Top 5 Best Surf Leggings

Warm water surf trips, sunset surfs, sunshine and waves, or chilly morning swell rides are some of the reasons it is essential to make surf leggings part of your surfing ensemble. Surf leggings are an excellent alternative to wearing a wetsuit or bikini.

The truth is, surfing in a bikini is an awful idea. While there are surf bikinis that can hold up to surf movements, the wrong ones may either come off and expose your private parts. That’s something to put your focus off surfing.

Surf leggings protect you from sunburn and board rash. Moreover, they make you look fabulous and stand out from everyone else in the lineup. We listed out some of the best surf leggings that will keep your dignity as you slide and surf across the oceans.

What Are Surf Leggings?

Like wetsuits, surf leggings are another garment worn to provide thermal and UV-ray protection while wet. Usually, they are made of neoprene and are incredibly water-resistant. Its warming effect comes from neoprene that stores a thin layer of water between the surfer’s body and the surf leggings.

Surf leggings are not limited to cold surfing days. They can be worn on warm water days when you still might get cold after being in the water for a while. Plus, it makes you less worried about harmful rays while surfing or simply working out in the ocean.

Top 5 Best Surf Leggings Reviewed

Surf leggings are the perfect addition to your water sports wardrobe. They provide enough leg coverage during aquatic activities and are designed to help you move through the waters like a pro. Here are seven of the best surf leggings you may consider on your next shopping.

  1. PrAna Aolani Swim Tight
  2. AXESEA High-Waist Aurora Swim Tights
  3. Coolibar UPF 50+ Women’s Deep Water Swim Capris – Sun Protective
  4. BALEAF Women’s Swim Capri Pants High Waisted Quick Dry Swimming Leggings UPF 50+ Water Sports
  5. Ubestyle UPF 50+ Men’s Active Surfing Water Leggings Swim Tights Sun Protective

1. PrAna Aolani Swim Tight

Surf Leggings PrAna Aolani Swim Tight

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PrAna is a yoga brand. But, it didn’t limit itself from manufacturing a garment not just for yoga but for water activities like surfing. One of their best sellers is the PrAna Aolani Swim Tight, which is pretty and made from sustainable materials.

The PrAna Aolani Swim Tight is made from recycled nylon. This sustainable product is made prettier with its cute patterned waistband. It also features a zippered pocket, which is convenient for pocketing important small items.

These surf leggings are engineered with hyper-stretch neoprene to give you extreme maneuverability out in the surf. The same is also done for the waistband for added grip to make your ride worry-free. Recycled polyester adds to the unmatched comfort for day-long wear.

Print inserts and color blockingMore expensive than most brands
Flattering seam lines with contrast flatlock stitching for durability and flexibility
UPF 50+ rating

2. AXESEA High-Waist Aurora Swim Tights

Surf Leggings AXESEA High-Waist Aurora Swim Tights

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If you are looking for super-smooth and snug-fit surf leggings, this pair from AXESEA is a must. They are compressive enough to stick to your skin without suffocating, allowing you to move comfortably through the waters at top speeds.

This brand has been around since 2010 and has slowly become a household name for quality swimwear and wetsuits. AXESEA boasts of carefully crafting its water apparel based on its deep and intimate understanding of the water sports community.

AXESEA High-Waist Aurora Swim Tights come in different sizes with vivid colors you can choose from. It uses Pentashell Technology Fabric that is stretchy, breathable, and quick-drying. Whether in the waters or back by the shore, you are protected against the sun’s harmful rays with its UPF 50 rating.

Can block more than 98% of UVA and UVB raysMay run small if not washed properly
Lies flat against your skin
Provides tummy-control with elastic waistband

3. Coolibar UPF 50+ Women’s Deep Water Swim Capris – Sun Protective

Surf Leggings Coolibar UPF 50+ Women's Deep Water Swim Capris - Sun Protective

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Coolibar brings you surf leggings that provide sun protection to your legs and a figure-flattering fit. Ideal for any water activity, these surf leggings are a great alternative to swim shorts and bikinis for that added UV-ray protection.

Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation, Coolibar uses fabrics that have been approved as an effective UV protectant for covered areas. It is the first clothing company to receive such a recommendation.

Overall, the Coolibar UPF 50+ Women’s Deep Water Swim Capris is technically elegant, sun-safe surf leggings that resist chlorine and saltwater. Its silky smooth four-way stretch fabric flatters every figure, especially with its matte surface on its outer side.

Wide elastic waistband with internal drawcordIt fits loosely than expected
Flatlock seams to prevent chaffing
Mesh crotch for added comfort

4. BALEAF Women’s Swim Capri Pants High Waisted Quick Dry Swimming Leggings UPF 50+ Water Sports

Surf Leggings BALEAF Women's Swim Capri Pants High Waisted Quick Dry Swimming Leggings UPF 50+ Water Sports

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If you fancy capris, these surf leggings from Baleaf will indeed serve you well in all your aquatic and land sports. These surf leggings are made of a four-way stretch fabric that delivers UPF 50+ sun protection, is breathable, and is enough to keep you cool and comfortable.

Its under-knee length and high-waist design provide modest coverage and enough warmth for colder days. In addition, the high-rise waistband features a tummy control effect while still allowing you for a full range of motions in the water.

The fabric used with these capri pants sticks to the skin so that its bottom hem doesn’t ride up to the skinniest part of your leg. Some users love how the tummy control effect made them look and feel great.

Skin-friendly and breathableCoverage in the crotch area isn’t too thick
Wide waistband for tummy control
True to size

5. Ubestyle UPF 50+ Men’s Active Surfing Water Leggings Swim Tights Sun Protective

Surf Leggings Ubestyle UPF 50+ Men's Active Surfing Water Leggings Swim Tights Sun Protective

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Sunburns and ensuring you are completely covered against sunburns can be tiring. This is the reason Ubestyle came up with UPF50+ Surf Leggings – to stop you from worrying about it and just focus on riding the waves.

Even those who haven’t tried wearing surf leggings will turn to wearing one religiously. True to its size, it fits snugly to your legs while still letting you move freely without constrictions. In addition, it gives you a small pocket stitched into the inside of the waistband for some safekeeping of valuable items.

The overall quality of these surf leggings appears excellent – good fabric weight, not too light nor too flimsy, and doesn’t pull apart when pulled on and off.

Lightweight and durableAnkles fit a little loose
Breathable and quick-drying
UPF 50+

How Do You Know You Have The Best Surf Leggings?

Leggings are a staple of our wardrobes. Because what’s not to love about them? They’re stretchy, comfortable, and high-waisted. Now, even athleisure calls for them to be part of the water activity wardrobe.

But, if you have to wear leggings for water activity, make sure it is specifically designed and meant for the water. Otherwise, you will find yourself in a critical failure moment. Here are four tips to let you know you’ve hit surf legging nirvana.

Tip #1. They are not see-through

It can be hard to find leggings dense enough to hide our assets, whether at the gym or out in the waters. Surf leggings should not be see-through – dry or wet. You can test your leggings for opacity by wearing them from land to ocean and back to land.

If they don’t show undergarments or skin even when wet or stretched, you have yourself a trusty surf legging!

Tip #2. Quick-drying

No one likes the feeling of wet leggings for too long. This is even truer with surf leggings. Your pair should be able to transition from waves to sand with fast-drying fabric.

You’ll want fabrics with quick-drying capabilities for a wide array of versatility and wear, all day, regardless of your environment.

For ladies, leggings that hold onto sweat or seawater for too long can impact our skin health, particularly around sensitive areas. The prolonged dampness may cause fungal infections, skin irritation, chaffing, and rash. Quick-drying leggings are not only for convenience but for skin health, too.

Tip #3. Sun protection

Did you know that people at the beach are at an increased risk of getting sunburn? The sun’s rays seem most potent in coastal areas because of the reflection from the sand and water. This mirroring of the sun’s rays increases the amount of sun you get.

This is the reason you should pick surf legging with fabric sun protection. It is a must when you are paddleboarding, surfing, or snorkeling. It is common knowledge that sun damage over time can cause premature aging and even cancer, even to your legs.

The best surf leggings should have at least 50+ UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) sun protection rating to keep you against harmful and damaging sun rays. Moreover, these surf leggings offer an extra layer of protection against sand scrapes, coral abrasions, jellyfish stings, and other likely skin injuries.

Tip #4. Good stretch

Good fabric stretch lets you get the movement freedom you need when you surf. A stretchable surf legging follows your every move and is crucial to prevent a surfing faceplant. It also helps in balancing your paddleboard during unexpected water turbulence.

Stretchable surf leggings are also more comfortable and snug for prolonged wear. Plus, leggings, in general, look more flattering with a good stretch.


Surf leggings are flexible pieces of clothing. They look great on and off the waters. Although they are specially designed for water activities, it doesn’t keep you from wearing them on your yoga workout or a run in the park.

These pairs are also far different from your regular leggings as they are intended to provide you with sun protection. Sure, a good sunblock can offer the same protection, but surf leggings let you be less worried about constantly reapplying.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Are surf leggings warm?

A: Most surf leggings are made of the same materials used for wetsuits – neoprene. They are highly breathable, quick-drying, and flexible. Surf leggings keep us comfortable and warm during cold water conditions, too.

Q: Why do surf leggings have to be skin-tight?

A: The fit of the surf legging matters because the tighter it is, the more reduced friction and drag are in the waters. The less friction and drag, the more efficiently the surfer can go forward. The tight fit also lets for easy movement and can lessen muscle vibration, consequently reducing the drag.

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