Whether you’re an avid surfer or just love soaking up the sun on the beach, you’ve likely heard of board shorts. These stylish and functional shorts are a popular choice for anyone who spends time in and around the water. But what are board shorts, exactly? and how do they differ from other swimwear options? In this article, we’ll answer these questions and more, so you can make an informed decision when choosing your next pair of Board shorts.

What are Board Shorts?

what are board shorts
board shorts

Board shorts are a type of men’s and women’s swimwear designed for use in and around the water. They are typically made from quick-drying materials such as polyester or nylon, and feature a loose, comfortable fit that allows for a full range of motion. Board shorts are often worn by surfers, but they are also popular among swimmers, kayakers, and anyone else who spends time in the water.

In addition, board shorts are longer than traditional swimwear. Their longer length was intended to keep surf wax from ripping out a surfer’s leg hair as well as reducing irritation from rubbing these knee-length shorts are generally made of smooth polyester or nylon material which allow surfers to be waterproof and quick-drying.

In addition to being a longer option that would allow surfing enthusiasts to maneuver the way they want to on their boards, they don’t have any mesh lining which can constrict their maneuvering complex movements

Board shorts are also popular as casual wear. They have a tighter, more secure waistband with a Velcro fly and drawstring closure. They often come with pockets and witness obvious improvements until they become part of the skater punk fashion trend and have been used as men’s athletic shorts for beach volleyball players.

The History of Board Shorts

Board shorts first gained popularity in the 1970s, when surf culture was at its peak. Surfers needed a comfortable and functional pair of shorts that could withstand the rigors of the sport, and board shorts were the perfect solution. The original board shorts were made from heavy cotton fabrics, but over time, they evolved to be lighter and more comfortable.

In the 1990s, board shorts became a popular fashion trend, with surf-inspired brands like Quiksilver and Billabong leading the way. These brands began incorporating bright colors, bold patterns, and unique designs into their board shorts, making them more than just a functional piece of swimwear.

Today, board shorts continue to be a popular choice for surfers and swimmers, but they have also become a staple of casual fashion. With a wide range of styles and materials to choose from, board shorts are a versatile piece of clothing that can be worn both in and out of the water.

What is The Difference Between Board Shorts and Swim Trunks?

What is The Difference Between Board Shorts and Swim Trunks
The Difference Between Board Shorts and Swim Trunks

Board shorts aren’t the same as swim trunks. There is a little difference between the two:

  • The Swim Trunk is considered leisure apparel made for recreational beach, lake or poolside usage Whereas the board short is designed for active performance for a wide range of water-based activities.
  • Board shorts are typically longer than swim trunks, usually extending to just above the knee. Swim trunks, on the other hand, can vary in length, but are typically shorter than board shorts.
  • The swim Trunk includes an elastic waist while the board short consists of a fixed waist.
  • Board shorts are designed to be loose and comfortable, while swim trunks may have a more form-fitting design.
  • The outseam length in Board short is generally longer than a swim trunk.
  • Board shorts don’t have any mesh lining, while swim trunks do have.
  • Board shorts usually have several pockets, while swim trunks may only have one or none at all.
  • Board shorts are typically made from synthetic materials such as polyester or nylon, while swim trunks may be made from a variety of materials, including cotton and spandex.

The Functionality of Board Shorts

“The Only Shorts That Will Make You Feel Like a Pro Surfer (Even if You Can’t Surf)!”

Board shorts are not just stylish; they are also incredibly functional. Here are just a few of the features that make board shorts an ideal choice for water sports enthusiasts:

  • #1- Breathable Material

Quality means different things to different people but I can say anecdotally that board shorts are some of the most well-made swimwear in terms of good materials

The materials perform well, are comfortable to wear, are extremely breathable and designed to absorb perspiration

Men’s board shorts are generally made of smooth polyester or nylon material which allows wearers to be waterproof and quick-drying

They are breathable and provide coverage without restricting movement

This means that they are great at keeping you cool during long days at the beach.

Another bonus in the design is that they often come with pockets so you can keep your personal belongings such as keys, board wax, or sunscreen. These pockets are usually located on the sides or the back of the shorts and are secured with zippers or Velcro.

  • #2- Won’t Ride Up

Board Shorts are made to look and feel better than any other traditional swimsuit. They are also made to not ride up when performing intense movements such as wakeboarding

They can also help prevent skin irritation while engaged in intense activities like surfing, swimming, fishing or even boating, during long days

  • #3- Additional Length

Men’s Board shorts range from a 17-inch to 22-inch outseam

The outseam length in these board shorts makes them a great option for Sun protection

  • #4- Drawstring Waist

One of the defining characteristics of board shorts is their waistband. Unlike traditional swimwear, board shorts have a rigid waistband with a lace-up or Velcro closure. This allows for a secure fit and ensures that the shorts stay in place even during the most active water sports.

  • #5- Comfortable Fit

One of the features that sets Board shorts apart from traditional swim trunks is their comfortable fit

Unlike mesh-lined swim trunks, these Board shorts are loose-fitting and typically knee length without the netting that swimsuits sometimes have; hence, they provide a comfortable fit and allow for a natural range of motion whether you’re in the water or on the sand

What Are The Different Types Of Board Shorts? (Styles and Materials)

What Are The Different Types Of Board Shorts

Board shorts come in a variety of styles and materials, each designed for a specific purpose. Here are some of the most popular styles and materials:

  • #1- Surfing Board Shorts

Surfing isn’t always an easy experience but it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable: Not with the Surfing Board Shorts. These smart fabric shorts are breathable and built to drive out sweat. They are designed for every water activity from swimming to fishing to boating

They are loose-fitting and knee length to prevent the board wax from being irritating to your skin and leg hair and protect you from the UV rays

These Surfing board shorts also feature the four-way stretch which means that the fabric’ll stretch length-wise and cross wide making sure you are not restricted in your movements

They are made with a tighter, more secure waistband with a Velcro fly and drawstring closure to help keep your shorts while engaging in intense activities or while you are wiping up as these shorts cover the knee or fall just above it, protecting more of your skin from harmful UV rays

Besides, the additional length makes them look as casual wear that you can wear them at the beach, to a restaurant or store

  • #2- Swiming Board Shorts

Swimming Board Shorts are made to get Wet and dry quickly. They are made out of a polyester or nylon blend fabric material. These fabrics are super durable and have moisture-wicking properties in them that allow for a quick drying time. Their durable and quick-drying material takes you from sunning to swimming and back to sunning again

Some of these swim board shorts have an elastic waistband while others have a Velcro Waist.

  • #3- Versatile Swimmer Board Shorts

These board shorts are considered a hybrid model. They allow you to go from walking around throughout the day and jump into the water when you are ready to swim

They are functional like a board short should be but styled like shorts in which you can walk around.

They are called many different names including land to sea shorts, surf n turf shorts or amphibian shorts. These Versatile Swimmer Board Shorts are made out of a polyester or nylon blend fabric material that dries quickly and wicks away sweat and moisture

They may have also different options for closure: Velcro, drawstring closure, zippers or some combination of two closures

More than that, they have a pocket that has a secure closure so that, you can feel released that all of your personal belongings are secure

  • #4- Stylish Board Shorts

For a different look, try these stylish Board shorts which feature super durable fabrics and have moisture-wicking properties in them. They are made of bright colors, fabric that is comfortable and designs that are inspired by surfing. They come in various fun patterns, lengths and styles.

In the water, their quick-drying feature is awesome, it keeps you from feeling wet all the time which no one likes. They can also feel cooler

  • #5- Fitness Board Shorts

Board Shorts are a good option for those who are interested in fitness. The fitness Board Shorts are super durable and stretchy making them work well in the gym.

You can also wear them for beach Volleyball game. They are really breathable and provide coverage without restricting your movements. Brand names like Nike and Under Armour are now making board shorts.

  • #6- Compression Board Shorts

Compression board shorts are a type of performance board short that is designed to provide support and reduce muscle fatigue. They are typically made of a stretchy fabric, like spandex or elastane, and they have a compression fit that hugs the body.

Compression board shorts can help improve circulation, reduce muscle vibration, and speed up recovery time. They are a great option for anyone who wants a pair of board shorts that can help them perform at their best.

  • #7- Life Guarding Board Shorts

When peoples’ lives are in your hands, you want to make sure you have all the right equipment that include Life Guarding Board Shorts that allow you to move freely

Most of these Board Shorts are red to ensure lifeguards easily stand out. They have also secure pockets to allow lifeguards to carry whatever they may need

When it comes to materials, there are several options to choose from. Here are some of the most popular:

  • #Polyester: Polyester is a lightweight, quick-drying material that is often used in classic board shorts. It is durable and easy to care for, making it a popular choice for swimwear.
  • #Nylon: Nylon is another popular material for board shorts. It is lightweight, quick-drying, and water-resistant, making it ideal for use in the water.
  • #Spandex: Spandex is a stretchy material that is often used in performance board shorts. It allows for a full range of movement and helps to wick moisture away from the body.
  • #Cotton: While not as popular as polyester or nylon, cotton is still used in some board shorts. It is a breathable material that is comfortable to wear, but it is not as quick-drying or water-resistant as other materials.

“Surf’s Up! Get Ready for the Waves with the Best Board Shorts”

How to Wear Board Shorts?

Board shorts are a versatile piece of clothing that can be worn in a variety of ways. Here are some of the best ways to wear board shorts:

  • #Beach day: Board shorts are perfect for a day at the beach. Pair them with a casual t-shirt or tank top, and you’re ready for some fun in the sun.
  • #Surfing: Board shorts are a must-have for any surfer. Wear them with a rash guard or wetsuit top for added protection and comfort while on the board.
  • #Swimming: Board shorts are also great for swimming. Pair them with a swim shirt or rash guard for added sun protection and style.
  • #Casual wear: Board shorts can also be worn as casual wear. Pair them with a t-shirt or polo shirt and some sandals for a laid-back and comfortable look.

When it comes to choosing the right board shorts, there are a few things to consider. First, you’ll want to make sure that they fit well and are comfortable to wear. Look for a pair that has a drawstring waist, as this will allow you to adjust the fit to your liking. You’ll also want to choose a pair that is made from a high-quality, quick-drying material that can withstand the wear and tear of water sports.

Another thing to consider is the color and pattern of the board shorts. While solid colors like black or navy are always a classic choice, many board shorts feature bold patterns and prints that can add some fun and personality to your look. Just be sure to choose a pattern that you feel comfortable wearing and that complements your personal style.

Overall, board shorts are a versatile and comfortable piece of swimwear that are perfect for water sports and beach activities. Whether you’re a surfer or just looking for a comfortable pair of shorts to wear to the beach, board shorts are a great choice that will keep you looking and feeling cool all day long.

How to Care for Boardshorts?

To ensure that your board shorts last as long as possible, it’s important to take good care of them. Here are some tips for caring for your board shorts:

  • Rinse after use:

After wearing your board shorts in the water, rinse them thoroughly with fresh water to remove any salt or sand. This will help prevent the fabric from deteriorating over time.

  • Machine wash:

Board shorts can be machine washed on a gentle cycle using mild detergent. Be sure to check the care label for specific washing instructions, as some materials may require special care.

  • Avoid bleach:

Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners, as these can damage the fabric and reduce its lifespan.

  • Hang dry:

To prevent shrinkage or damage to the fabric, hang your board shorts to dry rather than using a dryer. Avoid direct sunlight, as this can cause fading.

  • Fold, don’t crease:

When storing your board shorts, fold them gently rather than creasing them. This will help maintain the shape and prevent wrinkles.


Board shorts are an essential piece of clothing for anyone who loves water sports. With their durable materials, comfortable fit, and stylish designs, they offer a perfect combination of function and fashion. Whether you’re surfing the waves, paddleboarding, or just lounging on the beach, board shorts are sure to be a go-to item in your wardrobe.

So why wait? Grab a pair today and start enjoying the ultimate in comfort, style, and performance!

Other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Wearing Board Shorts?

  • Q: What are Board Shorts Made of?

A: Board shorts are typically made from lightweight, quick-drying materials such as polyester or nylon. Some board shorts also incorporate spandex or elastane for added stretch and flexibility.

  • Q: Can Women Wear Board Shorts?

A: Yes, there are many options available for women’s board shorts that are designed with a more feminine cut and style. Women’s board shorts offer the same functionality and protection as men’s board shorts, but with added features such as built-in liners or compression shorts for added support and comfort.

  • Q: Can kids Wear Board Shorts?

A: Yes, board shorts are a great choice for kids who love spending time in the water. Kids’ board shorts are designed with a focus on comfort and durability, and often feature fun designs and patterns. Look for a pair of board shorts that fits comfortably and allows for a full range of motion.

  • Q: Can Board Shorts Be Worn for Other Activities Besides Swimming?

A: Yes, board shorts can be worn for other activities besides swimming, but they are primarily designed for water activities. Board shorts can be worn for activities such as beach volleyball, surfing, or just lounging on the beach. However, they may not provide the same level of comfort or durability as other types of shorts designed for specific activities.

  • Q: Can Board Shorts Be Worn in Cold Weather?

A: Board shorts are primarily designed for warm weather and water activities, but they can be worn in colder weather with proper layering. Consider wearing a wetsuit or rash guard underneath your board shorts to provide added warmth and protection from the elements.

  • Q: How do I Know If My Board Shorts Need to Be Replaced?

A: Over time, board shorts may begin to show signs of wear and tear, such as fading, fraying, or stretching. If your board shorts no longer fit properly, provide the necessary coverage and protection, or are showing signs of damage, it may be time to replace them.

  • Q: Can Board Shorts Be Worn in A Swimming Pool?

A: Yes, board shorts can be worn in a swimming pool, but it is important to check with the pool’s rules and regulations before doing so. Some pools may have specific dress codes or restrictions on the types of swimwear that can be worn. Additionally, be sure to rinse your board shorts thoroughly in fresh water after swimming in a pool to remove any chlorine or other chemicals.

Your opinion matters to us. If you have any comments or questions about the products we reviewed, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below or reach out to us via our contact page. We’re here to help you make an informed decision.Sophia

Hey, I'm Sophia – a fashion writer and trend enthusiast powering Trendy Legs. I blend my love for style with creativity to handpick the coolest legwear and footwear for everyone. Let's explore fashion together and stay ahead of the curve!

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