Stab Magazine | The Stab Boardshort Rule Book - with Beau Campi, Billabong

The Stab Boardshort Rule Book – with Beau Campi, Billabong

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 […]

style // Feb 22, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

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?
 I’ve been designing trunks for over eight years now. It’s something that I am super passionate about. Growing up surfing on the sunny Gold Coast I have always been intrigued by boardshorts and their design. The hours can be long and there are times I don’t surf all week, but I love it!

What gives you a thrill in the office? Being around creative minds and talents, and the different angles and takes people have. I am lucky to also work at our USA office which is great, mixing with different people.

What are the fundamental rules of trunk design? There are no rules, that’s the beauty. But, visualising the end product is key.

Whose trunks, apart from your own, y’diggin? There’s a label in California called Generic Youth that Jeff Yokohama is the mastermind of that is sweet. He makes trunks that aren’t necessarily functional from vintage and found mismatched fabrics but they look great!

Do you have a design signature? We at Billabong pride ourselves on quality. We provide a premium product to the consumer. Our designs are delivered with attention to detail in innovation, application and execution. We are the true boardshort company and that’s what sets us apart from our competitors.

Leg lengths: What works? What’s popular? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each length: Leg lengths are really a personal preference. The majority of sales are in 21” outseam, which is a functional and performance easy-wear length. We do a fairly big line that includes two fits and lengths from 17” to the traditional 23”, so we have pretty much all needs covered.

Do you have a favourite fabric? A fabric we call Recycler ZG Infinity which I love! It is a premium Japanese four-way stretch fabric, 78% Recycled Polyester and 22% Spandex finished with a highly water-repellent coating. The polyester content is made from recycled unwanted and disposed of polyester textiles. This, in turn, reduces harm on the environment, but definitely not sacrificing quality or performance. It is amazing that you could be wearing an old kimono or something like that.

A hypothetical: you’re designing the ultimate pair of trunks, with no cost consideration nor retail concern, what would you make? This is a process that I do at least once a year to test innovations and technologies. Billabong’s PX1 boardshort is the end result that is slightly simplified to meet a reasonable cost, and also we use some of the innovations that we develop to filter into other boardshorts in our line. This process is always surprising.

Y’travel for inspiration? Where do you go? Any travel is inspiring whether local or international. Sometimes you get caught up in your own world. I travel to the Hawaii, Japan, France and spent a fair bit of time in the US. But, I find the most inspirational triggers come from personal travels within those places or at home on weekends and the odd day just people watching and taking in the different environments.

Why snaps or a string?

  Drawcords are popular as they are a secure closure that also have a little give. Snaps can do damage to your craft, but if you’re just rockin’ them for the pool and beach they work.

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?

 We would be paying probably four times more what we pay now for what may be an inferior product. The countries that are making boardshorts are so ahead in construction and new technologies it would take time to get to that level. We develop premium fabrics out of Europe and Japan and we’re always looking for better options.

Who or what is the biggest influence in trunk design? Our athletes! I work closely with our team to get the best possible product to them firstly, then onto the racks. They surf more in boardshorts, in more locations than anyone in the world. Their feedback is invaluable!

What’s the best pair of trunks you’ve designed that didn’t make it past the sampling stage? Most styles end up making production whether it is a season or two later. Styles that I can remember were knocked back though were some super lightweight stretch styles when I first started designing. Now look where we are. -Derek Rielly


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