When I started guiding in the late 80s, a tee shirt and shorts were appropriate attire. Sunglasses were a fashion statement. And we didn't wear sunscreen; we lathered up with sun tan oil! A sunburn was a sign of a healthy lifestyle. While my skin tone never really resulted in the bad peel and burn of overdoing sun exposure, I began to take note. I even began to get an annual check up with a dermatologist! I have opted for maximum eye protection as well with Maui Jim polarized sunglasses with superior UV protection for my eyes.
Most of the clothing in the early part of 2000 was beginning to contain SPF protection. My short sleeve tee shirts were replaced with long sleeve tees, and my shorts with long pants. Companies were making them more comfortable. I covered up remaining exposed skin with SPF 40, but found the new clothing materials were cooler and more comfortable than covering up with the messy and greasy lotions. Covering up keeps the heat off and the sun's rays at bay! Eventually, the only exposed areas were the back of my neck, the front of my neck, my ears, nose, face and hands.
Regular Buff neckwear did a good job covering up most of the front and back of my neck, and even my ears and most of my nose and face. But with some shirt collars, there was a gap just below the Buff. Covering up my face worked well, except my Maui Jim sunglasses became fogged as exhaling forced air into my glasses.
The new Buff covers all around my neck area, regardless of the shirt collar I'm wearing. It also allows heat to escape. The hood portion is much more comfortable and ergo dynamic, and covers my forehead much better. But the mouth and nose area has very small holes to allow breathing to occur without fogging my Maui Jim's!
As a guide, I spend 50 hours a week in the sun! Even with cloud cover, the sun's rays are still capable of damaging skin and eyes. Sunscreen washes off and burns eyes. It also clogs pores making you uncomfortable and it can make a mess in the boat, not to mention fouling up a bait to leave a bad taste for fish. The new Buff keeps the sun’s heat off your skin and protects against damaging rays. I've seen guys my age who look 20 years older with dry wrinkled skin! And worse, I've seen guys of all ages with chunks cut out of their faces, arms and legs. Skin cancer doesn't have to be!
I advise all anglers and my clients as well to think about sun protection and put sprays and lotions on in the morning before they leave home while in the air conditioning. It will stay on better. If they fish with me repeatedly, I make stronger suggestions to purchase protective clothing, including wide brimmed hats.
They may look goofy, but they do protect!
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