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Surf Gear Reviews

Best Hat for Surfing: Our Top Picks

As surfers, we spend quite a bit of time in the sun.  It’s essential to prioritize safety and comfort, including protection from the sun. One often overlooked aspect of sun protection is choosing the right headwear, specifically selecting the best hat for surfing. In the quest for the perfect hat, we focused on factors such as comfort, durability, and the level of sun protection provided.

Best Hat for Surfing

Surfing hats not only shield your face from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays but also protect your scalp from sunburn. Prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to skin damage, premature aging, and even skin cancers like basal cell carcinoma. After experiencing basal cell skin cancer, I can’t stress enough the importance of proper sun protection while surfing.

Sometimes people just wear whatever hats they have out in the water, but getting a hat designed for surfing can make your life a lot easier.

When choosing the ideal hat for surfing, it’s essential to pay attention to the material, construction, and secure fit. Look for fabrics that offer water resistance, quick-drying capabilities, and high UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) ratings. Additionally, consider comfortable, adjustable chin straps or cords to ensure the hat stays in place during your surf sessions. By keeping these factors in mind, you can make an informed decision and choose the right hat for your needs.

We have dedicated ourselves to researching and testing various surfing hats to identify the ones that provide exceptional protection, comfort, and reliability in the ever-changing ocean conditions. Join us as we dive into our findings and reveal the best hats for surfing that will elevate your sun protection game to a whole new level.

Best Hats for Surfing

We’ve carefully curated a list of the top hats for surfing enthusiasts, providing you with stylish and functional options for your next surf session.

Dakine Indo Surf Hat Large-X-Large Black

Dakine Indo Surf Hat

This Dakine Indo Surf Hat is a must-have for sun protection during water sports, although the sizing can be a bit inconsistent.


  • Excellent sun protection
  • Durable and comfortable material
  • Versatile for various water sport activities


  • Sizing is inconsistent
  • Chin strap might need adjustment
  • Limited color options

We recently tried the Dakine Indo Surf Hat during our surfing sessions and found it to be an exceptional accessory, providing great sun protection. The hat’s material is durable and comfortable, making it an excellent choice for anyone who loves water sports like surfing, windsurfing, and kiteboarding.

One downside we noticed is the inconsistency in sizing, as two of us purchased the same size but experienced different fits. To ensure you get the right size, it might be helpful to try on multiple options if possible. We also needed to adjust the chin strap occasionally to secure the hat during more intense activities.

The Dakine Indo Surf Hat is available in a few prints and a black option. Although we preferred the black shade, some of us wished there were more color choices to match our personal styles.

In conclusion, if you’re an avid watersports enthusiast or just looking to protect yourself from the sun while surfing, the Dakine Indo Surf Hat is worth considering. Just make sure to double-check sizing and adjust the chin strap as needed for the perfect fit.

Ho Stevie! Surf Bucket Hat with Chin Straps

Surf Bucket Hat

We highly recommend Ho Stevie! Surf Bucket Hat for its outstanding sun protection and convenient features, making it a top choice for water sports enthusiasts.


  • Great sun protection for face, neck, and ears
  • Stays on during water activities
  • Removable neck flap for versatility


  • Limited color options
  • May need to size up for a comfortable fit
  • Costs slightly higher than some competitors

Ho Stevie! Surf Bucket Hat offers excellent sun protection to keep you safe during your favorite water activities such as surfing, paddleboarding, and kayaking. The hat is made of 100% nylon, which provides durability and excellent sun protection. Its impressive buckle closure and adjustable chin straps ensure that it stays on your head even during those intense wipeouts or duck dives.

The hat’s stiff front brim doesn’t fall down when wet, and can be flipped up for an improved field of vision while paddling. The mesh chin straps protect your ears from the sun without hindering your hearing. In case you need extra neck protection, the hat comes with a removable neck flap, which can be easily detached and stored in a secret pocket inside the hat when not in use.

Ho Stevie! Surf Bucket Hat fits any head size, with unisex sizing options ranging from small to large. However, we recommend sizing up for a more comfortable fit. The hat also floats if it accidentally falls off in the water, so you don’t have to worry about losing it during your water adventures.

One minor downside is the limited color options for this hat, but if functionality is your primary concern, Ho Stevie! Surf Bucket Hat definitely serves its purpose well. While the price can be slightly higher compared to other surf hats, the quality and features make it a valuable investment.

In conclusion, Ho Stevie! Surf Bucket Hat is a reliable and functional accessory for anyone who loves spending time in the sun and water. It offers excellent sun protection, convenient features, and a comfortable fit, making it a must-have for your next water adventure!

Quiksilver Men’s Bucket Large-X-Large Surfmaster/Sleet

Quiksilver Surfmaster Hat

This Quiksilver Surfmaster hat provides great sun protection and comfort, making it a top pick for surfers and beach enthusiasts.


  • Comfortable, 100% polyester material
  • Efficient drawstring closure
  • Wide brim for sun protection


  • May lack proper ventilation
  • Could be a tight fit for some
  • Durability issues with the buckle

We recently took the Quiksilver Men’s Bucket Surfmaster hat out for a day on the waves and were overall impressed. The 100% polyester microfiber fabric felt comfortable against our skin, even as we were battling salty waves. Alongside its drawstring closure, the hat stayed put during our surfing sessions.

The wide brim design provided excellent sun protection, keeping our face shaded throughout the day. Additionally, the side ear flap straps were a unique feature that gave us an extra layer of coverage from the sun.

However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing with the Surfmaster hat. One issue we encountered was its lack of ventilation, as after prolonged wear, we found ourselves wishing for some holes at the top to let out trapped heat. Moreover, the fit seemed a bit tight at first, potentially making it less comfortable for those with a larger head. Lastly, we experienced some durability concerns with the buckle – it broke after a few beach outings.

In conclusion, the Quiksilver Men’s Bucket Large-X-Large Surfmaster/Sleet offers solid sun protection and a comfortable fit, making it a great choice for a day of surfing. Just be prepared for the possibility of needing extra ventilation and the need to carefully handle the buckle.

Dakine Surf Cap One Size Black

Dakine Surf Cap

The Dakine Surf Cap is a versatile option for surfers seeking reliable sun protection and comfort without sacrificing style.


  • UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Mesh ventilation at ears
  • Adjustable brim and chin strap


  • Fragile chin strap buckle
  • Not suited for larger head sizes
  • Takes a bit longer to dry

We recently had the opportunity to try out the Dakine Surf Cap, and it quickly became our go-to headgear for our surf sessions. We appreciated the UPF 50+ sun protection and the mesh ventilation at the ears, which ensured added comfort during long days on the water.

One striking feature of this cap is the adjustable brim that can be flipped up when paddling. This addition proved handy and allowed for unobstructed vision. The adjustable chin strap provided a secure fit, ensuring the cap stayed in place even during wipeouts or high-speed water sports.

However, it’s essential to be cautious with the chin strap buckle as it is quite delicate and may break with rough handling. On another note, the cap might not be suitable for those with larger head sizes, and it can take a bit longer to dry compared to other surf caps.

Overall, we believe the Dakine Surf Cap is perfect for surfers searching for a stylish, comfortable, and functional hat to protect them from the sun’s harsh rays. Despite a fragile buckle and potentially longer drying time, its sun protection and adjustable features make it a top contender for the best hat for surfing.

FCS Essential Surf Bucket Hat

FCS Essential Surf Bucket Hat Grey Medium

The FCS Essential Surf Bucket Hat is a must-have for avid surfers seeking sun protection and a secure fit during their water adventures.


  • Stays secure in water
  • Provides excellent sun protection
  • Adjustable chin strap for a comfortable fit


  • May fit snug for some users
  • Brim could potentially block vision
  • Chin strap clasp could be more durable

We recently had the chance to test out the FCS Essential Surf Bucket Hat during a sunny day of surfing at the beach. Made from 100% polyester and designed in collaboration with top surf athletes and board shapers, this hat definitely delivered on its promise of sun protection.

One of the features that impressed us was the adjustable chin strap, which allowed for a comfortable fit even in rougher waves. We also appreciated the perforated panels for added breathability. However, we found that the hat fit a bit snugly for some of us, so we recommend checking the sizing chart carefully before purchasing.

Even though the brim is firm, it sometimes obstructed our vision when catching a wave, so that’s something to consider as well. The hat’s clasp could use an upgrade due to its occasional lack of durability during more intense wipeouts.

Overall, we enjoyed using the FCS Essential Surf Bucket Hat and found it to be a great addition to our surfing gear. If you’re in need of a reliable hat that provides protection from the sun and stays secure during water activities, this is a solid pick!

Dakine Surf Trucker Hat

Dakine Surf Trucker Hat

We highly recommend the Dakine Surf Trucker Hat for those seeking sun protection and style during their surfing adventures.


  • Excellent sun protection (UPF 50+)
  • Comfortable fit with adjustable strap
  • Stylish trucker design and breathable mesh back


  • Shorter brim may not cover some faces completely, especially the sides of the face
  • Limited color options
  • Customer reports of possible durability issues

As avid surfers, we appreciate the Dakine Surf Trucker Hat’s focus on sun protection as well as water performance. Founded in Hawaii and designed with a true understanding of the surfing lifestyle, this hat’s UPF 50+ rating ensures exceptional shielding from the sun’s harmful rays. The adjustable chin strap and snap-back closure allow for a secure fit, even in the roughest waves.

The performance mesh back adds breathability during our water adventures, and the hat’s overall trucker design provides a stylish look that’s perfect for both in and out of the water. The confidence this hat brings, coupled with the protection it offers, boosts our overall surfing experience.

However, a few drawbacks should be noted. The hat’s brim is slightly shorter, meaning it might not completely cover larger faces. Additionally, some customers have reported breakage of the buckle, bringing into question its durability. Lastly, we do wish there were more color options available to choose from.

Despite these drawbacks, we still believe the Dakine Surf Trucker Hat is an excellent choice for surfers looking for sun protection without compromising on style. Its benefits outweigh the cons, making it a worthy addition to your surfing gear collection.

Buying Guide


When choosing the best hat for surfing, consider the material it is made of. High-quality materials will provide better comfort, UV protection, and durability. Look for hats made of:

  • Quick-drying fabric: To prevent waterlogging and speed up drying time.
  • UV protection: To shield your head and face from harmful sun rays.
  • Breathability: To promote airflow and avoid overheating while surfing.

Fit and Comfort

A well-fitting and comfortable hat is essential for a great surfing experience. Consider the following aspects:

  • Adjustable straps: To ensure the hat stays in place during waves and wipeouts.
  • Hat size: Pick a hat with the appropriate size for your head, so it’s not too tight or too loose.
  • Comfortable materials: A soft, cushioned inner band can make the hat more comfortable to wear for long periods.

Style and Coverage

Depending on your preferences, there are various styles of hats that provide different levels of coverage:

  • Wide brim: Offers maximum sun protection and coverage of the face, ears, and neck.
  • Baseball cap: Provides a more casual look with moderate sun protection.
  • Bucket hat: Features a 360-degree brim for full coverage and sun protection.

Additional Features

Some hats come with extra features to enhance your surfing experience:

  • Chin strap: Prevents the hat from being easily knocked off by waves or wind.
  • Ventilation holes: Promote air circulation and reduce heat buildup.
  • Storage pockets: Can be useful for stowing small essentials while surfing.

Hayley Gordon

Hayley Gordon has been surfing for over 20 years. Riding both shortboards and longboards, she's traveled the world to surf but mainly sticks to her two home locations of San Diego and Long Island.

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