skinned and I was a surfer in Florida so I know sunscreen.

The best sunscreen in the world for watersports is Aloe Gator. It goes on like axle grease but who cares. It stays on in water.

Bull Frog is great too but I go with Aloe Gator. Anything else but these two is pretty much crap for surfing/kayaking, from what I have seen.

If your sunscreen sucks you will know when you get your face wet and your eyes start burning from all the sunscreen running into them.

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Old 06-23-2009   #3
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Grand Junction, Colorado
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As long as you put the sunscreen on a 1/2 hour before like you're suposed to any of the water proof sunscreens work fine.
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Old 06-23-2009   #4
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Lakewood, Colorado
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I second what Randall said. I'm very fair skinned and the real trick is to put sunscreen on before you are in the sun and a significant time before you get wet. I see so many people putting sunscreen on moments before launching and know it will not protect.

Also, make sure to shake the bottle before putting it on. Sometimes it separates and you end up with the part that doesn't protect.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain
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Old 06-24-2009   #5
Land of Lovin, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
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I'm a mayonnaise colored girl who actually tans to a nice toasty brown but only if I wear a heavy duty sunblock.

I like the Rocky Mountain Sunscreen Brand spf 50, I it's called High Exposure Sunscreen with Titanium Dioxide.

I always put it on right before walking to the put in and I never have issues with it running in my eyes or anything.
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Old 06-24-2009   #6
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Boulder, Colorado
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I've always used Banana Boat Sport. Putting it on early is key so it gets absorbed fully - and so that your hands aren't slippery.
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Old 06-24-2009   #7
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 168
The products from Sol are my favorite:

Sol Sunguard: Our Products

Unfortunately they are very thick, especial the 40 spf. My wife refers to it as my clown makeup because it just wont rub in fully. On the other hand it is very water proof and more important for me it does not irritate my eyes. Ever.

It makes me look ghastly pale (have had friends wonder if I was sick) when I wear it. Definitely function over fashion.

It is spendy and a little hard to find, but I think it is worth it.

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Old 06-24-2009   #8
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RFV, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
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Posts: 857
Been a Copetone sport user for over a decade now. I'm a white boy at elevation. I even blink at the sun twice and I burn.

Don't go for the aresol spray on at all. The pump spray is ok, but still do not recommend.

Apply early and regularly. That means before your shuttle. and re apply a few hours later.

I'm paying the price for last weekend on westwater. Only bonus is that I can't feel the mosquito bites cause I'm so burned.

The super expensive stuff from California baby is great on kids and really sensitive skin. Keeps the wife and kiddo burn free and they are both redheads.
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Old 06-24-2009   #9
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Little Village, Colorado
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I use the Banana Boat "Active Sport" SPF 30 pump spray. Fairly waterproof and no rubbing. They call it sweatproof, but it isn't. Stings like hell in the eyes.
Uh, I'm just gonna go find a cash machine.
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Old 06-24-2009   #10
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
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As for putting it on 30 minutes early... that is why I use Aloe Vera. It goes on like axle grease and it STAYS ON. I put it on right before I launch.

A sunscreen that requires a soak in time in order to stay on in water is a complete pain in the ass. Who wants a 30 minute preparation time for their sunscreen when there is an alternative? The stuff that needs to soak in still burns your eyes when you get douched because whatever doesn't soak in is going right into your eyeballs with the first wave. Stay away from that crap.

I don't know what Aloe Gator says on the label, probably says put it on 30 minutes early, but I'm telling you it doesn't need it. I put it on at the put-in and it works great. It does not run into your eyes, EVER. That means it is staying on your face.

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