If the calendar’s closing in on summer – which it is – you need a pair of the best men’s board shorts just as soon as you can. And in this case, that means you should be looking for a mix of form, function and great style. And if the thought of hitting the beach as you scrambling to hit the gym, you might as well motivate yourself to get back in shape by picking up a stylish pair of versatile board shorts – right?
The classic style has its roots in surf culture, but has been updated for the more casual beach bum via brand collaborations, cool colors and patterns, and agreeable prices. Yes indeed, today’s board shorts — along with a pair of stylish sandals — can go from the beach to the boardwalk and back – weekend after weekend. With 25 of the best men’s board shorts to choose from, we’d wager it’ll be tough to choose.
Rhone 7″ Board Shorts
Masters of functional and mobile apparel and gear for the modern man on the go, Rhone’s Board Shorts are classic in their execution and current in their design. The four-way stretch fabric makes them exceptionally easy to wear all day long, and we appreciate the mix of versatile, neutral color options — you’ll stand out in all the right ways at the beach this season, guaranteed. The lack of a liner also makes them streamlined and sharp.
Outerknown Apex Trunks By Kelly Slater
Kelly Slater is a legend of surfing, with 11 world surfing championship wins to his name. But any famous person can put their name on a product, right? Well, these Outerknown Apex Trunks are the real deal — developed and tested by Slater himself. Every detail has been meticulously considered, from the four-way stretch fabric to stitch-free welded seams and a double-reinforced butt seam. All this adds up to make for a pair of boardshorts that combine performance, durability, and good looks in one sport-ready package.
Stio Men’s CFS Board Shorts
Wyoming-based Stio is a clothing company founded with stewardship of the great outdoors at their heart. They donate a big portion of their profits each year to wilderness conservancies and outdoor programs for at-risk youth. So when you buy a pair of their CFS Board Shorts, you’re getting a lot more than just a high-performance pair of pants — you’re helping to support campers, hikers, and swimmers everywhere. Of course, it helps that these shorts are awesome. Their abrasion-resistant finish makes them some of the most durable shorts you’ll ever wear, without making them any less comfortable.
prAna Riveter Board Shorts
Fans of minimalist style will appreciate prAna’s streamlined take on boardshorts. A far cry from the loudly colored shorts offered by many surf companies, they’re a slick take on the style that looks great when worn as lounge shorts or swimwear. All four muted colors are made to match a wider variety of outfits, or to put the spotlight on your beach bod when worn solo. All of that is topped off with details like a fixed waistband with drawcord adjustment and hook-and-loop closure pockets to keep your valuables right where they’re supposed to be.
Vans Surf Trunk 3
Many pairs of boardshorts have come a long way from their original intention as high performance surfing gear. Not so with Vans’ Surf Trunk 3 — a dedicated surf short that’s packed with details guaranteed to appeal to surfers and guys who want to be like them. The 100 percent polyester fabric is quick-drying, and the tight weave makes them super soft and comfortable. That’s paired with taped and clean-finished seams and a faux fly, leaving the interior of these shorts completely chafe free. They even have a loop tab connector placed front and center, in case you want to securely hook up a wetsuit top.
Fair Harbor The Nautilus Boardshort
Ten vibrant colors of commando-friendly boardshorts to choose from lets you dial in your style. But you know what’s better than how comfortable these shorts are and how cool they look? Fair Harbor recycles plastic bottles to make 80 percent of the fabric blend for their Nautilus Boardshorts. True ocean lovers will see the draw here: By supporting a sustainable clothing company, you’re helping to keep plastic trash out of our waterways. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that this recycled polyester is durable and quick-drying, too.
Vans Ever Ride Board Shorts
Does it surprise you that Vans makes boardshorts along with its iconic and ever-growing list of stylish sneakers? It shouldn’t — and it’s good news that you can pick up a pair of these boardshorts along with a new pair of kicks, all at once. The Ever Ride Board Shorts channel the iconic Vans vibe, making for a bit of throwback style and serious functionality for the guy who appreciates the chance to head to the beach (and who doesn’t?).
Howler Brothers Stretch Vaquero Board Short
Howler Brothers is a brand to watch if you want gear that A) Makes sense and B) Offers both functionality and style. That’s the case with the Stretch Vaquero Board Shorts, made from quick-drying material that won’t slow you down — no need to wait to dry off before you head from the ocean to the beach bar, in short. Pair up these boardshorts with a stylish Howler Brothers shirt, then call it a day.
Vuori Cruise Boardshort
Is it the range of neat colors and patterns that draws our eyes toward the Vuori Cruise Boardshort? Is it the agreeable price for a pair of everyday boardshorts? Or is it the focus on quick-drying fabric and what the brand calls a dynamic fit? It’s all of those, and then some — Vuori says they work to wear from “land to sea and back,” and we couldn’t agree more.
Mack Weldon Swim Board Shorts
Mack Weldon has applied the same technical prowess to its Board Shorts that it applies to the design of its essential, functional and surprisingly stylish basics. With a focus on performance-ready fabrics that actually look great, these Board Shorts get a boost thanks to the four-way stretch fabric and zippered front and back pockets (you won’t lose anything along the way to the beach, guaranteed).
O’Neill Hyperfreak Boardshorts
O’Neill has been in the surf business since the ’50s, so they know a thing or two about keeping you comfortable on the board. The Hydro version of their Hyperfreak Boardshorts are constructed with a flat, no-tie front, using a closure system you’ll only find on a pair of O’Neills. That means nothing gets in the way when you’re paddling hard. Welded construction, a zippered thigh pocket, and recycled materials round out this surf-ready design.
Roark Revival Boatman Boardshorts
The best men’s boardshorts often take the qualities of your favorite, well, shorts and translate them into a package that’s spring and summer-ready. In that case, the Boatman Boardshorts are lightweight and breathable, complete with stretchy fabric that moves with you and wicks away moisture while drying quickly. That makes them some of the most essential boardshorts you can buy right now — and we like the rich Military color, too.
VISSLA Solid Sets Board Shorts
Coconuts are a tropical staple — but coconuts in your shorts? Crazy. That’s what you get with VISSLA’s Solid Sets Board Shorts. They’re made of upcycled coconut, recycled polyester, sustainable cotton for comfort, and a touch of spandex for stretch. Overall, that ends up making a board short that’s plush, moves with you, and keeps plastic trash out of landfills and the ocean. The front/back rise on the waist will keep these firmly over your hips, too, making them an excellent choice for water sports.
A/Div Surftrek Hemp Lo Tide Boardshorts
Billabong draws on cannabis’s sister, hemp, for their A/Div Surftrek Board Shorts. Combined with recycled polyester and a tiny bit of stretchy elastane, this eco-friendly material makes for a ridiculously soft and comfortable board short. Side pockets and a lasso-style waist make these a great fit for the beach, but equally awesome for everyday lounging too. And with their modern style, you’ll look great while feeling great no matter where you wear them.
Hurley Phantom+ Block Party 2.0 Solid Board Shorts
Hurley’s Block Party 2.0 Solid Board Shorts have one of the most distinctive senses of style that you’ll ever find. They combine an understated color scheme with bold, asymmetrical stripes — resulting in an eye-catching pair of shorts that goes against the standard bright colors you’ve come to expect. An 80 percent polyester, 20 percent spandex blend makes them crazy movable too, and perfect for sports. That’s further emphasized by the stay-fast zipper pocket, guaranteeing that your cash and I.D. stay right where you want them.
Deus Ex Machina Plains 16 Inch Boardshorts
Looking for a pair of shorts that can do it all, from lounging to jogging to hitting the beach? Check out Deus Ex Machina’s Plains Boardshorts. Both the navy and black colors are perfectly minimalist, complementing casual outfits without drawing too much attention to themselves. And if you want to put them through the paces of a vigorous workout, you’re in luck — they’re made of 100 percent polyester, ripstop fabric that’s already been garment washed for a lasting fit.
J.Crew 9″ Stretch Board Shorts
What do you get when you combine the long, loose legs of old school board shorts with a slimmer, modern fit? An awesome pair of shorts that are the best of looks and performance. That’s what J. Crew’s Stretch board shorts specialize in — the intersection of style and durability that makes for a truly versatile addition to your wardrobe. They’re one of the only board shorts you’ll find that look just as good worn solo at the beach as they do paired with a baggy sweater.
Banks Journal Balboa Boardshort
Take summer comfort and style to the next level with the Banks Journal Balboa Boardshort. With the perfect summer style and sleek fit, these shorts will keep up with the most active beach, lake, or poolside life. The two-way stretch fabric will bend and flex with you as you run, jump, and play, and the three built-in pockets—two on the side, one in the back—give you all the storage space you need for your phone, keys, and wallet. For the eco-conscious, you’ll be glad to know the shorts are made from 90 percent recycled polyester, and even the laces and swing tags are recycled, too. They’re even sized for taller wearers—those above six-foot tall will find they’re just the right length for any summer activity.
RVCA Current Stripe Water Repellent Board Shorts
Look your absolute best all day, all summer long in the RVCA Current Stripe Water Repellent Board Shorts. These beautiful shorts bring back the style of horizontal stripes that call attention to those leg muscles you’ve been training at the gym, but they’re as much about function as form. The blend of polyester and elastane gives you both durability and versatility, with four-way quick-drying stretch fabric that’ll be perfect for beach sports, surfing, or running. The shorts are even finished with a water-repellent treatment that adds to their toughness and keeps water at bay—perfect for when you’re not in the mood to get wet.
Birdwell 808 Board Shorts
Take your style all the way back to a basic, timeless look with the Birdwell 808 Board Shorts, a classically designed pair of shorts that are built with quality in mind. The patented SurfStretch four-way stretch fabric is incredibly versatile, allowing total freedom of movement no matter what you’re doing, and you’ll find the shorts are tough as nails. But you’ll love how light the shorts are, made from woven microfiber that maximizes their comfort without adding excess weight. Best of all, they won’t cling when wet, and will be ultra-comfortable when surfing, bodyboarding, or swimming.
Billabong Tribong Lo Tide Boardshorts
Billabong is one of the oldest and best names in swimwear, and it has outdone itself with the Tribong Lo Tide Boardshorts. Designed for the modern wearer, the shorts come with side pockets for carrying your phone, a lasso drawcord waist that guarantees they’ll never slip off, and a rear patch pocket just to add extra storage. With its quick-drying, high performance fabric, you’ll find you dry off quicker than ever and feel comfortable in these shorts all day long. And yes, the style and color is absolutely one you’ll love—and will look great no matter where you are.
Rhythm Classic Stretch Trunk
Surfers, sit up and take note: the Rhythm Classic Stretch Trunk was built specifically for you. The slim, low-key style and above-the-knee cut is perfect for those sharp movements that’ll keep you riding the waves for hours on end, but once you’re out of the water, the quick-drying fabric makes it easy to go from the sands to the bar or your couch in a matter of minutes. The recycled polyester just feels buttery soft against your skin, but there’s no sacrificing durability with these long-lasting shorts.
Quiksilver Highline Pro Arch 19” Boardshorts
Want something that’ll wear well on the beach, by the pool, or around town? Give the Quiksilver Highline Pro Arch 19” Boardshorts a try. These shorts are built with mobility in mind, using quick-drying four-way stretch fabric that will bend and flex with your movement no matter what you’re doing. The performance fit and shortened leg length makes them perfect for more active beach or water sports, but the style is classy enough that they’ll be perfect for use on any vacation or spring break trip. Best of all, the hydrophobic coating will keep splashed water (and spilled drinks) from soaking into the fabric, so you’ll only ever get wet when you want to.
Saturday’s NYC Kei Boardshort
Simplicity and versatility, that’s what Saturday’s NYC Kei Boardshort brings to the table. The shorts don’t bother with flashy colors or showy styles—they’re all about comfort, durability, and understated elegance. They’re also incredibly lightweight, made of a single layer of nylon that will dry quickly and keep you cool on even the hottest summer day. Thanks to the elastic waistband, fly closure, and snap waistband, they’ll always stay in place even if you’re running, jumping, or swimming in beast-mode.
Howler Brothers Daily Grind Board Short
Take the Howler Brothers Daily Grind Board Shorts onto the sands, into the water, or out to the lake, and they’ll serve you well for years of regular use. They’re designed with multifunctional use in mind, with good elasticity woven into the quick-drying fabric that will keep you mobile and cool all summer long. You even get built-in pockets that make carrying everything—phone, wallet, keys, even your drink—beautifully easy and safe.
Updated 6/25/21 by Andrew Peloquin
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