Strong Suit

You expect some falling down every time you paddle out for a surf – just not from your bikini.

Avoiding wardrobe malfunctions in the water is why surfer Iwalani Isbell created her Pualani Hawai‘i swimsuit line, made from top-of-the-line European four-way stretch fabric. It’s been seven bikini-accident-free years for her – and the numerous surfing pros and other athletes who wear her suits.

In December, Isbell will unveil her 2009 collection – but you can sneak an early peek at many of the pieces in the flagship Pualani store now. 

The new designs include fresh styles in geometric and aloha prints, like the quad-ring bottom and double-ring top (sold separately) that aren’t just sexy, they don’t dig into your skin when you’re paddling out to the lineup.

New pockets on the slide triangle tops accommodate pad inserts (called Ta-Tas), and two new bustier styles – a bra top and an underwire halter – can be worn as underwear, paired with Pualani’s popular low-rider thong.

And these suits stay put. Ask Cameron Diaz, who wore her Pualani swimsuit while surfing on the North Shore. Or Julia Roberts, who donned a Pualani bikini (that matched her daughter’s) while frolicking in the surf on the Big Island.

Bottom line:  they look good and they won’t leave you bare – ahem, embarrassed – in the waves.

Pualani Hawai‘i, 2863 Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki, 808.923.0753. Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. View styles online at