When Newcastle surfing great Mark Richards was a youngster, proper sunscreen wasn't around.
And when it did become available, it wasn't effective like it is now.
"The first sunscreen I remember my mum putting on me was a Coppertone nose coat. It was like a clear yellowish grease basically," the four-time surfing world champion said.
"It was like a yellowish petroleum jelly that you would smear on your face, but it washed off in the water. If you got it on your hands or board, it made your board feel like it had soap on it.
"I was pretty reluctant to use it. I think a lot of the time when mum put it on me, I just wiped it off on a towel before I went in the water."
Other forms of sun protection weren't common then, either.
"I was born in 1957. I don't think I had a hat. I might have had a straw hat I wore to the beach occasionally," he said.
"There was no such thing as rash shirts. There weren't even wetsuits at the time. A lot of people used to surf in worn footy jumpers to keep themselves warm during winter.
"The early wetsuits were short johns and long johns - none of them had arms in them."
Nowadays, Richards wears sunscreen and either a wetsuit or rash shirt.
"I also surf in a surf hat. As I've got older, I'm way more conscious of the danger of being in the sun all the time. It's not a good idea to go out and get fried."
In recent months, Richards had three skin cancers removed. One of these was a mole with a dark spot on his back. It required a pathology test for a possible melanoma.
"My son actually noticed it a month or so ago," said Richards, of Merewether.
"I'd been for a swim with him. I was having a freshwater shower and he said, 'That thing on your back looks a bit suss. Have you had that checked?'."
He had been getting it checked every six months.
He went in for another check and the doctor did a biopsy.
"It wasn't conclusive, so they decided to cut it out," he said.
Pathology tests on the removed mole showed it was a squamous cell carcinoma, as were two spots on his fingers that were removed in December.
If left untreated, this type of skin cancer can spread to other parts of the body.
Richards had been getting the spots on his fingers checked every three months.
When one of the spots was removed, he had to wear a large bandage extending up the arm for a week to stop finger and hand movement. He also had to keep it elevated.
"Initially It looked innocent, but it quickly turned into a squamous cell carcinoma. It grew this thing like a volcano horn on it. It just appeared and it happened really quickly and it was really sore."
A plastic surgeon did the operation, which involved taking a skin graft from his arm.
"In all my years of surfing, I'd never put sunscreen on the top of my hands, as they don't seem to get sunburnt. I was seriously wrong," he said.
Richards first posted on Instagram about his skin cancer experience in December.
He thought people might question why he was posting about the issue, amid his usual photos of surfboards that he's shaped and waves he's ridden.
"But I got a really positive reaction," he said.
People thanked him for the posts. Some were inspired to get a skin check.
"The really interesting thing was so many surfers - who had spent years in the sun - commented that they had never had a skin check," he said.
So he posted more photos and stories about having skin cancers removed "to try and raise some awareness and hopefully for people to think about it and basically go and get checked".
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