Any female surfer (myself included) knows that the search for a good swimsuit is a tedious and frustrating one. Slipping, poor coverage, and unflattering designs make it tricky to hit the all-important mark between fashion and function. But fear not—functional, aesthetic surf swimsuits and surf bikinis do exist.
Each of the brands on this list was born from the notion that the ideal women's surf suit didn't exist. The kind of swimsuit that can handle paddling all day, last multiple surf seasons and is made high-quality to avoid any unwanted rashes. When you're surfing you will probably fall… a lot, which means you want your bathing suit to fit snugly enough to withstand getting tossed around in the white water. A one or two piece swimsuit may better withstand such situations, though quality surf bikinis do exist, too.
The swimsuit brands featured on our list have all been established by surfers for surfers, and the suits they make represent a range of styles from surf bikinis to leggings to booty shorts to crop tops. There's something for every type of surfer. So the next time you're in the water, you can focus on wave count instead of wardrobe malfunctions.
10 Best Women's Swimsuits and Bikinis for Surfing
New York-based Sherris makes one-of-a-kind, hand-dyed swimsuits and bikinis that are built for playing in the sea. Bold and colorful with signature ruffled edges, each piece is a statement in or outside the water. Sherris creates pieces with versatile functionality for surfing, hanging out on the beach, or a day in the city. Not to mention they have been tested by top athletes, including the Indian Olympic Swim Team.
Our Pick: Sherris Full Racerback, $150
Seea began as a line of swimsuits by surfers for surfers. After struggling to find surf suits that could provide enough coverage and weren't too sporty, the brand wanted to create something stylish and fun without sacrificing function. Founder and designer Amanda Chinchelli grew up in Brazil before moving back to her home country of Italy, where she learned how to sew. Now based in California, Chinchelli has created a brand that celebrates and empowers women in surfing with high-quality designs—from one-piece swimsuits to surf bikinis—for all body types. Our favorite, below, is a retro-inspired one-piece that has full coverage and a UPF 50+ rating.
Our Pick: Seea x Outerknown The Games Suit, $145
Salt Gypsy is an Australian based women's surf brand with the motto, "feel good and surf better." With a commitment to responsible and sustainable manufacturing, Salt Gypsy makes sporty chic surfwear—from long sleeve surf tops to stylish bikini bottoms—that doesn't slide around and provides coverage and UV protection, all while maintaining a flattering fit for a range of body types. Salt Gypsy has also expanded to their own line of surfboards designed for the everyday female surfer.
Our Pick: Betty Bottoms, $119
NYC-based Nu Swim is a swimwear brand that seamlessly blends style, comfort, and sustainability. Their minimalist designs and aesthetic color pallet exude a timeless charm, turning a typical basic one-piece into something elegant. Nu Swim's swimsuits use eco-friendly materials drawn from regeneratively sourced providers, recycled fabrics, and repurposed sources, making them a perfect choice for swimmers who want to bring a little more conscientiousness to the pool or beach. Or everywhere else, since NU Swim also makes bodysuits, tanks, sweaters, and other ready to wear pieces.
Our Pick: Turbo Suit, $175
Winki Suits was founded by two friends who share a passion for surfing and vintage clothes. With the '70s as inspiration, they use timeless silhouettes and playful colors to reimagine vintage prints for one-piece and two-piece swimsuits as well as functional surf bikinis. Winki's suits are produced by The Blessed Project Sewing Program, a program created for women who have been rescued from human trafficking. The Blessed Project provides skill building in addition to emotional support, housing, education, and a new start to life. Winki advocates love of the sea as well as a love for humankind. (Donate to the Blessed Project here.)
Our Pick: Bessie Top, $75
Fondu is a New Zealand-based, female-owned company that is inspired by the landscapes of Aotearoa (the Maori name for New Zealand) and the easy living of summertime. Whether you prefer bikinis or boots shorts Fondu has multiple styles to choose from. With a goal to keep it as sustainable as possible, all of the in-house designs are manufactured by a local pattern maker and fabric cutter. In addition the packaging and fabric are both locally sourced. Playful, fun, and made to last, they feature fun flower prints and pastel colors so you can look and feel your best in the water.
Our Pick: Desert Flower Long Sleeve, $124
With creativity, individuality, and style in mind, Inner Relm creates swimsuits for the ocean, no matter what type of surfer you are. They want to do away with the competitiveness and aggressiveness that can sometimes (often) be seen out in the lineup and remind people through playful, functional swimwear that we are all out there because of a love for the ocean and for surfing. The company offers a wide variety of apparel for both men and women, ranging from bikinis to wetsuits to boardshorts, so you're sure to find the style that best suits your surfing needs.
Our Pick: Tango Top, $89 AUD
Designed by the professional kiteboarder and women's empowerment coach of the same name, Sensi Graves creates swimsuits that can keep up with even the most extreme athletes. After losing too many bikinis to the mega waves—Graves set out to design suits that will stay on no matter the conditions. But even if you aren't riding monsters, Sensi Graves has plenty of functional swimsuit styles that are fit for wear in and out of the water. The company also has several unique styles, like bikini tops with built-in hoods for sun protection, and surf leggings, that are worth a look
Based in Far Rockaway, New York, ARTbutt was founded by Anya Ferring, who began exploring fashion through the medium of underwear before getting into swimsuits. Experimenting with textiles and dye, ARTbutt focuses on slow fashion and creating an awareness of the process and resources required to produce each piece. Ferring is a surfer themself and creates one-of-a-kind swimsuits, rash guards, and board shorts that have been tested in the Rockaway waves and beyond. ARTbutt also offers men's and unisex swimwear as well.
Our Pick: Kim Top, $119
If at first you're skeptical of a brand that only offers two sizes, we're with you. However, upon testing Youswim's suits, our doubts quickly faded; their two-sizes-fits-all approach works wonders (just trust the size chart). That's thanks to the use of sustainably-sourced, premium quality nylon yarn in a design that allows these suits to effortlessly stretch and cinch to your body, regardless of your shape or size. The brand uses it to make one-piece swimsuits and bikinis with regular and high-waist bottoms. No more bunching up, riding up, or accidental slips—these suits are ideal for surfing, lounging, or any adventure you embark on.
Our Pick: Aplomb Standard Waist Two Piece, $139