Name Origins: Rash Guard – Sanabul Skip to content
Name Origins: Rash Guard

Name Origins: Rash Guard

Why is a rash guard called a rash guard?

Originally designed for surfers, rash guards are commonly worn attire in many sports. From grappling sports (like Jiu Jitsu and mma) to water sports (scuba diving, wakeboarding, snorkeling, etc), the main job of the rash guard is to protect the wearer’s skin.


After surfing without a shirt, surfers would discover that they had developed various forms of damage to their skin: rashes, irritation, abrasions, chafing. Throughout their hours of surfing, their bare skin was rubbing against the rough wax on their surfboards and left painful reminders of their time on the water. When adding in other factors like the water, sand, and ocean debris, it’s no surprise that the friction from the skin rubbing against the surfboard would leave these marks.

To prevent this, the rash guard was invented. 

This new flexible and snug piece of clothing was so simple, yet so effective. The skin would no longer take the damage of constant friction rubbing against the surfboard. The smooth rash guard would instead allow them to glide with the board. The skin was kept safe, which meant that surfers could surf longer and more often (since they didn’t have to spend time away from the water recovering from their skin injuries).

Impact on other Activities

This incredible watersport invention was soon transferred into other walks of life, such as leisure attire and grappling sports.

In Jiu Jitsu, wrestling, and MMA, rashguards are commonly worn by practitioners. Rash Guards fit snugly on the body, which prevents other people’s limbs (fingers, toes, etc) from getting caught and potentially broken – something that has occurred to people when they wear normal clothing such as loose t-shirts and shorts with pockets.

In addition, street clothing starts to hang and stretch when it absorbs moisture. A lot of sweat is involved with combat sports training, so clothing you would normally wear on the street is not exactly the best choice for training. 

Rashguards absorb and wick moisture much, much better than conventional clothing. The smooth material of the rash guards also provide a safe barrier between the mats and your skin, which can allow you to maneuver in and out of various positions, without tearing your skin up.

If you’re looking for some high quality rash guards and grappling apparel, check out our grappling collection!

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