Oy Surf Apparell is a surf bikini brand out of Switzerland. Yup – Switzerland. That land-locked country better known as a tax haven for the rich, then a home to big waves, beaches and surfers.
The owners Regula and Zelia met surfing in the Indian Ocean and operate OY Surf Apparel from Bali and Switzerland. Regula produces the product in Bali while Zelia designs and distributes from Switzerland. That’s why all their online prices are in Swiss Francs. It’s a partnership that has seen them delivering surf bikinis to ladies across the world since 2013.
While surfing my way through El Salvador earlier this year, I shared many waves with one of their team riders Mathilde Hamdi. All the great things she had to say about Oy Surf Apparel cemented my excitement to put their product to the Still Stoked surf bikini test. If a team rider thinks the product can be improved, believe me they are more than vocal about it, putting their stamp on the adjustments. All Mathilde wished was that the new styles of bikini were still reversible (something my below feedback echoes). Everything else she said, was ‘perfect’! … Perfect is a big claim when it comes to surf bikinis and I was yet to find this ‘perfect’ unicorn of the bikini world for myself, and for all Still Stoked readers.
Testing the LOU top in black (45.37 CHF/ $45USD) and the BRASIL bottoms (45.37 CHF/ $45 USD)
Why I chose this style?
The LOU top was the only surf bikini top that OY surf offered, for a fuller coverage. While the other styles look really tempting (and great on Mathilde’s smaller chest), I know too well that those styles are useless for me. The internal dialogue in my head went something like: “ahh but what if the other smaller, sexier style worked? … No Alexa, you know better than that, you’ll flash the beach or your boob will hit you across the face!”. The LOU top it was then!
OY make three different styles of bikini bottoms offering various levels of coverage. Personally, I like minimal coverage so I went with the BRASIL cut: a thick band, hipster style with a cheeky, ruche bottom and side-tie. It offers minimal to moderate coverage, but not as small as a typical Brazil thong style (that’s too little coverage for surfing!).
The bikini came packaged in a cute fabric bag with a florescent pink string as the tie.
First impression: Quality
What I loved
The quality of the fabric
The fabric is sturdy, thick and of the highest quality. It feels special to put on. Instantly I felt like an athlete. The shape of the LOU top reminded me of the crop tops that Sporty Spice from the Spice Girls used to wear, so here I was thinking ‘Damn gurl, this bikini makes you look like Sporty Spice”. The fabric is unlike other bikinis I have tested. Due to being hand-processed OY state that it ‘even under a heavy load of salt water (it will) retain its shape’. To add to the quality, the LOU top is double lined.
The high neck
The high neck is both classy and stays put. Like a sports bra that fits you well, you are supported and held in place ready to take on whatever challenge or wave lies ahead. One thing is for sure, in this bikini you have no worries about falling out. It will allow you to focus 100% on surfing.
The triple cross-over back
This is my favourite aspect of the bikini. Many brands offer a double cross-over but a triple cross-back is unique. Not only does it look beautiful, but it is SO comfortable and supportive across your ribs and shoulders. Each strap can tighten individually. The broad straps are a great thickness that reduces the pin-point pressure across your shoulders. It was an absolute pleasure to wear.
The leather OY label
Again, another element of this bikini that says class and quality.
$90USD (excluding postage) for a set of this quality is excellent value.
What they could do better
The cut of the BRASIL bikini bottoms
The crotch band of the BRASIL bikini bottoms is so wide that it would fold over on itself, revealing the bright colour of the reverse side. Not only was this uncomfortable (the underside practically rolling into my butt), but it looked really odd with the colour of the reverse side popping out.
The side-tie and thick waist band was very comfortable.
Bring back the reversible option
While my BRASIL bottoms were reversible the LOU top, sadly was not. This was disappointing considering it was double lined with the same quality lycra fabric as the outside. They could have easily made the bikini top reversible. #SadFace
More colour options please!
Unlike the other styles of bikini top OY Surf offer, the LOU top only comes in black. For a girl like me that wants this top in every colour possible … I’m left disappointed.
Confusing names for the styles of bikini and colours
Hardly a major sticking point for purchase but the website lays out each individual style of bikini (female names like Kassia, Lou, Xara etc) and then the colour (unfamiliar colour names like Merah Bata, Tosca Shine, Merah Hati/salem). Put the style name together with the colour AND the reversible colour and you have a mouthful like the ‘Santi Merah Hati / Salem’. The confusion of trying to recognise a style you like amongst the myriad of unrecognisable words did not add to the online experience in any way. Arranging by style with a drop down or hover state, of colour options would be a preferable user experience.
Overall impression of this OY Surf Apparel bikini
From the fabric to the design, to the packaging, to the leather brand label, OY Surf Apparel is of the highest quality you can get in a surf bikini. The bikinis seem to be aimed at ladies with a smaller chest with just one style in one colour for a chest over a C cup. My main take away is quality though, and if they offered more colours of the LOU top, I’d buy every one of them.
OY Surf accept returns or exchange within 7 days.
They offer no information related to warranty on their website.
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