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The Dos and Don’ts of Surf Camp Fashion

It can all start with a cute suit, preferably one that stays put.

Gleaned from thirteen years of “on the job” learning, here’s my list of surf camp Do’s and Don’ts:

Surf Camp Swim Gear Dos

Rash Guards
Rash guards are worn under a wetsuit to prevent rubbing. In warm-water surfing locations, the rash guard protects you from the sun and surf wax. Choose a short-sleeved style for summer, unless you’re fair-skinned. A long-sleeved rash guard offers the most protection.

In addition to protection from the elements, a rash guard saves you from potential embarrassment if your suit top becomes “re-situated” during surfing. Avoid the slip with a rash guard. A good surf camp will provide each surfer with her own rash guard, but it never hurts to have extras.

Long Board Shorts
Beginner boards are made of foam, which can be rough. Find women’s board shorts that reach at least halfway down your thighs, to protect your skin. While itsy-teeny shorts are cute, longer shorts offer more protection. Wearing board shorts might not feel attractive, but it beats getting in the salt water with scabby thighs.

Backcrossing Suit Top Straps
Avoid giving your fellow surfers and beach bathers an eyeful by selecting a swimsuit top with straps that cross in the back. This top type will provide the most support, and is most likely to stay in place, even as you practice your falling technique.

Sarong
It’s a towel! It’s a skirt! It’s a beach blanket! Look, now it’s a dress! Lighten your load by packing this all-purpose, attractive accessory. Or two.

Cover-up
Transition quickly and stylishly from surf to turf with an easy-flowing dress or cover-up tunic.

Rubber Flip-Flops
The sensible shoe of surf sisters world-wide. Flip-flops come in a rainbow of colors, one to match any suit. They’re also inexpensive, and they float!

Surf Camp Swim Gear Don’ts

Strapless Swimsuit Top
Surf math: Strapless top + Waves + Unplanned acrobatics = A swimsuit top somewhere else but “on top.”

Knotted Top
You’ll spend a fair amount of time lying down on your board, paddling. Swimsuits with knots or embellishments will dig into your skin. Ouch!

Belts, Rings, and Bling
A sporty swimsuit is best for surfing. Belts, rings, and bling can get in the way—ending up rusty, uncomfortable or as safety hazards.

String Bikinis
Naughty or nice? If you must wear one, double knot it.

Fashion + Function = Fun
Have fun selecting your surf gear for surf camp. Think of all of the pictures you’ll be taking! Smile!

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