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Board Shorts Buying Guide


By Steve Kopitz



Board Shorts, like any other kind of clothing, are about more than just looks. When you’re in the market for a new pair of Board Shorts you’ll want to consider what you plan on doing in them. Are you surfing or wakeboarding? Are you going to wear them while hanging around town before taking a dip into the pool? Or are you just hanging out by the beach all day?


Don’t worry, it doesn’t get very complicated but take a look at the information below so you know the best kind of Board Shorts to purchase.





Board Short Length

Board Shorts come in various lengths, the shortest at 19 inches and longest at 22 inches. This is measured from the middle crotch of the Board Short to the leg.


A 19 inch length is the shortest you’ll find. They offer more of a retro look. Like many styles of the past, these are making a little bit of a comeback


► A 22 inch length is most likely going to be the longest. If you have long legs or just want more coverage, this might be the best option for you.


The majority of Board Shorts come in between the two lengths mentioned above.



Fabrics and Construction:


This is where you’ll want to consider which Board Short is right for you based on the activities you plan on participating in. Here are the kinds of fabric you’ll most likely encounter.


4-Way Stretch fabrics are super light weight. They stretch in four different directions providing you with great mobility. They also dry really fast. These Board Shorts tend to be pricier because of their high performance abilities and are ideal for the surfer or wakeboarder who needs that mobility.


2-Way Stretch fabrics have a more horizontal stretch as opposed to the 4-Way Stretch which is both horizontal and vertical. While still comfortable, super light and fast drying, these shorts offer slightly less mobility. This is a good choice for someone participating in average activity like a beginner surfer, water-skier or someone who likes going to the pool a lot.


Micro Suede is soft with a satin feel. They still dry fairly quickly but lack the stretch. If you’re swimming in the pool or at the beach, you’ll be comfortable in these lower-price-point pair of Board Shorts.



Types of Board Shorts





Hybrids – Quickly becoming one of the most casual, user-friendly shorts out there, Hybrids allow you to roam around the mall, the restaurants or run errands and are designed to look like your every day, average pair of shorts. They come in cargo short designs, golf shorts and more. These are perfect if you’re hitting a few shops near the beach followed by heading into the water or if you’re hanging out with friends with the intent on visiting the beach.



What to Wear Underneath:


Board Shorts are designed to be worn with nothing underneath for optimal comfort and function. Wearing boxers or briefs underneath can cause chafing and increase drying time when out of the water. But if you really feel you need something to wear under your board shorts or have sensitive skin, consider a pair of lycra or spandex shorts. They provide extra protection against chafing and chill when worn under your shorts.



Additional Info:


► Ties – The tie on the waistband should have a grippy feeling so they don’t come undone.


► Fly Closure – Although not all Board Shorts have fly closures, some just have a waistband you can tie tighter, many come with fly closures, typically these closures are Velcro.


► Seamless - Many companies are offering Board Shorts that are seamless. Whether it’s called Hydrofuse (by Oakley) or Hyperfreak (by O’Neill), a seamless pair of Board Shorts reduces the chafing and rashing as well as lessen the chances of tearing.


► Anti-Microbial – Many companies are rolling out Board Shorts with anti-microbial treatment. Your Board Shorts are going to spend the day outdoors, in-and-out of the water and are susceptible to picking up bacteria and microbes that you wouldn’t want anywhere near your skin. Anti-Microbial treatments greatly reduce this from happening.


► Pockets- Many Board Shorts come with one or more pockets. Mostly these pockets are for fashion purposes only, but they may come with goodies inside such as a wax comb or a bottle opener.