Four Technical Boardshorts

Style, performance and advanced construction for lasting comfort and durability

Sometimes, all you need in a pair of boardshorts is on-point styling and a comfortable fit. However, when you’re spending hours (or days) surfing, fishing, swimming or sailing in a pair of shorts, you’ll want something that offers a blend of comfort, performance and—of course—a touch of style. Over the course of a week at the Four Seasons Maldives (more on that soon), we put several pairs of shorts to test during hours spent in the Indian Ocean. Key factors like reduced seams and heat-welding proved important for comfort, while water-repellant and lightweight fabrics helped improve performance. Here’s a closer look at four of our favorites.

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Saturdays Surf NYC: Danny

Though known mostly for their out-of-water threads spanning classic outerwear to trim chinos, the guys at Saturdays Surf NYC are surfers at heart. Following the success of their line of retro trunks, this summer marked the brand’s first take on performance boardshorts. The fall edition of the Danny illustrates the brand’s knack of integrating pared-down aesthetics with a truly functional surf trunk. Composed of a nylon-spandex blend, the minimalistic shorts feel like you’re wearing nothing at all in the water—perhaps a warm water surfer’s dream. With no chaffing points and a drying time of about 10 minutes, these trunks are excellent for travel. Plus, for those looking to capture their on-water glory, the camo colorway photographs well in all light. ($85)

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ISAORA: Welded Boardshort

After dropping two capsule collaborations with surfboard shaper Thomas Meyerhoffer, NYC-based ISAORA had something special up their sleeves with their Welded Boardshort. Apart from the waistband, the shorts are entirely welded, meaning zero seams below the waist. This reduces the weight and seriously eliminates chaffing possibilities. Laser-cut vents on the legs make these shorts comfortable out of the water in especially hot climates and contributes to a quick drying time. With full range-of-motion and simple styling, the welded boardshorts are perfect for those looking for performance in the water and style on land. ($98)

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Quiksilver: AG47

Beachwear giant Quiksilver went all in for product innovation with the AG47. Below the waist, the AG47 features laser-cut panels that are heat-welded to cut down on weight and reduce any discomfort. Taking that a step further, Quiksilver’s four-way stretch material comes with a Scotchguard Protector Repellant treatment (a 3M technology) that beads off water and reduces drying time to an astonishing sub-five minutes. Plus, this technology means that when you go catch a wave, you’ll be carrying less water weight than with other shorts. ($125)

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Patagonia: Stretch Planing Boardshorts

By far the most “rad dad” offering of the bunch, the Stretch Planing shorts from Patagonia are functional and performance oriented. While you’ll find more seams in these shorts, the fabric comes equipped with a Durable Water Resistant (DWR) coating and provides 50-SPF protection from the sun’s powerful rays. The shorts’ slightly longer 20-inch hemline provides optimum protection for water missions where more coverage is in order—like reef breaks, spear fishing and boat trips. ($79)

Images by Hans Aschim