Summer is close, the water’s getting warmer even in Australia. You see the first few brave guys out there in just boardies. I’m still sporting my steamer for now but soon I’ll be on the hunt for my summer surf outfit for those warmer days. It seems like surf brands are finally waking up to the fact that there are more and more ladies in the surf and they want more than your stock standard black wettie with a few pink stripes. Gone are the days where your only option was either a bikini that you are likely to lose or a not so sexy spring suit. We’ve had a chat to the lovely Danny from SaltGypsy to find out more:
Most gidgets are familiar with the main brands O’Neil, Roxy, Ripcurl, etc. They are the ones that are stocked in your local surf shop too. What’s news there?
There is a revolution happening in the female surf industry and with what there is available for women wear to in the lineup. We need and want gear that stays put, is comfortable and looks cool. Mainstream surf brands had not been servicing this need and 2010 saw the launch of several designers-who-surf (Tallow, Muther of All Things, The Seea and Alexandra Cassanitti to name just a few), who all recognized this need for more functional x fashion-forward surfwear. These brands are producing quality gear with their own distinct design aesthetic. It`s awesome that we now have choice on how to present our own personal style in the lineup without prescribing to the mass logo-driven, “sexy” surfwear of the past.
What are the alternatives to the big brands? Especially with online shopping I guess we are not confined anymore to our local surf-shop when it comes to choosing your surf outfit?
Over the past 3 years we`ve seen a proliferation of new indie brands launching some seriously rad surfwear. Even Roxy and Billabong have jumped on the bandwagon with Roxy`s design collaborations with Cynthia Rowley and Diana von Furstenburg, and Billabong`s recently released neoprene Surf Capsule collection. It`s taking a while for some bricks and mortar retailers to pick up on this shift but with the acceleration and convenience of online retail, just head straight to your designer/brand of choice and purchase directly from them. There is so much activity happening online that we are no longer confined to waiting for retailers to pick up on trends. And you can always keep up to date with us at Salt Gypsy – this is our passion and our finger is on the pulse when it comes who’s making what and how to buy.
What’s the must have this summer for in the water?
If you`re game – high-waisted bottoms with a cropped rashy – we love this look! We are also ridiculously excited about the launch of Australian designers, Lottie Hall and Skye & Staghorn`s new swim/surf collab. Lottie creates killer prints and combined with Skye & Staghorn`s swim aesthetic their pieces are seriously pushing the surfwear design envelope. Our picks are their onepieces. And if you haven`t heard of The Seea from California – you need to get on that too. Designer, Amanda Chinchelli, is revolutionizing a wearable vintage surf aesthetic and their gear is killing it.
Must have for when you are not in the surf but around the surf?
Muther of All Things swimwear (Byron Bay). Their prints and cuts are both divine and flattering. They are also 100% Australian designed and produced using Italian lycra. Their product is quality and it lasts (we know because we`ve surftested their gear over three surf seasons and it`s all still in great condition with no stretch or disintegration of the lycra). New kid on the block, Kokoh Bikinis (South Coast, NSW), has also released some cheeky cut styles for those wanting a little extra Vitamin D or lounging poolside. And ….. from Wellington, NZ, who have gorgeous, feminine cuts and prints.
I’m still struggling to find bikinis that look good but are also surf proof. i.e. bottoms that are actually staying on your bottom even after a bit of a tumble in the whitewash and tops where I don’t have to worry about accidently flashing my boobs to the line up.
For this, we highly recommend (and quite literally live in ours daily) Surfkini separates. Designer, Alana Martinero, lives and surfs in Byron Bay so she designs from personal experience and that of her friends and customers. She listens and responds to customer`s feedback and has just released a D-cup top specifically for larger busts. All Surfkini bottoms have internal drawstrings and range from cheeky cut to boyleg. She keeps her colour palette simple, her styles functional, and she supports local boardriders and surfers, which we love.
What to look out for when buying a surf-bikini? Is the rumor true to buy them one size smaller to make sure they stay on?
I think with more and more bikini bottoms including an internal drawstring, you don`t need to go a size smaller in the bottom these days. Go for shoulder straps (bra-style), racer and cross-back style tops – basically anything that doesn`t tie around your neck. And bottoms: high-waisted, internal drawstring or wide elastic bands. If you are serious about a bikini not falling off in the surf – wear a onepiece. Hands down these just will not come off.
What’s your personal favorite surf wear?
At the moment it`s our new Salt Gypsy surf shorts and ¾ sleeve rashguard in all black. So comfortable and sleek and you can get away wearing this ensemble from the beach to the street après surf. Also loving high-waisted bikini bottoms and a loose tee in the surf. And onepieces – either a full swimsuit or one with full-length sleeves.
Tell us a bit more about Salt Gypsy
Salt Gypsy began as a personal blog while I was living and working as a surf guide in the Maldives over the last 3 years. I was frustrated at the lack of support for indie female surfwear designers trying to reach their market – female surfers like me who would rather support indie designers (usually other female surfers in business) than larger global brands that cater to the masses with logo-driven product.
Salt Gypsy is evolving as we continue to work towards our big vision and now includes our own bespoke surfwear range – something we hadn`t anticipated developing but we`re rolling with it as demand continues! We find and curate the cool shit in female surfwear so you don`t have to spend hours sifting around the net. We surftest and never recommend product we haven`t tried ourselves or put through its paces.
Anything else you would like to add?
Don`t be afraid to bring your own style to the lineup ladies and for any gidgets out there keen on creating their own bespoke surfwear (rashguards, surf leggings, surf shorts), give us a bell at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We`d love to help create your style with you. And keep charging!
Looks like Christmas has come early for the gidget community. Gidgets* and friends of gidgets** now get 15% off all product at www.shopsaltgypsy.com
And we are working with SaltGypsy on some Venus Goes Gidget bespoke surf shorts…very exciting…stay tuned
*Anyone who has booked or has been to one of our Surf-Aways or had a private lesson with Venus Goes Gidget. Email us at email@example.com for the promo code.
**Friends of gidgets are the ones who help us spread the word. You either have referred clients or got 10 of your friends to like our FB page or Instagram. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the promo code.