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READER POLL 2017
We promise this won’t (really) hurt.

Wanna win a new surfboard? We have a custom Chilli ‘Black Vulture’ to gift (plus all the trim you’d expect from a premium dealer). To be in the running, just answer a few questions for us. It won’t take long.

Close
Close READER POLL 2017
We promise this won't (really) hurt.

Wanna win a new surfboard? We have a custom Chilli ‘Black Vulture’ to gift (plus all the trim you’d expect from a premium dealer). To be in the running, just answer a few questions for us. It won’t take long.

X BEST BOARDSHORTS 2018 X
X BEST BOARDSHORTS 2018 X

The Totally Predictable
Yet Necessary Best
Boardshorts of 2018

Stab’s favorite talent with feet in Hawaiian sand, wearing the finest trunks from the companies who graciously keep the lights on.

Hurley

Meet Julian Wilson’s “Phantom Julian Wilson 18” Snapper Boardshort”

The brand that’s been churning out world tour surfers since logo tees couldn’t be kept on racks, have loosened their belt. This season, Hurley’s built a most eclectic selection, everything from red, white, blue, stars and stripes to pink paint drips and toucans. (And John Florence’s Phantoms, of course.)

The staff highlight, however, is the surprise collab with Pendleton—recall the flannel-and-cardigan combo that the Dude donned in the Big Lebowski? Their collab trunks are cut to an acceptable 18” – the sturdiest of the batch—with a Grand Canyon National Park hit, and like the rest of the Hurley/Pendleton mash-up, a portion of the proceeds goes to the National Park Foundation.

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Quiksilver

Meet Mikey Wright’s “Highline Techtonics 20” Boardshort”

Goliath godfathers of the boardshort, Quiksilver continues to stay true to form, with a healthy helping of unabashedly high performance boardshorts.

The collection’s light, bright, striped, and occasionally graced with geometric shapes. They’re everything we’ve come to expect from the Mountain and Wave. A few somewhat subtle pieces, maybe a few robust logo hits, and something cozy to surf in.

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Billabong

Meet Griffin Colapinto’s “Sunday’s Airlite Boardshorts.”

Yes, we’ve been enjoying the ride on the Griff-train.

After he grabbed the ’17 Triple Crown, we ushered Griffin down to the beach to stand in front of our white backdrop, to capture a look as cleancut as any 18-year-old World Tour surfer ever.

It’s long been our conviction that Billabong’s “Life’s Better in Boardshorts” campaign is the truest and most self-explanatory trunk ethos for the 21st century. We were pleased, to say the least, when they presented the Warhol x Jean-Michel Basquiat line of trunks, juxtaposed against their high-performance Airlite series.

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Vans

Meet Nathan Florence’s “Era 19” Boardshorts”

Bold, but unoffensive!

Vans’ Summer wear are a melange of modern cuts, classic patterns, with a suitable statement piece for the loudest and proudest, as much as the guy who’d rather fly under the radar.

Sacrificing nothing of technical, quick-dry, comfortable fabrics, Vans’ offerings range from deconstructed classic black stripes, flouro pink numbers that might shout, but certainly don’t scream, as well as some versatile surf-to-turf options featuring tech fabrics, with understated floral prints (and pockets!) for avoiding the microscope while still feeling as stylish as you please.

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Reef

Meet Evan Geiselman’s “Peeler 20” Boardshort”

Freedom, stretch, and new tech is far from dead in 2018.

Reef present their Holey line, a capsule with perforated fabric, thousands of tiny holes poked through the trunk’s fabric for air and water flow. (Which sounds like a gimmick, but we tried them on, and they feel like you’re wearing nothing: great for yoga, karate kicks, watching tv, and, uh, shredding!)

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Rip Curl

Meet Mason Ho’s “Mirage Mason Rockies 20” Boardshort”

Now, we’re firm believers that boardies should not exceed 20 inches.

Luckily, these top out at that at-the-knee sweet spot, which is good for Mr Ho. With his undying affinity for surfing over dry rocks, an 18-inch inseam would Just. Not. Be. Enough. Coverage.

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O'Neill

Meet Ian Crane’s "Superfreak 20" Boardshort"

The brand that popularized the wetsuit has always worked to keep all of us in the water longer. The attention put into excess time dripping in salt spans evenly from 5/4/3 steamers to long johns to a good pair of boardies. If you’re planning on surfing for a prolonged period of time, dear old Jack’s namesake has you sorted. O’Neill’s batch for the warm water months, with their fancy zippers and higher tech, are shouting the future is here!

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RVCA

Meet Luke Davis’ “Birdwell Birdie Bomber 18” Trunk”

The company with one of the strongest handles on surf, MMA, skate, Art, Fashion, have released their RVCA x Birdwell collab built from 100-percent classic Nylon, and cut from 16-18-inches for maximum thigh appeal.

With RVCA’s Pat Tenore and Birdwell creative director Natas Kaupas conspiring on these trunks, the collab features classic World War 1 bomber art, and slick single-color options, a line of trunks that, when the bombs falls, we’d happily pick up the pieces in.

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ROARK

Meet Parker Coffin’s “Savage Hineapple 19” Boardshorts”

Pineapples have a nice aesthetic.They’re aggressive looking, but sweet, with a tough exterior; they straddle the rims of beachside libations, and are often printed on a variety of things. What’s not to like?

Here Parker Coffin stands, squinty-eyed in the sun, and dripping wet from a quick Ehukai dip, wrapped waist-down in Roark’s frutiest.

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Volcom

Meet Ozzie Wright’s “Burch Stoneys 18" Boardshort”

Eyes half-shut!

The brand chanting Youth Against Establishment for more than two decades now are in fine form with their new Stoneys line. It’s always comforting to see brands stay true to their origin story, and in this case, that’s wavy-lines and California-baked cosmic colors.

Volcom sent their team’s most mature-yet-childlike rider, who starred in surf movies that once went straight to VHS, Goons of Doom frontman and aerial savant, sir Ozzie Wrong, to model for us in our weird studio in front of Brian Bielmann’s lens.

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Vissla

Meet Cliff Kapono’s “Creators 20” Boardshort”

We’re true fans of Vissla’s marketing. They walk that fine line of modern-throwback, and that line stays true in their boardshorts.

Visssla’s trunks have a retro feel, but with a modern, relevant cut and fit, with inseams ranging from 17.5 to 20 inches, splattered in flowery or plain designs. Not too bright, anything but dull.

And, they’re made from Upcycled Coconuts. Hello sustainability! Who said new surf co’s couldn’t emerge triumphantly?

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