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outerknown apex trunk review outerknow boardshorts surfing kelly slater-3

REVIEW: Outerknown Boardshorts – The Best Boardshorts You Can Buy?

Thinking about grabbing a pair of Outerknown Boardshorts? I put the Outerknown Apex Trunk through its paces to see if it’s worth the money!

When Kelly Slater launched his Outerknown boardshorts range surfers around the world were stoked to see if the 11 times world champion had created the best boardshorts for surfing. The Outerknown Apex Trunk is touted as not only the highest performance boardshort on the market – but also the most eco friendly too.

But how doe they handle days in the waves, and are they really epic enough to justify the premium price tag?

Outerknown Apex Trunk – The Best Boardshorts You Can Buy?


The driving force behind the creation of Outerknown was creating a eco friendly, sustainable surf brand. One that pioneers better more sustainable manufacturing processes and strives to change the fast fashion industry (which is notoriously wasteful and pollutant), embracing the circular model and leaving the planet better off as a result.

And the Outerknown Apex Trunks carry those core values too.

Created from 86% Recycled Polyester, 8% Recycled Spandex and 6% Spandex, they’re also put together in a Fair trade certified facility, which is good news for everyone involved,

When it comes to the core fabric of Recycled polyester – this is made by taking things like plastic bottles and raw material waste and transforming it into a premium polyester fibre.

So not only are they high performance and high comfort – they’re highly sustainable too!

Winning all round!

Performance Based Construction

As you’d expect from an 11 times world champion, the Apex Trunks are all about performance when it comes to build quality and have all the features you’d expect from the the best boardshorts on the market.

Combing a stitchless build (yup all welded seams) with 4 way stretch fabric results in an incredibly stretchy and comfortable board short, with zero chaffage – so you can stay in the water for even longer.

The Quick dry treatment also means they’re dry out super quickly – great for those travelling around and eliminating the need to chuck on a pair of wet boardies at the start of your session.

One of the other things you’ll quickly notice about the Outerknown boardshorts is how compact and lightweight they are too. This adds to the comfort in the water, but also means they take up minimal space when you’re not using them – perfect for light packing surf trip or keeping them in your back pocket on the way to the beach.

Choose Your Style

As of the start of 2021, the Outerknown Apex Trunk comes in 20 colour options – ranging from solid black right through to Kellys signature Pacific Surfature design, so you can match up your Outerknown boardshorts with your own personal style and taste.

My picks are the Maui Blue Block and the Pacific Surfature – but hey that’s just me, grab what catches your eye!


All my recent boardshort purchases (namely Ripcurl Mirages and Hurley Phantoms) have been size 32, so naturally I ordered my Outerknown boardshorts in the same size.

As soon as I pulled them half way up my legs I knew I’d made a mistake.

This are true to size, premium boardies that certainly aren’t going to end up sagging with age! This is a combo of the construction, materials and lack of stitching, so it’s important to get your fit spot on.

So with that in mind measure yourself – twice – and compare it to the Outerknown sizing chart to make sure you get the right sizing first time!

outerknown boardshorts apex trunk kelly slater

How They Feel In The Water

Ok lets be honest all these credentials look good on paper, but how does the Outerknown Apex Trunk feel like in the water and when you’re actually surfing – are they really the best boardshorts out there?

Well surprise surprise they’re ridiculously comfortable and snug – with that exact fit waist band, stitchless construction and 4 way stretch fabric all combing to create a boardshort you’ll barely even notice you’re wearing.

My only slight issue with the Apex Trunk is the fact they’re just a fraction short in length for my liking and the only reason I really actually mention it is I was fishing hard for at least something negative I could say about them!

The bottom line here is that for the premium price tag, you really are getting a top of the line, premium product, definitely worthy of the best boardshorts title!

Pricing – Are They Worth It?

Outerknown are a premium brand, pushing the boundaries of sustainability in the fashion industry and built on a whole new set of eco based principles and ideas.

And with that comes a premium price tag – with the Apex Trunks being no exception.

Retailing at US$145 / £105 / AU$234 they are certainly a good chunk of change above the like of even the highest end boardies of Ripcurl, Hurley and Quiksilver.

So are they worth the extra dollar and are they really the best boardshorts you can buy?

Well if you want the best performance and comfort or simply just want a pair of boardies that will last the distance as well as helping keep your carbon footprint down then the Apex Trunk is going to be a solid investment.

I think that’s the key with the Apex Trunks and also the entire Outerknown range – these are long lasting, well built items that are worth the investment, rather than fast fashion, quickly broken and seasonal options by competitors whose eco credentials fall by the way side in comparison.

For surfers who live in their boardies after a few sessions in the Apec Trunks I doubt you’ll go back to another brand.

Personally they are the best boardshorts I’ve ever worn, and I’m looking forward to many more surf sessions in them!


Have your surfed in a set of Outerknown boardshorts?

Do you rates them as the best boardshorts out there?

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