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Boardshort Empire

The classic wardrobe staple just keeps getting better.

 By Amanda Burrill, MS


Boardshorts originated as an alternative to swim trunks so surfers could catch waves feeling “unhindered.” They were made longer to eliminate the need for the restrictive mesh undies inside, and with a drawstring instead of elastic waistband.

Female opinion: The magic of boardshorts is the combination of low “look at my hard-earned V-cut” rise and max leg coverage that ends just above the knee. With the way they drape off the glutes, they are basically the male version of a “teddy.” You’re left to imagine what’s underneath. Or maybe that’s just me being some sort of predator.

It’s that laid-back sexy that landed the boardshort as the prescribed Men’s Physique stage uniform: shorts above the knee in length, an inch below the belly button, no spandex, and no overt logos or advertisements.

Whether it’s beach or stage, there’s room to express yourself. Play it cool, stay simple, or go crazy with these options.


NPC Boardshorts

Cost:  $35

Where to buy:

If you’re a newbie to the competition scene and not sure which shorts to go with, you can’t go wrong with these boardshorts. These are non-nonsense, no-frills shorts, but I can guarantee you this: They are within competition regulations and come in blue, red, neon green, and orange.
Live Fit Wedge Boardshorts

Cost: $60

Where to buy:

LVFT has its own “X-stretch” technology, allowing for pull in all directions and a polyester spandex blend—telltale signs that these were made for catching waves and looking pretty. The non-expandable waistband will leave you confident they won’t head south exposing those striated glutes while you’re catching waves. Also of note is the back pocket with key loop. Seriously, head to the beach with nothing else!


Skinz Stretch Boardshorts

Cost:  $25

Where to buy:

Ba-ba-bang for your buck and will surely turn heads (and melt eyeballs). In a Physique competition, judges are looking at muscular development, stage presence, poise, and ability to convey personality to the audience. Your chances increase exponentially when the judge see these shorts. These are also great for real life with a side pocket with draining mesh that is secured by Velcro. And at this price I think you should grab two pair!




Quiksilver 4th Of Ju-Luau

Cost:  $55

Where to buy:

Quiksilver boardshorts have been around since 1969 and were the first to utilize a V-shaped waist to maximize comfort and ease of movement. That V-shape lives on in these shorts, which also happen to make me want to stand at attention. This model has four-way stretch, separating them from the crowd as a truly functional pair or shorts.


Better Bodies Boardshorts Pro

Cost:  $60

Where to buy:

These boardshorts may only come in one color combo—granted it’s a good one—but they go the distance in utility. Take them to the beach for a workout or wear them on competition day. What makes these extra competition-friendly is a loop lapel at the waistband—perfect for your competitor number badge—and a Velcro and drawstring closure to ensure everything stays put.


Hurley Phantom Hyperweave

Cost: $100

Where to buy:

The world’s best surfers turn to Hurley for lightweight adaptive fit. And while these are made for movement and the beach, they also come in a variety of bright, patterned, and splotchy designs that are sure to make you stand out from the crowd—both seaside and stage. These shorts also feature the back pocket with key loop for secure storage.


Aesthetic Revolution Camo Reinforced Shorts

Cost: $68

Where to buy:

I like to throw in an alternative now and then, especially for those of you who are afraid of the water and have no interest in stepping onstage. These shorts fit the “above the knee” protocol, look amazing, are gym-friendly, and a worthy holiday gift. Other notable features are the zippered front pockets, reinforced crotch panel for extra range of motion, and choice of five colors.



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