Superior Surf Shorts: Banks Journal
For the surfer who: vehemently refuses to drink instant coffee.
Since their inception, Banks Journal has worked tirelessly to cement themselves as the go-to brand for the fashion-conscious surfer. Their trunks, in particular—although if you went through the archives they haven’t come out with much you’d call ‘on the nose’—have been faultless in print and cut since they first started making them. The latest release is no different, with a mixture of sixties style staple designs, and few fruitier prints for those who like to stand out in the surf. Designer Chris Schulstad, says that the sixties theme is no accident, as he states that this is the era that surfers really started “experimenting” with design and function with their trunks.
“The sixties and seventies would have to be the most inspiring time in surf trunks. It feels like it was the birth of surf fashion with crew really experimenting with design,” Schulstad says, before adding. “But I would have to say now is the golden era with all the variation of design and performance styles in new modern fabrications.” In terms of very much not the peak of surf couture, Chris can’t resist the low hanging fruit of the early oughts. “I appreciate that all happened for a reason,” he said. “But if I had to pick one it would have to be the generation of the long 22 inch leg length: they weren’t very functional and not the coolest looking boardie.”
As for the here and now, Chris points to the Jared Mell trunk as his personal highlight of Banks Journal’s recent offerings. “I worked with Jared and his eclectic style to produce a 60’s inspired surf culture collection by utilising modern-day fabrics. We used a Stretch Cotton Nylon, pigment printed so it had that 60’s feel and look but had that modern functionality.”
In terms of guiding principles, Chris and the Banks Journal gentry are into function (just) over fashion, and find that 17 inches is the perfect length for the everyman. “When designing I try and incorporate the perfect balance of function and style,” Chris says. “However, if I had to pick one it would definitely be function. I think 17-inch is a good length to cover all your boardshort wearing needs.”
Whilst they mightn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, if Banks Journal tickles your fancy then chances are you’d have a swing at the whole range if you could. It’s worth noting that Banks Journal are always some of the first to disappear from the Stab office every time we do one of these. Food for thought.
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