Board shorts, swimming trunks, shorts, surf shorts, call them whatever you want. If you are looking for a pair that lasts, look no further than the Patagonia Wavefarer. I own three pairs of Wavefarer’s and to be honest with you, I’m 99% sure these will be the last three pairs of board shorts I’ll ever own. Well, unless my metabolism slows down and I get fat. So far, at 35, so good. Anyways, on to the nuts and bolts and why the Wavefarer gets my “Shit that lasts” approval.
Yeah, three pairs of board shorts seem a little excessive for a dude living in Colorado. Nope, no dawn patrol barrels for me, brah! But I do swim a lot, in freezing ass cold alpine lakes, the piss-filled public pools of Denver, the dirty Cherry Creek Reservoir, and the occasional dip in whatever ocean/sea that is surrounding the island I chose as my yearly beach vacation spot. Does that justify having three pairs of board shorts? Nope. Why? Because even if I did spend more time in the surf than on land, I’m pretty damn sure one pair of Wavefarer’s could do the job.
Keith Malloy. Redneck, surfer, all out bad-ass. If you got him drunk and gave him a door, he’d surf better than you. He wears Wavefarer’s. Hell, he helped design them.
First off, they’re super simple. The cut, fit, the pocket design, the closure, and even the fly closure: simple. No bells and whistles. No unnecessary features, no garbage. You get material, a lace closure, a single button fly, and a pocket with a zipper. No, the pocket isn’t going to comfortably hold your wallet, your phone, keys, chapstick, and nunchaku (nunchuks for the non-Bruce Lee loving folk). But it will hold your car key and a $20 bill for a few after doing whatever you were doing beers. Yes, I said a few. Oh, don’t drink and drive…or swim, tube, ride…you get the idea. If you need more pockets, buy a pair of pants.
Second of all, they’re durable as all hell. Tired of the over chlorinated pools fading your shorts? Get a pair of Wavefarer’s. Tired of salt water reeking hell on the stitching? Get a pair of Wavefarer’s. Tired of sand getting stuck in the seams? Tired of your shorts fitting awesome until they get wet? Tired of feeling like you’re wearing a wet diaper because your super-techy, fluorescent orange shorts from another company aren’t drying in 30 seconds like the website said? Do I really have to say it again? Hell, I will. Get yourself a pair of Wavefarer’s.
Third thing: the pair of Wavefarer’s that you buy today, will still look “cool” 5 years from now. Patagonia doesn’t follow trends. As said in one of their video’s “we don’t have to worry about if purple laces and pink stitching is going to be the next hot thing, we don’t care”. And when you check them out online or in person, you’ll see that. The designs and colors are simple. Yes, there are a few colors and patterns for the ‘I want to be noticed’ crowd, but they’re not over the top like some of the other board short companies out there.
And lastly, if you give a shit about the environment, get a pair of Wavefarer’s. Yeah, it’s not humanly possible to make a totally “green” pair of board shorts (ok, yes, you can tie a palm tree leaf around your waist), but Patagonia tries.
All in all, if you’re looking for a pair of shorts to swim in, to surf in, to lounge around on the beach, or your porch, get a pair of Wavefarer’s. Hell, get yourself two pairs and knock “shop for a pair of board shorts” off your list…forever. Well, unless you let yourself go and start getting fat. And if that happens, set them aside, sell your car and buy a bike.