Mission Workshop Anaga ($180)
When you’re charging hard, the last thing you want is to get tangled up in your shorts. These slim-fit bottoms were the stretchiest in the test, thanks to a nylon-elastane blend that allows you to squat and pop up on a surfboard without restriction.
Vans Surf ($100)
Like the Anaga, Vans’s latest is beautifully unobtrusive. It ditches the fly for reduced bulk and features low-profile taped seams. Most important, the waist adjustment is on the hip, so there’s nothing bumpy between you and your board when paddling.
Toad&Co Cetacean Block ($70)
UPF 50 protection and pajama-soft polyester-spandex fabric make these perfect for long days lounging in the sun. On the inside, a bumpy weave helps lift the fabric from your skin for better airflow.
Outerknown Apex by Kelly Slater ($145)
Our favorite daily driver, this sleek suit features bonded seams, so there are no stitches to chafe. Laser-cut holes on the sides and back pocket drain water for quick drying.
Patagonia Stretch Hydroflow ($119)
The lightest, most packable boardies we tested, the Hydroflow is ideal for warm waters. Cut from featherweight recycled polyester and spandex and given a DWR coating, they don’t hang heavy when drenched. Plus, the colorful pattern looks great around town after a day on the water.
Howler Brothers Waveform ($59)
For pure toughness, these burly trunks win big, with a cotton-poly material that holds its shape so you don’t wind up with a waistband full of sand. As a bonus, four pockets (two with button closures) hold wallet, keys, and other sundries for after-session cervezas.