Surf Style: The Story of Boardshorts and Beach Culture – Stoke Outlets
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Surf Style: The Story of Boardshorts and Beach Culture - Stoke Outlets

Surf Style: The Story of Boardshorts and Beach Culture


The boardshort movement can be traced back to the early days of surfing culture in California in the 1940s and 1950s. At that time, surfing was a niche sport with a small group of dedicated participants. Surfers in those days would often wear swimming trunks made from heavy materials like wool, which would absorb water and make it difficult to move freely in the water.

One of the first companies to produce board shorts was Jantzen, a swimwear brand that had been around since the 1910s. In the 1940s, Jantzen introduced a new style of swimwear called the "California surf suit," designed specifically for surfers. This new surf suit was made from a lighter-weight material that dried quickly and featured a longer inseam to provide more coverage and flexibility in the water.

Another important brand in the history of boardshorts is Birdwell Beach Britches. Founded in 1961 by a surfer named Carrie Birdwell Mann, Birdwell Beach Britches quickly became popular among surfers in Southern California. The brand's board shorts were made from a heavy-duty nylon material designed to be incredibly durable, making them perfect for surfing. Birdwell's boardshorts were also notable for their simple, classic design, solid color, and distinctive stripe down the side.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, other brands began to enter the boardshort market, including Quiksilver, O'Neill, and Billabong. Quiksilver, founded in Australia in 1969, was one of the first brands to introduce boardshorts with bold prints and patterns, quickly becoming popular among surfers and beachgoers. O'Neill, founded in California in 1952, also played an essential role in the development of boardshorts, introducing new features like the "velcro fly" and the use of neoprene in wetsuits.

Today, there are countless brands producing boardshorts, from small independent companies to large global brands. Some popular brands include Vissla, Hurley, Volcom, Rip Curl, and Patagonia. Each brand has its own unique style and design philosophy, but all share a commitment to producing high-quality boardshorts that are both functional and stylish.

Vissla's brand has made a significant impact on the boardshort market in recent years. Founded in 2013 by a group of surf industry veterans, Vissla has quickly gained a reputation for its innovative approach to design and sustainability.

One of Vissla's key focus areas is using eco-friendly fabrics and recycled materials in its products. For example, many of the brand's boardshorts are made from a fabric called Cocotex, which is made from discarded coconut husks. This material is not only environmentally friendly but also offers superior performance compared to traditional synthetic fabrics.

In addition to using sustainable materials, Vissla has made a name for itself through its creative and innovative designs. The brand's board shorts feature unique prints and patterns that stand out from the crowd, and many of the designs are created in collaboration with artists and surfers from around the world.
Vissla's commitment to sustainability and creativity has earned it a loyal following among surfers and beachgoers, and the brand is widely recognized as a leader in the industry. By pushing the boundaries of what's possible in terms of design and sustainability, Vissla is helping to shape the future of the boardshort market and setting a new standard for the industry as a whole.

So, next time you're lounging on the beach or catching some waves in your favorite pair of boardshorts, take a moment to appreciate the rich history and evolution of this iconic swimwear garment. From the early days of surfing culture in California to the global phenomenon it is today, boardshorts have come a long way and continue to be an essential part of beach culture and fashion.


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