Can You Surf with Acrylic Nails? (The Beach Beauty Dilemma)

If you’re a surfer with acrylic nails, you may be wondering, “Can you surf with acrylic nails?”

While acrylic nails can be a stylish accessory, they can also present some challenges for surfers.

Understanding the potential risks and best practices for nail care can help you make the most of your surfing experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Surfing with acrylic nails is possible, but not recommended due to the risk of breakage and damage to the nails.
  • Acrylic nails are not waterproof and can absorb water, causing them to lift or break more easily.
  • To minimize the risks of surfing with acrylic nails, be gentle with your nails, avoid using them for strenuous tasks, and protect them with a topcoat or gloves.

Pros and Cons of Surfing with Acrylic Nails

If you’re a surfer who also loves to have beautiful nails, you may be wondering if you can surf with acrylic nails.

Here are some pros and cons to consider before hitting the waves with your acrylics.


PROS of Surfing with Acrylic Nails
DurabilityAcrylic nails are known for their durability, which can be beneficial for surfers who want to keep their nails looking good despite the harsh conditions of the ocean.
ProtectionAcrylic nails can provide an extra layer of protection for your natural nails, which can help prevent breakage and damage while surfing.
SupportAcrylic nails can provide additional support for your natural nails, which can be helpful for surfers who want to avoid painful nail injuries while catching waves.


CONS for Surfing with Acrylic Nails
Type of AcrylicThe type of acrylic used for your nails can impact your ability to surf comfortably. Some types of acrylic may be too thick or heavy, making it difficult to grip your surfboard properly.
Removed NailsIf your acrylic nails are not properly removed before surfing, they can break or get caught on your wetsuit or surfboard, causing pain and damage to your natural nails.
Potential InjuriesAlthough acrylic nails can provide some protection and support, they can also increase the risk of injury if they break or get caught on something while surfing.

SEVEN Maintenance Acrylic Nail Tips for Surfers

If you are a surfer with acrylic nails, it is important to take proper care of them to ensure they remain intact and looking good.

Here are some maintenance tips to keep in mind:

1. Regular Fills

As your natural nails grow, the gap between the acrylic and your nail bed will become more noticeable.

To prevent water from seeping in and causing damage, schedule regular fills with your nail technician. This will also help keep your nails looking fresh and polished.

2. Use a Top Coat

Applying a top coat to your nails can help protect them from the sun, saltwater, and sand.

Look for a top coat specifically designed for acrylic nails, as these will provide extra protection and help prevent chipping.

3. Apply Sunscreen

Just like your skin, your nails can be damaged by the sun’s harmful rays. Apply sunscreen to your hands and nails before heading out into the water.

4. Use Cuticle Oil

Acrylic nails can cause your cuticles to become dry and damaged. To keep them healthy, apply cuticle oil regularly. This will also help prevent your nails from lifting.

5. Avoid Harsh Chemicals

When surfing, you may come into contact with harsh chemicals such as bleach or chlorine.

These can damage your nails and cause them to lift. Wear gloves when handling these chemicals, and avoid using them on your nails whenever possible.

6. Invest in a Good Brush

A good brush can help you keep your nails clean and free from debris. Look for a brush with soft bristles that won’t scratch or damage your acrylics.

7. Use a Base Coat

Applying a base coat before your color can help protect your nails and prevent staining. Look for a base coat specifically designed for acrylic nails, as these will provide extra protection.

THREE Alternatives to Acrylic Nails for Surfers

If you’re a surfer, you know that acrylic nails are not the best option when it comes to surfing.

They can easily break and cause cuts and scrapes, which can be painful and lead to infections.

Fortunately, there are several alternatives to acrylic nails that can work well for surfers.

1. Gel Nails

One of the best alternatives to acrylic nails for surfers is gel nails. Gel nails are similar to acrylic nails but without the harsh chemicals.

They are more flexible and durable, making them a great option for surfers. Gel nails are also available in a variety of colors and designs, so you can still express your personal style.

2. Gel Manicure

Another alternative to acrylic nails is a gel manicure.

A gel manicure is a type of nail polish that is cured under a UV light. It is more durable than regular nail polish and can last up to two weeks without chipping.

Gel polish is also available in a variety of colors and designs, so you can still have fun with your nails while surfing.

3. Natural Nails

If you prefer to stick with natural nails, there are still options for you.

You can strengthen your natural nails by taking biotin supplements or using a nail strengthener.

A healthy diet that includes plenty of protein and vitamins can also help strengthen your nails.

Here is a table summarizing the alternatives to acrylic nails for surfers:

Gel NailsSimilar to acrylic nails but without harsh chemicalsDurable, flexible, available in a variety of colors and designsCan be expensive
Gel ManicureNail polish cured under UV lightLasts up to two weeks without chipping, available in a variety of colors and designsCan be expensive, requires UV light
Natural NailsStrengthen with biotin supplements or nail strengthenerNo chemicals, cost-effectiveMay not be as durable as artificial nails

Removing Acrylic Nails After Surfing

If you have decided to go surfing with acrylic nails, it is essential to know how to remove them properly after your surfing session. The combination of saltwater and sand can weaken the bond between the acrylic and your natural nails, making it easier to remove them.

To remove acrylic nails after surfing, you will need to soak your nails in acetone.

Acetone is a powerful solvent that breaks down the acrylic, making it easier to remove.

You can either visit a salon to remove your acrylic nails or do it yourself at home.

1. DIY Acrylic Nail Removal

If you decide to remove your acrylic nails at home, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Gather all the necessary materials: acetone, cotton balls, aluminum foil, nail file, and cuticle oil.
  2. File the top layer of the acrylic nails to remove the shiny topcoat.
  3. Soak the cotton balls in acetone and place them on top of your nails.
  4. Wrap each finger in aluminum foil to keep the cotton balls in place.
  5. Wait for 20-30 minutes to allow the acetone to break down the acrylic.
  6. Remove the aluminum foil and cotton balls and gently scrape off the acrylic with a cuticle pusher.
  7. Buff your nails to remove any remaining acrylic residue.
  8. Apply cuticle oil to your nails and massage it into your nail bed.

It is crucial to be patient when removing acrylic nails. Rushing the process can damage your natural nail bed and cause pain.

2. Visiting a Salon

If you prefer to visit a salon to remove your acrylic nails, make sure to choose a reputable one. The salon technician will use a similar method to remove your acrylic nails, but they may use a drill to remove the top layer of the acrylic instead of a nail file.

In conclusion, removing acrylic nails after surfing is essential to maintain the health of your natural nails. Whether you choose to do it yourself or visit a salon, make sure to follow the necessary steps carefully to avoid any damage to your nails.


Overall, surfing with acrylic nails is possible, but it requires some extra care and attention. By following the tips mentioned above, you can enjoy your surfing experience without damaging your acrylic nails or putting your health at risk.

Can You _______ with Acrylic Nails?
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Do PotteryDo WuduDo Yoga
GolfGo in a Hot TubGo Swimming
Lift WeightsMassageNetball
PianoPlay SoccerPlay Softball
Play TennisPlay ViolinPlay Volleyball
Rock ClimbRowRun Track
Scuba DiveShowerSki
SurfTake a ShowerTattoo
TravelTypeUse a Tanning Bed
VolleyballWash HairWorkout