Stab Magazine | The Stab Boardshort Rule Book - with Joe Frizelle, Volcom

The Stab Boardshort Rule Book – with Joe Frizelle, Volcom

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 […]

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? W

hat kind of hours do you keep? 

JF: I officially started designing  trunks one year ago, but I have been contributing art for our boardshorts for the last couple years. I love the job.  Volcom is the best brand to work for and being involved in one of the main categories is pretty awesome. The only thing I detest is that I cannot wear boardshorts year round. When there is surf, I can surf before work, get in the office by nine am, go back out for a lunch session at 11:30, then park it back at the office till we get everything done for the day. Sometimes, I leave at six pm; other times I stay til midnight. On the average day, I work from 7:30am til 6pm. It’s a good team here and I look forward to going to work everyday.

What gives you a thrill in the office?  I get super stoked every time we receive the first sample. I’ll run around the office showing everyone and getting their comments. That is, unless the trunk didn’t come in the way I envisioned it. Working with the surf team is also really rewarding. Having these guys totally stoked on the new product is awesome.

What are the fundamental rules of trunk design? I believe if you design with a smile on your face it will translate into good product. But, a lot goes into that: the fit, the fabric, water repellency, the stitching, the styling and the art.
Whose trunks, apart from your own, y’diggin? Honestly, I think all the other brands are doing a good job. I get inspiration from all brands but I do take that inspo and translate it to something completely different because for Volcom to be the leader we need to be ahead of everyone else.

Do you have a design signature? I really try and keep everything very Volcom. If it’s going to be a stripe, I will tear it up a bit or create a texture to make it our own. I always take the extra step to set our styles apart with the Volcom feel.. Also, function is super important. We have eliminated the inseam on our many of our four-way stretch and two-way stretch styles. We are introducing the new Volcom Cinch Fly drawstring fly system. Cinch it, tie it, surf it. No Velcro. No gusset. No failure. Ultimate comfort.
What’s the best pair of trunk you designed that didn’t make it past the sampling stage? We have done a good job so far in the few seasons I have been designing so I have not had anything not go past the sampling stage yet. Oh wait, I did have one pair sewn up but it is way before it’s time. Can’t let the cat outta the bag on that one.

Leg lengths: 22”, 21”, 20”, 18”  What works? In the US there is still a big push for the longer 22”, but we do

see a transition into shorter lengths. In Oz, our 18” and 20” are the top sellers. What’s popular? The 22” or 21” are usually our top sellers, but the shorter lengths are gaining momentum for us. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each length: I really dig the 22” boardies due to the fact I’m taller. The shorter length boardies help with no knee hang-ups.

Do you have a favourite fabric? Our new Annihilator Nano fabric is butter, ultra-light, four-way super stretch treated with the highest water repellant finish to quicken dry time and maintain it’s lightweight feeling in the water. I’m also a big fan of our two-way Grid-Dry™, the grid texture helps to eliminate the fabric vacuuming to the skin while wet, thus quickening dry time and eliminating chaffing..

A hypothetical:
 you’re designing the ultimate pair of trunks, with no cost consideration nor retail concern, what would you make? The ultimate pair of trunks is what we try and make everyday. Maybe a pair of trunks that makes the water nice and warm, turns the wind light offshore, keeps the swell a good six foot, hollow and consistent.

Y’travel for inspiration? Where do you go? We travel to Oz once a year. We get a lot of good inspiration there. We check out all stores, see what people are wearing, and get a good sense of what people are looking for. I also get a lot of inspiration off the internet. You pretty much have everything at your finger tips.

Why snaps or a string? I like the strings better. When you lay on the board it is less noticeable than snaps. But, the snaps also look better on a stylie pair of shorter trunks.

Who or what is the biggest influence in trunk design? Going surfing! -Derek Rielly



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