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How to Choose a Surfing Bikini

Spring is here, and summer is around the corner. You know what that means… swimsuit shopping! But, as a surfer girl, you might need to look at swimwear a little closer.

As a surfer, the last thing you want to think about is a bikini malfunction because wearing a bikini in the ocean is always risky. Waves are often ruthless, and it can be challenging to avoid an embarrassing situation.

You want to stay focused on the waves this surf season,  not the fit of your bikini. Unfortunately, not every bikini is surf-worthy. These handy tips will make it easy to identify the best women's surf swimsuits and help you find your new favorite surfing bikini. 

In this article we’ll cover:


The Ideal Surfing Bikini Top

An excellent surfing bikini top will be supportive and provide a bit of compression. But that doesn't mean you need to go with a smooshed look. Skip over-the-shoulder bikini tops since the straps can loosen and slide down as you move. Halter tops are also a no-go because they put extra strain on your neck. While paddling, your back arches and your shoulders pull together. A halter top creates an opposing force in that position, and the ties can end up digging into your neck. 

Bikini tops that are fixed backtie back, or racerback styles are far better options. Cross-back tops and racerbacks are both good options for support. Plus, the light compression created by cross-backs and racerbacks helps to keep things exactly where they belong. 


Get the Right Surfing Bikini Fit

To stay in place through every movement, a surfing swimsuit needs to fit perfectly. A good fit starts with the ordering process. Before clicking that ever-so-tempting "add to cart" button, read the size chart and get out your measuring tape.

Once your new suit arrives, it's time to try it on. If you were trying on a suit for lounging on the beach, you could get away with just putting it on and checking out your reflection. But you need to put a surf suit through some moves. Before you commit, jump up and down, squat, raise your arms over your head, and reach towards your back. It might sound silly, but you need to know that a surf bikini will move with you. 

Unfortunately, there are just a handful of bikini sizes to fit endless configurations of body types. Everyone’s body is different - a suit with ties and drawstrings can give you a custom, adjustable fit that sticks with you through every move. Tops with crisscross straps that tie at the back let you loosen or tighten the top whenever you want. Bottoms with hidden drawstrings in the waistband prevent gapping and sagging and keep you from constantly readjusting and pulling on your suit. Plus, if a season of surfing carves a new shape and some fresh muscle tone for your body, ties and drawstrings will keep you from having to search for a new suit. 

Choose High-Quality Materials Specifically Designed for Women's Surf Bikinis

It's so disappointing to spend time and money looking for a surfing swimsuit only for it to fade, stretch or break down after just a few wears. Look for high-quality fabric and construction, with a few key features to ensure your new suit lasts for years. 

Many swimsuits will stretch over time, especially if they are worn frequently. They might fit when you first pull them on, but as you start to move, bottoms will slip, tops will sag, and you will end up pulling and adjusting.

Sometimes you will read advice to buy extra tight bottoms so that they still fit after stretching. But that just leaves you with an uncomfortable suit that is still sadly saggy later. Instead, focus on fabric that uses high-grade elastic to create the controlled stretch. Not only will a suit made with high-quality material, such as Foreverever, fit well over time, but it also shouldn't rip or thin due to friction. 

Time in the harsh sun can leave even a boldly hued suit looking a little lackluster, due to UV rays. Instead of watching your suit slowly fade away over the summer, choose fabrics with UV protection to keep them bright. 

Other Surfing Bikini Considerations

Aside from fit and fabric, there are a few minor details that should help you find a surfing bikini that you will love.  

  • Stay away from underwire: You might love an underwire bra for keeping things perky. But, underwire in your surfing bikini can dig into your skin, rub raw spots and leave red marks.
  • Stay away from metal accents - Metal accents, from zippers to beading, are always trendy on fashion swimwear. But metal bits can ding your board and become uncomfortably hot in the sun. 
  • Be mindful of coverage level:  Full coverage is a great option when staying in place is a concern. Full coverage tops and full coverage bottoms stay in place well so you can focus more on surfing. Cheekier coverage means that the suit needs to stay put so be sure to test out your moves before committing. 
  • Choose a fun color – Who says surf bikinis should be all function and no fashion. Mix and match tops and bottoms in your favorite colors or choose a fun print. With a suit that expresses your personal style, you will be stoked every time you put it on.

Learn how JOLYN is supporting Urban Surf 4 Kids surf therapy and mentoring programs here.

1 comment

  • Would it be possible to make more of the styles in the 4x ? Same with the onesies make them one more size larger I have already collected all the tops( solids ) that are 4 x ( and some prints) I would like to add to my Jolyn Collection I know when I was lifeguarding I asked for a larger size in a red and you guys delivered thank you so much and keep up the hard work


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