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April 22, 2019 3 min read

What are the differences in rash guards?

So many rash guards on the market today.  How can you possible know which is which when it comes to an online purchase.  Especially if you have not been properly introduced to the brand in person.  Well,  let's see if we can't delve into that subject a little here and help out.

What makes a good rash guard and what you need to know before your next rash guard purchase.  The differences in rash guard materials may really surprise you. You may find an abundant supply on the market if you do not know where to shop for one and what to look for.  Rash guards are increasing in popularity today and are best known as a shirt to surf in, free dive in, or just protect yourself from the sun as most include a build-in UPF sun protection.  Rash guards are best used to protect sensitive parts of your body such as nipples, chest, stomach and armpits from the friction salt water can cause when laying on a surfboard paddling out or free diving in waters where a protective shirt is needed.  Rash guards can be worn normally in one of two ways, either under a wetsuit for added warmth and comfort or on their own in warmer waters.


Most rash guards are made of nylon, neoprene, polyester, Lycra, spandex or a blend of these.  Each of these fabrics offer various levels of elasticity, breathability, warmth and comfort.

  • Neoprene offers both insulation in cooler waters and some stretch for better movement.
  • Lycra offers breathability with an ideal stretch and quick drying.
  • Nylon-Spandex blended rash guards allow the surfer to get stretch, breathability, dry quickly and a tight fit.
  • Polyester rash guards provide optimum sweat wick and breathability. 
  • Polyester-Spandex blends offer optimum wick + breathability with the added ability to stretch where and how needed from the addition of spandex.

Fitting Info

Another important part of the rash guard purpose is fit.  Rash guards should always be a tight fit to the body in order to prevent intolerable rubbing and chafing as well. Leaving the design longer in the body and longer in the arms is important as well so that your rash guard will have enough extra material to take on the demands you will put it through.

Stitching DNA

For a perfect fit, most rash guards are designed with a six-panel assemblage and flat-lock stitching hence optimum chafing and rash prevention.  The stitching you will find is similar to any athletic built piece of apparel.  Meant for usage that is demanding.  What we do with our stitch is a flat seam & cover stitch with a contrast color that is either black or white.  

Artwork DNA

The best way to combine art and style in a unique rash guard is by a process that is either heat transfer or sublimation.

Rash guards with heat transfer artwork are cheaper and easier than sublimation; similar in to an iron-on graphic.  This type of graphic will not last long.  Which is a big con.  They tend to fade, peel and crack within a short period of time.

Sublimation-crafted rash guards on the other hand are more expensive to produce compared to the heat transfer artwork. This is because the sublimation process performed on the graphics is much more costly and the machines needed are much more expensive. The sublimation process implies that the art practically becomes one with the rash guard fabric, meaning no fading or cracking what-so-ever.  This is the procedure Find Your Coast uses to add our unique artwork to each panel of the rash guard fabric.  Four panels of fabric in total are processed first by the sublimation process and then hand cut and machine sewn for precision craftmanship.  


All-in-all what makes a really good rash guard is based off of the fabric used, the fit of the fabric, the stitch type used and the artwork process used.  We at Find Your Coast Apparel have researched these major components before selecting the first long sleeve rash guard offering which we released early last year.   Offering a material make-up of 82% polyester and 18% spandex.  A 40+ UPF sun protection.  Fitted design with a longer body and longer sleeve than your ordinary long sleeve shirt and the performance flat seam, cover stitching sewing together a fabric makeup that offers a four way stretch that stretches and recovers on the cross and lengthwise grains.  These features in addition to unique artwork you will only find from Find Your Coast Apparel.

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All artwork copyright Find Your Coast Apparel.



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