If you surf, you need to wear sunscreen. It's as simple as that. The trick, of course, is to find one that won't wash off after an hour or two of bobbing around in the salty brine. As logic would dictate, not all sunscreens are the same, and what works for your average aquatic enthusiast doesn't necessarily mean that it'll protect a surfer who's keen on spending six hours under a tropical sun. Enter Vertra Elemental Resistance and Shane Dorian's signature Shelter Kona Gold. Think about it this way: If it's good enough for Shane-O, it's good enough for your unsightly mug.
WHAT IT IS: After an extended career on the ASP World Tour, Dorian walked away from competitive surfing, but hardly stopped chasing waves. From XXL Awards to driving a boat at Tavarua, he was spending more and more time under the sun. And as such, he knew he needed something special in a sunscreen. He partnered up with Vertra, the two spent a year and a half on R&D, and what they came up with was a SPF 38 face stick that protects against the harmful effects of both UVA and UVB rays, while staying on through countless hold-downs, thrashings, and trips to the bottom.
WHY IT RULES: Vertra's Shelter face stick is great for a number of reasons. First, it really protects. Long days under the sun can be draining, and with its opaque "Kona Gold" tint, it's not letting anything through ... and because it has a fleshy tone to it, you won't look like Caspar the Ghost out in the lineup. Second, it stays on. Considering the only way to really remove it is with soap and water, you won't have to worry about it running into your eyes or coming off if you're getting in and out of the water all day. Third, the packaging is small and doesn't get in the way if you put it in the pocket of your boardshorts ... which makes reapplying a breeze. And forth, it's affordable. The face stick will last you a long time (as long as you don't leave it on the dashboard of your car), and at only $21, isn't it worth a little investment up front to avoid skin cancer down the road?
WHERE TO FIND IT: You can find whatever you're looking for at Vertra.com, or at your local surf shop, and in some cases cosmetic shops and counters.