6 Swimsuit Brands making High Performance Bikinis for Surfer Girls

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The conundrum is this. If your bikini stays on, it likely looks like it belongs in the lost and found section at the community pool. If your bikini is stylish, it likely will be found floating (without you) in the whitewash after one big wipeout. Where many people see a stylish scrunch-cut bikini bottom, we see an interesting take on doing a bottom turn. This is why I — and many other surfer girls — often look at bikinis marketed towards surfer women with a skeptical eye.

To have a swimsuit that looks awesome and stays in place through wipeouts, duck dives, and waves is the holy grail of swimwear. Fortunately, there are a few brands out there that offer swimsuits that are both stylish and comfortable.


Zealous is a Bali-based clothing and apparel brand that creates a range of sustainable products for watersports enthusiasts. The label was founded by Marie-Kristin Krause, a surfer originally from Germany, who decided to combine her two passions – designing clothes and surfing. The Zealous swimwear range is highly functional and designed to meet the demands of serious surfers, swimmers and kitesurfers. We love their “surf-proof” approach, which means you can rest assured that your swimwear will withstand the roughest of conditions, while still looking good. Zealous is committed to ethical manufacturing and their website even features all of their key Balinese employees. They’re also pioneering the use of pre and post-consumer plastic waste as key ingredients in their Ocean Surf bikini products, while supporting grassroots beach clean-up initiatives in Indonesia.

Swimwear to try: Zealous x Zala Surfsuit

LAYA Bikini

LAYA Bikini is a new label created by a surfer girl based in Western Australia. After traveling throughout Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Australia, she wanted a bikini that would stay on while still being sexy. Thus, LAYA Bikini was born.

Tops to try: The Tee top and the Wrap top.

Salt Gypsy

Salt Gypsy has helped popularize surf leggings, lycra pants that offer sun protection in hot weather climates without the warmth of neoprene. Their simple-style apparel is designed to stay in place, even in the heaviest conditions.

The winning combo: U & I Label Winki Top paired with the Winki Surf Bottom or Panelled surf leggings

Mi Ola

Mi Ola crafts swimwear specifically for girls on the go. Their marketing targets surfers, swimmers, climbers, kitesurfers, and just about anyone else who worries about swimwear staying in place while doing what they love. The label was created by a surfer in the high fashion industry of NYC. One day, she traded in her big city lifestyle to surf the warm waters of Costa Rica. There, she created Mi Ola.

The winning combo: The Pin-up Top paired with the Ring Bottom


The best thing about Athleta is that they offer a style that suits nearly every body type and size at an affordable price. Most of their tops are clasp style, a nice change from knot-tied swimwear. Athleta also has a stellar return policy if the bikini ends up fitting differently to how you’d hoped.

The winning combo: Cross Strap Bikini top and Shirred bottom by Athleta 


Sensi bikinis are specifically crafted for kitesurfers, who often struggle with the same swimwear woes as surfers. Nearly all their pieces are sturdy and built like sporting equipment but have the bonus of fun patterns and feminine cuts.

The winning combo: The Sensi Jaime Top paired with the Melanie Bottom

With the help of wave-friendly swimwear, there will be more wave riding and less wedgie picking along our coastlines.