Best Sunscreen Or Sunblock For Surfing & Watersports

best sunscreen for surfing

One of the most difficult things I’ve encountered as an active surfer and water sports enthusiast is finding a sunscreen that's both waterproof and sweatproof.

When you're in the water, it can reflect the sun, which can make you burn more quickly. Teamed with that, if your sun cream gets rubbed off in the water, you could end up burning badly. 

There are so many waterproof sunscreens on the market. However, the best sunscreen for surfing that I’ve found is Banana Boat Sunscreen Sport Broad Spectrum Family Size Sun Care Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50.

When I look for the best sunscreen for water sports, I consider some essential characteristics.

Like most surfers and water skiers, I need a product that won’t wear off in the water. I want something that will go on quickly and not leave a greasy residue on my skin. The water makes that greasy feeling worse.

When spending so much time in the sun, I want a product that will protect me. I don’t want to have to reapply it every two hours. With how much I'll use the product, the most important thing is that it's hypoallergenic.

I have sensitive skin that's prone to breakouts. The salt water makes them worse, so having that extra protection helps.

Banana Boat Sunscreen Sport Family Size Broad Spectrum Sun Care Sunscreen Lotion - SPF 50

Banana Boat Sunscreen Sport Family Size Broad Spectrum Sun Care Sunscreen Lotion

Banana Boats Family Size Lotion is SPF 50 and is the best sunblock for surfing and other water sports.

It holds up well with my active lifestyle and has all the qualities I look for in a sunscreen.

I can sweat, go swimming, go jet skiing, etc., without reapplying it.

Even when spending four hours consistantly in the sun, without reapplying it,  I didn’t get sunburned at all!

I knew it protected my skin from the sun because of the high SPF factor.

Another added benefit was that it doesn’t have that rancid smell that most sunscreens have. I could use as much of it as I wanted without getting nauseous.

It’s hypoallergenic, so I used it on myself and my children.


However, there are a few downsides to the product. The sunscreen is so thick that sometimes it’s too thick to get through the pump. I had to rinse out the pump more often than I would like.

The thickness of the lotion also made it difficult to rub into my skin at times, especially if my skin was on the dry side.

It just took a little extra effort on my part to make sure that it rubbed all the way in before I went out in the sun.

I was very nervous about putting such a thick lotion on my face. In the end, I didn’t have any problems with it. I just used a small amount, and I didn’t get a sunburn.

Once you use it a few times, you'll learn how much you need.

Also, when you're buying the product, if you need a hypoallergenic formula, there's a difference in the bottles. The family size bottle is labeled hypoallergenic. The smaller bottle of the same formula is not labeled the same way.

I don’t know if that’s a difference in the makeup of the sunscreen, or if that was a mix-up in the labeling. That’s not something that I would take a risk on trying out on your skin if you need a hypoallergenic formula.

Just pay the extra few dollars and buy the family size. Sunscreen lasts a long time, and you know you’re using the right kind of formula for your skin.


For years, I used EltaMD UV Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50 because I thought it was the best sunscreen for surfing.

A friend recommended it to me. I was willing to pay top dollar for a lightweight, hypoallergenic, waterproof formula that would protect my skin from the sun.

After trying Banana Boat, I realized that I didn’t need to pay so much for a sunscreen that did almost exactly what the more expensive brand did but for half the price.

Yes, Banana Boat is a little thicker than EltaMD, but that’s the only difference I could feel.

After using Banana Boat Sunscreen Sport Broad Spectrum Sun Care Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50, I believe it’s the best sunscreen for surfing and other water sports.

It beats other similar products on the market because of the value and protection it offers.

I will keep using this product in the future. It means I can maintain my lifestyle without worrying about any sunburn or breakouts.