The Stab Boardshort Rule Book – with Joey Jorgensen, Analog
The first rule? The word trunks sounds so much better than boardies. So wordly! So surf! Apart from that little aural aside, we asked a dozen of the world’s best surfwear designers for their take on this, the most precious item, in our summer wardrobe. Scroll down for the answers… Stab: How long have you been designing […]
The first rule? The word trunks sounds so much better than boardies. So wordly! So surf! Apart from that little aural aside, we asked a dozen of the world’s best surfwear designers for their take on this, the most precious item, in our summer wardrobe. Scroll down for the answers…
Stab: How long have you been designing trunks? As far as jobs go, how is it? You like? Detest? What kind of hours do you keep?
JJ: It’s coming up on one decade that I’ve been designing trunks. I can think of many other far worse jobs. There are some long days and nights when I’m up against the deadlines but for the most part I’m a nine-hour-a-day type of guy.
What gives you a thrill in the office? Summer hours (half-day Fridays!), any new source of inspiration, working with athletes when they drop by, and especially when a random chimp gets dropped off as a gag gift. That really happened and it was awesome.
What are the fundamental rules of trunk design? My rule book hangs on the theory that less is more.
Whose trunks, apart from your own, y’diggin? I’m interested in what the small, up-and-coming labels are doing. How they’re re-interpreting classic surf aesthetic in a modern way. From the bigger, more well-known guys, I like what Insight does.
Do you have a design signature? I think we do a good job of not looking like the bigger, corporate surf brands. We use smaller logos, less of the in-your-face loudness, and really focus a lot on how we can use photography/content in our prints.
Leg lengths: What works? 20” for the US market is emerging as a new shorter standard. What’s popular? Shorter stuff has been happening in Australia and Europe but not quite as much in US yet on a mass level. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each length: From personal experience, I can say that 20” is as long as a trunk should ever be from a functional surfing standpoint. There’s no functional point in being any longer, but some guys just like the longer stuff.
Do you have a favourite fabric? Right now, I love a printed cotton nylon quality we’ve been running for the past two seasons. We’ve got stretch and all that covered, but the processing on the cotton nylon quality feels so great and appears vintage, dries quickly and is awesome to surf in.
A hypothetical: you’re designing the ultimate pair of trunks, with no cost consideration nor retail concern, what would you make? I’d give something away if I answered that here.
Y’travel for inspiration? Where do you go? Thrift stores for prints and the standard routes in New York and London. The internet has made things almost too easy to see. I have some gem sites I watch on the daily. Lately, I’ve seen some great stuff here in LA as well.
Why snaps or a string? It’s a personal preference on this one. To me, string is far more versatile for adjusting just the right fit. We use a string-zipper combo on all our trunks. (Less bulk and more function.) I hate it when snaps get rusted out or corroded and don’t work anymore, but sometimes they are a cool fashion element for a more retro look.
Of all the offshore factories, who makes the best trunks? China? Bangladesh? India? Indonesia? And, if trunks were made in Australian factories, what would be the string, price-wise? China has always been the go-to, they’ve been producing garments the longest. It really comes down to your relationship with factories and communication – when the right combo lines up in that regard you can get great product out of anyone. There’s good stuff coming out of all those places. I have no idea what the cost implications would be to move manufacturing to Australia, but I wouldn’t mind one bit swapping out the development trips to China for Australia. Not one bit.
Who or what is the biggest influence in trunk design? I feel like things are at a shift right now. Retailers have really had a hold on influencing board short design for a while and things got pretty commercial, huge logos, etc. But, now, it’s starting to shift back to being influenced by the right art, by surfing and surfboards. People are pulling from the past in a really smart cool way and it’s looking exciting again.
What’s the best pair of trunks you’ve designed that didn’t make it past the sampling stage? Honestly, one of the great things about the way we run things here at Analog is that we rarely leave a good idea on the cutting block. We really work to make sure if something has legs that it sees the light of day, even if it’s not going to generate huge numbers. That’s a great place to be, for sure. -Derek Rielly
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