Making Friends With The Neighbours: Swimsuit Edition (Part 1 - Swimwear)

Where I'm from, surfing in summer involves spending a lot of time clad in little more than swimmers. For hours and hours every day, you can wear little more than what amounts to less than a couple of metres of metres of stretchy fabric, covering much less of your skin! And since I spend SO much time in swimmers, I always have keen eyes for swimmers that are practical, which will stay on and, which are cute! In the surfing world I inhabit, the chicks tend to have some fun with their swimwear choices - colour, cut, shape, pattern and style. It's not necessary, no. But it is certainly fun. The other problem of course is that with all that sunlight, salt water, wax and sunscreen, a pair of swimmers lasts for a lot less time than I would mostly like them to, so I make sure I have a couple of pairs in rotation. I do love my swimmers, so I do like them to last.

Anyway, like many other women in the water, I am always on the lookout for swimmers to surf in. This is not a talent or aspiration limited to me, of course. I read a post last year over at Coconut Girl Wireless, which comprehensively listed the things that annoy her on swimmers that are marketed as meant to be surfed in! My own list would focus on gripes about coverage, quality and durability, and I also like to find things that don't look too, well, too sporty. For these reasons, I tend to shun the mainstream surf brands (you know who I mean) as I don't really find they are made for me. The colours, styles and branding are massive turn offs, and I don't really want to give them my money either - I wield the small power I have as a consumer with relish! This has left me as a bit of a resourceful woman seeking out smaller labels to enjoy and support.

So I thought that in the spirit of things, and it being the season of swimmers here in the southern hemisphere, I would share some of my favourite discoveries with you. So, in no particular order, here is Making Friends With The Neighbours: Swimsuit Edition (Part 1 - swimwear). And if you have any other suggestions for me, please, please, please send them along!!

Tallow is rad. Seriously. I have been wearing a one-piece made by these ladies for some time now (it's my absolute favourite!), and the gorgeous piece of swimwear joy won't quit - I love it!! Their range is gorgeous and fun and made to be worn and to be surfed in. They even have a guide to let you know which surf conditions each piece is suitable for! I have been eyeing off their high-waist bikini and the surf suit for a while now... Like I said, Tallow is rad.

Muther Of All Things
This recently launched label has some pretty interesting pieces going on. They've played around with the styles and shapes of rashies and wetsuits, which I support whole-heartedly! Although the bikinis might not be so stable in the waves, the one-pieces and wetsuits could come in rather handy and be quite fun while doing so.

Sanoii and Six
I came across Sanoii and Six, at the Finders Keepers market in Brisbane, late last year. The rack of pretty retro-style swimmers drew me in, and as I looked through them and chatted to the designers I mentioned they'd be great to surf in. One of the girls smiled and explained that she surfs and designed these swimmers to surf in! We were both pretty excited. While some of the pieces would be small-surf only, I reckon the high-waist bottoms would have some strong staying power.

Kali is a brand based out of NZ, which I found when I was in Raglan last year. I didn't have the dollars to acquire anything, but they looked awesome. When I got time to check out the website, I found the banner proclaiming Kali: Not the death of sexy. Bikinis for surfing, to which I say, hoorah!! I reckon they might be living up to their claim of being for surfing, because the T-backs and cross-backs they include on the bikinis are always the easiest way to keep them on for the duration.


Like Kali, Australian label Hive aims to produce swimwear for women who are active in the water by making swimmers that stay on! They have been around for a while now and their stuff has consistently filled their brief and is good quality. Even better, you can buy the tops and bottoms separately (online at least), which is awesome!

As you may have noticed, I am a sucker for anything that even slightly evokes the 1950s and 60s. Especially when it comes to swimwear! I love the cuts, which tend to be halter-neck and low on the leg. Perfect! So when I walked past a window display of the latest Jets range, I was beside myself with joy. (And was also very quickly the stoked owner of a red with blue polka dots one-piece.) Although I don't usually find that these fashion labels are much suited for wave-riding in, this particular range is pretty great and fun! (And the marketing makes me want to lounge about and drink margaritas!)


Anyway, as you may have figured out, I love swimmers - especially ones you can surf in! There are a whole heap more folk doing cool things like this out there, and this is only a tiny sample. And thank you, thank you to them all!


  1. Have you surf-tested any of the bikinis? Here in the US, we have Ola Chica, which used to bill its bikinis as "wipeout-proof." I don't get to surf much without a wetsuit, but on a trip to Hawaii, I found out they didn't live up to the claim.

  2. I love my one-piece from a previous incarnation of the Tallow range (LOVE!) and I found Hive swimmers are pretty good at staying on too as long as you buy a size down, which is the key with bikinis anyway.

    In the end though, if I'm just surfing in swimmers and I need them to stay on, it's a one-piece all the way!!

  3. Bec! hello...catching up on your blogs is such a fab eclectic I have discovered the perfect surfing togs (I've always been way to afraid to surf in my cozzies on account of being 40 and you know...I have a thing about exposing my arse to the public) but these are very fun - I will email you a little pic - they kind of keep everything 'contained' and yet I still have the feeling of being free and summery.

  4. Muther of all things - WOW I'm in love.

    Here in the UK a bikini is something you wear under your wetsuit (all 5mm of it at the moment) or by the beach on hols. I'm off to hawaii next week so first stop will be somewhere I can hopefully buy things that actually stay on in the water.

    Why is it so hard for the main surf brands to make bikinis designed for surfing?

  5. gerry bobsien, you are a star!

    Rebecca, I can't even imagine having to don that much rubber - at least your swimmers stay on though! My feeling with the main surf brands is that their main market for their women's ranges don't actually surf. A shame, but at least it makes me think and explore rather than taking the easy option. I hope Hawai'i is wonderful... I'm jealous!

    By the way, I spotted another few vintage pairs of swimmers in some windows the other night - one pair was a pink halter neck and the other was GOLD. Shiny, shiny, gold. I actually gasped! I'll see if I can get my hands on them before they are snapped up. (Obsessed)

  6. Oh your blog is a lovely read. Thanks for your kind words.

  7. And thank YOU for the gorgeous swimmers you make, Sanoii+Six.

    I still have to come and buy a pair from you. Can't wait!


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