Board Shorts Buying Guide

Board Shorts Buying Guide

Boardshorts Buying Guide

Everything you need to know about buying a pair of boardshorts.

Originally designed for surfers who needed a pair of shorts that could be worn day in day out, in the sea and on the sand. They come in a various range of colours, fabrics and lengths. But which is right for you? That’s why we’re on hand to help you pull on your perfect pair!

Common Types Of Boardshorts

Performance Boardshorts

Performance: This type is the professional’s choice. Most commonly offered in stretch, water-repellent, quick drying and rash-resistant fabric with welded seams and minimal pockets.

Hybrid Boardshorts

Hybrids: This type offers the functionality of a board short and the aesthetic of a casual walk short. Hybrids give you the option of wearing your favourite formal style short to a special occasion followed by the beach. A.k.a. Boardwalks and Submersibles.

Signature Boardshorts

Signature Series: These boardshorts are the styles designed for an individual athlete. The athlete’s predominantly design it themselves to reflect their favourite fabrics and styles offered to them over their careers.

Volleys Boardshorts

Volleys: Elastic waist board shorts which are usually shorter in length and made from standard polyester fabric. Perfect for casual pool and beach days. A.k.a. Swimshorts, elastic waists and Jam’s.


Stretch: This fabric offers flexibility for an optimum range of movement and performance. The material often comes in a 1 way, 2 way, or 4 way stretch. 4 way stretch providing the most flexibility. Professional surfers mostly chose to wear stretch fabric.

Super Suede: This is a popular fabric amongst boardshort enthusiasts that offers a silky inner surface and suede like outer surface for maximum comfort. This fabric can be used as a hybrid between action sports, casual beach days, and every day use.

Polyester: This is the most common fabric used in board shorts. This fabric is used for its durability and water resistance.

Cotton: This fabric is mostly used on ‘lifestyle’ or ‘fashion’ styled boardshorts. This fabric doesn’t dry quickly when wet-though it does offer comfort out of the water and breathability.


Fixed Waist: This waistband is a rigid, non-stretching, waistband that provides a firm and secure fit. This is the best type for performance and water sports as it grips the best to your waist. The fly fastening usually comprises of Velcro, zips, buttons, neoprene or lycra with a draw cord for adjustment.

Elastic Waist: This waistband is either completely or semi-elasticised. This waistband type is best for lounging around and casual beach days. This type is not ideal for performance sports, however, it offers the greatest range of waist size and comfort.


Key areas to measure when fitting boardshorts;

Waist: Measure the circumference of your natural waist, just above the hipbone.

Hips: With your feet together, measure the fullest part of your hips.


Waist & Hips Measurement

Leg lengths

Use this measurement to decide what length you feel most comfortable in. Leg length is most commonly measured in inches.

Outseam: The measurement from the top of the waistband to the bottom of the garment.

Inseam: The measurement from the crotch to the bottom of the garment.


18’’: Well above the knee. Short length.

19’’: Just on the knee.

20’’: On the knee. Mid length.

21’’: Just below the knee.

22’’: Well below the knee. Long length.

The above leg length measurements are based on the average male height.

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