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Boardcave's Board Shorts Buying Guide

There are a few aspects to a board-short that make them great. With so many brands and styles out there it's hard to pick what might be right for you so we've curated a guide for all the surfers out there to pick the best board-shorts based on functionality and style. Whether you're a below the knee or above the knee kinda guy there's no right or wrong when it comes to board-shorts. And girls don't think we've forgotten you! We're gonna highlight some great options on the womens side too.

the best boardshorts for surfing Photo: Max Zappas.

What are Board Shorts?

Board shorts are swimwear that are specifically designed for water activities. Also referred to as 'surf trunks' or 'swim shorts', these pieces of swimwear can be traced back to swimming trunks. With time, changing demands and fashion tastes, board shorts have come to be what we see today.

The term 'board' short is associated with the surfboards used by surfers who popularised their use. However, it was not long before it found its way into other water sports or casual wear that can be used in the street or the beach.

Things to Consider When Buying Board Shorts

If you're in the market for board shorts, below are some of the most important things to check out:

Quick Drying

Board shorts made from polyester have quicker drying times compared to cotton. Although not as comfy or gentle on the skin as their cotton counterparts, polyester boardshorts are the top choice for surfers. It is because polyester shorts dry quickly after hanging them up for a short time and ready to pack by the time you go home.


Polyester is the preferred material for making board shorts because these are durable and quick drying. But wet board shorts tend to stick to the skin, which can restrict your movements. The best board shorts are made from polyester and spandex, which gives them their quick-drying and flexible characteristics. There are a number of board-shorts now made from recycled materials which is awesome for the environment.


Board shorts are held into place by strings and Velcro or a combination of both. Unlike most sporting shorts that only have an elastic waist or garter, surfing board shorts require a more robust locking mechanism to keep them strapped to the waist. Although uncommon, some board shorts come with metal buttons or zippers - just stay away from these since seawater and metals simply don't mix well.


One unique feature of a well-designed board short is the presence of a small pocket that is used to store your car keys, locker key, or room card. So be sure to check if your board short has a provision for this if you're planning to leave your surfing gears and valuables in a car or locker. One convenient way to keep your car keys or locker key safe while you surf is by using a surf key lock box, providing peace of mind and security for your valuables.


Board shorts are comparably longer than regular shorts or swimming trunks. These help them stand out from other shorts and give them a distinct appearance, but their length also serves a particular purpose for surfers. Being longer, the board short can protect the surfer's legs from the wax on the board, preventing the wax from pulling the hair from your legs.

The Best Board Shorts

Regardless of where your next surfing tip would be, below are some of the best board shorts from some of the most trusted names in the business.

Octopus- NFA

The NFA 19" Black from Octopus is a no frills boardshort that is engineered for durability, comfort, and rash protection. With its simple outline and solid black colour, the boardshort looks good in and out of the water.

The NFA 19" boardshort is made from Gnar-LonTM blended nylon textile. These boardshorts come with a drawstring waist and side pocket.

octopus boardshorts

Inner Relm - Hot Rocks Trunks

Make a fashion statement on the beach while contributing to a healthy environment, the Men's HotRock Trunks by Inner Relm comes in fast colours and uses recycled plastic bottles in its construction. The quick drying trunks are made with 4-way stretch fabrics for exceptional comfort and performance.

The HotRock Trunks feature a traditional 16.5-inch outer seam with wider legs that lets you comfortably surf in any condition. It also has a waist tie to keep it in place even on a nasty wipe out.

inner relm boardshorts

Women's Inner Relm - Boogietime Board-shorts

A versatile fashion piece and eye-catcher, the women's Boogietime Boardshorts by Inner Relm is an excellent addition to anyoneโ€™s wardrobe. The classic style and high-waist cut gives you that flat midsection look. Perfectly at home in the waves or at the beach, these boardshorts are a great complement to any women's surfwear.

The Boogietime boardshorts are more than lookers. These quick drying boardies are made from 4-way stretch fabrics that offer comfort and freedom of movement. Show you care for the environment; recycled bottles are also used in its construction saving approximately 7 bottles from being dumped into landfills.

women's boardshorts

Town & Country - Chunk Check Trunk

The Chunk Checker boardshort by T&C is made from recycled plastic bottles in the flexible recycled polyester spandex. This board short is the team favourite that is good for the planet.

Board Shorts - The Lowdown

Most of us know a good pair of board-shorts when we see them, or feel them and certainly when we surf in them! There's no right or wrong when it comes to board-shorts everyone has a personal preference. The good thing is there are so many colours and flavours to suit everyones taste buds.

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