For a lot of people, board shorts and swim trunks (or swim shorts, if you prefer that) might sound like describing the same thing. However, experts in swimwear know that there are certain lines which serve as distinctions between both of them. In the real sense, swim trunks and board shorts have differences in material, design, and even functionality.So, in this post, we will be looking into the difference between board shorts and swim trunks.1. What are board shorts?2. What are swim trunks?3. What’s the difference between board shorts and swim trunks? 3.1 Length 3.2 Usage 3.3 Waistband 3.4 Mesh lining 3.5 Style4. What to wear under board shorts?5. What to wear under swim trunks? 5.1 Can their use be interchanged? 5.2 Can you wear them as regular shorts? 5.3 What to consider when getting board shorts? 5.3.1 Protection 5.3.2 Weight 5.3.3 Size 5.4 What to consider when getting swim trunks? 5.4.1 Elasticity 5.4.2 Design6 Not sure about your size? Pineapple Watermelon Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $60 Select options Kvalitetsaktiepodden x Decisive Beachwear $65 Select options Flamingo swim shortsRated 4.50 out of 5 $60 Select options Tropical 2-Pack Swim ShortsRated 5.00 out of 5 $80 Select options What are board shorts? Essentially, board sots are shorts that are made for surfers. Whether you’re a novice surfer or one of the more experienced ones, we all know that there is most likely nothing as important to your experience as your board sorts (well, a apart from the surf boards, of course). As a surfer, it is important for you to have the right shorts, which will aid seamless movement while you ride the waves.For that surfer looking to achieve top performance, board shorts are undoubtedly the best choice. Silver $60 Select options Emerald $60 Select options Ruby $60 Select options Atlantic $60 Select options What are swim trunks? On the flip side, swim trunks (or swim shorts) were specifically made for swimming, relaxing at the beach, or just lounging by any other body of water. The major line of distinction between board shorts and swim shorts is that while board shorts were made for people who need the space and ability to perform, swim shorts were made with more of design as their top priority.People who wear swim shorts might not necessarily need to swim, but board shorts are made for people ready to take on the waves. What’s the difference between board shorts and swim trunks? Length The first and most prominent difference between board shorts and swim trunks is the length; majority of the time, you will find that board short are much longer than swim trunks. While the later are usually designed to be worn and stop above the knees, board shorts tend to be much longer than that.As for why this is so, the biggest reason is for protection. Surfers need a lot of protection in the event that they fall off their boards, and with shorts that are longer than the knees, they can surf knowing that their knee caps are protected from friction that could occur if a collision happens. Usage Of course, we already determined that the most significant difference between board shorts and swim trunks is in their functionality. Performance and strength are put as priorities when designing board shorts (based on the needs of the surfers who put them on), while swim trunks need to have a great design, since they will be worn around a pool or beach (places where there are bound to be other people)That being said, it is not entirely out of the normal to find someone putting on board shorts even while not surfing. Some people prefer to wear sorts that are much longer than their knees, and that’s fine. That being said, it is not entirely out of the normal to find someone putting on board shorts even while not surfing. Some people prefer to wear sorts that are much longer than their knees, and that’s fine. Waistband The waistband in the clothing is also a great way to tell the difference between board shorts and swim trunks.In swim trunks, you will find that waistbands are made of elastic, and there are strings to also help place the shorts in a proper position. Elastic bands make it much easier to pull the shorts on and off, and for people who are a tad skinner or larger than normal, this feature has definitely helped a great deal.That being said, if you get swim trunks that are your right size, you won’t have much use for the drawstrings. Due to this, a lot of people believe that the drawstrings on the swim trunks are more for aesthetic appeal.On the flip side board shorts tend to take a different approach. If you’re surfing, the last thing you need is sorts that can be taken off you easily. So, you should get board shorts that fit your physique and your body without the need for any modifications with drawstrings.For this reason manufacturers of board sorts make them with Velcro flaps and static waistbands, as opposed to the usual drawstring. The former two help keep the shorts in place, thus ensuring that you can challenge waves of any size without the fear of your shorts slipping off. Follow us on Instagram [instagram-feed] Mesh lining Swim trunks have an inner mesh lining. The inner mesh increases comfort and ”keeps everythingin place”. Some men have a problem with the mesh itching and some even going so far as tocutting it out of their swim shorts. This usually happens with cheaper shorts that doesn’t put the care that’s needed into the mesh lining. It needs to be ultra soft and dry quickly for best comfort. The mesh is usually made from polyester.Since board shorts have a different fit they don’t need the inner lining. Therefore most board shorts don’t have the inner mesh. However since you are moving around a lot in your board shortsand the material isn’t that soft many surfers use regular underwear under their board shorts.Read more about Board shorts with and without liner here Style Apart from the length of the shorts, a lot of the difference between swim trunks and board shorts also lies in the overall design and style of the clothing.Most board shorts have designs that look more like what a surfer will wear. Again, since surfers are the people who these shorts are made for, it stands to reason that they will be designed to fit their target market. Board sorts come with darker colors and abstract patterns, and you can easily find them in Australia and the United States.As for swim trunks, you get more of a variation. However, the vast majority of swim trunks are brighter in color and have more creative prints on them. Of course, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t swim trunks that come in solid colors as well. However, most swim trunks are easily more fashionable than board shorts. What to wear under board shorts? Unlike swim trunks, board shorts aren’t particularly soft, and they don’t have much of the mesh inner lining. So, a lot of surfers prefer to wear undergarments while they put on board shorts. The additional comfort is great, and it reduces your unease while you surf. What to wear under swim trunks? Ideally, you wear nothing under your swim trunks. Thanks to the inner mesh that swim trunks come with putting them on with a layer of underwear is mute.However, it is also important for you to consider your comfort. A lot of people find the inner mesh to be too uncomfortable when touching their skin, so they opt for undergarments, instead of letting the skin trunks touch their genital areas. You should also keep in mind that you could be wearing these trunks for the entire day. If that is the case and you don’t feel comfortable, then it might be better for you to get underwear. Can their use be interchanged? As we have already established, board shorts are used by people who love to surf, while swim trunks are for swimming or lounging by pools or beaches. However, using one for what the other is possible, although it will depend largely on what your aim is.If you’re going surfing for the fun of it and you’re not into any competitions, then it is possible for you to have swim trunks while you do so. However, you also need to note that putting on swim trunks might not provide you the type of protection that you seek. So, it is only recommended that you u tons swim trunks if you’re an expert surfer who already knows how to surf without the fear of injury.As for putting on board shorts for swimming, this is also possible. However, the length of the board shorts might slow you down while in the water, so you need to accommodate for that. Board shorts for light swimming is no big deal, but it is not recommended for competitive swimming. Can you wear them as regular shorts? This section is actually a tad tricky. As we already pointed out, swim trunks are much shorter than board shorts. This means that while you might want to just wear something out (perhaps to a grocery store or even to the beach), it could be tempted to wear any of them.As regular shorts, board shorts are much better. Since they cover the knees and are able to provide protection, you could wear board shorts out to select places. Swim trunks, on the other hand, aren’t able to provide that much freedom. Depending on how much above the knees they are, it is highly unlikely that they can be worn out. What to consider when getting board shorts? ProtectionThe length of the board shorts is the best pointer for how much they can protect you. When board shorts are longer, they provide coverage for your knees, and this means that they are pretty much good to go. The ideal recommendation will be to go for board shorts that are longer.WeightWeight is also important, and most times, you will find that longer board shorts tend to be heavier. Since you will be surfing with the shorts, you need something at is light enough that moving it won’t be too much of a hassle.Essentially, finding a proper balance between length and weight is a very important thing. SizeMake sure that the shorts are your exact size as well. You don’t want to get board shorts that will slip off you while you surf or cause you any other form of discomfort. What to consider when getting swim trunks? ElasticityElasticity is very important for swim trunks, especially if you want to use them for actual swimming (as opposed to just lounging or relaxing by a body of water). Elastic swim shorts stay glued to your body, and they won’t slow you down or cause you any discomfort while you swim.DesignFor those who will prefer to just have the swim trunks for lounging or relaxing, the design is definitely a great point of consideration. Most people prefer to get designer swim shorts, since these ones are more for showing off and have a higher probability of looking good. Not sure about your size?Have a look at our size guide Jonatan RosdahlI’ll write about anything and everything related to swimwear!