Top 5 Innovative Boardshorts of 2009
If you surf everyday and seem to live in your boardshorts then you know the importance of finding the right pair for you. While determining this top 5 list, I was looking for certain things from each pair of boardshorts. I wanted to find the best all around boardshorts for style and function. Not only do these top 5 boardshorts have to look good, they also have to incorporate technologies that help you have the best surfing experience such as stretching capabilities, fast-drying fabrics, and anti-rash designs. Based on these criteria, the following boardshorts were chosen. The order in which these boardshorts appear on the list is debatable, but I feel confident that all five of these companies deserve recognition for their innovative boardshorts.
Quiksilver Diamond Dobby Series
The main thing that Quiksilver did over all the other companies was to create a whole series of boardshorts that incorporate their new technology. Rather than making these boardshorts in just one design, Quiksilver is using the technology in all kinds of different styles of boardshorts, so you can pick out what designs you like best and still experience the Diamond Dobby Technology. The Diamond Dobbys fight rashes by a diamond patterned design on the inside that makes it so 30% of the fabric never touches your skin. This pattern on the inside allows increased airflow making the Diamond Dobbys dry twice as fast as regular boardshorts. The 33% horizontal stretch is a near perfect amount to give you the right stretch in the right places allowing a non-restrictive boardshort experience while surfing. Lastly, they are super lightweight, making them feel like you hardly have anything on.
Hurley Phantom 120
The most innovative feature of the Hurley Phantom 120 is the stretch material that it is made with. This fabric can stretch to up to 120% its original size. The fabric also stays completely waterproof for a lot of use, making for very fast drying. Seams are kept to a minimum, which helps prevent rashes. The waistband holds firm while the rest of the boardshort stretches so you don’t have to worry about them falling off. They feature a Patented EZ fly closure with no annoying Velcro. Last of all, although not as flashy in their design as the Diamond Dobby’s, these boardshorts look good. There isn’t a lot of art or graphics put on these boardshorts, but what they do put on them, they put in the right spots and in the right amounts to make these boardshorts very stylish.
The O’Neill Hyperfreak used Durable Water-Resistant (DWR) coated Hyperstretch Fabric made of 79% polyester and 21% spandex to ensure you have a boardshort that dries quickly and gives you plenty of stretch. The seams are kept to a minimum, and the ways the seams are sewn as well as the hem at the leg opening help prevent rashes. These boardshorts have a fixed waistband that will not stretch, keeping your shorts on while surfing. The draw cord has thermoplastic urethane laminated pads that help it to lock in place when tied. The same design is offered in several different colors allowing you to choose what style fits you best.
Rip Curl Pixelate
The Rip Curl Pixelate features STL Technology. The STL stands for stitch-less, so you can imagine how comfortable these boardshorts must be. Stitches in the fabric are the most common causes of rashes, so when you get rid of them all and replace them with the same liquid taped seams found in Rip Curl’s wetsuits, then you have a very comfortable boardshort that should keep you rash free. These boardshorts are made with a 2-way stretch material that is very lightweight as well, allowing for comfortable movement while surfing and quick drying afterwards. The choices of color and design are pretty limited on this boardshort, but the styles they do have are very appealing.
The Billabong Vapor-X boardshort has an embossed quad 4-way stretch material that stretches in any direction it needs to accommodate your surfing. The seamless outleg helps prevent rashes and the material they’re using on these guys dries quicker than the regular polyester Billabong Boardshorts. The design is very simple and plain, but sometimes it’s nice to step away from the bright colors and radical patterns and have something simple that looks really good. These boardshorts have helped Billabong step it up a notch and become part of the innovative frontline of boardshort producers.
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