Come Summer, our boys LIVE in their boardshorts. No exaggeration.
From the pool to the park to the beach to the local café, boardies are perfectly suited to the ‘Queensland casual’ dress code in the Brisbane bayside suburb we live in. In fact, unless we have a wedding or some other formal function to attend, we rarely see our boys or their friends getting around in anything other than boardshorts, all Summer long. And we LOVE it that way.
Why do we love boardies?
As parents of boys, we’ve been long-time fans of boardshorts as an easy wardrobe staple. Boardshorts are quick-drying, washing-saving, no-need-to-iron clothing GOLD for growing boys.
Boardshorts are usually made from fabrics that are high performance and hard wearing. This means that boardshorts are generally not as prone to rips and tears from tree climbing or rubbing and pilling from bodyboarding as some other common short fabrics tend to be.
We love boardshorts because they are just SO practical for active kids and outdoor Aussie lifestyles.
And now that we get to design our own original boardshorts for Bon+Co, our obsession with boardshorts has gone next-level.
Before we moved full steam ahead in designing our Bon+Co boys boardshorts, we did our research, looking back in time to understand the history of boardshorts.
Boys Haven Everyday Boardshort
Boardshorts: a short history.
(Actually, it’s quite long and interesting…but we couldn’t resist that pun!)
Once upon a time, boardshorts were called swimming trunks. They came up to just under the rib cage. And they had belts. Oh, how far they’ve come!
In the very early days of surfing for sport, board riders were searching for swimwear that was specifically built for surfing. They wanted something that didn’t bind, blow apart or fall off completely during a wipe out. And so the hunt for the perfect ‘board short’ began.
During the 1940s there were a few attempts to create a functional pair of boardies for surfers. In the early 40s Lyn’s of Waikiki came out with a belted, high-waisted, rugged cotton-blended pair of fitted trunks with vertical striping on the hip. Surfer Dave Kahanamoku wore these extensively in surfing exhibitions internationally and was perhaps the first to popularise a very early style of boardshorts.
In the late 40s, industrious members of The Manhattan Beach Surf Club would purchase second-hand white sailor’s pants and trim off the bottoms so that they ended just below the knees. They used larger sizes, giving them a bigger inseam to protect their inner thighs from the chafing caused by rubbing against the paraffin wax on their boards, with a drawstring to hold them tight. This casual style of modified sailor pant style boardshorts started to define the purpose-driven attitude and casual aesthetic that surf wear retains to this day.
But boardshorts began their true evolution and trajectory to cult popularity in the surfing world on the island paradise of Hawaii in the 1950s.
On the north Shore of Oahu, a Japanese-Hawaiian tailor called Minru Nii observed the frequency he was asked to mend shorts that surfers brought in for repair. He and his wife began creating custom surf trunks for these local big wave surfers, selling them from a tiny shack in Waianae. These shorts were upsized and made out of a heavy canvas with a laced front. These early boardshorts were called ‘Mahaka Drowners’, because they did not slide off easily in the surf.
In 1961, Elvis Presley was one of the first mainstream celebrities to sport a pair of boardshorts in the movie, Blue Hawaii. The very short, very tight, very white, boardshorts came up to his rib cage. And fans went wild for them.
Over the next decade, surf-style swimwear evolved at a rapid pace, with many variations of boardies in different designs appearing on the market.
But it was really Quicksilver’s genius practical idea to combine both snaps and Velcro in the early 1970s that took the popularity of boardshorts into the stratosphere. The addition of Velcro meant boardies stayed securely in place. By the end of the decade, boardies weren’t just the preferred choice of clothing for surfers, they had started to cross over into mainstream beach fashion in earnest.
And their popularity hasn’t slowed since. Over the past 50 years, boardies have continued to evolve and swimwear designers have continued to experiment.
There was a race to the bottom in length…then back up again…then back down. Boardshorts were adopted into 80s skate culture and 90s rock culture. Materials have ranged from super quick-dry to neoprene ‘wet shorts’. Nowadays some boardshorts boast features like gel-infused string ties, two-way stretch fabric, hyperweave overlays, technical mircrofibres, and something called diamond dobby that is meant to prevent chaffing and rashes. Phew!
For some of the big brand names, a single pair of boardies can set you back upwards of $130. Ouch!
With all these options for boardshorts in today’s marketplace, you’re probably asking yourself…
What should I look for in a pair of boy’s boardshorts?
- Practical design
- Quality fabric
- Optimal sun protection
These are the 3 key focus points of all good boardshorts, in our opinion.
Bon+Co’s debut boys boardshorts are the Haven Everyday Boardshorts.
Haven Everyday Boardshorts feature a hand-painted watercolour palm tree print, appropriately inspired by the palm trees of Waikiki, where the very earliest form of boardshorts originated!
They are classic style boardshorts with a retro bound trim, elasticated waistband, and lace-up tie. Made from high-quality UPF50+ quick-dry polyester, we’ve thought carefully about all the little design details that make wearing boardshorts feel so effortlessly great, like including an eyelet in the back pocket for easy water release.
Proudly designed in Brisbane, Australia, the Haven Everyday Boardshorts are available in boys sizes 8 – 16 and are priced at a hip-pocket friendly $39.95, without compromising on style or quality.
Haven Everyday Boardshorts are exclusive to Bon+Co and stock is strictly limited, so if you love the look…shop them now!
PS – If jammers are more your style, checkout our Boys Racing Jammers 🙂