I am probably the antithesis of a surfer girl. I am pale, remarkably mediocre at athletics, and have an undying fear of sharks. Accordingly, when I had the opportunity to hang with the Billabong women’s surf team (or the girl gang of water goddesses, as I privately refer to them), I jumped at the chance to learn their cool-girl secrets. After getting a very supportive and non-scary surf lesson from the team, I sat down with each one to get the scoop on all the style lessons that are second nature to someone who goes to work in a swimsuit.
From the bikini bottom cut that’s truly the most flattering to the truth behind effortless, beachy hair, scroll down for all their insider tips.
“You want to look for a bottom that cuts in a little to show just a peek—not super-small like a Brazilian bikini bottom, but not full coverage either, which surprisingly doesn’t look good. A cut that shows just a little of your rear is super-flattering for people who still want a bit of coverage.” –Courtney Conlogue
Our bikini bottom pick: Billabong Sol Searcher Capril Bikini Bottom ($35)
“To get the perfect beach hair, just go to the beach and get in the ocean. The saltwater seriously gives me nice curls, so I don’t have to do anything to my hair. If you’re not near an ocean, use sea-salt spray for sure.” –Felicity Palmateer
Our sea-salt spray pick: Bumble and Bumble The Surf Set ($28)
“I think the easiest way to mix and match a bikini is to get at least one solid in there, and then the other half of the set can be a really cool pattern.” –Alessa Quizon
Our mix-and-match bikini pick: Billabong Monterrico Stripe Triangle Bikini Top ($40), and Sol Searcher Lattice Biarritz Bikini Bottom ($35) in Coral Reef
“When I’m surfing, I’ll wear a criss-cross back because it stays on better. So if you’re active, definitely wear that type of top. Whenever I surf in a triangle bikini, it comes off!” –Laura Enever
Our criss-cross back bikini pick: Billabong Line Up Triangle Bikini Top ($30)
“If you like one-pieces, do one with paneling that's darker on the sides or with a pattern, so it helps emphasise your curves.” –Laura Enever
Our one-piece pick: Billabong Shorty Jane Spring Suit ($89).
“Don’t ever put salt spray on after the beach. You already have so much salt in your hair, so when you do that, it’s too much—it’s frizz heaven.” –Courtney Conlogue
“Even though you might not think two prints go together, pull yourself away and think of it like an art piece. You can have a lot of fun with it. Palm trees can go with stripes.” – Courtney Conlogue
Our palm trees-and-stripes bikini pick: Billabong Reversible Monterrico Stripe Bandeau ($45) and La Isla Reversible Tropic Bikini Bottom ($45)
“It’s such a cool time in fashion. Literally, you can wear anything now. I think patterns on pattern is really cool—especially stripes and florals, which always look good together.” –Laura Enever
Our stripes-and-florals bikini pick: Billabong Monterrico Stripe Crop Top ($50) and Fantasy Tropic Bikini Bottom ($38)
“A halter-style bikini is a good way to wear a bikini as a top—it looks like a crop top. It’s really cute paired with overalls or with high-waisted shorts.” –Lindsay Perry
Our bikini top and shorts picks: Billabong Safari High Neck Bikini Top ($45) and Memory Clean Finish Denim Shorts ($54)
“I live in Sydney where we constantly go from the beach out to restaurants and little bars, so I’ve come to learn how I can wear all types of beachwear as streetwear. I love wearing a long cover-up, which you can pair with a nice pair of strappy sandals or even wedges. You can belt the cover-up to give yourself a bit of shape. Billabong has a lot of really nice cover-ups, and ones that coordinate with the bikini as well.” –Laura Enever
Our cover-up pick: Billabong Seacret Love Dress ($48)
“Always plan your outfits before you go, because if you just throw stuff in your suitcase, then no matter how big or small your suitcase is, you’ll just fill it with anything.” –Courtney Conlogue
Our luggage pick: Billabong World Clouds Roller Travel Bag ($39)
“I think you have to be careful mixing animal prints, like say a zebra and a leopard print together isn’t good.” –Alessa Quizon
Our mixed-print bikini pick: Billabong Safari Bandeau Bikini Top ($50) and Aloha Yo Tropic Bikini Bottom ($35)
“I always pack my massive, oversized sarong or beach towel. It is so versatile—you can use it as a head wrap, as a sarong, or a perfect beach blanket. Billabong has some amazing beach blankets. They are coming out with a circular one, which I am really stoked about.” –Felicity Palmateer
Our printed-towel pick: Billabong Palm Vacations Towel ($40)
Which tip from the Billabong surf team did you find most useful? Let us know in the comments below!