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A Brief History of Board Shorts
Posted in Beach LifeBoard ShortsSummer Fashion

A Brief History of Board Shorts

Have you ever wondered how our board shorts came to be?  They have had a long evolution from the original surf shorts worn by surfers in the 1950’s to the quick drying, super soft, stretchy men’s stylish swim shorts we wear all day, every day, today.

Early Days of Men’s Shorts for Swimming

Hundreds of years ago, men swam nude and only around 150 years ago did men start to want something to wear in the water to cover their parts.  The first men’s swimming suits were made of knitted wool; they were scratchy and heavy to wear and stayed wet for days after swimming.

In the early 20th century, water sports become popular, along with tanning, and the vest was removed.  Around the 1950’s in Hawaii, keen surfers were after some shorts that stayed on in big waves and local tailors made shorts in heavy canvas with a laced waist to ensure they didn’t fall off.  They were called ‘drowners’, as they didn’t drown like the other shorts, which fell off as surfers jumped up onto their board.

The First Stylish Board Shorts for Men

In 1969, three Australian surfers started Quiksilver with the launch of the first technical board shorts.  In the early 70’s, some Australian surfers started Billabong and the competition got hotter.  Styles changed for better performance and comfort and everything got a little neon in the ‘80’s.  Now shorts are made from highly technical manmade fibres with horizontal stretch and dobby patterns on the inside to minimise rubbing.

Today, there are many choices, from high performance board shorts for surfing to tailored stylish swim shorts for swimming, poolside and every day wear.

See our collection of stylish men’s board shorts for the beach to find your perfect pair.

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