Bikini Blues | Pro Tips To Fight Women’s Swimwear Malfunctions

Finding the bikini that withstands the elements is tough...the pros weigh in. Photo: Chris Reickert

Finding a bikini that withstands the elements is tough…the pros weigh in. Photo: Chris Reickert

Pro Tips To Fight Women's Swimwear Malfunctions

Every female standup paddler has had their swimsuit claimed by the sea at least once. It's the worst. When you're in the water, your focus should be on paddling, not whether or not your suit is going to stay on. We wanted to put an end to the swimsuit dilemma, so we set out to find a handful of suits that actually stay put. And who better to ask than the pros? We checked in with a few of the top female surfers and racers in the sport and asked them to share tales of their worst bikini malfunctions and swimsuits they've found actually hold up in trying conditions. –Rebecca Parsons

Aline Adisaka:

Crop tops work well both in and out of the water. Photo: CNunes Productions

Crop tops work well both in and out of the water. Photo: CNunes Productions

"I've had some memorable swimsuit malfunctions; I think all of the girls have. A few times I completely lost my bikini, but luckily I was able to rescue it quickly underwater and wear it again. With time, you find a good bikini that you hardly ever lose. The perfect suits for me are the ones with bigger tops that cover more. Almost like a cropped top that you can wear out of the water and they're still cute. One-pieces are very good as well; I think they are the safest ones. I love the ones from the Azul do Mar store, as well as Krugrans and Coral bikinis. I always find their bikinis and one-pieces are perfect and safe to surf in."

Fiona Wylde:

Photo: Hannah Hill

Fiona learned the hard way that triangle tops don’t always works. Photo: Hannah Hill

"The dreaded thought of losing a bikini top or bottom while surfing is a fear I think a lot of girls worry about, and rightfully so! Once I was surfing with my boyfriend’s dad, Norm, at an outer reef on Maui when I got pounded to the bottom. Normally I wouldn’t have had second thoughts, but when I popped up for air something felt, well, shall I say very free? I looked down and to my astonishment my triangle bikini top that I loved so much was completely gone! I couldn’t find it anywhere. I had the really embarrassing job of telling Norm that I was topless, that was an awkward one for sure. Luckily he was wearing a t-shirt and lent it to me for the rest of the session and we kept surfing. Moral of the story: avoid triangle top bikinis and surf with a buddy who wears a shirt. Now I wear O'Neill bikinis. My favorites are the 365 hybrid savi hipster bottoms and the 365 strength shorts."

Annie Reickert:

Annie Reickert has found bikinis that can hold up while she's busy shredding. Photo: Chris Reickert

Annie Reickert has found a bikini that holds up while she’s busy shredding. Photo: Chris Reickert

"Luckily, I haven’t had any significant bikini malfunctions. I decided early on that I didn’t want to spend my time and energy in the water worrying about losing my swimsuit. I have it pretty much down to a science at this point. I wear Pakaloha bikinis because they stay put! They have two tops that really stay on, the Puamana and the Kahana. I wear their Honolua bottoms that adjust on the sides with ties and I cinch them as tight as they'll go before I paddle out. In really big surf, I wear board shorts over them for extra peace of mind. One of their tag lines is 'Bikinis built for the barrel' and I would have to agree!"

Shae Foudy: 

As long as Shae keeps them tied, her favorite bikini is fail proof. Photo: Mike Muir

As long as Shae keeps them tied, her favorite bikini is fail proof. Photo: Mike Muir

"I have for sure had some bikini malfunctions! I think the most memorable one went down this year at one of my practices with The Paddle Academy in Dana Point, which happens to include a lot of kids. I was leading the warm-up with a group of twenty people when I decided it was a good time to re-tie my bathing suit top. As I was doing so, I accidently let go of the string and it rocket launched off my body. I definitely scarred some of the kiddos, and myself! The bikinis that work best for me are the Pualani Hawaii Suits. I have tried anything and everything when it comes to bathing suits and Pualanis are the only ones that stay on. Trust me, I put them to the test in every condition and they never fail."

Angie Jackson:

Angie has the right bikini for all conditions.

Angie has the right bikini for all conditions.

"Lucky for me, l have never had any serious bikini malfunctions, but l have seen some very funny ones in my time of SUP racing. I’m more one for making sure I’m comfortable in my swimwear. I wear a particular brand called Catfish, they are an Australian company and do a lot of surf and lifesaving swimwear. They fit well and never move, even if you are getting rolled around under the white water or racing fast."

See also:

Sustainable Women's Swimwear

The Bikini Revolution: History of an Iconic Swimsuit