Surf style has spread well inland and a good pair of boardshorts is as much in demand as ever in 2016, to wear around the pool or just while chilling out.
Here the best-known surf brands offer some great everyday board shorts, plain and striped and printed, with some great features and innovations in materials and construction.
Look out for some alternatives including the increasingly popular hybrid shorts featuring a walk short style in the advanced quick drying water resistant material.
10. O’Neill Men’s Loaded Hybrid Boardshort
- 10. O’Neill Men’s Loaded Hybrid Boardshort
- 09. Hurley Men’s Phantom P30 One and Only Boardshort
- 08. Burnside Men’s Time Out Boardshort
- 07. Billabong Men’s Carter Walk Short
- 06. Quiksilver Men’s Manic 22 Inch Boardshort
- 05. Volcom Men’s 3 Quarta Slinger Boardshort
- 04. Hurley Men’s One and Only Boardshort
- 03. Hurley Men’s Puerto Rico Suede Boardshort
- 02. Quiksilver Men’s Everyday Kaimana Boardshort
- 01. O’Neill Men’s Catalina Stripe Boardshort
This is a great example of the latest hybrid shorts. It has the kind of cut and styling you’d find in a walk short from any surf apparel brand: clean flat front, side pockets, button fastened back pockets and belt loops.
In a lightweight four-way stretch, quick drying fabric it comes with secure zip pockets so it’s ready to go straight from the street into the ocean and back again.
There’s an amazing choice of colors. Pick a favorite from grays, khakis, plus some brighter blues, with solid or woven textures.
09. Hurley Men’s Phantom P30 One and Only Boardshort
These Hurley shorts are a bit longer, a bit baggier and with some urban street style in the cut, so they’ll reach down around or just below the knee. Traditional boardshorts with a front string fastening (assisted by velcro) and a single zip pocket to one side. The solid colors are bright with a large but discreet Hurley logo on one leg and the waistband.
08. Burnside Men’s Time Out Boardshort
Offering fantastic bang for your buck and a classic surf design and profile, these are around 22 inches long so about knee-length. There’s a good choice of stripe and print designs that’ll look good on the beach or around the resort. They have a secure back pocket, draw cord fastening at the front and weigh less than the average, but with most of the quick-drying technical features of shorts from the big brands. There are even a bottle opener and wax comb on an elastic loop inside the pocket.
07. Billabong Men’s Carter Walk Short
If you’re not taking your shorts in the water at all, here are some classily understated shorts to hang out in. It’s the same style the newer hybrid offerings are going for, in a softer, weightier cotton mix.
There are a fairly generous cut and the same length as water shorts to keep your legs out of the sun and sand, and they come in a good range of light or dark shades of heathered colors, with pockets to the front, rear and sides.
06. Quiksilver Men’s Manic 22 Inch Boardshort
Here’s a real no-nonsense solid-color board short from one of the biggest names in surf wear. The Manic shorts have a longish 22 size and slim yoke shape, but with plenty of space for thighs and legs of the athletic variety.
They come in some plain or shocking loud colors, and they’re built to last from tough, quick-drying polyester with the classic tie closure and a couple of discreet logos. Unusually they have a pocket on both legs (with velcro flaps and drain holes) perfect for the surfer with extra stuff to carry.
05. Volcom Men’s 3 Quarta Slinger Boardshort
If you like the style of the front tie fastening on boardshorts, but want a pair that’ll definitely stay up and keep your butt on the inside where it belongs, give these a try. The drawstring goes all the way round the back.
They’re fine looking shorts too, with some awesome stripe and print designs in attractive faded and pastel colors. They’ll ride just above the knee on most guys at 19 inches long.
04. Hurley Men’s One and Only Boardshort
A staple of Bob Hurley’s popular surf wear line-up, these are a straight up pair of all-action boardshorts in a solid color, whether you want it understated, deep, bright or loud. There’s just a Hurley logo in metallic foil on the leg and “phantom” name on the back of the waistband.
The material doesn’t stretch or offer as much movement around the thighs as other shorts, so they’re built ideally for snake hipped or teenage surfers.
03. Hurley Men’s Puerto Rico Suede Boardshort
With a luxury suede finish and a range of distinctive checkered designs more like leisure wear, they’ll stand out and feel great by the poolside but still perform out on the waves. They’re a classic 22-inch cut and shape, with a single hip pocket with velcro fastening and drain hole. They’re made of a quality feel, slightly heavier suede finish material that’ll still repel water and dry fast.
02. Quiksilver Men’s Everyday Kaimana Boardshort
This is another solid, high-performance offering from the stalwart Californian surf apparel makers, and it’s a smart, subtly-branded color short in a medium length (21 inch) fashioned from the quality poly material with a little bit of weight to it and just enough stretch to make the moves. There are a traditional tie closure and a safe zip pocket high up out of the way on one hip.
Good choice of solid colors from the plain Black through Stormy Weather to the shocking Gecko and Fiery Coral.
01. O’Neill Men’s Catalina Stripe Boardshort
These have a bit of design flair and feature some eye catching prints with denim-textured patterns and stripes. Underneath they’re true board shorts, unlined and string fastened with a slim fit around the waist and super quick drying lightweight material. A 21-inch outseam will protect your thighs on the board and keep the sun off while looking great on the beach.
There’s something for everyone here, whether on a shoestring with the Burnside shorts, or the labels and expertise of Hurley, Quiksilver or O’Neill.
Plenty of options with fastenings and storage too, so you don’t have to compromise with shorts that fall down or don’t have any pockets to look like a surfer should. And the hybrid shorts are a real all-round option that’s right at home on the waves.