A girl surfing in a bikini

Surfing is a sport that can be enjoyed all year round, but once it hits the summer and the weather is a bit brighter, there’s nothing more satisfying than breaking out the bikini and soaking in the sun while catching some waves.

The great news is that you can still enjoy your surf while safely assured that you won’t run the risk of being exposed. Here at Wetsuit Centre, we’ve put together a handy guide to help you select the perfect surf bikini.

If you’re looking to buy a wetsuit online and require some advice about surfing or general water sports, you can always contact a member of our team; we have more than a decade of experience in wetsuits, so you can be sure our expertise will help you find the perfect suit for you!

Women's sizing guide banner

Can You Surf in a Bikini?

Yes, of course, you can go surfing in a bikini! Sadly, not all bikinis are well adapted to surfing, so you might want to save your tie-up bikini for tanning, as those can lead you to a total wipeout in more ways than one.

We’ve created a checklist for what to look for and avoid when selecting the perfect surf bikini below.

A girl lying down on her surfboard in the ocean

Can You Surf in Any Bikini?

As mentioned above, not all bikinis are suited to surfing. Picking up any old bikini can leave you stranded in the water with your chest exposed or your bottoms rolled down from a duck dive, which isn’t the most convenient situation to find yourself in.

Some bikinis will leave you with a sore neck, and others will untie themselves - no matter how many knots you tie in. To keep you performing at your peak and enjoying a day out on your board, we highly recommend you take note of our checklist.

A girl walking into the sea holding her surfboard

Surf Bikini Style Checklist

Find the perfect surf bikini with our checklist below, so you can comfortably surf, assured that you can perform your best without the worry of being exposed or damaging your board.

Get the Right Support

When choosing your bikini, take into account how the bikini will support your assets; there’s no point trying to surf if you’re going to be uncomfortable or distracted.

Try and find a bikini that offers:

  • Cross back
  • Racerback
  • Crop top style
  • Thick shoulder straps

Cross back and racerback bikinis will distribute the weight of your chest evenly across your back and shoulders, while keeping everything safely tucked in, which is where you want them to stay.

Crop top styles are an easy go-to bikini; they offer great security, coverage and will prevent anything from spilling out if you’re a bit curvier on top. Their simple style will allow you to be much more focused as you take off.

Thick bra-style straps will also offer you more security and support. Similar to the cross back, racerback and crop top style, they will help to evenly distribute the weight without pulling down on the neck!

Thick shoulder straps are a much more comfy and reliable bikini style you can rely on while surfing. If you have large boobs, you’ll want to lean more towards a thicker style so your shoulders are more comfortable. Thin straps will cut into your shoulders and can easily roll off if you wipe out.

Consider the Material

It’s always a good idea to bear the material of your surf bikini in mind. This crucial detail is easily ignorable, so with that in mind, what types of material should you look for when picking out the perfect surf bikini?

A surf bikini material should include:

  • Stick-fabric/Fabric that grips your skin
  • Strong, thick material

Your surf bikini won’t need to include all of the above, but when choosing your surf bikini you should keep an eye out for fabrics that will grip your skin, or provide a rubber lining along the edges. Non-slip designs will help to stay secure, even after a tumble.

Keep an eye out for nanogrip or grip swimwear to ensure comfort and security when swimming or surfing!

Strong and thick materials are essential. Materials such as spandex or nylon are generally the best. Reversible bikinis that use a double layer of fabric will often offer additional support, durability and resistance.

Bikini Bottom Styles

When choosing a bikini, it’s easy to only focus on the bikini top and completely forget about what your bikini bottoms will need to offer, but this is a detail you’ll want to put just as much thought into.

The two most important factors to consider when choosing bikini bottoms are:

  • Slightly tight fit
  • Wide hip bands or drawstrings

It’s important to invest in bikini bottoms that are slightly tight as they will stretch, and if you don’t have a drawstring then you’ll definitely be wanting them to stay put around the hips by themselves.

A wide hip band will make it easier for your bikini bottoms to stay put so you can avoid them rolling down when you duck-dive.

Drawstrings are a great way to ensure that they won’t roll down as you’ll be able to tighten them when needed.

A girl surfing

What to Avoid When Buying a Surf Bikini

Now that we’ve specified what to look for in a surf bikini, we’d thought we’d highlight a few styles and functions that are best left at the beach when sunbathing or leisurely swimming.

Styles and functions that aren’t really fit for surfing include:

  • Halter Neck Bikinis
  • Underwire Bikinis
  • Strapless Bikinis
  • Triangle Bikinis
  • Side Tie Bikini Bottoms
  • Fashion Before Function – Your bikini is bound to get ragged about and covered in wax, so it’s best to leave them in good condition for more leisurely moments.
  • Light-Coloured or White Bikinis – These can leave you sunburnt underneath, as well as ruining and discolouring the bikini in general.
  • Zips, Clasps or Metal Details – These can easily ding your board or skin, or they can potentially heat up in the sun and burn you.

When choosing a surf bikini it’s fair to say that function is much more important than fashion. You want to make sure that you're secure and comfortable in your bikini, not to mention, your fashion bikinis will get ruined quickly when surfing.

Bikini styles like the triangle can easily slide along the strings, which can easily leave you exposed. Other styles such as a halter neck will pull down on your neck, leaving you sore and uncomfortable, similar to underwires, which can rub on your skin. It’s best to stay safe and go for something a bit more reliable!

We hope this article has helped you choose the perfect surf bikini! If you still need some more information or advice then you can always contact a member of our friendly team! Here at Wetsuit Centre, we are always happy to help!

The best shorty wetsuit banner