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The Best Men's Boardshorts for 2024

Updated: Jul 2

If you’re looking for your next pair of boardshorts, we’ve got you covered! 


There are endless factors to consider when shopping for boardshorts, but the main goal should be to interfere with your surfing as little as possible. 


The last thing you want is a rough pair of boardshorts chafing you in the lineup. On the other hand, you don’t want to fork over all your money for a brand new pair of boardshorts. 

In this article, we’ll break down the best boardshorts for you today, from feel to price and much more. 




The 10 Best Boardshorts for 2024 


Driftline

We all face the dilemma during the "in-between season" — the time of year when it's too warm for a wetsuit but too chilly for boardshorts — with what to wear that can keep us in the water as long as possible. 


Photo courtesy Driftline


That's where Driftline’s boardshorts — known as Drifties - come in.


These unique men’s boardshorts include a 0.5mm inner layer of neoprene lining that provides cold water protection.


Not only does this keep you warm; Drifties were also made to prevent chafing, which can not only ruin a surf session, but a surf trip as a whole. 

The best part about these men’s boardshorts is that they’re not only perfect for surfing. Drifties are the go to boardshorts for all water sports, including kitesurfing and wakeboarding.


Photo courtesy Driftline


Plus, if you’re hanging out at the chilly lake in the summer time, you’ll want a pair of these to keep you warm. 


Coming in many stylish colors and plenty of sizes, the price point for Drifties start at $89. 


Buy your pair of Drifties today.


Florence 

The preferred boardshort of world champion John John Florence, the F1 Pro Hawaii Boardshort is easily one of the best options on the market.


At the price point of $75, these are a sleek pair of drawstring boardshorts that not only look good but feel great too. 


These boardshorts are a perfect balance between style and practicality.


They are the perfect length, falling just above the knee and are made from a recycled polyester which is great for the environment.




They are designed to me moved in with a 4-way stretch fabric and a scalloped hem.


They have a ton of cool features including a key cord on the side of the shorts and of course a ton of cool patterns most of which represent the Hawaiian islands well. 

Learn more about these men’s boardshorts.


An undeniable classic for over 70 years, the Katin Waterman is a quintessential boardshort that must be added to your wardrobe. 


One of my personal favorites, these boardshorts are great for a medium to small size day on your longboard. 


Nylon, Nylon, Nylon! 




The ultra durable fabric has been loved and appreciated by surfers for years and Katin has been the standard for the nylon boardshort.


They do take a few sessions to break in, but after that, they are a comfortable pair that will make any session better.

They fall just above the knee. Not too long, not too short. 


The retro style will have you feeling like Miki Dora at Malibu during the 50s!


Learn more about these men’s boardshorts.


Birdwell 

Another classic boardshort that has recently seen a surge in popularity, the Birdwell 311’s have been worn and appreciated by surfers around the world for years. 


Again nylon rules the old school look. A great durable fabric that will be with you from your humble wavestorm beginnings to charging Pipe. A little uncomfortable at first but nothing a few hold downs can’t break in. 





There's really no other way of putting it. These are some of the hottest boardshorts on the market. The retro look is so sought after and these will make everyone impressed with your surfing no matter who you are. 


They also come in a variety of colors and lengths depending on what you want so really the perfect boardshort. 


Learn more about these men’s boardshorts.


Patagonia is well known for their high quality outerwear and their boardshorts are no exception. For $75, their Hydropeak Boardshorts feel like you are wearing nothing. 


The light weight super soft fabric is perfect for any type of surfer. Very little interference takes place with your surfing.





In a world where the boardshort seems to be getting shorter and shorter, these are longer than most, protecting your legs from chafing against the wax when you sit on the board. 


These boardshorts have lots of great features, including a key cord loop on the pocket. Designed for maximum movement with the super stretch lightweight fabric. 


Learn more about these men’s boardshorts.


What’s a boardshort list without a surf brand staple like Billabong? Their newest performance boardshort, the Sunday Pro Performance, is great for any session that you may encounter. 


The price is very reasonable considering other options currently on the market and not much differs between some of the more expensive ones. 





The fabric is a soft polyester elastane blend which is totally recycled and great for the environment. Not to mention its super soft and very stretchy, allowing for max movement. 


Lots of options when it comes to the pattern and inseam length. They have flashier options but also more lowkey ones as well. 


Learn more about these men's boardshorts.



Another classic boardshort company, Quiksilver can always be relied on for a sturdy pair of boardshorts.


The Highline Scallop — $65 — is one of their performance based options that aligns with a surfer's needs. 


The scalloped hem is always a plus. Just allows for more range of motion and looks stylish too.


On top of the recycled polyester blend fabric they also have plant based hydrophobic coating. This is great for repelling water and drying as fast as possible. 


Great length, falling just above the knee and lots of patterns to choose from. 


Learn more about these men's boardshorts.



O’Neil 

A staple in the wetsuit world, O’Neil also puts their best foot forward when it comes to boardshorts as well. The Hyperfreak Heat boardshort at the price of $55 is one of their latest installments into the boardshort game. 


The price is great for what you get. Tons of sweet features and a quality design that competes with the most expensive boardshorts out there. 


Perfect for mobility with O’Neil’s Hyperfreak stretch fabric, another recycled polyester ethan blend. 


The length is better for those looking for something a bit longer. I prefer a longer trunk when surfing so my thighs don’t get chafed, so this is an ideal option to avoid chafing. 


Learn more about these men’s boardshorts.


Volcom has had a long standing reputation for quality products within the surf community and their newest Jack Robinson Surf Vitals boardshorts are no exception. 


Although on the pricer end these boardshorts are battle tested. 





Super sleek and lowkey. Besides a few red stripes on the side these are perfect for the nonchalant shredder. 


Tons of cool features. 4-way stretch fabric, a welded zipper pocket to keep keys safe during a surf. 


Designed with Jack Robinson, who surfs some of the best waves in the world so if it's up to his standard they should hold up in your hometown beach break. 

Learn more about these men's boardshorts.


Vans 

Wedging its way into the surf world, worldwide skateboarding shoe brand, Vans has made its presence known in the boardshort market. 


The Pipe Masters Primary Boardshort is different from anything else on this list so it is definitely one to check out. 


The official trunk of the Pipe Masters? 





Say less. If they are designed for the best wave in the world they’ll do fine in any situation you put them in. 


An elastic drawstring waistband will keep them secure on your waist no matter how bad the wipeout. 


It features durable nylon fabric that will hold up in the roughest of conditions too!


Learn more about these men’s boardshorts.


A brand known for its stylish clothes RVCA has several options on the boardshort market worth checking out. For the price of $60, the VA Pigment Boardshorts are one of the better options. 


These are much better for relaxing on the beach and catching a few waves in between lounging sessions. They are the perfect choice for someone who doesn’t need a lightweight performance based trunk. They look great.


A perfect length and multiple colors to choose from. They’re perfect from going from your bed to the lineup in seconds.


Best of all, the price is pretty reasonable as well considering some of the other options on the market. 


Learn more about these men's boardshorts.





What to Look for in Boardshorts Today 


Find a pair of durable boardshorts.

The last thing you want is your boardshorts to fall apart after one or two surf sessions. If you find yourself getting slammed against sharp tropical reefs,k you’re gonna need some durable shorts. 


This usually comes down to the fabric used, which for most companies means a nylon boardshort. 


Nylon is typically the most durable fabric but it is more uncomfortable than other fabrics. 


A thinner, more sustainable polyester is usually more comfortable and there are plenty of companies that have mastered a super durable, soft fabric boardshort. 


Boardshorts should be affordable.

Surfing gear can be expensive, boardshorts included. Boardshort price tags are one of the tougher pills to swallow.


Boardshorts are an important aspect of your surfing, so sometimes spending a buck on a single pair isn’t a bad idea. 


They practically wash themselves when you go out in the water, so you really only need one solid pair to get you through the warmer months. 


Boardshorts should have some style. 

In order to surf well, you have to feel good.


If your boardshorts are making you feel like a kook out in the lineup, more than likely, your surfing will be affected as well. 

There are situations for longer shorts vs shorter ones or flashier vs subtle shorts. If you're out in a lineup like Doheny or Waikiki, it might be a good time to break out the fun patterned shorts but if the lineup is eggy out at a secret spot and the uniform is black shorts and a white board, we’ve got you covered too. 


Most brands have a variety of styles to choose from in accordance with your situation. 


Boardshorts Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What’s the best material for boardshorts?


Depends on what you want. For durability you'll want something nylon like Birdwells or Katins. If you need performance based trunks, a polyester elastane blend will be lightweight, soft, and stretchy. 


Q. What’s the best length for boardshorts?


Again, this is really personal preference.


I prefer something below the knee while I’m surfing for long periods of time to keep my legs from chafing against the wax but if I’m hanging out at the beach I prefer something above the knee just because of the way it looks. 

Q. What are the best boardshorts for surfing? 

There are countless options out there. For surfing, I think something that will protect your legs while also focusing on mobility and comfortability. If you can find that balance in a board short that would be what’s best.





The Bottom Line: Boardshorts for Surfing 

Well, it might be overwhelming trying to find the perfect boardshort, it's can be as difficult as looking for the perfect wave. 


However, there are plenty of great brands out there making quality, sustainable shorts that will feel great when you're surfing. 


So, get out there and find your perfect pair of boardshorts!


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