Find the Best Surf Hats: Reviews & Recommendations

Look no further than the Dakine Indo Surf Bucket Hat.

It floats. It’s got a comfy, adjustable, and stash-able chinstrap. It’s made from UPF material (that’s UV protection, barno).

What more could you ask for?

It even comes in a few different colors.

Whether you’re sitting on a log in Lake Pacific waiting on something to come through on one of those 1 foot summer days or you’re duck-diving through non-stop sets in some tropical location, this surf hat will serve you well.

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Top Picks for Surfing Hats

Our favorite choices for the best surf hat are:

  1. Dakine Indo Surf Hat
  2. Billabong’s Big John Safari Sun Protection Surf Hat
  3. O’Neill’s 2mm Wetsuit Surf Cap
  4. Quicksilver’s Outsider Straw Surf Hat

All of these are going to help protect your face from sunburn and keep the sun’s glare out of your eyes. Keep reading to learn more.

Dakine Indo Surf Hat

This surf hat was designed with surfing fully in mind. While any bucket hat or floppy hat with a chin strap or cord will technically do, the Dakine Indo Surf Hat has everything you could need and want while wearing it in the water.

Some of the key features include:

  • UPF 50 material.
  • Flippable/foldable rim.
  • Quick-dry material.
  • It floats.
  • Adjustable chin strap with breathable mesh flaps.
  • Neck sun-protection flap that can be rolled up and stored.
  • Pouch/pocket within the inside top of the hat – designed to store the neck flap, but could be used to store something small in a pinch.

This surf hat can be found in gray/griffin (pictured above), black, and camo.

It’s a good unisex bucket hat style (most surfing hats are) and is available in the following sizes:

  • Small/Medium or about 7-1/8 hat size.
  • Large/X-Large or about 7-3/8 hat size.
  • XX-Large or about 7-3/4 hat size.

Sun Protection

The biggest benefit to this hat is the UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of the material.

UPF is an indicator used to measure how much UVA and UVB radiation can reach the skin through the fabric.

If you’re looking for a surf hat, you’re probably looking for some sun protection.

Ideally you’re going to want something with a UPF rating comparable to the SPF of the sunscreen you’d use on your face.

This surf hat plus a nice mineral face sunscreen should keep you pretty well protected during a longer surf.

Comfort & Versatility

The last thing you want in a surf hat is something that’s uncomfortable or getting in your way the whole time.

The Indo Surf Hat is made from a soft material with a slightly padded, breathable strap.

Its quick-dry characteristics will help prevent the feeling of a damp towel sitting on your head all day.

The straps are adjustable to get a snugger fin if you’re continually ducking waves or to get a looser fit on a mellow day.

Whatever level of snugness you choose, the hat floats. If it comes off, you can paddle over and pick it up later.

The brim of the hat can be flipped in place to keep it out of your face while paddling.

And a roll-up neck-cover gives you a little added sun protection on the back of your neck if needed.

Dakine Indo Surf Hat Review & Rating

Overall, the Dakine Indo Surf Hat does its job well.

It’s going to provide you with some added sun protection and prevent you from getting burned.

And it’s going to stay put and out of the way while you surf, duck dive, wipe out, and paddle.

The variety of sizes should cover most head shapes and sizes for both men and women, and the adjustable strap allows you to get just the right fit.

The one potential drawback is the noise/lack of noise factor when you clip the straps over your ears. If you’re not used to wearing a hat or surf cap while you surf, the difference in how things sound at first if a little strange.

That said, this hat comes from a company with a pretty solid history of producing some quality, durable surf equipment.

Definitely worthy of a place in your surfing gear bag.

What is the best hat for surfing?

The best surf hat is one that:

  • Protects you from sun burn.
  • Stays out of your way when you paddle, duck dive, surf, and wipeout.
  • Either floats, has a strap, or some sort of leash.

The Dakine Indo Surf Hat really checks all those boxes is a pretty stylish package.

How to Make a Surf Hat

But hey, Wave Arcade is all about upcylcing, reducing our own environmental impacts, and experimenting with making our own surf gear. Why not make your own surf hat?

If you’ve got an old bucket hat, floppy hat, or straw hat lying around, you can turn it into a “surf hat” with just a few modifications.

To make a surf hat, you’ll just need to add some straps that will either allow you to cinch up the hat so it stays put or helps you hang onto the hat if it comes off.

A few options for making some straps for your DIY surf hat include:

  • Punching some holes in the brim and adding some rope with knots at each end.
  • Cutting up and upcycling an old wetsuit to fashion some straps.
  • Tethering the hat to your shirt or wetsuit zipper.

With a few snips and a couple knots, any old hat could be a surf hat.

Will it be as comfortable or as functional? TBD.

The Best Surf Hats: More Good Choices

While we do really like the Indo Surf Hat, we’re not a one-surf-hat website. There’s just too many good options for us to get tied down like that.

In addition to Dakine Indo Surf Hat, some other great choices for the best surf hat include:

Billabong Floppy Surf Hat

This Billabong surf hat is made from 100% cotton and includes an adjustable chin strap.

It’s not the most ideal material for use in the water, but if you’re keeping your head up for most of the session, it’ll provide you with some good and comfortable sun protection.

O’Neill 2mm Surf Cap

For those of us surfing in colder places, the O’Neill surf cap is a good choice for warmth and sun protection.

The rim in designed to stay out of your way while blocking the sun.

It features an adjustable velcro strap to get the right fit.

Good choice in cold water or windy days.

Quicksilver Straw Surf Hat

We’d feel amiss if we didn’t include a straw surf hat in our recommendations.

The Quicksilver Straw Sun Hat is a wide-brim straw hat with a fabric-lined brim.

The fabric gives the straw a little extra durability (plus some added style, if you’re into that sort of thing).

Do you need a hat for surfing?

You’ve sure got a lot to consider.

Just kidding. We did all the hard work for you!

If you’re looking for a hat specifically for surfing, the Dakine Indo Surf Hat is the clear choice.

If you’re surfing somewhere windy or cold or are looking for some added warmth and UV protection in the winter, the O’Neill surf cap is a good option.

And if you’re just looking for more of a beach sun hat that you could surf with if you wanted to, both the Billabong bucket hat and the classic Quicksilver straw surf hat are solid contenders.

Do you have experiences with any of the surf hats described above? Maybe you’re a fan of something we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!

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