Category Archives: General

Wearing Black In The Sun

It has been thought that wearing a white in the sun will keep us cool because white reflects the heat, and wearing black in the sun make us hot? This to a certain degree (wearing white will keep us cool) is correct until you start thinking about two other factors; the heat from our own bodies and UV protection.

black t-shirt and white t-shirt
Whether to wear a black or a white t-shirt in the sun?

White T-Shirt Or Black T-Shirt

In actual fact to dress for hot weather we should probably be taking cues from the Bedouin who wear loose black robes. The way that white t-shirts are constructed in comparison to a darker tee is differentiated by the dye that is applied and the material. A darker material is obtained by the introduction of dyes to the material which absorb more UV rays than the simple white cotton, which is generally just bleached from the original natural colouring of the fabric to get the fresh white consistency. The white material often has more holes than a heavily dyed fabric which is why you often see the same styled shirts with a different Ultraviolet Protect Factor (UPF) rating. The type and thickness of fabric will make a difference; for instance a thick heavy woolen fabric, like a Bedouin would wear, would have a higher UPF rating than a thin cotton white tee. However, there is something to be said that although useful in terms of UV protection I’m sure that not all of us want to be walking around in thick heavy woolen clothes. Therefore a compromise would be a cotton/polyester tee; but make sure you choose a black tee over a white tee when thinking about UV protection.

Body Heat

So back to the original question, wearing a white t-shirt in the sun will keep us cool because white reflects the heat. Correct, until you start thinking about your body heat which in fact is a lot closer to the t-shirt than the sun. Yes, white will reflect more heat than black but it will also reflect the heat from your body back towards your body. In the case of a darker material, yes this will absorb the energy from the sun but will also absorb the heat from your own body a lot more consequently keeping you cooler. This paired with a loose fitting black tee allows cooler air to enter from underneath and with heat evaporation from the top, in entirety this creates an air flow and therefore results in cooling the body. Plus if you think about it if the only reason not to wear a black t-shirt is because they get hot due to absorbing the heat from the sun, having a loose fitting t-shirt is also going to reduce the amount that the fabric touches the body.

In conclusion, not only will a darker dyed fabric give you a better UV protection than a lighter material but also in the case of a loose fitting fabric cools you down more too. So forget everything you’ve previously thought, some scientist somewhere has proved this correct, and they even said so on QI – which means it is definitely true!

So you can wear black in the sun! Plus black is slimming anyway right….?

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Drowning Prevention Week 21-29 June

Saturday is the start of The Royal Life Saving Society’s (RLSS) Drowning Prevention Week. To help promote the event Tallington Lakes staff have been wearing one of the RLSS bright yellow swim hats or #TopHat during the many water sports activities available at the lakes!

Jets king with rlss tophat

Having spent a few days at the lakes the #TopHat boarded a plane to Georgia, USA to spread the word stateside! Who knows where it will end up?

rlss #tophat in usa

Please check out our water safety guide and make sure you have a safe summer!

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Buying A Wetsuit Guide

If like us you enjoy your Watersports; then water temperature will play an important part! With British water temperatures ranging from below a chilly 15°C to a warm 20°C, and the body loosing 30 times more body heat in water than in air, buying a wetsuit is a necessary piece of kit. However, you must choose an appropriate wetsuit, which fits, for it to work.

Buying A Wetsuit

To help choose the correct wetsuit it essential to know what you are going to be doing in it, what time of year it will be used, how much you’re plan on using it, and finally a realistic budget. If you are looking to spend only a few hours every week, in the hottest days of summer, it’s likely you will get away with an entry-level suit. However if you plan on riding in the coldest of conditions, all year round, then a thicker more technical suit will probably be necessary.

However, either wetsuit will need to fit correctly for it to work. Basically a wetsuit is made from neoprene which is made up of thousands of tiny air bubbles; these air bubbles create an insulating barrier to keep you warm. An ill-fitting suit will be prone to flushing (keeps re- filling with cold water) because water enters the suit from the neck, sleeves or ankles. This will instantly decrease your body temperature and shorten your time in the water. Also a poor fitting wetsuit will restrict mobility and prevent you from participating in your water sport effectively.

Summer Wetsuits

Summer suits are typically made from a combination of 3mm and 2mm neoprene across the core and limbs, respectively, to give the best balance of warmth and flexibility. Buying a short sleeve or leg wetsuit (shorty) is a personal preference and will most likely be a decision based on activity. The wetsuit is constructed with flat-lock stitching to prevent chaffing, and various design/construction methods give the suits a different degree of stretch and conformability; such as lady specific wetsuits.

lady surfer in summer wetsuit walking on the beach
Ladies summer wetsuit © O’Neill

Winter Wetsuits

Winter suits are designed for warmth; this of course involves using a thicker cut of neoprene to trap more air. Most winter suits are constructed with 5mm panels on the torso to maintain core temperature and 3mm on the limbs for better movement. Seams in-between the neoprene are often welded using a special rubber bonding solution to prevent any water flushing; which essential when the water is sub 10°C.

surfer sat in the sea
Winter wetsuit © O’Neill

What size Wetsuit Am I?

To help get the right fit we suggest you measure your height, waist, chest and weight and use the appropriate brand’s size guide; because they know what they are talking about!

Wearing A Wetsuit

This applies to anyone buying any type of wetsuit no matter what time of the year. There are a few simple rules we like to follow to make sure that you are wearing the wetsuit correctly. At the end of the day only you can tell if the wetsuit is comfortably snug, but here are some tell-tale signs of a good fit:

  • Kneepads: Make sure that the centre of the kneepad is position directly over the kneecap, not doing this can lead to tightness over the shoulders.
  • Crotch: You must work as much material you can from your legs inch by inch up to your waist so that there is not a gap in the crotch of the suit. This would hold water and cause the suit to sit too low.
  • Sleeves: The end of the sleeve doesn’t have to sit on the wrist! However it is important that the shoulder of the suit is located correctly over your shoulder, by working the sleeves up inch by inch.
  • Zip: Don’t make the ‘schoolboy error’ of putting the suit on the wrong way round. If the zip is vertical it will need to be at the back; and if the zip is horizontal near the top it will need to be at the front. You shouldn’t have to pull the zip cord too hard to do it up; but if you not a yoga master and are struggling to reach the zip – just ask someone for a helping hand.
  • Neck: All done up in your suit but you still feel like there is some tension pulling down on your neck? It might be that you have to work some more material up from the waist up to your shoulders. Once this is all done you should have good movement in your neck and shoulders with little restriction.
  • Lumbar: I you can get someone to grab the material at the base of your spine/lumbar and they can grab an inch or more the suit is likely to be too big. What will happen is that water will pool in this area and cool your body – we suggest you try the next size down.

This wetsuit guide will help you fit a suit correctly, but if unsure come in-store and try some on.

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What Are Stretchy Boardshorts?

Board shorts, trunks, swim shorts, boardies, surf trunks, jammers, swim trunks; you can call them what you want but at the end of the day if its performance and comfort you crave then stretchy boardshorts are the answer!

Obviously if you are just sunbathing the only requirement of your boardshorts is they look good! However if you participating in a watersport activity such as wakeboarding, water skiing or surfing you be expecting a bit more from your boardies.

Stretchy Boardshorts

Unlike traditional board shorts made from 100% polyester, the latest boardies are typically polyester mixed with between 5-15% elastane, spandex or lycra. This allows the material to stretch and gives a greater range of movement. The amount of stretch varies and generally the more you pay the more stretch you get; so how much stretch do you get?

rip curl surfer wearing boardshorts

2-Way Stretch

This allows for stretch in only one directional plane and will provide comfort and movement for those on a tighter budget. Check out the Hurley Surface boardshort.

4-way stretch

Multi-direction stretch for a free feeling; these boardshort will move with you whatever direction you take. This is the benchmark in stretch fabrics, providing ultimate performance and comfort. Check out the Ripcurl Mirage or Hurley Phantom boardies.

6 way stretch

Don’t worry these will not contort you into positions you don’t want to be! Generally these board shorts will comprise of different panels of 2-way and 4-way stretch material. Not sure whether this better than 4-way; but generally the front panel may be 2-way while the back 4-way! Check out the Volcom V6 Pixelator shorts.

Other features may include hydrophobic coatings. Yes you are in water, so of course your shorts are going to get wet, but they don’t have to stay that way. A Hydrophobic coating on the material means that it doesn’t hold onto as much water, so once you are out of the water they dry much faster. Taped seams are more durable and provide a chafe free seam for superb long lasting comfort, such as the O’Neill Hydro Freak boardshorts.

And here’s a chance to win yourself a pair of boardshorts!

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How To Be Safe Near Water.

It’s summer time! A time for sunbathing, sport and splashing about in the water. But a campaign by the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) is serving to remind people that families need to keep safe near the water to ensure fun doesn’t turn to tragedy,
Drowning Prevention Week is a national campaign that aims to reduce the number of drowning and near drowning incidences that occur in the UK by showing people how to be safe near water.

Drowning is the 3rd highest cause of accidental death in children in the UK. Around 400 people accidentally drown in the UK every year with thousands more have near drowning experiences , many resulting in life changing injuries.

The awareness raising campaign (this year running from 21-29 June) is predominantly aimed at children, and throughout the week water safety is promoted in schools, leisure centres, local communities, businesses and widely through the media.

A host of free resources that help to deliver water safety messages are available on their website, such as an animated film, interactive dames, children’s activities, leaflets, lesson plans and pool session ideas.

drowning prevention week 21-29 june 2014

The campaign also hopes to raise money to help develop the charity’s year round drowning prevention work.


RLSS UK believe that if everyone knew and understood the SAFE code and made small changes to their behaviour near water, we could cut down the number of preventable, accidental drowning deaths.

How To Be Safe Near Water SAFE Code:

Spot – Spot the dangers
• Check for hazards such as currents or deep water
• Consider what could be hidden under the water
• Be careful of unsafe banks, stay well back from the edge

Advice – Take advice
• Always read the signs
• Only swim where there is a lifeguard
• Wear buoyancy aids and life jackets
Friend – Go with a friend
• Always swim with friends or family
• Friends can get help
• Never swim alone

Emergency – Know what to do in an emergency
• Find the nearest phone and call 999
• Shout loudly to attract attention
• Never enter the water to save someone

For more information, contact

royal life saving society uk

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Cleaning and Waterproofing Your Ski Jacket and Snow Pants

If like me you are a recreational skier (however this does include snowboarders) who has one trip to the mountains each snow season; you may keep your ski jacket and snow pants for a few seasons before replacing them. Consequently you may need to clean them to keep them in tip top condition! On-the-other-hand you may go skiing or snowboarding many times, and your kit looks grubby. So this is for you too! Continue reading Cleaning and Waterproofing Your Ski Jacket and Snow Pants

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