There are always issues when fashion eludes function, and visa versa, and this is certainly the case with water gear for surfer girls. Personally, I feel companies who have sold themselves as girl / women surf companies, though they have some lovely clothes, have let the average Jo surfer girl down in terms of truly awesome surf suits. In Hawai’i, we surf with some of the hottest pro surfer girls in the world, all hard-bodied and perfection. Hello world, we are not all built that way! Some women’s boobs actually jiggle and laugh in the face of a stretchy sliding spaghetti strap! In this post (which we’ll likely add to) we look at some surfer girl swimsuit don’ts….
The halter: It may make the boobage look all pushed together, snuggly, and a little mo’ big, but the halter is the worst kind of bathing suit top for a surfer girl. Fashion statements are one thing. I have a nice, yellow, bust-enhancing halter from Victoria Secrets, which does magical things, but it’s for wearing on the beach (for short spurts) not on my board. Why? Surfer girls have enough problems with neck strain; why put additional pull on the neck while we surf. You may not feel it while it’s happening, but your neck and shoulder muscles are compensating. Beware; especially larger breasted women. Unless you are spider-bite sized, you should avoid the halter. The crisscrossed back and sports bra styles seem to offer the best boob and postural
support and consistent coverage for bigger surf. Now if only form and function could evolve beyond the compressed boob-flattening that the sporty suits create. There are a few brands out there…but there needs to be more!
The Tankini: These often offer nice comfy support and are lovely for women who don’t want to show the belly. Unfortunately for the surfer girl they have a habit of riding up, or down, while surfing. And body surfing – ferget it! – the boob always pops out the top. Unless you can find one that’s secure fitting, you’re best to get a nice rash guard to cover up.
Board Shorts with Elastic Waist Bands: These are often offered at a Costco and seem like a good deal, until they’re around your ankles after a wipe-out. Though even Hurley and Billabong make them now, and they’re making their way into the surf stores, I recommend only wearing this style out and about or for jogs on the beach. The exception is for the full-figured surfin’ wahine who can stretch out the elastic all the way or their bootay is bootayfull enough to keep ’em up and… they ain’t goin’ nowhere. Simply an observation: guys who wear elastic board shorts are 99% of the time not surfers.
Board Shorts with Fake Ties and Fake Pockets: While we’re on the subject… why put a friggin’ tie in the front of a board short if it has no functional purpose? And by that I mean, why not make it functional!? Why put a pocket on girl’s board shorts if you don’t bother making it so the wax could stay in it? And by that I mean, would it really cost that much more to have the velcro go that extra inch across the whole pocket, g-d forbid you did such skimping on same brand’s men’s boardshorts – just sayin’. These are a few of the little things I’ve wondered about… for the past 20 years. No big deal, surely they’ll give me a good answer some day. Or maybe this needs to go in the NASA pile: things the geniuses at NASA will have to invent once the space program is null and void and they can invent high-IQ solutions and inventions that couldn’t be accomplished by the common man.
Suits with Embellishments: Unfortunately, some cute suits (like the deals you find at Ross) have weird embellishments in odd places. Like O-rings on the front of the hip or between the bust – ouch. Dangling beads also suck when you jump back on the board and have no time to reposition because you need to paddle back out before the next big set. I remember when Xcel had the plastic adjuster for the elastic cinch on their womens (not mens!) wet suit tops in the front, making it awfully painful when lying on the board. They should have made a public apology and refunded everyone (hey, I still have a few). After many complaints they did realize women would actually be surfing in it and repositioned it like the men’s version.
Bikini Bottoms with Tie Strap Sides: These are fine in small waves, but the thing about the surf, it has a way of undressing you. When it happens you will be happy if the side that unties is not the side with the leash, if ya know what I mean. Many a surfer girl has paddled in nekkid; don’t let this happen to you.
If you have the perfect surf swimsuit, send a pict or link! If you are a big surf company and want to see all the dream wahine water gear I’ve been designing in my mind for ten years, give me a buzz. If you’ve had a horrible surf swimsuit experience, send it in for another post!