DKOKO Surf bikini review
DKOKO have been around for a while, well known in Central American for making comfortable, flattering and functional surf bikinis that make women feel beautiful.
Good for women with a big bust. Suitable for surf up to 3-4ft.
Use STILLSTOKED for 10% off any DKOKO swimwear
A few years ago, on a surf trip through Central America, I kept seeing these gorgeous surf bikinis by a brand designed in Costa Rica and hand-made in Nicaragua, called DKOKO. What stood out to me was the quality of the fabrics and the thought that had gone into designing them. These weren’t flimsy beach bikinis posing as surf bikinis. They were surf swimwear that you could actually take a beating in. So when I returned to Australia, I reached out to DKOKO, another amazing independent surf brand for women, to see if I could put one of their bikinis to the Still Stoked surf bikini test!
The most complimented I have ever been in a bikini. Ever!
It is worth saying that I’ve never received more compliments than I did when wearing this DKOKO bikini. It is really flattering on a large bust and I felt delicately feminine in it. It has since become one of my go-to bikinis when I want to feel beautiful. I’ll wear it confidently for surfs in waves up to 4ft when I don’t expect to take too much of a beating. Any bigger and I’d be afraid to stretch the thin shoulder straps and ruin it (although DKOKO tells me not to worry, they can take the beating!).
We have an unwavering commitment to producing pieces with unmatched fit, because we believe women shouldn’t’ have to choose between functionality and femininity.
– Michelle Rodriguez, owner of DKOKO
I tested the Retro Top (L), $54USD and the Sexy Surf Bikini Bottom (M), $45USD – Both in the Punch print
– I chose this bikini top because I have big tits and a tiny rib cage. The bottoms because of the drawstring and minimal coverage. Use STILLSTOKED for 10% off DKOKO.
My mum was the first to receive the bikini in the post. “It’s beautiful, but it will never fit you” she said. She was worried how small it was, especially the bikini bottoms (I am partial to minimum coverage on my butt!). But alas, it fitted like a dream… here’s why.
Quality fabric, double lined with removable padding
The fabric they use is soft (not shiny) and of the highest quality. It has a UPF protection so colors stay on. The double-lining gives the bikini increased support for your boobs. I took the removable padding out as I find these move around too much and to be honest, my boobs do not need to be any bigger!
Unique multi-cut design (multiple panels)
The multiple fabric panels of this bikini, and how it is all sewn together is what makes it really stand out for me. By having the panel’s seams come across your bust, the bikini provides more upward support to your breasts. It also looks great, but primarily it functions amazing for surfing, comfort and superior support. I believe this is the reason that I, with such large breasts, can wear a bikini top that is as low cut as the DKOKO Retro top.
Essential thick 2.5cm rib-band
The rib band is about 2.5cm or 1-inch thick. Having a thick rib band is essential in preventing a bikini from creeping up over your breasts when you paddle. As the bikini’s circumference around the ribs is not adjustable (fixed width), choosing a surf bikini with a thick rib band is so important, especially if like me, you have a skinny rib cage (I wear size 32 G in a bra). In a size large, this the Retro Top was fine. It did ride up in big wipeouts (as to be expected if you can’t adjust it to be super tight) but overall it was solid in waves up to 3ft.
Use STILLSTOKED for 10% off any DKOKO swimwear
Adjustable shoulder straps (thin but fine & feminine!)
The length of shoulder straps can be adjusted to pull up the bikini over the bust. The multi-cut panel design comes into play here as you are essentially ‘pulling’ on the seams that run across your bust, so giving you more support.
While the straps are thin, they are made with thick, strong elastics. They provided ample support and did not cut into my shoulders when I shortened the straps tight, to give me more support. It made a nice change to wear thin shoulder strap surfing. I felt really feminine.
The double tie bikini bottom – my absolute favourite feature
What can I say? If you like a ruched bum with minimal coverage then this is the absolute best bikini bottom. The tie of the hips is an absolute essential for surfing so they have that nailed BUT then they have added this super cute vertical tie, so you can adjust how much of it basically gets pulled into your arse. It makes your bum look fantastic. No wonder the called it the “Sexy Bottom”. It’s fierce!
Michelle the owner of DKOKO designs the prints herself and they are gorgeous. She brings out a few new print options in each design so best look at what catches your eye and go from there. Sadly in the Retro top, there are only two print colourways – Punch and Morning Mist. The bottoms however, are available in more colour options.
DKOKO’s unwavering commitment to sustainability
DKOKO already are mindful that the swimwear is ethically produced (see the “Who Makes Our Clothes” on their website). Michelle’s (the owner’s) husband is also an Environmental Scientist so they take this very seriously and we have had a thoughtful and inspiring conversation on this topic.
The factory that makes DKOKO fabrics in Brasil has Eco Certificate and Oekotex. They also reuse the water in the factory. Water that they get from Tietê river in São Paulo (one of the most polluted rivers in South America). They treat it, and return it to to the river cleaner than they received it. Michelle has been exploring the use of recycled fabrics for the last three years and is currently testing sample to potentially go into production. However key things she is mindful of include: the use of water in the production of these fabrics, the carbon emissions from the shipping of the source fabrics to production (Econyl comes from Italy), that these ‘recycled fabrics are not all 100% recycled, and the fact that not all the garment can be made from recycled materials (the elastic for example). Currently with all this considered, DKOKO feels their current fabrics are more sustainable that jumping on the band-wagon of ‘made from recycled plastic bottles’.
Good news is I think every year there is going to be more options available as technology advances. But right now I think the best option for the environment is buying products that last longer instead of the fast fashion approach. I have clients telling me they have had their Dkoko for even 8 years already so it makes me pretty happy.
– Michelle’s response when I asked her why they do not use recycled fabrics
Overall impression of the DKOKO “Retro” surf bikini and “Sexy Bum” bottoms
There isn’t much I could suggest improving on this bikini. They have it nailed. If DKOKO finds a suitable sustainable fabric that is exceptional quality, lasting as long as their current swimwear then this will be another string to their already flourishing bow.
Want to learn about more surf bikinis brands that we have put to the test? Make sure you check out our surf bikini directory and exclusive discount codes.
Have you tested a DKOKO surf bikini? Let us know what you think in the comments below!