There’s nothing better than catching a wave. The thrill that comes with nailing the timing to ensure you get the perfect line is unmatched. And board shorts help you do just that.
Typically unlined to provide more of a streamlined fit, board shorts provide a comfortable and cozy fit for you as you hang out in the water all day long. But the board short of 2021 can not only suit your aquatic-based needs but your land-based ones too, as the quick-drying material means you can wear them all day long.
No matter what your summertime activity, you’ll want to be sure to snag one of these 10 board shorts to do it in — our picks from brands like Birdwell, Rhone, and others, below.
1. Birdwell Beach Britches Stretch Board Shorts
Birdwell is just one of those classic surfwear brands that feel like it’s been around forever. It’s kind of true; the brand started in 1961 with a pair of nylon britches made for surfing. Over time, that simple pair of shorts has grown, evolved and changed to become the pair of board shorts you see here: fast drying, the perfect length, and comfortable; they’re a fantastic option to have alongside you as you hit the beach all day long.
2. Outerknown Apex Trunks Board Shorts
If there’s anyone that knows what makes a good pair of board shorts, it’s Kelly Slater. The name in surfing, Slater’s brand Outerknown is well known for their super sustainable production process while also making really quality products. Take their Apex Trunks, for example, as the two-tone shorts are made from four-way-stretch to move with you, not against you. They even have a smooth inside fly to cut down on abrasion. Plus, we really love this two-tone colorway that will look just as good on the water as it will at the bar when you’re done catching waves for the day.
3. Amazon Essentials Board Short
If you’re looking to get a pair of board shorts without spending a whole lot, Amazon Essential’s Board Short is for you. This pair makes a great secondary option at a great intersection of quality and price if you already have a good pair. Likewise, they make for a good first pair if you’re not looking to heavily invest right away. With three different colorways, there’s surely an option that will work for your personal preference.
4. Billabong Sundays Pro Board Short
While Billabong offers a few different patterns and colors in this particular model of board short, we were really struck by the neon accents and dark background of this one in particular. It has some character to it without being totally overwhelming or too loud, which can sometimes happen with other board shorts. Additionally, the shorts will dry quickly and move with your body, thanks to their stretchy construction.
5. Quicksilver Highline Board Short
However, if you’d rather wear a pair of board shorts that are really loud and full of character, the Quicksilver Highline Board Short should be your go-to. The splashy pattern makes a big statement and is sure to make you look great when you finally catch that big wave. With a 19-inch outseam, water-repellent and quick-drying coating, and plenty of stretch, nothing will slow you down.
6. RVCA Apex Board Shorts
RVCA’s Board Shorts (also named Apex) have a bit of a racing-inspired vibe to them, thanks to their contrasting side stripes. The blend of polyester and elastane makes the shorts quick-drying, easy to move in and comfortable for day-long use and wear. Additionally, a black flap pocket makes it so you can go from surf to turf with ease, allowing you to carry your wallet or other essentials.
7. VISSLA High Five Board Shorts
The sunset-esque, gradient design on these board shorts feel as if they were pulled directly from an Endless Summer poster, making them perfect for capturing the tone of a day in the surf. As with all board shorts, these will dry fast and keep you comfortable as you move around on land and in water, but we really like the substantial back pocket, which is great for storing whatever you might need.
8. Marine Layer Tropical Board Shorts
For those who want board shorts with a bit of a shorter cut, Marine Layer’s Tropical Board Shorts have a 6.5-inch inseam to help you show off your legs a bit more while you’re on the water. The drawstring waist makes for an easy adjustment, while the nylon and elastane blend ensures quick-drying abilities so you don’t have to worry about changing all of your clothes when you’re done catching a wave.
9. Tommy Bahama Baja Fuego Epic Board Shorts
Tommy Bahama might not be the first brand you think of when it comes to board shorts, as the clothier feels more suited for dads. However, looks can be deceiving, and these ombre-patterned board shorts from the brand make quite the impression. In addition to quick-drying, the 100% recycled polyester also includes sun protection, which is a fantastic added benefit.
10. Rhone Board Short
While Rhone’s reputation is primarily one of activewear, that’s also inclusive of swimwear. The brand’s 7-inch board short is made with all the same consideration and craft that goes into all of their gear; it’s extremely well made, moves with you and even has a trim design to make sure you glide through the water with ease.