Discover how to choose the right boardshorts for your body shape and your lifestyle by reading on below.

Boardshorts are becoming more and more technical as new trends, innovations and fabrics emerge. There now exists a wealth of different boardshort styles and designs for you to choose from, which can quite frankly be overwhelming as a consumer.

As with any clothing product, there’s also the leap of faith that you must take when buying a technical pair of boardshorts online. What looks good on a screen may not necessarily be right for you. In this situation, an accurate boardshorts size chart that’s true-to-fit (such as this one) will come in handy.

When it all comes down to it though, you want boardshorts that can be worn all day long both in and out of the water. You also want boardshorts that perform well during a range of physical activities, yet still kick style and comfort goals when you’re chilling with friends and family.

Finally, boardshorts that last for life and not just a single season are also preferable for practical and environmental reasons. But getting your hands on a pair of boardshorts that do all of these things plus more is easier said than done. So how do you go about choosing the right pair of boardshorts?


If you want to know how to choose the right boardshorts, then you need a quick lesson on what makes a good pair of trunks. Below are some key elements of boardshorts that you should consider when making a purchase.


In earlier (and scratchier) days, boardshorts were tight-fitting garments used strictly for bathing at the beach. They were made from knitted wool, they had belts and they were as precisely as uncomfortable as they sound.

Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then. The best modern boardshorts are made from fibers such a polyester that come with multidirectional stretch, water repellant and quick-drying capabilities, thereby providing an excellent standard of wearability in a wide range of land and water environments.


Practically all boardshorts produced these days have at least one pocket. This pocket is generally found either on the bum or on the thigh. As for the opening mechanism, this will most likely be classic velcro or a metal or plastic zip.

The problem with a zip pocket is that sooner or later they’ll jam or become stuck, rendering your pocket useless. A metal zip might also rust if exposed to saltwater or dig into the skin causing discomfort. For these very reasons, velcro pockets are regarded as being far superior.


Seams refer to the area of the boardshorts where two panels of fabric are held together by stitches. You’ll find when shopping for boardshorts that a lot of brands opt to remove seams completely in favor of a *seamless product.

What’s important to note here is that while seamless boardshorts are functional, boardshorts with seams are just as wearable so long as the seams are well assembled and unlikely to rub against your skin.

*Innovations such as seamless technology don’t negate the fact that companies who sell seamless boardshorts use foreign labor and manufacturing channels which might result in an inferior quality product.

Fastening enclosure

The fastening enclosure is perhaps the most overlooked aspect of boardshorts. This is odd considering that while perhaps not as important as fit or fabric, fastening enclosures such as drawstrings essentially keep your boardshorts on your body.

Plus, have you ever had to rethread a frayed or broken drawstring? That’s a nightmare unto itself. The good news is that industry leaders have recognized the need for better drawstrings. We ourselves use Kevlar drawstrings in all of our shorts, which is a famously durable material that protects against impact and rubbing, thereby lasting literally decades.

Man in boardshorts jumping at beach

7 tips for buying boardshorts online

Now that you know the key components of boardshort design, here are few tips to help cut through the feeling of indecision that you may harbor when buying boardshorts online. Because let’s face it... doing so can be a bit of a mind f#*k, so any advice that can save you money or make the purchasing process easier is definitely welcome.

1. Take your lifestyle into consideration

Are you a hardcore fisherman that spends all day on the deck of a charter boat? Do you shirk important responsibilities in order to surf a highly anticipated swell? Are you a beast with court sports such as squash and basketball?

When it comes to choosing the right boardshorts, you need to consider your lifestyle. A pair of boardshorts suited to surfing may not be all that great when you’re hiking, just as a pair of stylish boardshorts won’t look good covered in fish scales.

Alternatively, you could get a pair of tastefully designed boardshorts that allow for a seamless transition between land and sea. If that sounds appealing, we know an epic little brand *wink wink*.

2. Conduct visual research on Instagram

Like we said earlier, buying online can be tricky because what looks good on a screen often doesn’t translate to the real world.

This is where doing some snooping on Instagram can come in handy.Simply search for the handle of the brand that you are thinking about buying from. You can then go to their tagged photos to see real-life examples of other people wearing their products.

What this will do is give you an idea regarding fits, short lengths, designs, etc. Ultimately, it’ll help you determine whether that brand is right for you..

3. Never forget that it’s all about the details

It’s easy to get caught up in bold marketing claims, but are these claims really legit? Reading testimonials can help you determine whether a pair of boardshorts can do this or that.

However, you can make up your own mind by carefully examining the type of features included in the boardshorts. Things to look out for include whether or not they have a water repellent DWR coating and if they offer 4-way stretch.

To really ascertain whether a pair of boardshorts can take shit and keep on trucking though is to check out the smaller details. We’re talking drawstring fabrics, pocket placement and true-to-fit sizing. Because when it comes down to it, attention to detail separates the good from the great.

4. Prioritize local brands over corporations

Another tip for buying boardshorts online is to look local before you buy internationally. Local brands put money in the back pocket of local people.

They’re also more likely to use local manufacturers, which results in a premium quality product. Finally, when you buy from a local brand, you’re choosing to be a more responsible consumer.

With zero international freight costs and zero reliance on overseas production channels, local brands are undeniably easier on the environment. 

5. Don’t just make a decision based on price

Making a decision based on price rarely works out. Buying an inexpensive pair might seem like an attractive option because it saves you money, but you’ll end up needing to replace them before the year is out (the pauper always pays twice, right?).

Alternatively, just because a pair of boardshorts are expensive, doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re also the right option for you.When it comes down to it, your decision should be based on the value that the boardshorts offer.

Can they be used in a wide range of different environments? Are they made from durable fabrics? Will they last me a lifetime? If you can answer “yes” to these questions, then chances are you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck.

6. Determine if they’re a globally responsible brand

There are plenty of big brands that say they’re doing their bit for the world, but are they really?Do they use US-based manufacturing channels?

Do they employ local people to craft and design their products? Do they utilize 100% sustainable packaging?

At the end of the day, a brand that produces everything within the US without using international freight or third-world labor is infinitely more responsible than a brand that does these things but produces supposedly “green” products.

So feel free to do a little digging with these inquiries in mind. And remember that buying locally designed, manufactured and distributed goods is always the way to go.

 7. Reach out if you have questions

In the increasingly convoluted world of tech and hybrid boardshorts, you’re going to come across a lot of very… errr… confusing names for certain brand-specific technology innovations.

Don’t let them overwhelm you. Reach out if you have questions about a product or a brand in general. At Van Zandt, we welcome your inquiries.

Of course, we don’t use industry jargon or nonsense terms when describing the features of our boardshorts. We’re straight down the line. As honest as the day is long.

Transparent in all facets of our business. And we’re here to make sure you can choose the right boardshorts for your needs.

Check out our latest range of Venture shorts today

Man with boardshorts holding a bike