What Are The Most Stylish Boardshorts of 2021? - Stab Mag
In surfing as in style, sometimes less is more. All photos: Ryan Miller

What Are The Most Stylish Boardshorts of 2021?

Have your say, here.

Words by Michael Ciaramella

This year, we decided to do something different with our Best Boardshorts feature.

Rather than employ the artistic vision of a renowned fashion photographer (hey, Zak) and the glistening bodies of surfing’s modern stars, we decided to do something novel: an actual, objective, boardshort test.

Over the last four months, across multiple latitudes, we put 11 pairs of 2021’s best surf trunks through their paces. We surfed in them, skipped across the beach in them, and consumed countless peanut butter jellies in them. We even swapped them in broad daylight, with only Bn3th undershorts to protect the unassuming masses from a sight that could never be unseen.

While we’ve gained an affinity for most of these shorts, a few stood out as the top performers. Those results will be revealed in our upcoming Best Boardshorts test, coming later this month. In the meantime, we need your help to determine the other side of this test: aesthetics.

Because let’s be real…most of you care more about how boardshorts looks than how they perform.

So, the best boardshorts of 2021 will be chosen on a two-part criteria:
Performance (50%): judged by us
Style (50%): judged by YOU.

We put these trunks through hell. Photo: Miller

How to vote

Stab Premium members can vote below by “liking” their favorite pair in the comments.

For the freebies, over the next four days, we’re going to have a voting system in place for all of the boardies featured in our test. Here’s what you need to do:
– Head to @stab’s IG stories
– Dissect the trunks with a critical eye
– Use the widget to score each pair from 1-10.

Once we collect that data and combine it with our performance findings, we’ll be able to determine the best pair of boardies in 2021.

Day one includes:

Banks Journal

The Journal Boardshort


The Fifty50 Airlite Plus 18″


The 808 Boardshort

Day 2 will include:


The Hyperfreak Hydro 20″


The NFA 19″ Boardshort


Highlite Arch 19″

Day 3 will include:

Rip Curl

Mirage 3-2-One Ultimate 19″ Boardshorts


The Boatman 17″


The Surf Trunk 3 19″

Day 4 will include:


The Burch Stoneys


The Cruise Boardshort

Head over to our IG stories to have your say in history. This is Best Boardshorts 2021!

And for our Premium members, feel free to drop a like in the comments for your favorite pair.


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Do The Olympics Change Your Life And Make You Rich?

An interview with 2016 BMX Gold Medalist Connor Fields.

Jun 23, 2021

John Florence And Kolohe Andino Are Surfing Again

Slater maps out qualification strategy for 2024 Olympic Games

Jun 23, 2021

Dylan Graves Explores How We Can be Better Allies To LGBTQ+ Surfers

“The only way to grow and learn is to talk about it.”

Jun 22, 2021

The Most Boring Contest Brought Forth The Most Interesting Equipment

What were surfers riding at the Ranch?

Jun 22, 2021

Surfboard Prices Will Soon Make You Tremble While Pulling Out Your Credit Card And Buying One Anyway

Yeah, it’ll outpace inflation. Here’s what we know.

Jun 22, 2021

Do Surf Brands Still Dream Big?

With more people surfing than ever, let’s contemplate the path to the stratosphere.

Jun 21, 2021

Mikey Feb Guides His Twin Pin Through Spotless Indonesian Glass

A vigorous yet poetic display of aquatic dance.

Jun 21, 2021

Filipe Toledo And Johanne Defay Win 2021 Jeep Surf Ranch Pro

The arduous construction of a moment.

Jun 20, 2021

How To Steal A Surfboard

The Misc: It’s an art.

Jun 20, 2021

What I l Learned From 23.5 Hours In Lemoore

Notes from in and around a sweaty ranch made for surfing.

Jun 20, 2021

Does The Stab In The Dark Winner Work For The Everyman?

Joyride: Testing Sharpeye's Inferno72 in a range of waves

Jun 19, 2021

Remarks On Some Big-Ish Surfing In 115 Degree Desert Heat

Day 1 at the Surf Ranch Pro.

Jun 19, 2021

Coco Ho And The Lost Art Of Footwork

A first-hand glimpse into the benefits of some extra wiggle room.

Jun 19, 2021

The New WSL Finals Format Is The Perfect Addition To The Most Chaotic Season In Modern Pro Surfing

Yes, it’s unfair—and we should all be very happy about that.

Jun 19, 2021

Stab Podcast: “There Is A Shit Load Of Hero Worship In The Surfing Community”

Jed Smith analyzes the bizarre social matrix inside of a surf town.

Jun 18, 2021

Stab’s Psychic Pick To Win The Surf Ranch Is…

Here’s what our metaphysical consultant had to say.

Jun 18, 2021

Episode 2: The Electric Acid Surfboard Test Starring Mason and Coco Ho

Brace yourselves, a swell is on the horizon.

Jun 18, 2021

Stab Podcast: Is Kelly’s Pool a Legitimate CT Venue?

Or is it a chlorinated charade?

Jun 18, 2021