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Muscle Beach Party

Muscle Beach Party: Shuck the winter coat and give flagrant display to torso, pubis and stilt. The 6 Most Important Questions Ever Asked In the History of Man re: The Boardshort. Beau Campi, designer, Billabong. Describe everything about the best pair of boardshorts you’ve ever owned. The material, the closure,the length, the print and how […]

style // Feb 22, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 17 minutes

Muscle Beach Party: Shuck the winter coat and give flagrant display to torso, pubis and stilt.

The 6 Most Important Questions Ever Asked In the History of Man re: The Boardshort.

Beau Campi, designer, Billabong.

Describe everything about the best pair of boardshorts you’ve ever owned. The material, the closure,the length, the print and how much you paid.
It would have to be the old-school Bad Billys shorts in the ‘80s! Skulls, fluoro pops and attitude! What else would a grom want?

Apart from your own, who is else is making bitchin boardies?
There are a few brands that have got some good ones out there. I like designs that are quirky and you wouldn’t expect to see. Analog and Insight have usually got a couple.

What is the single most important technical aspect?
Fabric. You can have a good-lookin’ pair of boardies, but if wears like a cheese cloth you’re kidding yourself.

Embroideries on boardshorts are, by their verynature, counter-productive to comfort. Discuss.
It depends what you’re doin’ in them. Passing thefooty around in the shorebreak or getting stand-up pipes. If they’re placed correctly in a non-hindering position they can give the boardie added flair.

Tell me everything about the boardshorts pictured.
The inspiration, the material, the length, the rise and the sort of person you aimed it at. We work closely with Joel to get something to put his name too. He prefers a 23” leg length, with a silky stretch for performance and comfort. Joel loves bold colours. It helps to nail the shot and be recognised,apart from his amazing surfing. You’ll seeeverything from cheeky groms to weekend warriors wearing these.

Why are surf co boardies, like, totally superior to department store trunks, therefore justifying the thirty v eighty bucks.
It’s what we are all about, designing surfers’ boardshorts. You wouldn’t believe how much research and design goes into a good pair of surf shorts. Go shred in a pair of no-name boardies from a department store and tell me how you go. They suck.

Joey Jorgensen, designer, Analog

Describe everything about the best pair of boardshorts you’ve ever owned. The material, the closure,the length, the print and how much you paid.
I remember the first real pair of trunks I got as a kid, like the first time my mom took me to a real shop and I just got to pick whatever I wanted. They were solid dark navy nylon Quik boardies. Quick dry, probably 19 or 20” outseam. To this day, they were the best cause it was like I had graduated up into the real deal. I wore them for at least two years until the color had faded and they just fell apart.

Apart from your own, who is else is making bitchin boardies?
I think all of the tech stuff is pretty cool, but I tend to look at the aesthetic of things overall. Fit is super important and I’m watching guys that are finding toned-down, but smarter prints: Insight, and some of the small Australian brands like Sea Surf boards are doing interesting stuff. Also, I’ve seen a few pairs of classic Birdwells and Katins lately that look pretty fresh.

What is the single most important technical aspect?
Fit is the fundamental most important technical feature. I’ve worn cotton trunks that surfed better than some of the super stretchy stuff out there ’cause they fit right. Some guys think that fit doesn’t matter as much if you’re using some super gummy fabric. It’s a huge deal.

Embroideries on boardshorts are, by their very nature, counter-productive to comfort. Discuss.
I’ve never used an embroidery bigger than 1” on a pair of our boardies. It’s simply 100% opposite of what someone who is looking for a comfortable pair of trunks would want to run. There must be a lot of people who disagree though, cause I see em all over.

Tell me everything about the boardshorts pictured. The inspiration, the material, the length, the rise andthe sort of person you aimed it at.
Well, obviously, you have something here that’s a little more retro inspired. We’ve taken standard shirting plaid, scanned it and then sublimated it into a poly twill that takes the print process really well. It’s a cool way to update a plaid from some of the huge in-your-face stuff out there. They are a shorter length for the US market but what I think is ideal surfing length at 20”. Zip fly and a side welt pocket. Everyone who surfs should have a pair. No, seriously,we try to consciously look a little more understated and stylie than some of the bigger guys. The simplified plaid and clean color allows a kid to be able to wear a lot of dope tees or whatever and not look likea yard sale.

Why are surf co boardies, like, totally superior to department store trunks, therefore justifying the thirty v eighty bucks?
Because they are usually designed by guys that surfand have a clue and are trying to build a functional end product. The department stores just knock off the surf brands a year later anyway and plus you don’t get the experience of smelling that wax and fiberglass and rubber smell of a surf shop. That is totally awesome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colin Wyatt, designer, Element

Describe everything about the best pair of boardshorts you’ve ever owned. The material, the closure,the length, the print and how much you paid.
My favourite was a Maui and Sons fluoro colour blocked boardshort that my mum bought for mefrom Best & Less. It was made from this really crunchy Tactel fibre that rashed the hell outta me, but the colours were so bang-on I didn’t care! Fluoro green and pink! Mate, no hi-tech fly construction here, it was just straight up Velcro, stiff as a plank, and a metal stud that after one surf you would have to peel open with a screwdriver. Classic. Mum laid down the bones for them. Happy days.

Apart from your own, who is else is making bitchin boardies?
Polo Ralph Lauren, Katin, Patagonia, Sea Surfboards and Rhythm.

What is the single most important technical aspect?
Simplicity is the key. While everybody is pushing for super-tech stretches and seamless jazz, I prefer togo in the opposite direction and use super traditional cotton, bamboo and canvas. Keeping it simple, that’s the innovation I prefer.

Embroideries on boardshorts are, by their verynature, counter-productive to comfort. Discuss.
For me, soft woven badges and trims all day. A water short should be all about the cut and the fit, not about how big you can stretch your logo across the panel. Comfort comes first. Tell me everything about the boardshorts pictured. The inspiration, the material, the length, the rise and the sort of person you aimed it at. The Del Mar trunk was designed as part of anautical-inspired collection. I spent the last few years in France so I guess I took some steez from them as well. I wanted a water short that could crossover into all genres: good to skate, slide or chill in. Sixteen-inch legs, elastic waist and made from 100%cotton. It feels so nice.

Why are surf co boardies, like, totally superior todepartment store trunks, therefore justifying the thirty v eighty bucks?
You’re trippin’! Nothing wrong with a pair of Ruggers, mate.

Steve Gorrow and Rob Russo, designers, Insight

Describe everything about the best pair of boardshorts you’ve ever owned. The material, the closure, the length, the print and how much you paid.
Steve: It was a pair of Quikky Hawaiian shorts. I bought em in Honolulu for 50 bucks in 1994. They weren’t too long, weren’t too baggy, had a press stud closure, the cool little embroidered logo, little square scallop leg. I wore em all through Europe and Hawaii. I lost em and have spent the rest of my life trying to find a similar pair. It’s pretty much what I’m designing now. Robbie: I don’t want to rain on my own parade on the first bloody question but there was this boardie that we did about four years ago now. It didn’t make it to production cause people weren’t ready for it, or so they said, but it was in a heavy cotton canvas, mid-length, with a subtle scallop. It had double brass snap buttons, the waistband was solid black and so were the scallop binds. The base was like a dirty powder blue and had a Stevie Geebees horror palmtree with skull coconuts yardage print. Then it washeavily trashed and we hand-sanded the edges and everything like a denim short. It was fuckin epic, but didn’t take off. I have the only pair left ever made,it’s for the archives now, yew!

Apart from your own, who is else is making bitchin boardies?
Steve: Patagonia, I love em. Jamahl from Rhythm makes nice pairs now and again, Stussy are doing some cool shit, RCVA sometimes, and even Quiksilver still go a couple now and again.
Robbie: Everyone is killing it in their own right. Hurley has taken the technical aspect, which no-one is doing properly, and nailing it – well-executed. Props to them. With everyone, the quality, artwork and finishes are bullshit, even Stussy are still making dope boardies.

What is the single most important technical aspect?
Steve: They’ve got to be the right cut. Too fitted and they catch on your thigh. And they can’t rash. You gotta make sure you’ve got soft stitching on the inside thigh.
Robbie: The anti-rash factor. Having that fluffy soft internal stitching makes a difference, man, especially running back round the point and not having your knob torn off in the process.

Embroideries on boardshorts are, by their verynature, counter productive to comfort. Discuss.
Steve: Patagonia embroids their logo, but it’s on the baggy part of the leg. We’ve tried embroidered yardages but it’s never worked. It gets buckled. It’s rough on the inside. No embroideries, man.
Robbie: I can’t stand embroideries or as my French bourgeois like to call it ‘ le embellishments’ on boardies. They are slightly counter productive, but more than that it takes away from wearing a cool simple short without junk all over it. Dude, imagine if Ed Hardy made boardies – see where I’m going with this or do they already? Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie!

Tell me everything about the boardshorts pictured.The inspiration, the material, the length, the rise and the sort of person you aimed it at.
Steve: It wasn’t my idea. Insight designers Robbie and Mikey came up with it. But, it’s based on myjeans. I told em to use my art jeans. They’re fucked; they’ve got holes in em and are covered in paint. Perfect for a boardshort print.
Robbie: I had the idea for a while, but thought the thing would be impossible to execute. Along with that our main collection had, and still does, a lot of ripped and bleached-out denim so it was a natural progression from there, that’s really where the inspiration started. Mikey (aka Miguel) was mocking up yardage jean possibilites at the time and one of them was a printed ripped jean. We wanted to make something unconventional and fuck with people’s heads. Miguel started collecting rips from all our denim and then Steve was like, “Boys, hold your jewels, I got the perfect reference for it.” He has had these jeans for centuries and it was the perfect template for the project. I’d say we spent at least two solid weeks trying to get the art fine tuned and lubed. Miguel was pretty over it by the time we tweaked it, but he did an amazing job with it. In the end though we were just like, let’s send it and see what happens.
(Volcom make a similar pair, is this coincidence ordid you copy em or vice-versa?)
They are extremely different to ours. Last season we were messing about with the idea of scanning raw fabrics in and making them into yardages and it was a natural progression from there, plus there is a lot of fucked-up denim in the main range, too.

Why are surf co boardies, like, totally superior to department store trunks, therefore justifying the thirty v eighty bucks?
Steve: Quality, expensive yardages and the label, man. Y’gotta pay for the label.
Robbie: Um, cause surfers don’t shop in departmentstores. If they’re half the price I guess they’rehalfway there. Or it could just be that they don’t feel like a well-rounded short designed by surfers for surfers, you know.

Blair Heath, designer, Volcom

Describe everything about the best pair of boardshorts you’ve ever owned. Thematerial, the closure,the length, the print and how much you paid.
Shit, the best pair of boardies I ever owned is a two-way tie. Let’s take a little trot down memory lane before Occy’s pro short was a fluoro wetsuit tight ol thang to Tommy Carroll’s radio active series in the early ‘80s! Tight, short and the raddest bright-ass radioactive lookin’ print, a cotton-base cloth from memory. Lucky I was pre-pubescent cause I have no idea how a grown man could fit into those things, let alone have kids! I used to draw the logo from those shorts everywhere in school. My room was full of TC pulling into night time barrels before Archy and Fletcher too over. Outside of that, I’ve been running the same pair of Volcom boardies for over a year now – the 3D Mods. These are so light, perfect 3-D stretch in a nylon rip-stop cut to fit and stretch ergonomically. Dry in no time, no rash for days and black as Ozzys Osbourne’s beautiful heart! They will drag these from my cold dying hands, I reckon.

Apart from your own, who is else is making bitchin boardies?
I like Rhythm and Analog’s attention to detail.

What is the single most important technical aspect?
Comfort. Which includes the sub-categories: length, stretch, weight and durability and function. Does that even make sense?

Embroideries on boardshorts are, by their verynature, counter productive to comfort. Discuss.
Unless you like surfing with a barnacle-covered anchor chain embroidered to your leg I’m going to say no. But, boardshorts are not just for surfing in these days, and they are perfectly accepted as a short to cruise around in. Why not show off your brand loyalty, loudly?

Tell me everything about the boardshorts pictured.The inspiration, thematerial, the length, the rise and the sort of person you aimed it at.
The EA mods are actually a featured artist piece from the Volcom USA’s creative director Ethan Anderson. Ethan’s pretty much been there since day one and is firmly entrenched in every aspect of anything art and marketing worldwide. He used to play in The Line – he’s one talented little bugger! If you ever meet him, you should buy him a beer. Outside of that, it’s a fully engineered sublimated print on four-way stretch so it’s got form and function covered. Dusty Payne was running them for ages and its definitely targeted at that Volcom kid who wants to stand out and not give a damn in the water! I’ve heard Dusty’s a really nice guy too.

Why are surf co boardies, like, totally superior to department store trunks, therefore justifying the thirty v eighty bucks?
I’m pretty sure department store trunks aren’t designed by/or benefiting and supporting athletes in this wonderful industry we call “surf”, are they? Till they are, I think the polo-collar-popped-boat-shoe wearing set can have them dept store “trunks”.


Tim Cochran, designer, Hurley

Describe everything about the best pair of boardshorts you’ve ever owned. The material, the closure, the length, the print and how much you paid.
It would be the Phantom 120 boardshort, 120% fourway stretch with no inseam and the EZ fly. I grew up surfing point breaks around Byron so when I went from Supersuede to the Phantom I could do those long runs and not worry about getting rashes. Lately, I’ve been testing a new short that we will release soon and I can’t believe the best boardshort just got better!

Apart from your own, who is else is making bitchin boardies?
The boys from Sea Cell in Byron are bitchin!

What is the single most important technical aspect?
Reducing rash is the most important aspect!

Embroideries on boardshorts are, by their ver ynature, counter-productive to comfort. Discuss.
This is correct. We have set a standard of embroidery use of the Phantom boardshorts. Only small embroideries are used on the external waistband and pocket flap ensuring the function of the boardshort is always held. You will never see embroideries used on Phantom boardshorts that will be counterproductive to comfort, function and performance.

Tell me everything about the Phantom trunks. The inspiration, the material, the length, the rise and the sort of person you aimed it at.
The Phantom boardshorts are aimed at core surfers who are looking for true performance instead of gimmicks. At the time of launching em, the goal was simple – to make the world’s best boardshort that delivers on performance and functionality. We then sourced materials from Nike and came across a fabric that was developed for the Olympic swimming team. This fabric was better than we expected, it was a 120% four-way stretch that is non-abrasive andwater repellent making it so light that it felt like theyweren’t even there. With the leg lengths, we testedmany different out-seams and came to offer a 21 ”because you don’t want too much fabric drag and amid-length that will stretch is perfect. All our boardshorts feature our patented EZ fly, which removes Velcro from the fly, and the Phantom collection now comes in two different fabrics, 120% four-way and60% four-way.

Why are surf co boardies, like, totally superior to department store trunks, therefore justifying the thirty v eighty bucks?
Because we live and breathing surfing and take that into our boardshorts. This are not fashion piece forus, but a core essential. A perfect example is the Phantom boardshort. You could never buy anything like that from department stores.

Matt Boys, designer, Rusty

Describe everything about the best pair of boardshorts you’ve ever owned. The material, the closure, the length, the print and how much you paid.
I would have been 11 or 12 and they were a pair of Quiksilver boardies. The left leg was hot pink, the other leg was bright blue with white stars all over them. They had a snap stud waist, rode to mid-thigh and I’m pretty sure they were cotton. I never paid for them, Mum did, and I ruled the world in those shorts!

Apart from your own, who is else is making bitchin boardies?
I got a really good pair of Warriors of Radness in LA last trip – they are doing some cool things. Hurley are doing good job with their boardies, too.

What is the single most important technical aspect?
The most important technical aspect would be the fabrication. There is a real swing towards performance boardshorts and the fabric must have these qualities as a bare minimum: high-performance fourway stretch for enhanced mobility, lightweight and comfortable, ultra-quick drying, water repellant and resistant. Our Rusty Eco-Stretch even has a major recycled component.

Embroideries on boardshorts are, by their very nature, counter-productive to comfort. Discuss.
Yeah, I guess, and they also destroy the integrity ofthe garment by piercing the fabric with the needles. Embroideries can be uncomfortable so a lot of thought has to go into the position and size of the branding. However, in saying that, a good quality embroidery can be perceived as something of worth and worth paying more money for.

Tell me everything about the boardshorts pictured.The inspiration, the material, the length, the rise and the sort of person you aimed it at.
This style is called Witness boardshort and was developed for Jay Davies as his signature short for the season. It has a 22” or 56cm outseam and is an engineered sublimation print on 100% polyester petspun fabric (Recycled bottles). The print is made up of the letters R-U-S-T-Y rearranged in a way to so that you can’t read Rusty unless you saw the whole print in 1 piece. I think it’s a great, commercially cool boardshort print that looks so good in the water.Some of the photos I have seen of Jay busting massive airs in it are amazing.

Why are surf co boardies, like, totally superior to department store trunks, therefore justifying thirty v eighty bucks?
Surf stores sell more than boardshorts they sellthe brand, the emotion and the surf lifestyle. Some of the reasons for the higher price is the use of superior fabrics, the level of development and technologies related to surfing that are built into our boardshorts. I guess the major difference is that we are surfers designing product for surfers to surf in! Buying trunks at a department store is like buying a fish burger from KFC, it’s not chicken!

Josh Rush, designer, Quiksilver.

Describe everything about the best pair of boardshorts you’ve ever owned. The material, the closure, the length, the print and how much you paid.
Quik’s iconic black-and-white star trunks in terms of a print. However, my favorite pair to wear is solid black, no bullshit, 20” inch leg, fixed-tie waist, with no pockets and the fabric, Quik’s stretch diamond dobby technology…. I pinched the proto sample from work and I’d probably live in them if I wasn’t based out of Vicco.

Apart from your own, who is else is making bitchin boardies?
Generic Youth from California are doing really cool shit with their boardies. Each short they create is unique. They hand-make them in-store using vintage and old generic waste fabrics they acquire from textile manufacturers. I guess I find this way of creating boardies appealing as the majority of surf companies these days now are doing similar shit in homogenised mass production. A lot has changed from the days when Greeny (Quiksilver founderAlan Green) was selling Quiky boardies from the back of his car. Today, it’s all based around what the market wants, what everyone else is doing and it’s a constant battle. Back then Greeny would say, “You can buy them or fuck off!” He was a true believer in his company and his product.

What is the single most important technical aspect?
Comfort and fabrication. Stretch has now become an industry standard. Who needs shorts that can stretch down to their feet? And, if you wanna feel like you’re wearing nothing at all, save yourself some mone yand surf in the nude. In the end, all you need is a good pair of boardies that don’t rash your nuts and catch on your knee.

Embroideries on boardshorts are, by their very nature, counter-productive to comfort. Discuss.
I think I just popped a blood vessel in my eye. I just finished doing a tech pack with some of the biggest embroideries you will ever see (laughs). In today’s retail climate, it’s a necessity. You have to have the right balance between bread and butter styles and boardshorts for surfers. Until recently,there has probably been too much focus on the easy sales. Moving forward, Quik has stayed true to its roots placing greater emphasis on comfort and performance across our core and team rider boardies.Thank fuck. But saying this, never fear, there are still some tasty embroideries in the range keeping the fridge stocked full of beers.

Tell me everything about the boardshorts pictured.The inspiration, the material, the length, the rise and the sort of person you aimed it at.
As a surfer/designer, there is nothing is more core and authentic to surfing than the inside of the local shapers bay with so many crazy unique textures,colours and old boards lying around. Resin Drips was designed to be youthful and appealing to a surfer with a sense of style. The artwork is an originalphoto of built-up resin in the GASH glassing bayover the road from our office. The image has nice depth of field with tweaked vibrant colours. It’s got minimal branding and a fitted silhouette, in a shorter20” inch leg. The fabric is Quik’s stretch Diamond Dobby technology so the boardie is super comfortable and bullshit to surf in. We think that Ando is a great platform to leverage product like this as he appeals to that particular consumer, not to mention the kid’s all style and he fucken rips.

Why are surf co boardies, like, totally superior to department store trunks, therefore justifying thirty v eighty bucks?
Between the big three surf company’s there’s over 40 years experience in making quality apparel forsurfers. Each brand promotes a healthy lifestyle that is extremely desirable to the general public. Each one of these surf companies has their own unique artwork, characters and surfer’s that make up their DNA. Department stores try to imitate this lifestyle, but they don’t live it, you can’t fake shit like this. For Quiksilver, surfing and boardshorts are who we are. It’s in our blood.chicken!

Tom Jolly, designer, Oakley.

Describe everything about the best pair of boardshortsyou’ve ever owned. The material, the closure,the length, the print and how much you paid.
My favourite boardie ever is this original early ‘70s Quikky short. The cotton’s so warn they’re almost see through. They fit like a glove, are super short, tight and so RAD!

Apart from your own, who is else is making bitchin boardies?
Analog makes some rad ones.

What is the single most important technical aspect?
Quality seam construction and pattern make.

Embroideries on boardshorts are, by their very nature, counter-productive to comfort. Discuss.
True, embroideries rash, slow you down and restrict movement. But the general consumer wants bang for the buck and embroideries are one way to give it to em.

Tell me everything about the boardshorts pictured. The inspiration, the material, the length, the rise and the sort of person you aimed it at.
Inspiration for this art came from a blurry night inTokyo. The neon lights that excite, entice and drownout the night. Good times. They’re made from polyester Baja with an inseam stretch panel and zip sidepocket and all the crazy neon branding you could ever possibly want.

Why are surf co boardies, like, totally superior to department store trunks, therefore justifying thirty v eighty bucks?
They are designed by a designer who surfs. Not amonkey! And you wouldn’t want me building yourhouse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kade Taylor, designer, Fox

Describe for me everything about the best pair of boardshorts you’ve ever owned. The material, the closure, the length, the print and how much you paid.
The best pair of shorts I have worn would have to be Billabong’s four-way stretch Taj Animal signature shorts. Super lightweight, great flex, no restrictions, seamless, neoprene closure, black-on-black big catprint. Really good length, just above the knee, so no catching as you paddle in and stand up. Not bad for $119.95.

Apart from your own, who is else is making bitchin boardies?
Hurley is making a pretty good short. Even though I have not worn a pair, plenty of my mates have a pair and I have only heard nothing but great things about them.

What is the single most important technical aspect?
Stretch and shorts that don’t rash. Nothing worse than having an amazing session ruined by not being able to walk properly for the next two days.

Embroideries on boardshorts are, by their very nature, counter-productive to comfort. Discuss.
I don’t dig embroideries on shorts at all. Less is more. Keep it simple, more technical and less advertising.

Tell me everything about the boardshorts pictured.The inspiration, the material, the length, the rise etc.
These are the Block Fade boardies. From a visual perspective, I think they look great, very tough looking geo print! Simple strong colours – you can’t go wrong with black and white. Strong logo placement without being over the top. Easy wear style. Great paneling as you would come to expect from a moto inspired brand. Length looks great for that guy who wants something a little longer.

Why are surf co boardies, like, totally superior todepartment store trunks, therefore justifying the difference of thirty v eighty bucks?
The simple fact that the riders wearing the shorts give a substantial amount of feedback to the designers about what works and what doesn’t. I doubt the department store brands have critical rider feedback on the response and performance of their product.That’s why I believe die-hard surfers are willing to shell out more coin.

 

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