28 January 2012

"Wipeout-Proof" Bikini Review

While we were surfing in Nicaragua, I had the chance to test a couple of bikinis that were designed to stay on in the surf. The first was a new suit from Calavera, purchased especially for this trip. I bought the second over 2 years ago from Ola Chica but never put it through its paces. The waters of Hawaii are just a little too cool for me to surf in only a bikini, and this was my first real tropical trip since I got the swimsuit.

Calavera "is the bikini that stays on - even in tough conditions." I think that may be true. I had no problems with slippage during wipeouts or duck-diving. But I did have issues with fit. Although I'd matched my measurements to the sizes on Calavera's website, and didn't notice on land, the top was too big, and the bottom too small. To draw loosely from Kaylee on Firefly, whilst my surfboard was twixt my nethers, they were touching the board right direct and ain't shoulda been. Back to the beach for boardshorts.

Ola Chica's tagline is “better than surfing naked!” They no longer sell the bikini I tested, and may well have made some improvements in the last couple of years. The top mostly stayed in place, just a little upward movement, but the knot of tied fabric behind my neck was annoying. Although I'd tightly cinched the bottoms, they kept slipping down in the back so I'd have to pull them up while paddling. Return to the beach for boardshorts, again.

My recommendation? Calavera, if you can get a good fit. Unfortunately now I'm stuck with an expensive suit that's not comfortable for surfing, but maybe I can use it in the pool. The same goes for the Ola Chica, although I'd like to give one of their newer models a try.

And I'd be happy to make a return trip to the tropics soon to test out more bikinis!

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