Guide to Boardshorts: Surf Style for Any Adventure

The quintessential apparel for the modern adventurer, boardshorts are a must-have garment for anyone who loves to ride the waves, target bonefish in the Keys from a skiff, or just relax at a backyard BBQ.

Boardshorts are lightweight, quick-drying swimwear, defined by their slim cut, long inseam, and drawstring waist. Originally designed for surfing, swimming, and other water-based activities, boardshorts have become versatile garments that go just about anywhere casual shorts can go.

Their longer length, preferred by surfers, provides increased coverage, and protection from all elements. But boardshorts are more than just a practical piece of clothing — they’re a fashion statement. From bold, eye-catching prints to more subdued, classic styles, there’s a boardshort for every taste and personality.

Boardshorts vs. Swim Trunks

When it comes to water-based activities, choosing the right gear can make all the difference. And when it comes to swimwear, there are two popular options: boardshorts and swim trunks. But make no mistake, these two styles are vastly different.

Let’s start with swim trunks. This classic swimwear is typically made of heavier materials like cotton or nylon with a shorter inseam length. Swim trunks are perfect for lounging around the pool or taking a dip in the ocean, but they’re not always the best choice for more active pursuits like surfing, fishing, or kayaking.

Enter boardshorts. This streamlined, lightweight swimwear is specifically designed for surfing, paddleboarding, and other water-based activities that require maximum mobility and minimal drag. Boardshorts are typically made of quick-drying fabrics like nylon or polyester, and they feature a longer cut that provides extra coverage, protection, and style.

Why Are Boardshorts So Long?

Boardshorts have a longer inseam to protect more of your skin from the sun, provide a more comfortable fit, and give them a more modern style. Though shorter swim trunks like volley shorts have made a huge comeback, the longer boardshort look is still very much in style and shows no sign of fading from fashion. 

What To Wear Under Board Shorts

Most boardshorts don’t have a liner, but Fish Hippie’s boardshorts-inspired swim shorts do have a soft mesh liner. That means you never have to wear anything under your boardshorts. But if you feel like you must, choose activewear underwear made from a stretchy, quick-drying, synthetic material. You’ll want this baselayer to be skin-tight to reduce chafing.

Can Board Shorts Be Worn as Regular Shorts?

The modern, slim fit of boardshorts allows you to wear them as casual attire, just as you would wear regular shorts like chinos. Boardshorts paired with a performance polo make the perfect outfit for a day that takes you from the beach to the bar. Or throw on a lightweight UV hoodie with your boardshorts when you’re fishing the flats, and dry off quickly when you’re in and out of the skiff all day.

How Do I Choose Boardshorts?

Pick a pair of boardshorts made from a soft, quick-drying material like brushed polyester microfiber. Some traditional polyester or nylon fabrics can be rough on the skin, but a brushed microfiber finish will stay comfortable when wet or dry. Once you’ve found boardshorts made from the right material, all that’s left is to choose a design you like. Do you want a classic solid or stripe, or something more fun like a Hawaiian print? It’s all up to you.

Back to blog