Can Board Shorts Be Used for Swimming?

There are lots of reasons to love wearing boardshorts.

Originally, they were made for surfers, and they offer different valuable benefits for those who are riding waves. One such benefit is the lightweight, quick-drying, durable material they are made from.

However, if you are just planning to buy a new pair you might be wondering can board shorts be used for swimming?

The short answer is, yes. Brands such as O’Neill, Birdwell, Hurley, Quiksilver have been around for decades and specialize in board shorts that are at their best in the water. Today we’ll look at why board shorts are great for swimming as well as other activities in and out of the water.

Boardshorts vs. Swimming Trunks

Swim shorts and boardshorts can seem to be the same thing to those who don’t know much about them, but they are actually pretty different. Professional swimming shorts are designed to give athletes the best possible support while competing.

They feature a net or mesh lining, which is the main difference between these two clothing categories. Using boardshorts instead of swim trunks is actually preferable for anyone who isn’t a professional athlete.

The net that we have talked about can be troublesome for some going to the beach. This is because it can catch sand and make you feel highly uncomfortable.

Can Board Shorts Be Used for Swimming?

Even if you’re not a board-enthusiast, boardshorts are the best option for hanging out at the seaside or messing around in the pool.

Thanks to their loose fit, soft material, and secure design, most guys prefer wearing them for swimming, instead of the regular swim trunks.

The materials used for manufacturing board shorts are both very durable and dry quickly. This makes the transition from swimming to hanging around on the beach or a nearby coffee shop very pleasant.

Most board shorts have a Velcro waist, which ensures they stay on at all times no matter how hard the waves are. However, if you plan on using them for more peaceful activities, you can pick a pair with an elastic waist.

You will be trading a small amount of security for more comfort. Another noteworthy advantage that boardshorts have over regular swim shorts is the secure pockets that many of them feature.

They are great for beach days as you can put your keys or mobile phone in them, and not worry about them while keeping your hands unoccupied.

Other Situations You Can Wear Boardshorts

In the modern world, there is hardly any item that handles only one purpose, and the same can be said about boardshorts. Here are other situations that boardshorts are excellent for:


Only surfers who are complete beginners are riding waves without a pair of signature boardshorts. Among the followers of the board riding culture, they have become as important as the very boards.

Different prints, designs, and color schemes all have the goal of making you look better and more unique while you’re surfing. However, this isn’t only about making a fashion statement. Surfing can be dangerous, and you don’t want to lose focus because of ill-fitting clothing.

Boardshorts are specially designed so that they don’t irritate your skin and leg hair. Also, they are made out of quality fabric like polyester and nylon. This ensures that they won’t get ripped apart if you have a wipeout on the waves.

We recommend getting a pair with triple laces and additional security measures. After all, you know how wild surfing can get!

Furthermore, if you’re serious about riding the waves, get a quality pair of boardshorts, even if it comes at a higher price. It’s not smart for a surfer to save money by buying inappropriate or low-quality clothing items.

For Everyday Life

In modern culture, boardshorts aren’t used only for surfing or swimming anymore. They feature attractive colors, high-quality materials, and unusual prints.

For these reasons, men around the world are starting to wear boardshorts on various occasions entirely unrelated to surfing or the beach.

They have become a go-to choice for hanging out at coffee shops or going on walks when the weather is warm. Many famous clothing companies are catching on to this trend.

They are starting to produce exclusive lines of clothing that are focused on boardshorts and t-shirts that look great in combination with them. These are usually more expensive and aren’t quite as good for surfing. However, we can’t deny that they look remarkably good.

The Bottom Line

Many people ask themselves, “Can board shorts be used for swimming?”. In this article, you have found the answer to that question, as well as some other useful information.

As opposed to the regular swim shorts that can feel uncomfortable, boardshorts are an excellent choice for most men and even some women.

They are a good fit for a lot of events. Surfing and swimming, or taking a walk during the summertime are just some of the options. The versatility of board shorts make them an attractive option.

If you want to purchase a pair of board shorts for professional surfing, you should look at some companies that specialize in doing just that such as Hurley, Quiksilver, and O’Neill.

However, if you’re looking for something more fashionable and formal, then board shorts are probably too casual for your tastes.