Both newbie, frequent, and hardcore water skiers will undoubtedly appreciate an Xcel rash guard as a gift. It is one of those quality and thoughtful presents that makes the wearer instantly acknowledge your thoughtfulness when worn. As a three session a week skiers, I depend heavily on my collection of Xcel rash guards for protection from rashes and the powerful Hawaiian sun. Although Xcel makes an entire line of rash guards for women ranging from moderate to full coverage, I personally prefer the long sleeved rash guards (classified by Xcel as long sleeved Lycra top) … as I have an aversion to exhibiting a fine farmer’s tan while wearing my cutest tank top.
The Company: Based out of Haleiwa, after moving out of a makeshift production line at a house on Sunset beach, Xcel was founded in 1982. Looking to provide wetsuits and water wear, Xcel became widely known as it expanded into sun protection gear, commonly known as rash guards. Xcel provide gear for the sports like water skiing such as water skis for beginners, paddle such as paddle surf, dive, wake and sun protection industries … and while it has branched out onto watersports wear as a whole, Xcel’s dedication to the product has not retreated on quality. The market is saturated by many water skiing and rash guard manufacturers; while the competition has grown to include many cheap unknown and known brands, Xcel rash guards continue to be a great value for the price.
The Product: Excel rash guards provide an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 50+ — for comparison, a new t-shirt provides approximately UPF 5. The UV protection is afforded by the weave of the rash guard. Excel rash guards are made of thick Lycra with flat locked seams. You can easily feel the difference in thickness by rubbing the various branded rash guards between your fingers and then trying the same with the Xcel rash guard. Xcel provides the Lycra with added thickness that adds a more supple feel next to your skin. The flat locked seams provide longevity as you change into your rash guard each water skiing session.
As a water skier, let me tell you that nothing is more annoying than your rash guard stitching unraveling around your hand while executing a quick pop-up to beat out five other water skiers for the wave of the day. The cut and shape of the xcel rash guard provides superior range of motion for water skiing, which I am forever grateful.
Rash guards sizes are the same as shirt sizes, however, they are made to fit snug. When buying a rash guard as a gift the same shirt size should fit comfortably snug. Sometimes a water skier prefers one size larger for a looser fit. Thank goodness for gift receipts!
The Verdict: The water skiers in your life probably already has a rash guard but believe me, they could always use another one, especially if it bears the quality and longevity of an Xcel rash guard. Remember that donning a dry rash guard is always preferable to a cold, sticky, wet one! A friend even made a special request for an Xcel rash guard for her birthday last year! And watching her smile as she paddled out wrapped inside that new Xcel rash guard, I knew that it was a happy birthday for her!