Blockheads, you are the ones on a sailing team who keep an extra shackle and a roll of tape inside your life jackets in case something breaks on the water – not just for your own boat but your teammates’ boats too. We love this about you. You take responsibility for your gear.


The Harken Blockheads program is all about making good decisions about your equipment. But there’s one piece of equipment that you’ll have your entire life (both on the water and off) that often gets forgotten: your skin. Taking responsibility for it is every bit as essential as any other equipment. And a little bit of protection now will go a long way later in life. After all, we sail in a VERY challenging and potentially damaging sea/sun environment that’s just as tough on cheeks as it is on cheek blocks and other boat parts. Harken has brought what we’ve learned about the unique sailing environment to Harken Derm.


Excessive sun exposure and burning at a young age will:


Did you know that when scientists compared the amount of sun exposure people received until age 60, they found that about 40-50% of total UV exposure happens before age 20?


Why? Because young people spend a lot more time outdoors and have more time off in the summer.


What if you could drastically decrease that 40-50% of cumulative sun exposure? What if you consciously worked to keep your skin safe? We call this “Sun Smart.”


Sun Smart people lead by example. Become Sun Smart now, and you will do yourself a huge favor as you age. You will have fewer freckles on your shoulders and fewer moles on your body. You will spend less time at the dermatologist’s office as an adult. And most importantly, you may save your life. People who are the most Sun Smart lead by example; they share their values and influence their friends to take responsibility as well.


So how do you know if you have a high risk for skin cancer? If any of these sounds like you, it’s especially important to be very careful while out in the sun and sailing.



One last piece of advice. The safest sunscreen for your body and the environment contains only mineral filters (like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) and has no chemical filters. You can find those under “Active Ingredients” on your sunscreen label.


Think about sunscreen as an important “weather gear” for your sailing!



Safe sailing,


Dr. Edit Olasz Harken

Co-Founder Harken Derm

Board-certified Dermatologist


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What exactly is a Blockhead? If you are totally obsessed with how to rig and sail your boat, you might already be one! Join the community of Blockheads to learn more about the sport, engage with others and share sailing experiences. This site serves as the hub for Blockheads globally, where you can discover how to join, media, tips and tricks, contests, and events. This program is all about YOU and we want to hear from everyone! Not seeing something? Your feedback is crucial, feel free to shoot us a comment or message.