Wavelength’s Top 5 Boardshorts for Summer

’cause summer’s too short for bad boardshorts

It doesn’t matter if you are heading to the Mentawais or Magwan Porth. It shouldn’t make a difference if you are hanging ten in Hossegor, or lounging in the local lido. A great, functional, good-looking, and comfortable pair of boardshorts can make, or break, a summer. Now is the time to invest in the most basic, and essential, of any surfer’s summer kit.

We’ve picked the best of the best and ranked our top 5 from the Wavelength shop. Simply choose your weapon, click on the link and get ready for summer.

1. Outerknown Apex Trunks

GOATs aren’t known to be apex predators. In the wild they feed on grass. In the movies, they munch on freshly laundered clothes. In surfing though, Kelly Slater is top dog, big chief, capocrimine, head honcho, and the Greatest Of All Time. Unsurprisingly then, his signature Outerknown Apex trunks might be the most high-performance, low impact, and ethically made boardshorts on the market. The trunks are sewn in a Fair Trade Certified™ factory and its Ultralight 4-way stretch recycled polyester is made from 100% post-consumer waste. 

Performance-wise, Kelly has tested these bad boys himself. They are quick-dry, and the stitch-free welded seams and smooth inside fly eliminate chafe. I mean have you ever seen Kelly applying talcum powder pre-heat? A double-bonded butt seam (yep, you read that right) adds strength. This summer the Apex comes in Black Blurred Block, and the Heather Deep Turquoise. Hold the latter colourway up to the light, and it’s akin to staring into the very eyes of the 11X World Champion. I mean, what more do you need this summer? 

2. The Florence Marine X Elastic Short

A boardshort made in the image of its founder and creator John John Florence has to be a good thing, right? The Florence Marine X Elastic Short is a 4-way stretch short with an elastic waistband. The bonded waistband, like a John John top turn, is a thing of simple, minimalist, brutal, beauty. John John doesn’t mind showing a bit of leg, and so the 17.5″ outseam length falls just above the knee, which is a bit shorter than the average high performance short. Eco cred comes with its vegetable-based durable water repellent technology (C0 DWR) which doesn’t expel fluorocarbons. The trunks are Bluesign® certified and made from 90% recycled polyester / 10% spandex. 

With stash pockets and quick-drying ripstop fabric, these are great for long days on the water or in the water. Oh and the Burnt Olive colourway is pure Florence; assured, warm, and, buttery. 

3. Roark Explorer Hybrid 2.0 Hybrid Stretch Shorts

As you well know, the earliest well-known amphibian was found in late Devonian deposits in Greenland about 363 million years ago. The Ichthyostega would have marvelled at the Roark hybrid adventure short, with its 4-Way polyester blend stretch fabric material that provides a quick-drying, durable experience for any adventure, in, or out, of the water. The 19” outseam and internal drawcord waist allow movement while securing the shorts to your rig. From bodysurfing to the ballroom, or river crossing to caber tossing, these shorts are an amphibious dream and a wine-coloured passport to a brilliant multi-purpose, multi-pocketed future. Positively primordial. 

4. Deus Ex Machina Sandbar Boardshorts

Few concepts in life deserve the “classic” adjective. To cars, catches, FM, books, and album, we can add fit. And The Deus Ex Machina Sandbar Boardshorts, with their 16″ short and elastic waist, uhh, fit the bill. With a drawstring, two side entry and a back flap pockets, and garment dye, these boardshorts are the equivalent of a powder blue 1965 Triumph TR3, though far more waterproof.  

The 54% cotton, 37% poly, 9% elastane poplin fabric mix makes for a super comfortable, lightweight, and breathable layer. The coloured waistband adds the sandbar feel, leaving all you to do is find the right bank. 

5. Dark Seas Red Bank Boardshort

Dark Seas have always fused the skateboard scene and the surfer lifestyle and spliced it with a blue-collar and maritime aesthetic. The Red Bank boardshorts hang bang in the middle of that boardsport Lord Nelson Venn diagram. With a washed, worn look, the 4-way stretch board short looks retro and stylish, but has modern comfort and durability. The 18” outseam, slack fit in burgundy is nicely on-trend, while the 165 gsm fabric with engineered stripe and garment over dye is a 51% cotton, 45% poly, and 4% spandex mix. Pair with a nine-foot logger, a neatly crafted spliff wedged behind the ear, and a willingness to be looked on with admiration. Or don’t.