Where is your favorite beach destination

Can I use board shorts instead of swimming trunks?

While swimming trunks and board shorts are similar to the untrained eye, these two types of swimwear have slight differences. The bathing suitcase traditionally has an elastic waistband and a mesh lining in the pants. Board shorts are usually longer and have a drawstring waist. You can use board shorts instead of swim trunks as they are designed for the same basic purpose. Swimming trunks and board shorts are characterized by a quick-drying design that prevents abrasion.

Three young surfers watching the waves from the shore. (Image: Digital Vision / Character Set / Getty Images)

Surf's Up

When you're catching the waves at your favorite beach destination, you don't want your swimwear to hinder your movement. In the 1960s and 70s, surfers wore traditional, above-knee trunks. Swim trunks generally have an internal mesh lining for support, but the mesh lining is known to hinder leg movement when cornering quickly. To solve this problem, manufacturers offer robust board shorts made of polyester and nylon without a mesh lining.


Wakeboarding is a hybrid water sport that combines the tricks of snowboarding with the terrain of water skiing. Both swim trunks and board shorts prevent skin irritation on a long day at the lake, but many wakeboarders prefer board shorts because they are below the knee. Swimming trunks can easily slide up your legs during high-speed maneuvers. In contrast to swimming trunks, board shorts for wakeboards are designed to stay in place even when performing conspicuous tricks.

Chill out

When lounging on the beach with family and friends, board shorts work just like swimming trunks. While swimming trunks tan the area above the knees, board shorts protect your legs from the strong rays of the sun. Board shorts are made of a breathable material that enables the outside air to absorb sweat. Avoid board shorts with dark graphics to avoid overheating your legs.

Adjust your needs

In contrast to light cotton or linen shorts, you can wear swimming trunks in the humid summer days. Swimming trunks usually have pockets that you can use to carry personal items such as your wallet and keys. The boardshorts' Velcro pockets allow you to do the same. Surfers usually wear a specialized comb to aid in the process of cardboard growing. Board shorts have an elastic tie that prevents the surf comb from falling out of the pocket.