Line up Musings: The Bikini, Surf, and Wardrobe Malfunctions

As a youngster growing up in Ohio, I relied on the utilitarian, full coverage one-piece bathing suit.  When I moved to Florida at 23 years, I timidly let go of my puritanical one piece, and bought a bikini, then eventually a whole mess of them.  I also learned to surf.  Learning to surf at a more advanced age has its challenges, learning to surf as an inexperienced bikini wearer even more so.

There is a lot going on the moment you are cast off your board and sent tumbling into the violent mix of ocean,  sand, leash and board.  One wipe out can send your bikini top dangling around your neck and your bottoms well below your bottom.  This presents a critical situation:

Do I fumble with my bathing suit or delay coverage, grab my board, and paddle like mad to avoid the next set of waves?

surfer girl wipeoutGoing down. Photo credit: San Diego Shooter / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

This decision, of course, is heavily based on wave height and conditions. Survival wins over modesty every time.  And, yes, there has been a few unremarkable free shows.

Those ubiquitous sliding triangle tops have no place in head-high swell.  For me. Yet, I still see women wearing them.  Perhaps this is not an issue for other girls.  I often wonder if physics and body contours (or lack of them) contributes to my bathing suit shedding issue.  This is what I wonder while on the water:

  • Do large breasts and hips serve as an anchor for the suit by offering a more robust substrate for the material to grip?

  • Does the hydrodynamic body (think 2×4 with slightly feminine edges) provide less resistance to the force of water and gravity?

  • Are there bathing suits designed for my feminine 2×4 build which can handle the rigors of surfing, windsurfing, and paddle boarding?

Maya GabeiraBig wave surfer Maya Gabeira. Photo credit: Carlos Serrao

  • Does the gorgeous Brazilian Maya Gabeira, a Red Bull sponsored tow-in big wave surfer, experience wardrobe malfunctions?

For the next couple of days I am going to explore bathing suits that appear suitable for play.  Proper reporting would require that I purchase a number of bikinis and thoroughly test drive each one.  While this task would rock, I don’t have the financial backing for a massive suit shopping spree. If this paying job exists, please contact me.

Check back tomorrow for my review and perhaps satirical critique on bathing suits built for water recreation.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your experience with waves, water, and bathing suits – girls and guys.  Am I the only one with this issue? Besides the protective rash guard, have you found a bathing suit that provides outstanding form and function?  Let me know!

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