When surfers are willing to pony upwards of eighty bucks for a pair of boardshorts, you know it’s no joke – avoiding the dreaded boardshorts rash. Everybody gets em. Nobody likes em. And it happens to the best of us whether longboarder or shortboarder. And it always seems to happen on the first day of a long weekend or, worse, an epic surf vacation. The old school remedy is the tried and true slathering of Vaseline. Good luck trying to get that petroleum gunk off any time soon. You can also throw on some long legged underpants. But then what’s the point of the boardshorts? Ultimately, you can fork over the dough for those high tech boardshorts. Having built up a nice collection myself, imagine my shock to realize that I still get rashes
every now and then – from my most expensive pair of boardshorts.
is a simple enough idea – leggings that cover only the areas most prone to chaffing. The idea was conjured up in 2008 at a beackbreak in mainland Mexico. After developing a particularly gnarly rash on his upper thigh, Monty Roach and his wife came up with the idea of ultra-thin tubes to protect the upper thigh area from chaffing. Since then, Monty has been improving upon the initial design coming up with the elegant solution he sells for a mere fraction of high tech boardshorts - $20.Keep It Simple
On the surface, the concept of the SurfSleeve is as simple as it gets. They are a pair of lycra tubes that you slip over your upper thigh preventing the area from rubbing against your board or your boardshorts creating a rash.
However, a lot of thought has since gone into the SurfSleeves since Monty and his wife first came up with the idea. For starters, they are made from some pretty high quality lycra. They are super thin so you don’t even notice them after a few minutes.
My main concern was whether there would be some creep after a couple of hours of surfing given the conical shape of the upper legs. However, cleverly placed grips along the inside of the SurfSleeves help to keep them in place. I’m also going to guess that the higher quality lycra has minimal stretch memory ensuring that they stay put even after a couple of seasons of use. It bears noting that sizing is extremely important to ensure proper fit of the SurfSleeve. Recommended sizing is clearly posted on their website.
Constructed of super thin lycra, the SurfSleeves can be folded compact enough to fit inside your boardshort pocket. That way, you can decide to wear them as needed out in the lineup. Granted, putting them on takes some balance if you want to do so while sitting on your board. Of course, you’ll have to unleash as well.But …
Given the simplicity of the SurfSleeve, there’s not much that can fairly be criticized. The thing works. It works like scissors should work. Does it cut paper or not cut paper? Do SurfSleeves prevent chaffing or do they not prevent chaffing? No doubt about it, they prevent chaffing.
Notwithstanding, there are always things that get brought into question. Maybe over time, those scissors don’t cut paper as good
as they did when you first bought them. Along the same lines, having had the opportunity to wear the SurfSleeves for only a couple of surf sessions, I wonder how long they will stick to my thighs without creeping down. It would be awfully awkward shredding a perfect left only to have lycra tubing creeping down from under my boardshorts. As mentioned, the lycra is clearly higher quality and grips inside the interior lend a lot of anti-creeping confidence. Still, it’s something to consider.Giddy Up
As of writing, you can pick up a pair of SurfSleeves directly from their website
. As mentioned, sizing is critical for optimal grip and their sizing chart is very specific offering quite a variety of sizes. The sizing is unisex so the wahine surfers that sport the boardshorts can get in on the action just as well. A pair of SurfSleeves costs $20 regardless of size. Payment is done easily via Paypal, and I had my SurfSleeves sitting in my mailbox well before my weekend surf.DISCLOSURE: THE AUTHOR OF THIS ARTICLE WAS PROVIDED THIS PRODUCT FOR FREE FOR PURPOSES OF TESTING.