Boardshorts: A Brief History

This is Brah History 101 and if you don’t study up, you’re gonna be left behind kickin’ sand while all the hot doggers carve epic tubes on the reef break! First lesson: did you know that the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution originally stated “You have the right to bare-chestedness.”?  It’s true! Most of the original patriots were avid surfsmen and dreamed of a nation where all men were endowed with the unalienable right to “hang ten”. 

Unfortunately, one of the founding fathers that nobody remembers thought it indecent of a man to be in public without cover of a waistcoat and pitched a fit until it was changed to “…the right to bare arms.”. Since just about everybody back then was illiterate, this was misspelled as “bear arms” and its interpretation has been the source of confusion ever since. Bummer.

 From then until the early 20th century, men’s swimwear was pretty lame. Uncomfortable, full-body woolen garments had to be worn to protect innocent eyes from glancing at the burly barrel chests of that time period’s strongmen.  Yes, full-body wool swimwear. Have you ever swum in wool? Of course you haven’t.  You also probably don’t have wooden teeth or attach leeches to your temples to cure headaches. Progress! 

Something had to give, and finally in the 1930s, men of the United States were allowed to let their pectorals breathe. Parades of shirtless bros danced the Lindy Hop down their city’s shorelines and the swim trunk was born!

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1. Rip Curl All Time Boardshorts

2. VISSLA Moku Boardshorts

3. O'Neill Flexin Boardshorts

4. O'Neill Lennox Boardshorts

5. O'Neill Murca Boardshorts

6. Hurley Raglan Destroy Boardshorts

7. Billabong Dominance Boardshorts

8. Quiksilver Manic Camo Boardshorts

9. RVCA Register Trunk

The trunk proceeded to go on an epic run of success that left it unimpeded atop the US men’s swimwear throne for decades. Sure, there were some changes to the inseam length and fabrication content throughout the years as style/technology dictated, but for the most part it wasn’t until the 1990s that a worthy challenger appeared; the boardshort.  Fueled by angsty alt rock and puka shell necklaces, ‘90s youth shifted away their grandpappy’s swim trunks and gravitated toward something with a little more ‘tude. Boardshorts quickly captured the hearts, minds, and lower bodies of dudes everywhere; but why?

Simply put, boardshorts perform better and are stylistically more modern than trunks. Trunks are normally fabricated from non-performance materials such as cotton, while boardshorts are almost always either quick-drying polyester or nylon. This means that after hopping out of the pool, you don’t get mistaken for a soggy bottom boy--and that’s a good thing!

Boardshorts also typically have significantly more stretch and flexibility than trunks so that you can move freely both in and out of the water. You’ll really only find elastane or spandex in the waistband of swim trunks, whereas boardshorts have fitted waists with surf tie front closures to keep them in place. Boardshorts typically have longer inseams (although shorter inseams are becoming more common these days), UV protection, zippered or hook-and-loop pockets, and bolder prints that speak to those looking for something more eye-catching. They also ditch the mesh linings that swim trunks have so take that under consideration if you’re uncomfortable going commando!

Are boardshorts for you? Well, if you’re under 40 years old or are buying for someone under 40, probably. They’re just so dang rad. They’ve been the go to for casual men’s swimwear for nearly 20 years now for a reason. Try some out and see how you like them! Zappos.com carries boardshorts by popular surf lifestyle brands including O’Neill®, Hurley®, Rip Curl™, Billabong®, and Quiksilver®, so get searching and find some boardshorts you dig. Shibby!

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6 Rashguard Styles for Serious Water Play

The summer heat lures us out to beachfronts, riversides and lakeshores every year. Even if we don’t live close to a body of water, we’ll take a weekend trip to one and spend the entire time soaking it in. When your water day calls for more than just sun bathing and getting your ankles wet, a rashguard is essential. They defend your skin from the elements and come in an array of styles that suit any water activity.
 
Rashguards provide excellent UPF sun protection by blocking up to 98% of the sun’s harmful rays. They guard your skin against chafing from surfboards and paddleboards, and prevent irritation from sand, shell and rock fragments. They are lightweight, made of quick-drying stretch fabrics and have flat-lock stitching for added durability. You can layer them under your wetsuit during cold-water snorkeling or wear them over you swimsuit for summer watersports like jet skiing. Pair them with some cute board shorts and you’re ready to stroll the boardwalk or grab a seaside lunch.
 
Loose fitting styles, known as swim shirts, are great if you want a little bit of air flow and breathability. Long sleeves are perfect for tide pool wandering and cove exploration. Short sleeves and cap sleeves work well for paddling out to catch a wave or boogey boarding. If you’re a water sport junky, consider investing in a one-piece style that provides excellent compression, a tighter fit, and stay-put flexibility.  
 
Rashguards won’t cramp your style either. They come in pretty prints, fashion-forward cuts, and bold colors.  Rashguards have become so popular that even outdoor brands and fashion designers have jumped on this surf shop trend. Ready to pick one out? Here are six different styles to choose from.

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New Brand Spotlight: Jack O'Neill Collection

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Credited for inventing the wetsuit, surf icon and American businessman Jack O’Neill founded the O’Neill brand back in 1952. What started as one of California’s first surf shops, the small operation sold boards and wetsuits out of a San Francisco garage.

Continuing to raise the bar in the surf apparel and accessories industry, O’Neill’s Jack O’Neill collection offers surf and casual styles for the soul surfer with more refined tastes. From cool Hawaiian shirts to easy-to-wear polo shirts to elevated board shorts, the Jack O’Neill line from O’Neill perfectly complements a laidback, beach-centric lifestyle.

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New Brand Spotlight: Analog

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In 2001, Analog was born in a style lab with the primary goal of creating unique designs that fell outside the lines of traditionalism. With an eclectic mix of team riders, styles, and inspirations, Analog approached snowboarding with fearlessness. This passion paved the way for Analog to make its mark on year-round apparel and accessories in 2003, starting with skate and moving into surf shortly thereafter.

In November of 2012, Analog transitioned back to a snowboard-specific brand and has continued to Liberate, Unify, Mobilize, and Resolve. Free from the tides of conformity, they remain dedicated to delivering a creative voice of expression. Transformed into a community driven against the predictable, Analog is committed to progressing the individualistic and fearless thread that binds them together as “Snowboarding".

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Dragon Alliance H2O Floatable Sunglasses

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It used to be that when you dropped your sunglasses in the ocean, chances were they’re gone for good. But now that Dragon has created their first ever line of floating sunglasses –the H2O Floatable Collection—your sunglasses have a fighting chance in the case of a wipeout or an overboard drop.

Worn by world-renowned big wave surfer Shane Dorian, the Dragon H2O Floatable Collection is perfect for those who live an active lifestyle, on or off the water! So float on all summer long with these ingenious shades!

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Dreaming of Spring Break!

Even if it’s still cold and snowy in your neck of the woods, it’s totally OK to start planning for (and dreaming of) that long-anticipated week of fun in the sun: Spring Break!

From riding bikes down the boardwalk to hanging out with friends at the beach or pool, this is the season to get into a sunnier state of mind and break free from the winter blues.

Below are some of our picks to get you in the spirit of laidback, sun-soaked days!

Go to Zappos Rideshop for even more spring break finds!

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Men's: 1. Volcom Blakely Shirt, 2. Von Zipper Elmore Sunglasses, 3. Hurley Phantom Solid Boardshort, 4. Billabong Carter Chino Shorts, 5. Penny The Nickel Classic skateboard, 6. O'Neill Speed Blur Tank Top

Women's: 7. Roxy Sundancer Scalloped Tankini, 8. Reef Mallory Flip Flops, 9. Volcom Crowned Queen Cheese Hat, 10. Billabong For Keeps Backpack, 11. O'Neill Rubix Dress, 12. Fox Skyfire Tank Top

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Surf's Up with Hurley!

In just a few days, one of the most anticipated events in surfing is taking place in Huntington Beach. The 2012 Nike US Open of Surfing (June 28th- August 5th) promises to be yet another epic event in the world of surf, skate, music and art.  With Hurley as a presenting sponsor along with Converse, the US Open of Surfing is the biggest stage in competitive surfing. It serves as a pivotal point on the ASP World Tour and one of the most prestigious titles in the sport.  

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Pics from last year's US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach.

To help you get ready for a big day of sun, surf, skate and music, check out Hurley’s collection of swimwear on Zappos.com!

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1. Hurley Mayan Stripe Bandeau Top, 2. Hurley Phantom 60 Blockparty Boardshort, 3. Hurley Blockparty Triangle Top, 4. Hurley Mayan Stripe Aussie Tab Side Bottom, 5. Hurley Sets Boardshort, 6. Hurley Blockparty Side Tie Bottom

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OluKai Ho'olaule'a 2012

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Paddling forward to give back. OluKai is a brand that is deeply grounded to the ocean and the culture, history and community that surrounds it. This spring, OluKai held their interpretation of the traditional Hawaiian celebration, the Ho’olaule’a, on Maui’s north shore. The event blends elite competition with family-friendly cultural activities. They also gathered some of the world’s best SUP (stand-up paddle) and outrigger canoe paddlers to race the legendary 8-mile Maliko downward run.

The OluKai Ho’olaule’a is truly a celebration and expression of gratitude, inspired by the strong tradition of giving back in the Polynesian culture.

2012 OluKai Ho'olaule'a from OluKai on Vimeo.