Thursday, January 21, 2010 Updated: January 22, 12:42 PM ET Goo Review Sunscreen Challege
Different ways to fight the burn.
About eight months ago, Kitty Hawk, NC, professional surfer Jeff Myers came into the Eastern Surf Magazine offices raving about his new sponsor, Ocean Potion Suncare, before getting a voluptuous young sales rep to unload a box of the stuff.
Knowing I would eventually be going to Nicaragua with Billy Hume, Kim Diggs, Ronnie Brooks, and Justin Fucci for our friend Craig Watson's wedding, I dove into the ESM Greedy Box to requisition myself some of Myers' bro bono treats for our surf sessions. To my surprise, ESM Publisher/office schwag Hamburglar himself, Tom Dugan, had stashed not one, but six types of sunscreen -- all catering to the boardsports market. I grabbed a couple handfuls upon tendering my resignation as Editor and broke it out this November for the inaugural Goo Review Sunscreen Challenge.
Being the consummate professional, Billy took the challenge rather seriously, injecting his extensive knowledge of our evolving sport and industry trends to see where each company fits in terms of branding viability. Offering a welcome feminine perspective, Kim focused on consistency and aroma, while her boyfriend Ronnie -- the trip grom -- was the real guinea pig in this experiment, the control group being Day Three when we denied Ronnie any UV protection at all. The only totally unsponsored surfer in the group and thus caring nothing for endorsement, Justin was able to provide non-political conclusions while researching the, uh -- extracurricular applications of each product. Each surfer's peculiar scientific method and subsequent testimonial speaks volumes about epidermal exposure and its correlation to 21st century surf culture (or not.)
DAY ONE: ZINKA COLORED NOSECOAT Zinka.com Billy Hume: "Zinka's the original surf screen. It takes me back to the '80s, back to Lance Burkhart's Zinka-painted chest during the Halloween party in North Shore." Kim Diggs: "Compared to some of the newer, more lubricated stuff, this feels like you're rubbing surfboard wax on your nose. Smells nice, though." Ronnie Brooks: "I think it's just meant for your nose, 'cause what little hair I did have on my chest, Zinka ripped it out." Justin Fucci: "Ugh! This stuff tastes like s---"
Ensure you don't get cancer and scare the locals at the same time.
DAY TWO: VERTRA RESISTANCE CREAM SPF 45 www.vertra.com Billy Hume: "I've never heard of these guys, but it seems like a lot of mainstream companies want a piece of the action sports industry lately. Apparently, Vertra picked up Mick Fanning --
Whoa, you think maybe they'd sponsor me?" Kim Diggs: "This feels much nicer on my skin, more like an herbal pore remedy than sunblock." Ronnie Brooks: "I felt like it washed right off the minute I paddled out. I only got slightly burned, though." Justin Fucci: "Ouch! The flies love this stuff and keep coming after me. This sucks!"
DAY THREE: HIMAYA SPORTS FORMULA SPF 45+ himaya.com Billy Hume: "I think my buddy Ben McBrien surfs for these guys. Will Skudin, too. But Himaya sponsors everyone from rock climbers to kiteboarders, so I don't know how legit they are in the surf ghetto." Kim Diggs: "It's hard squeezing enough goo out of these little single-serve packets to cover your entire upper body, so I just applied it to the critical areas: nose, eyelids, moles --" Ronnie Brooks: "You bunch of sleazes! You didn't leave me any. That's OK, I wanted to wear my Jonas Brothers T-shirt out there anyway." Justin Fucci: "I put it on my lips, but I'm not sure all herpes can be prevented just by using sunblock."
DAY FOUR: HEADHUNTER CLEAR FORMULA SPF 30 Headhuntersurf.com Billy Hume: "One of our buddies from home, Nigel Haynes, reps for these guys so I know they've been around the surf culture for a while now. I just like the name, 'Headhunter', which sounds all feral and Aussie. So it must be cool." Kim Diggs: "Old faithful. We've been using this stuff for so long now during summers on the Outer Banks, putting it on is like second nature: "Wake up, brush teeth, Headhunter, repeat." Ronnie Brooks: "My Jonas Brothers shirt didn't work at all yesterday, and I got badly burned. Thanks to Nigel, though, I got my own tube of Headhunter today. And y'all ain't getting none of it!" Justin Fucci: "The real good goo should be clear , not white and cake-like. I wonder what else you can use Headhunter for."
--Insert witty remark about getting in the barrel to avoid the tropical sun here--
DAY FIVE: OCEAN POTION SUNCARE OIL FREE SPORT XTREME SUNBLOCK SPF 50 Opotion.com Billy Hume: "These are the guys responsible for helping revitalize Myers' surfing career. So we'll give Ocean Potion the benefit of the doubt just out of respect." Kim Diggs: "Their sunblock didn't impress me all that much, but have you tried Ocean Potion's Moisturizing Aloe Lotion? It's to die for!" Ronnie Brooks: "Kimmie, baby, can you rub some of that on my tummy? I'm not feeling so good." Justin Fucci: "My ex-girlfriend and I once attempted to give each other pet names. My name for her was actually "Ocean Potion," but it didn't stick. But even after we broke up, everyone still calls me 'Colon Blow.'"
DAY SIX: WATERMANS APPLIED SCIENCE VERY WATER RESISTANT SPF 33 www.watermansappliedscience.com Billy Hume: "They are a proud sponsor of Surf Aid International, which makes Watermans good guys right there. Somebody has to do it& because, like, I'm not gonna do it." Kim Diggs: "It smells and feels so nice on your skin, you almost want to put it on your toast. But don't do that, okay Fucci?" Ronnie Brooks: "These bubbles forming on my back are pretty disturbing. Can Watermans reverse the sun poisoning process?" Justin Fucci: "What does 'SPF' stand for? 'Somebody Poison Fucci?' Fine. Today I will have a pack of Camel Lights, ten Rum Runners, and no sunscreen whatsoever, just to show you fools I am in control of my own destruction."
CONCLUSION: While proper sunscreen selection and application is crucial to maximizing the fun factor on your next surf trip, it's a distant second to good humor.