First, I want to give a shout out to Bully, our head Surf Coach on Maui, for inspiring today’s post. I can still hear him coaching the our Swell Guests, “Paddle. Paddle. Up! Up!”
It all started when the SwellWomen gals and I were walking back to the truck after enjoying our two hour surf lesson with Bully. We were all smiles….still riding the wave of bliss and looking forward to a relaxing afternoon by the pool.
Bully was fishing through an assortment of sunglasses in his car. “Thank you!” “Great lesson!” “Aloha!” we all shouted as we walked by.
Bully quickly swapped glasses again. “Fashion decisions of a surfer” he huffed sarcastically. “Great day today. See you ladies tomorrow.”
Over the next week I tried to think about what’s really important when heading out for a paddle. What key pieces of clothing make for a blissful surf session? What are the deciding factors in choosing a surf-friendly outfit? Here are a few fashion decisions surfers make before paddling out:
1. Sunglasses: Which shades to wear while surfing?
Having recently lost a pair of sunglasses surfing, let me start with my #1 tip for choosing sunglasses for surfing. Don’t wear shades you don’t want to lose.
The best sunglasses for surfers are those with polarized lenses, a tight fitting strap, and the ability to float. Polarized lenses will help cut down glare. This is very important for spotting coral, rocks, or tropical fish below the surface of the water. If you’re surfing in Hawaii, the place where surfing was born, polarized lenses could give you a better chance of spotting a humuhumunukunukuapua’a.
The tight fitting strap is key to keeping your sunglasses on your head. Every surfer has taken a wipeout. The more secure the fit, the better the chances your glasses will stay on your head. In case things get gnarly and the sunglasses are whisked away, shades that can float will be easier to find.
SeaSpecs have been the go-to sunglasses of SwellWomen guests for years now. They look great, fit comfortably, and, they float!
2. Rash Guard: Go long or go short?
Sitting in the lineup with the rest of the gals on the surf and yoga vacation, we had a break between sets to chat. I was wearing my favorite long sleeve rash guard from Carve Designs and Shelly had opted for a short sleeve rash guard. We began talking about the benefits of each style.
Short sleeve rash guards are great because they offer sun protection, without being cumbersome. Although, you’ll likely get a farmer’s tan if you’re surfing daily. The benefit of a long sleeve rash guard is simple. Coverage. The added coverage offers more protection from the sun and board rash, but not absolutely necessary when doing dawn patrol.
Why choose? It’s probably best to have one of each. Variety is the spice of life, right?
3. Board Shorts: To tie or not to tie?
While in the water, we met a woman with some fashionable board shorts to discover that they were designed by Carve Designs, of course!
For those looking for the ultimate in sun protection, Katrin was sporting the latest leggings perfect for in the water and on the mat.
4. Swimsuit: Function or fashion?
Choosing a swimsuit with surfing in mind will change the way you look a bikini. Tiny straps that leave nearly un-noticeable tan lines are unappealing while surfing. Popping up on your board while dropping in on a wave takes focus. Your swimsuit can quickly distract you if it’s not behaving the way it should. Instead, opt for a swimsuit with sturdy straps, good support, and a snug fit.
Fashion decisions for surfing are some of the most fun you can make; and we’re entirely too happy to help you make those decisions! Join SwellWomen on any of our 2018 Surf & Yoga Retreats and get one-on-one surfer fashion advice from the best in the biz… us! 🙂