If catching warm-water waves is your MO, then a pair of board shorts is all but necessary. The warm-water staple short provides coverage and protection in the water without adding unnecessary warmth or bulk.
In 2018, classic nylon designs are still popular, but many of today’s brands offer more performance-oriented options as well. Look for quick-drying fabric with four-way stretch, laser-cut details and stitch-free seams. But before you head to the nearest break, make sure you’ve got a suitable pair of board shorts that’ll stand up to late-season swells.
Needessentials Premium Straight Leg Boardshort
The technical dobby weave in this four-way stretch fabric minimizes rashing by creating an air barrier between your skin and the fabric when wet. The design has a classic double-lace closure and includes a self-draining zippered side pocket.
O’Neill Hyperfreak S-Seam Boardshort
These shorts have a unique S side seam and utilize Anti-Rash Hyperthread, a soft and flexible thread that eliminates chafing. The four-way stretch fabric features 11 percent elastane and O’Neill Hyperdry water resistant treatment.
Billabong Tribon Airlite Boardshort
These board shorts include 12 percent elastane for comfort and easy of movement. The polyester fabric has a water-repellent Micro Repel coating, and the design includes a silicone-locked drawcord that won’t come undone when you wipeout.
Vissla Solid Sets Boardshort
The fabric used in these board shorts is a blend of coconut, recycled polyester, cotton and spandex. The design is relatively straightforward comparatively and features a drawcord waist, a scalloped hemline and single back pocket.
Patagonia Wavefarer Boardshort
These nylon board shorts include 4 percent spandex for added comfort and mobility. They have a quick-drying DWR finish, a contoured wastband and a self-draining back pocket. For ease of packing, these shorts pack into a zippered hip pocket.
Taylor Stitch Boardshort
The 4.5-ounce recycled poly-spandex fabric in these board shorts has comfortable four-way stretch with a DWR finish. The shorts include a two-button fly, draw-cord closure and hidden side-zip rear pocket.
Pilgrim Surf Supply Dorry Boardshort
Made in Japan from nylon taslan, these board shorts include a button fly and double-lace closure. The design features a button flap interior mesh pocket and a key loop inside the back pocket as well.
Hurley Phantom JJF 4 Elite
Utilizing Hurley’s Phantom 60% fabric (a recycled poly-spandex blend), these board shorts and flexible and quick-drying. The shorts include a Hyperfuse waistband made from rigid fabric to keep your shorts in place and a laser-cut fly to reduce bulk and increase overall comfort.
Birdwell 311 Boardshort
Cut and sewn in Santa Ana, the boarshorts features a triple-lace closure with nickel-plated grommets. Utilizing the iconic SURFNYL material developed by Birdwell, these trunks will stand up to decades of use with double- and triple-stitched seams.
Outerknown Apex Trunk by Kelly Slater
The Apex Trunk is cut from a 4.9-ounce recycled-polyester fabric that features four-way stretch (14 percent Spandex) for movement and PFOA-free water-repellency for minimal water absorption. The design includes bonded, stitch-free seams to lessen chafing and laser-cut details at the side seam for ventilation. As with the seams, the back pocket is stitch-free and includes and Aquaguard zipper and internal key ring. And for ease of packing when traveling, the Apex Trunk packs into its back pocket.