Today marks the release of Former’s “Control” boardshort. So yes, full disclosure, we back them, and what they’re doing, so there’s the commercial above. It’s really cool. And those trunks look sick on Dane. But I do still retain the right as an editor and one of a few who started this whole blessed mess we call What Youth to critique and comment on this platform about whatever intrigues me. Which brings me to trunks. Or boardshorts. Or bathing suits. Or swimmers. Or whatever you want to call them.
The surf industry was built upon the thighs of surfers, followed by frat boys, middle American men, waders, bathers, swimmers, sun tanners, a wild amount of Australians, and a variety of human beings who seem to have collectively decided brightly worn short pants with a thin material work better than jeans in the water. And while we’re talking about this: it could be argued many humans don’t belong in water (how awkward does a swimming human look?). But that’s enough philosophy. We surf, we wear trunks, and the relationship has become complicated and uncomfortable and technical as fuck.
I believe somewhere in my relatively jaded heart that trunks actually started the whole jock-ifying of our culture. Boardshorts were once sewn up within a stone’s thrown of the coast (think Katin) and the cut evolved from feedback from surfers and I think we peaked then. I’ll leave it to Matt Warshaw to educate you on the history, but let’s jump to the insertion of the surf industry to the game: Shit has gotten technical! But I still get rashes — and sometimes more from the “technical” trunks. For example, I recently wore a pair of trunks that had a price tag of $250. And they still gave me a rash on my inner thigh! I once spent an entire summer wearing cut off denim as trunks in protest of the unflattering numbers that Hurley was making at the time. Phantom trunks suctioned my body, stretched to my ankles and made me look like a shirtless wet cyclist.
So where does this leave us? It’s almost summer. I wanna wear trunks dammit! But so few of my options excite me. However, there are a few that have pulled off this difficult feat recently. You will find them below. What Youth Recommends style.—Travis
Former “Control” Trunk: $70.00
Former has entered the game with a floral arrangement that comes with just enough goth to keep the Ian Curtis lovers interested.
Get the new Former trunks here.
Brixton’s Convoy Trunk: $65.00
Sometimes it’s the ability to wear trunks that function outside the water that makes them good. These Brixton ones tick that box and keep it simple, while allowing you to rip too.
Get ’em here.
RVCA “Curren” Trunk: $65.00
Well this might mark the first ever signature trunk for a skater. But it’s Curren Caples, so it just works, and they’re rad lookin’.
Get ’em here.
needESSENTIALS Boardshorts $40.00:
Straight black trunks. No frills. No team riders. Everything you need. Nothing you don’t. Can’t argue with that.
Get needESSENTIALS trunks here.
Volcom “Vibes Half Stoneys” $55.00
I just like how these look. Rustic, but stylish and a good cut. Noa probably wears ’em too.
Get them here.
Vissla “Covert” Trunk: $69.95
Simple…and somehow I can tell they’d be super comfortable. Even in this photo. I’d sleep in these ones too.
Gem ’em here.
Quiksilver “Acid Dots” Trunk: $27.99
I was recently in the Mediterranean and didn’t have trunks. I bought some from a sidewalk store. They had netting in them and were short. Just like the ones below but black. I loved them. I don’t know how they hold up for multiple surfs, but for the day, I felt like Pierce Brosnan swimming with topless women in the south of France. These remind me of those. But with an “edgy” pattern.
Get ’em here.