I spoke to myself out loud as I paddled forward, “Ok Kate… you can do this… no fear… no fear…”
I was definitely at the upper edge of my comfort zone and my heart thumped in my chest. The approaching wave was substantially larger than anything I had tried to duck dive before. I was still new to surfing, and while I was becoming proficient at riding the waves, my duck diving success was elusive at best.
I gazed up at the wave’s quivering peak and estimated that it might break right over my head, making it the perfect opportunity to execute my best duck-dive yet. I drew a deep breath, my arms feeling like lead as time slowed down to a crawl.
For a moment, I was frozen, knowing that this was only the first wave of the set: that the following two or three waves would be even bigger than this monster before me. Even so, I couldn’t let myself be afraid. Fear equals hesitation and hesitation equals failure.
I paddled hard, took a deep breath, judged the distance and pushed my hands firmly into the rails, the weight of my arms and upper body behind it. The green face broke earlier than I expected, the churning whitewater ripping over my back body as I drew up and into to the other side of the wave.
Not perfect, but successful, my whole body through…
…All of it, that is, except my blue and green patterned bikini bottoms, which had bunched themselves just below my pasty-white and very naked behind.
The next waved loomed ahead of me, almost twice the size of the one just gone. It looming over my bare ass, mocking me, as if asking a question, “Do you dare, Kate, to reach down and pull up your pants?”
I had a dilemma before me: if I stopped paddling to re-clothe myself I risked demolishment by the wave. If I kept going, how many pairs of eyes would be know the curves of my bare skin? The break was crowded with dozens of men. I drew a deep breath, and made my decision. I would paddle. I took five long deep strokes with my bare ass hanging out, and ducked.
Success. All of my body through the wave, including my pasty white behind.
On the other side wave number three loomed over the crowded break, and my hope that none of the men had witnessed my nakedness dwindled. I stopped paddling and reached down to finagle my bunched bikini back over my butt as best I could.
I only had time for two strokes before the next wave came, which smashed into my bobbing body. This time, as I rolled violently underwater, both top and bottom came tearing off.
I stayed underwater, horrified, as I tried to cover my private bits once more. Eventually, I surfaced, right as the last wave of the set hit my half-dressed body, my short board failing at the end of my leg-rope.
Have you, dear reader, shared the same experience?
The untimely decision of whether to reclothe oneself or avoid demolishment?
This dilemma is something our male counterparts, with their secure drawstring shorts, will never have to experience.
That day was the very last time I wore, or bought, a big name bikini. A swimsuit supposedly made for women who surf, but that really is made women who lay around on the beach with a full face of makeup on.
And I mean no offence to anyone who does that, (I wear makeup, and really, I love a good lay around at the beach sometimes) but what do the rest of us women do when we want to go after it? Those of us that long to paddle out into Indonesian or Costa Rican overhead barrels without ever having to worry about nudity or costly readjustments.
Later that week I jumped online and googled “bikinis that don’t move” and “bikinis for surfing”. I can across a blog post comparing the best “stay put” bikinis, (a term I now love to use). It was through that blog that I came across Dkoko Bikinis for the very first time.
In this photo Kate is wearing our OM top in Morning Mist and Retro Surf Bottoms in Lem Lem
All these years later, I’m a much better surfer. I’ve perfected the duck dive and surfed all over the world. My favourites are Hawaii, Indonesia, and of course, Australia, where a healthy stash of warm water stay-put bikinis is essential.
I’ve worn Dkoko’s exclusively since my first pair. You could say I fell in love and we’ve maintained a healthy and deepening relationship since. They’re sexy, they never seem to wear out (seriously, i’m still wearing the first pair I bought back then), and they NEVER EVER EVER come off.
Do yourself a favour ladies, and avoid nudity disasters in the surf. Get yourself a Dkoko set (or two or ten or twenty) and you’ll never have to decide between a duck dive and a full-moon again.
Written by Kate Duncan. All pictures by Makala Wilbow, check out Mikala's website here