The Best Boardshorts & Swimwear of 2023 - Stab Mag
All photos by Zak Bush

The Best Boardshorts & Swimwear of 2023

Your Essential Swimwear Guide, Featuring 12 of the Best Brands In & Out of the Water

style // Apr 28, 2023
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

If there’s one thing we learned from building this year’s best boardshorts and swimwear guide, it’s that performance surf apparel is having a moment.

Across the board, from brands big and small, we found a fusion of futuristic tech (think: buttery-soft fabrics, crazy-flexible stretch, and sustainable material blends) and neo-nostalgic aesthetics. Each seemed to be inspired by a different moment from our favorite eras of surfing past. This heady hybrid — integrating what we love about the old with what we need in the new — is a trend we hope sticks around for some time.

We tested a well-rounded range of labels — from long-time mainstays to burgeoning brands — and found some seriously strong contenders for ‘forever favorites’ in this year’s batch. In our humble opinion, these are the best boardshorts and swimwear of 2023.


D Bah Airlite Performance 19″ Boardshorts

The look and feel of these speak purely of peak performance: understated with a dash of flair and enough tech features to warrant an Elon Musk acquisition. See the full Billabong boardshort review here.

Summer High Kensley Underwire Bikini Top & Hike Bikini Bottoms

A pleasant surprise lies within what otherwise would seem like a typical beach-bound underwire swim set (read: not designed for physical activity). See the full Billabong Women’s swimwear review here.


Surf Vitals Noa Deane Boardshort

Don’t let the ’90s aesthetic fool you, these baggies are souped up with all the modern features and materials you could ever need. See the full Volcom boardshort review here.

Tropicoco Reversible Crop Top & Tropicoco Reversible Skimpy Bottom

The perfect two-piece doesn’t exi— This lightweight, reversible(!) citrus-colored Coco Ho collab is what all-day-beach-day dreams are made of. See the full Volcom Women’s swimwear review here.


Harry Bryant Ever-Ride 19″ Boardshorts

Simple on the outside and cushy on the inside, these daily drivers combine hidden features and a hit of core, skate-inspired original art. See the full Vans boardshort review here.

SEPTEMBER Paris One Piece

As elegant as it is utilitarian, this well-cut one-piece stays exactly where you want it, like that perfectly sand-free bar of wax you neglect to tell your friends about. See the full SEPTEMBER swimwear review here.


Surfsilk 99 20″ Boardshort

Soft like butter, with the perfect stretch/hold ratio, and thick enough to keep your ass protected if ya bounce off the reef. See the full Quiksilver boardshort review here.

IPD & Seea

Faceplant Y2K 22″ Boardshort

Oversized, flowy, heavyweight fabric, multiple prints, punk rock nostalgia, and below-the-knee allure… Y2K simps rejoice. See the full IPD boardshort review here.

Seea Lido One Piece

This long-sought-after hybrid between wetsuit and swimsuit is light enough for blazing days but still offers enough coverage to feel protected from that pesky wind that used to force you out of the water (operative term: used to). See the full Seea swimwear review here.


Boatman 2.0 17″ Boardshort

Minimally invasive and maximally persuasive, these are never in the way and will never slow you down. See the full Roark boardshort review here.

FLORENCE & Body Glove

FLORENCE F1 Burgee Cordura® 17.5″ Boardshort

Minimal. Reliable. Comfortable. Durable. Marathon sessions are rolling in their graves. See the full FLORENCE boardshort review here.

Body Glove Curacao Aro Bralette Bikini Top & Curacao Splash Performance Cross-Over Short

A simple, ultra-sporty silhouette brings to mind pre-surf workouts and post-surf smoothie runs, with zero wardrobe changes required. Also, pockets! See the full Body Glove Women’s swimwear review here.


Hyperfreak Tech Solid 19″ Boardshort

Basically the Jason Bourne of boardshorts, these things are sleek, silent killers. See the full O’Neill boardshort review here.

Saltwater Solids Huntington Top & Saltwater Solids Boulders Bottom

Playful details and just-right coverage converge in this essential set designed for surfing, sunning, swimming, or all three combined. See the full O’Neill Women’s swimwear review here.

Salty Crew

Pinnacle+ Long Range Black 19″ Boardshort

The ultra-lightweight, low-profile design, and ergonomic fit of these offer that ever-elusive “surfing naked” feel, minus the possibility of scorching your crown jewels. See the full Salty Crew boardshort review here.

Tandem Reversible Bikini Top & Tandem Reversible Bikini Bottom

From its reversible design and low-profile print to a highly-functional cut and fit, this core surf/swim set was beyond impressive. 11/10 would recommend. See the full Salty Crew Women’s swimwear review here.


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