Stab Magazine | Superior Surf Shorts: O'Neill

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Superior Surf Shorts: O’Neill

For the surfer who: knows how to change a tyre.

style // Mar 30, 2019
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

(For all of 2019’s Superior Surf Shorts, head here!)

O’Neill pride themselves on creating no frills (but certainly not no tech) surfing equipment.

Boasting as rich a heritage of any of the more overt ‘surf’ brands, O’Neill’s the quiet achiever of the surfing world: solid team, solid history, solid gear. Their most recent line of trunks has something for all, with some louder, more openly hi-fi trunks for the hi-fi guy, and neat, well-cut staple trunks, for those who like to slide by unnoticed in the surf.

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Ian Crane wears the Hyperfreak Hydro.

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O’Neill’s big focus with trunks at the moment is tech. The hallmark of their R&D department is the Hydrofreak Hydro, the first pair of shorts on the market with a “no tie fly” (i.e: tidak string) system. “The Hyperfreak Hydro has probably been the most challenging boardshort I’ve worked on in terms of tech functionality and innovation,” says the fabulously named O’Neill designer, Lorin Ely-McGregor. “We’ve become accustomed to the standard drawcord, but they are constantly coming untied in the surf. So the idea was to come up with a new type of closure for boardshorts that actually stays secure and doesn’t need to be messed with during a session. The No Tie fly construction is very slim and low profile which is great for laying on a board. There’s no bulky knots from a drawcord. Part of my job as a boardshort designer at O’Neill is to carry on the legacy of innovation from our founder Jack O’Neill. The Hydro is a result of this pursuit.”

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Crane wears the Hyperfreak Jordy.

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Asides from the aforementioned stringless wonder, O’Neill have also put forward two other worthy efforts for out little cross section. The first is the hi-fi signature trunk of the African wunder Mr Smith. Lorin describes the JS’s shorts as a bearing a “fun print that with a touch of Africa vibes,” and, “technical features like an ergonomic welded zip pocket, Flex-Tie drawcord, laser cut hem, and ultra-sonic welded inseam to keep up with Jordy’s elite level of performance.” And lastly a more standard, if such a thing exists, trunk known as the “Nomad”.

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Karate kicks in the Hyperfreak Nomad.

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“An understated look with tech features for that outdoorsy surfer that doesn’t want all the flash, but still wants the tech functionality,” says Lorin of the Nomad. “It features a welded zipper, locker loop to hang dry, Flex-Tie drawcord, laser cut hem, and ultra-sonic welded inseam.”

O’Neill’s trunks do what it says on the tin. They’re made for surfing, by fastidious minds soley focussed on the task at hand. That counts for a lot in the pursuit of the perfect surf shorts.

Surfing trunks for the surfing man, in here.


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