• Field Test: Tribong Lo Tides Boardshorts

Location: Rocky Point, North Shore, Oahu

Test Pilot: Beau Flemister, editor-at-large, SURFING magazine

Session: I tested out the Tribong Lo Tides boardies the other morning at Rocky Point on a 2-4 foot day (Hawaiian-scale), so definitely overhead…but not maxing by any means. Primarily, I was on Rocky Rights. The swell wasn’t super north, so I could get the ones on the corner in front of the Jones’ house as well as some fun lefts off the other end of that peak straight in front of the point. Juggling those two peaks, I was pretty active, catching a ton of waves. Conditions were light trades (side-offshore) and the beach wasn’t too crowded with babes (more North Shore mom-babes).

Utility: There are a few features on this trunk that really made a difference to me. One is the lasso waist (full-waist drawcord.) Considering that a lot of waves on the North Shore (even on small days) have a tendency to wanna rip your shorts off, the full-waist drawcord certainly prevents that. Another feature is the ample stretch from the PCX recycled stretch fabric. There’s also a subtle percentage of elastine in the trunks, so on turns, duck-dives, and pig-dogging tubes, the boardies stretch with your hips in a seamless way. At least that’s how it felt to me in consistent, 75 degree water surf.

On land, like all Lo Tide boardshorts, they’ve got subtle mesh side pockets, which was perfect when I went to the foodtruck at Pipe after for acai bowls and needed to stash my wallet, keys and phone in pockets, instead of trying to cram all that into one like I have in the past. Plus, who likes sitting on their phone with one back pocket?

Comfort: Yeah, they’ve got that. While they’re more than 50% cotton, that other percentage of stretchable polyester makes them feel super light out in the surf when wet. Definitely no drag while paddling or surfing that’s for sure. Then on land, as they’re 19” on the outseam, that’s above the knee for most people. I like that, because it’s not 2002 when boardies were like 23” on the outseam (they looked good on A.I. though!) and got caught on your knees sometimes. Also, precisely because of that cotton percentage, they’re quite breathable when you’re hanging on the beach or riding a bike down Ke Nui Road. i.e. no butt-sweat like some mostly-synthetic boardies can give ya outside the water.

Style: Again, I like that they’re a little above the knee. And not 1970’s “Bustin’ Down the Door” short; but just right. These Lo Tides are also 3-color-blocked, so they look pretty cool under any t-shirt, then look different in the water where all the colors are showing. Almost like having 2 different pairs of boardshorts. Part walkshort, part surf trunk, really.

Bonus: There’s a sturdy key loop in the back pocket so I didn’t have to hide my car key in the bushes. Also, I guess because of the PCX recycled fabric, the wax didn’t leave a wax-stain on the front of the shorts, which is pretty sick too.

Billabong Tribong Lo Tides Boardshorts

Click here to read more of Beau's work including travel guides to the North Shore, Bali and Hossegor, France.