Can You Swim in Women’s Board Shorts?

Whether you’re an avid swimmer, like to surf, or want to try new things, you may wonder what outfit to wear to the beach or pool. Many women have asked the question, can you swim in women’s board shorts?

The question is relevant now because this style of surf wear has become quite popular for both men and women, as well as children. You’ll find a variety of styles for board shorts, making them ideal for almost anything you have to do that day.

So, can you swim in women’s board shorts? We will examine this question and determine if board shorts are a viable option for ladies’ swim shorts.

Why You Want Board Shorts

Primarily, you need to determine if board shorts are right for you. They are designed for performance, and they come in a variety of prints. They’re designed to look casual, and you can look like a pro surfer or have that “surfer attitude” when you wear them.

You’ll find a variety of styles on the market, which makes it a little challenging to find the right features and style for you. From the new swimmer to the experienced surfer, this swimwear style is designed to fit everyone.

Depending on what you plan to do in the water or at the beach, the features you require might be different. For example, you may want quick-dry material, more stretchiness, or a particular style fly closure (elastic waistband, button/zipper, drawstring).

Board Shorts and Other Types of Swimwear

You can find a variety of swimwear styles, including one-piece, two-piece, and put-together styles. Board shorts used to be a man’s choice of swimwear, but they have become popular as an option as swim shorts for ladies as well.

In the past, women had to purchase men’s styles and try to alter them or deal with the longer suit legs and other issues. Now, however, manufacturers are making styles for women looking for another alternative in ladies’ swim shorts.

For men, the style is easy because they can throw on the bottoms and go. Women, however, require their top half to be covered. They usually wear a bikini or tankini top because it is appropriate to wear the bra-style or tank-top style top to the pool or beach.

It is important to know what you’re going to do while at the beach. If you’re just splashing around and having fun, a bikini top might be fine, but if you’re going to be surfing, you may want a tankini or even a wetsuit-style top, which prevents slippage and accidents.

Board Short Styles

Primarily, women’s styles are going to vary significantly when compared to men’s styles. Traditionally, men’s board shorts have a more fitted waist, and they’re longer, usually to the knee.

While women’s styles can go to the knee, as well, many options are designed to be shorter so as to look like regular swim shorts rather than board shorts.

An example of a shorter style of women’s board shorts would be the Roxy Women’s Endless Summer Boardshorts. You can find surf Capri boardshorts for women, as well.

It doesn’t matter what style you prefer (short or long); you just need to find a pair that fits you well. You may also want to consider the style of top you’ll wear, as this can change the look of the board shorts.

Along with such, you should understand that most board shorts are designed to be loose around the legs, giving you more freedom to move. Shorter styles could let the shorts ride up and expose private areas of the body.

Can You Swim in Women’s Board Shorts?

Yes, you can swim in board shorts designed for women. They have a slack fit, soft fabrics, and have a secure fly, which makes them ideal swim shorts for women. Especially for those who don’t like the restrictions of bikini bottoms or dislike the styles for swimming shorts and skirt bottoms.

The quick-dry technology and range of durable fabrics allow you to go from swimming in the ocean or pool to sunning or playing beach games on the sand. While you can find stretchy fabrics, you don’t necessarily need to buy board shorts with a lot of stretch or give if you plan to wear them for swimming.

You can also find hybrid shorts, which look like board shorts and have the same features you crave, but they also have some of the qualities of walkshorts. Many brands now have board shorts that are actually hybrids.

This allows you to get out of the water and go play volleyball, walk along the beach, or head to the grocery store on your way home from your fun day without having to bring extra pants with you.

Should You Wear Anything Underneath?

This is a question we get asked most frequently. Those who like wearing boardshorts wonder if it is appropriate to go commando (not wear bathing suit bottoms). The answer isn’t easy because it is based on your preferences.

An added benefit of board shorts is they are one of the longer options in the swim shorts for women category.

If you have longer board shorts and plan to surf, waterboard, or snorkel, we feel that you do not need to wear bikini bottoms with the board shorts. However, if your board shorts are shorter or the fly closure allows for a little wiggle room at the waist, you may be more comfortable wearing bikini bottoms, too.

Wearing underwear gives you a little extra protection in case the Velcro closure comes apart, or if you get hit by a wave. If, however, your board shorts have an elastic waist and/or drawstring, you shouldn’t have an issue.


Can you swim in women’s board shorts? Yes, you can. Board shorts are a fantastic option as swim shorts for women. If you’re someone who loves the style, you can feel free to wear them to the pool or beach.

We’ve covered various board short styles, what top to wear, whether or not to wear bikini bottoms underneath, and much more. You can now shop comfortably, knowing when and how to wear board shorts.