How To Avoid Board Rash In Bodyboarding

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Bodyboarding is a thrilling water sport, but it can be frustrating when board rash persists. Board rash is an irritation of the skin caused by friction between your body and the bodyboard. This condition can be painful, making it necessary to take measures to prevent it. In this article, we’ll show you how to avoid board rash when bodyboarding, highlighting six sub-questions along the way.


What is board rash, and how is it caused?

In bodyboarding, board rash refers to the abrasions or skin irritation that can occur on a bodyboarder’s body, typically around the stomach, chest, and thighs. It is caused by the friction between the bodyboard and the rider’s skin during the ride.

When bodyboarding, riders lie on their bodyboards and use their fins to propel themselves through the water. As they ride waves, the bodyboard rubs against the skin, especially in areas where there is direct contact and pressure. This repetitive rubbing motion can lead to friction burns, scrapes, or rashes known as board rash.

Board rash can vary in severity, ranging from minor skin irritation to more painful and deep abrasions. The condition is more likely to occur when riding larger waves or in powerful surf conditions, where the rider’s body is in constant contact with the board and experiences increased friction. Additionally, prolonged sessions in the water without protective gear or inadequate clothing can exacerbate the likelihood of board rash.

To minimize the risk of board rash, bodyboarders often wear rash guards or wetsuits to provide a protective barrier between their skin and the board. These garments reduce friction and help prevent direct contact, thus reducing the occurrence of board rash. Using wax or applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly to areas prone to board rash can also provide some relief by reducing friction.

It’s important for bodyboarders to take proper care of their skin to prevent infections or complications from board rash. After a session, it is recommended to rinse the affected areas with freshwater, gently clean the abrasions, and apply an appropriate antiseptic or healing ointment. If the rash is severe or shows signs of infection, it is advisable to seek medical attention.


How can you prevent board rash when bodyboarding?

To prevent board rash when bodyboarding, you need to take some precautions. Firstly, you can apply a generous amount of rash cream or petroleum jelly on the areas that contact the board. This creates a barrier between your skin and the rough surface of the board. Secondly, you can use a long-sleeve rash guard to protect your skin from abrasion. A rash guard can also provide additional sun protection, which is important when spending long periods in the water. Thirdly, wearing a wetsuit or neoprene shorts can help to reduce friction between your skin and the board. Finally, you can also opt for a smoother surface board if you continually experience board rash.


What is a rash guard, and how does it prevent board rash?

A rash guard is a tight-fitting shirt made of synthetic materials that provide protection against skin irritation when bodyboarding. Rash guards have a smooth surface that reduces friction between your skin and the bodyboard. They also wick away moisture and dry quickly, ensuring your skin stays dry and comfortable.


How can you choose the right rash cream or petroleum jelly to prevent board rash?

There are many different types of rash creams and petroleum jelly available, and they come with different formulas. When choosing one, consider whether you have sensitive skin or any allergies. If you have sensitive skin, you can opt for hypoallergenic formulas that are less likely to cause irritation. Look for products made with natural ingredients like aloe vera and cocoa butter, which provide added moisturization to the skin. Finally, choose a product with high SPF for added sun protection.


Can diet affect board rash?

Yes, diet can affect board rash. A diet high in omega-3 can help to reduce inflammation and irritation of the skin. Food sources rich in omega-3 include salmon, nuts, and avocados. Drinking plenty of water also keeps your skin hydrated, reducing the incidence of board rash.


Are there any specific techniques to prevent board rash?

Yes, you can use specific techniques to reduce the chances of board rash. When paddling out, avoid dragging your legs along the board. Instead, lift your lower body onto the board’s surface, reducing the amount of friction. You can also adjust your positioning on the board to reduce contact with the rough surface. Placing your weight on your elbows rather than on your chest can provide relief from board rash. Finally, make sure your fins fit correctly, as loose fins can result in more surface contact with the board.



In conclusion, board rash can be a frustrating problem for bodyboarders, but it is avoidable with appropriate measures. Using a rash guard, applying petroleum jelly or rash cream, selecting a smooth surface board, and following healthy eating habits can go a long way in preventing board rash. Remember to stay hydrated, choose the right products for your skin type, and adjust your board position and paddling techniques to minimize friction. By following these tips, you can enjoy your bodyboarding sessions without the discomfort of board rash.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

"I live and breath boardriding"

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