There are various elements of boardshort design to consider when deciding what boardshorts to buy. Are you a high-tech, knee-length, ultra-lightweight sort of chap, or do you tend towards something a little fruitier, preferring the more tangible feel of thick cotton against your upper-thigh? Here are seven pairs of top-drawer boardshorts, each of them approaching the pressing issues of functionality and style from a slightly different angle.
Best Boardshorts: Hurley Phantom JJF II Elite Boardshorts 21″
Hurley took home the prestigious (if ungrammatical) SIMA Boardshort of the Year award for six years running between 2008 and 2013, and their Phantom boardshorts range continues to be a reference point in the industry.
John John Florence prefers the additional protection of a slightly longer leg for his signature boardshorts, which eschew Hurley’s standard horizontal stripes for two vertical ones on each side. The 4-way stretch fabric is made from 86% recycled polyester, and they come in numerous colourways, this dark “camo dye” being one of the more tasteful options.
At full price they’ll set you back just over £100, but they’re some of the comfiest boardshorts for surfing available. Non-elite versions of John John Florence’s boardies are available for around half that, but you’ll have to make do without the Hyperfuse waistband, whatever that means.
Best Boardshorts: Quiksilver New Wave Highline Boardshorts 19”
Quiksilver’s Highline Boardshorts boast double-layered Highlite 4-way stretch fabric, Dryflight hydrophobic coating, heat-welded back pocket with water-block semi-dry zip, welded stretch seams, Ariaprene waistband, and neo-fly closure. In other words, they will feel wonderful around the testes, and generally keep chafe to a minumum.
Perhaps the pinnacle of high-tech functionality, at £150 they’re also the most expensive boardshorts on the market, but those who own a pair insist they’re worth the extra sterling. Available in an understated, futuristic black colourway, they look like the sort of boardshorts an advanced alien species would elect to wear.