Best Waterproof Sunscreens for Surfing (Sun Bum, Badger & More)

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Surfers, bodyboarders, bodysurfers and others lovers of the ocean are in the sun a lot. We need to protect our skin from skin cancer every chance we get.

Some of the best waterproof sunscreens for surfers and beachgoers are Sun Bum and Badger which block UVA and UVB rays, are reef safe and are water resistant (what many people think is waterproof).

Here are a more sunscreen options to choose from to help you cover up from the sun when surfing.

Our Pick For Best Sunscreen For Surfing

Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion

This sunscreen is vegan and reef friendly (it is octinoxate & oxybenzone free).

It is a broad spectrum lotion with UVA/UVB Sunscreen with vitamin E for moisturizing your skin.

Sun Bum sunscreens are designed to protect the skin from damaging UVA and UVB rays.

When you consider that Sun Bum is hypoallergenic, reef friendly and formulated with high quality ingredients.

We think it is one of the best choices you can make if your are going to be in and out of the water all day long.

This sunscreen will protect your skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays.

It has antioxidants that helps to neutralize free radicals and should prevent premature skin aging.

This product should be applied liberally 15 minutes before sun exposure.

You should reapply after every 80 minutes of surfing, swimming or sweating.

Pro surfers like Filipe Toledo, Julian Wilson and Malia Manuel trust their skin to the Bum.

And these guys make their money by being in the sun and surf all day.

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Our Pick For 2nd Best Sunscreen For Surfing

Badger – SPF 30 Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Cream

If you are looking to let a little more sun in than a 50 SPF when you surf, we give you this SPF 30 zinc oxide sunscreen cream from Badger.

This is a broad spectrum water resistant reef-safe sunscreen that contain natural minerals and organic ingredients.

Badger sunscreen products are widely available in local health food stores and online.

Badger specializes in creating effective sunscreens that that are made from the highest quality natural ingredients. 

They offer seven products in the sunscreen line which include SPF 15 or 30 choices, baby specific, and scented or unscented.

We love the unscented sunscreens which are hypoallergenic.

All the sunscreens are made with zinc oxide as the natural ingredient which is recognized by the FDA as generally safe and effective.

Zinc oxide offers broad spectrum protection from UVA/ UVB rays.

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Other Sunscreens For Surfing

Protect your skin. Find a favorite sunscreen and put it on before you get in the water.

Your older self will thank you.

Sun Bum Original Moisturizing Sunscreen Spray SPF 30

This sunscreen spray from Sun Bum has a SPF of 30 and is vegan and reef friendly.

It is broad spectrum and will offer protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

It is water resistant, paraben free, fragrance free, petroleum free, and cruelty free.

It also contains vitamin E and smells like summer.

Apply every two hours or every 80 minutes if you are in the water.

We love the fact that it is very easy to apply and that it lasts for a whole hour and a half.

It does not leave a lot of grease on the hands as well which should limit that slippage you experience when you pick up your surfboard after applying sunscreen.

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Sun Bum Original Moisturizing Sunscreen Spray SPF 70

This sun screen spray has all of the benefits of it’s lesser-SPF sibling, but comes in at 70 SPF.

If you are the kind of person who loves surfing, being outside and beach, but doesn’t love the burn that comes after the fun in the sun SPF 70 is probably your speed.

You can also spray it and get back to business which leaves your hands free of sunscreen residue after applying.

This sunscreen spray from Sun Bum has a SPF of 70 and is vegan and reef friendly.

It offers broad spectrum protection from UVA/ UVB rays that lasts for up to 80 minutes.

It contains vitamin E to help keep you looking dead sexy.

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Badger – SPF 35 Clear Zinc Oxide Sport Sunscreen Cream

This sunscreen cream from Badgers is unscented, broad spectrum protection, water resistant and reef safe.

It contains natural minerals and organic ingredients.

It’s good for you and doesn’t hurt the ocean you love.

It is water resistant and lasts on the skin for up to 80 minutes long.

It does not have any added fragrance and is infused with natural compounds such as extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, cocoa butter, and shea butter.

It’s prefect when you are going in and out of the water like a kook (or grom). Turtle would approve.

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Badger – SPF 35 Clear Zinc Sport Sunscreen Stick

This sunscreen has an SPF of 35 and is predominantly made from zinc oxide.

It is water resistant and lasts on the skin for up to 80 minutes.

It is easy to apply and blends well with the skin leaving few if any white marks.

It’s unscented, broad spectrum, water resistant and reef safe.

It contains natural minerals and 97% organic ingredients.

It’s all of the things we have come to love about Badger and it comes in a nifty stick to keep the application mess to a minimum.

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Badger – SPF 40 Clear Zinc Sport Sunscreen Tin

If you have gotten this far you are the type of person who wants options.

Well, this is the only sunscreen on our list that comes in a tin.

It’s got 98% organic ingredient and natural minerals.

It’s reef friendly so the reef and fish you see swimming below when you are sitting on your surfboard stay healthy.

This sunscreen has an SPF of 40 and contains four simple ingredients: Zinc Oxide, Sunflower Oil, Beeswax & Vitamin E.

It is ideal for sensitive skin because it is all-natural and has no added fragrances.

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Kokua – Sun Care SPF 50

This sunscreen from Kokua is offers 80 minutes of water resistance, is reef safe and contains natural zinc.

This is a great choice for any one who surfs and likes to feel like they are in Hawaii even when they are not.

This sunscreen from Kokua is all natural and has an SPF of 50.

It offers broad spectrum protection from UVA and UVB radiations. It has a high amount of zinc oxide at 25%.

It is also infused with spirulina, macadamia nut oil, plumeria, and honey which help to tackle inflammation on the skin.

This is a reef-safe sunscreen from Hawaii where they happen to know a little about the sun, surfing and the reefs.

We are fans.

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Headhunter Sunscreen Face Stick SPF 45, Waterproof Surf Sunblock

This face stick is designed for surfing and comes in a pocket-sized version that is easy to carry around.

It is in the form of a powder that won’t melt in warm conditions.

It can even be applied in water. It is ideal for surfers who spend a lot of time in the sun.

It contains both zinc oxide and octocrylene which ensures maximum protection from sun rays.

These ingredients, while they may for good for you, don’t do any favors for our ocean critter friends.

This product is not called out as reef friendly, nor does it have organic ingredients or vitamin E.

We give it to you as an option as that is what we are here to do, but we think there are better, more environmentally friendly options that protect you better in both the short & long term.

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Headhunter Surf Sunscreen SPF 50

With an SPF of 50 and both UVB and UVA blockers it offers maximum protection from harmful sun rays.

It is paraben free and hypoallergenic.

It is also water resistant and lasts long on the skin.

It does contain aloe vera, but does not call out vitamin E, organic ingredients or natural minerals like Badger or Sun Bum.

As a product that is marketed to surfers, we are disappointed that doesn’t do more to protect surfers’ skin for the long term or the critters of the sea.

It is not reef safe.

From that perspective, it is a better option for biking and sitting on the beach vs being in the water.

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Zinka – Clear Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Face Stick SPF 50

Zinka is credited with introducing the first ever colored zinc oxide sunblock and is probably the first sunscreen to market to surfers back in the 80s when the color palette exploded on every piece of surfing gear you could find at the time. 

They created the most water-resistant and broad spectrum sunscreens that are safe for all ages.

It’s been around because they made sunscreen fun and it works.

Other than popping their product into a stick, it doesn’t look like Zinka has changed with the times.

This suncreen will protect you in and out of the water, but due to it’s lack of reef-safe labeling, we would opt for a different sunscreen that takes ocean health into consideration.

This is a good sunscreen for skating and snowboarding, but not surfing from our perspective.

We hope to see reef-friendly options from Zinka in the future.

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Zinka – Nosecoat Sunscreen

This sunscreen from Zinka contains 25% zinc oxide and provides total block from harmful sun rays.

It reflects sunlight, blocks out UVA & UVB rays and is water resistant.

It’s fun and colorful and can help with getting the younger groms to put on sunscreen.

But if you are only going to put sunscreen on your nose, you are in for one terrible night of sleeping through sun burnt pain.

If you are looking for a sunscreen that is better for young and old groms, and the ocean, and can be applied to more than the nose, look else where.

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Zinka SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion 3-oz

This sunscreen has an SPF 30 and contains zinc oxide. It offers maximum protection from UVA & UVB rays.

It is paraben free which makes it safe for most skin types.

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Coppertone  – SPORT Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30

This formula contains 5% zinc oxide as well as octisalate and oxybenzone. It offers maximum protection from UVA & UV rays.

It contains vitamin E and is broad spectrum.

This is another sunscreen on the list that probably better worn on the land and not the ocean as there are other reef safe options.

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Neutrogena – Sheer Zinc Oxide Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

This sunscreen has an SPF of 50 and offers maximum protection from direct UV radiations.

It has 100% zinc oxide which is about the highest that you will find in the market.

It has a dry-touch formula that ensures that it has a non- greasy feel.

It is also hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic (does not clog pores) which makes it safe for most skin types.

Given its 100% zinc oxide content (which is great) and its lack of reef friendliness, we think this is a great option to use on land and not in the water.

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This wraps up our review of the best sunscreens for surfing.

Feel free to write to us and let us know which other sunscreens have worked magic for you.