You've just come in from a fun early morning surf... but you're cutting it fine. Work, kids or school beckons. Should you just skip the after surf shower and wing it?
For most of us, the decision to shower or not to shower might seem inconsequential. A little salt or sand isn't going to ruin your day, right?
Probably not, but we all know that showering after a surf always feels better than putting up with salty hair, sticky skin or sand in all the wrong places. It's also a bigger hassle having to clean your vehicle tomorrow rather than washing off your board and wetsuit today.
Let's not forget either that while our oceans are relatively clean, ballast water, toxic anti-foulants, shipping pollution and marine debris are found in Australian waters.
With that in mind, here's why we're advocates of showering after a surf.
The importance of showering after your surf
To all our fellow crusty brothers and salty sisters, we know it's tempting to skip the after-surf rinse for a few more waves. However, we hope the following points convince you to change your post-session routine.
The first and foremost reason to shower after a surf session is simple: hygiene.
Sea water is a rich brew teeming with life, but also potentially harmful microorganisms. A post-surf shower with freshwater can wash away these unwanted hitchhikers, reducing the risk of skin infections.
Moreover, saltwater, if left to dry on the skin, can be drying and irritating, stripping away your skin's natural oils. This can lead to discomfort and skin conditions like saltwater dermatitis. Not to mention, it can leave your hair feeling like straw and have you buying expensive products to mitigate dry hair.
A thorough rinse with a portable shower for surfers can help alleviate these issues, leaving your skin and hair feeling clean and refreshed.
While salty skin or a bit of sand in the car aren't total day-ruiners, it's definitely easier to simply take the time to shower after your surf rather than deal with these minor inconveniences later.
Of course, not all beaches or surf breaks have showers. What's more, you might not want to wait in line for the communal shower at your local spot. Rinsing with a plastic water bottle isn't practical either.
This is where having a portable surf or Beach Shower comes in. With a compact, lightweight and easy-to-use design, you can quickly rinse off before heading home or back to work, to school, to the cafe or out for drinks with mates.
Salt, bacteria and microplastics
Did you know that the very waves you ride can be carrying hidden dangers and be detrimental to your surfing gear?
Salt, for one, can linger on your wetsuit and surfboard, accelerating wear and tear and shortening the lifespan of your gear. A thorough rinse with fresh water after a surf is essential to wash away this corrosive residue.
Moreover, the ocean is a vast ecosystem with various forms of life, including bacteria. Some of these microscopic organisms can be harmful to humans and may cause infections if left unattended on the skin. Showering after a surf therefore not only refreshes you but also acts as a line of defence against these invisible threats.
Perhaps even more alarming is the presence of microplastics in marine ecosystems. Australia alone sees approximately 130,000 tonnes of plastic leak into marine environments every year.
These micro-plastics can attach to your skin and wetsuit during a surf, and without a proper rinse, they may end up in your home environment.
Showering with fresh water helps wash off these tiny pollutants, contributing to a cleaner environment and safer personal spaces.
You can probably get away with skipping the post-surf shower, but wouldn't it just be easier, more enjoyable and more comfortable to give yourself a quick freshwater rinse with a portable surf shower?
It's not 100% necessary, to be sure, but trust us when we say that it's a small but essential step in maintaining good hygiene, preserving your gear and staying healthy!