What to Wear Under Board Shorts

What to Wear Under Board Shorts? (How to Wear Them?)

If you’ve been around a beach recently, you’ll see most men wearing board shorts. It’s a longish and loose pair of shorts that can also act as swimwear. Since they’re loose, men often wonder what to wear under board shorts?

This question has many straightforward answers. But first, you need to ask yourself – what kind of board shorts am I wearing? Is it with or without a liner? If the former president of the United States, Barack Obama, knows how to wear his board shorts. I’m sure it’s time you knew too!

It doesn’t seem all that surprising that your board shorts are uncomfortable to wear bare. Your nether regions need that extra support and compression. To sustain your body movements while you’re at the beach or near a swimming pool.

This article talks about what to wear under board shorts. How it will affect your movements? And what you can do to feel more comfortable in them? So let’s begin.

Types of Board Shorts


There are 2 types of board shorts. And no, this has nothing to do with its fits. All board shorts fit the same. They’re durable, lightweight, and breathable. Perfect for spending time at the beach or by the poolside in the summer season.

When you buy board shorts online or from a shop. You will be presented with board shorts with and without liners. A liner is made up of mesh or polyester. These built-in liners mimic the support and comfort of boxers or briefs.

Board shorts with built-in liners are best worn bare. It completely eliminates the need for underwear. And you can wear them underwater or not. No man would wear underwear under board shorts if it wasn’t for support. So that’s exactly what a built-in liner does.

Board shorts without liners, on the other hand, are affordable. The material is mesh or polyester or a blend of both. So it’s supportive but not in the way a built-in liner is. If you plan on buying board shorts without a liner, you need to know what to wear under board shorts.

What to Wear Under Board Shorts

If you think you’re out of options, you’ve been looking in the wrong place. There are a few safe, durable, and comfortable things you can wear under board shorts. Commonly, the first type of inner wear that comes to mind is athletic wear.

It’s the polyester or mesh underwear or briefs. Not the cotton material ones that are comfortable but not durable. You can look for shorts that most men wear while playing sports. Such as basketball, tennis, baseball, etc.

Such compression wear is supportive, durable, and breathable. You can move around in them as freely as you want. They won’t itch or pinch your skin. And it’s good for providing a better posture and shape under board shorts.

You need maximum protection and flexibility underwater. So if you’re in the swimming pool or at the beach. You can go in and out without worrying about any discomfort. Board shorts with built-in liners often take care of that. But you can always wear compression shorts underneath.

Compression shorts are perfect for offering warmth in cold water. It boosts circulation and relaxes your muscles.

Factors of Consideration

1. Tightness


It isn’t the ideal compression wear if it isn’t tight. The additional layer of protection under board shorts is meant for that purpose only. To keep it covered, layered, and protected. Many swimmers and beachgoers prefer spandex material.

Spandex is breathable but tight. Lightweight but firm. And breathable but compressed. It benefits the skin by preventing chafing or skin irritation. So it keeps everything in its right place so nothing moves around under there!

The tightness also refers to movement. While absorbing muscle movement, it shouldn’t feel suffocating. You want to breathe easily especially in your nether regions. If they’re good for sports then they’re good for wearing at the beach.

2. Quick-to-Dry

If you’re spending an entire day out at the beach. You’d want to be able to go in and out of the water. Take a swim, take a nap, go back out for a swim. It’s all fun and games when you can do that. Otherwise, there’s no point in spending an entire day at the beach!

There’s no point if what you’re wearing doesn’t dry quickly. You’d hate the damp and sticky feeling of the material under board shorts. Especially since we know that most board shorts are quick to dry.

Avoid wearing materials like cotton or similar to cotton. Cotton doesn’t dry quickly. Though it’s comfortable and breathable. But when dipped in seawater or poolwater, they lose most of their ideal qualities.

Spandex is quick to dry but not without some help. You can opt for materials like mesh, spandex-cotton, or bamboo-spandex. These are good combinations for compression wear under board shorts.

3. Type


Do you want to wear briefs, boxer briefs, or something with less coverage than that? While this also depends on your build, it’s also a personal choice.

Briefs protect less but what really matters in your nether regions. Boxers cover more ground and have a more supportive shape. Boxer briefs combine the comfort of boxers and the protection of briefs. So one can say that it’s the best of both worlds.

So what’s a match made in heaven for men wearing board shorts? It’s boxer briefs! The material and shaping of the boxer briefs help you relax and is durable. You won’t feel like you’re too exposed on a crowded beach. It sits well with most sizes and ages. And it lasts longer so you don’t have to keep buying it for every season.

4. Waistband

While it’s safer to wear a Velcro or lace waistband board shorts. An elastic waistband for compression wear is ideal. You don’t want to keep pulling up your shorts as soon as you get out of the water. It should sit comfortably on your waist without causing trouble.

Since the waistband of board shorts is not elastic. It’s better to have your compression wear with one. Elastic can benefit fit and stretch. But if it’s too tight, it could dig into your skin. It restricts blood flow, causes soreness, and chafing.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is lycra a safe material to swear under board shorts?

Why not? You can opt for a lycra and spandex composition. It just means it’s faster-drying, supportive, and seamless. So it gives your lower body a good shape. And helps eliminate uncomfortable posture while sitting or standing or bending forward.

2. Won’t mesh allow sand particles to get through?

Now, that’s a great question! Most men avoid wearing anything mesh on the beach. All that sitting and running around on sandy beaches can have consequences. This means sand gets inside your board shorts. And it sticks to places you don’t want it sticking to.

This can cause skin irritation, burning, dryness, or chafing. A good alternative to mesh material is spandex, lycra, or cotton blends. They create a seal between the sand and your body.

3. Can I swim in board shorts?

Board shorts are more casual in the way they’re made. When compared to swimming trunks, board shorts are for the casual swimmer. While swimming trunks are professional swimwear. They’re for athletes, daily swimmers, and amateurs.

Swimming trunks have an extra layer of a net material (mesh) for protection. You can imagine the disadvantages of wearing a net lining in board shorts on the beach. The sand would get everywhere!

The loose fit of board shorts offers good flexibility. For men to walk around the beach, sit, run, or take a short swim. You can even do more relaxed activities in board shorts. Board shorts with a Velcro waist are better than an elastic waistband. They’re more comfortable and supportive.

4. Other than swimming, what can I wear board shorts for?

Board shorts can be worn for swimming, surfing, and lounging. For surfing, in particular, board shorts are perfect. Beginners can wear them to minimize skin chafing and irritation. And board shorts don’t irritate your leg hair when out in the water.

I recommend buying board shorts with Velcro or triple-laces. They offer more protection and support. And based on what you’re wearing under board shorts. They keep your muscles and nether regio away from seawater and sand. So you won’t get hurt and nothing gets in your way.


You won’t be wondering what to wear under board shorts anymore. It’s simple to decide the right material, fit, and durability. Get all your answers regarding board shorts and what to wear under them in this article.

Something that doesn’t feel itchy after a few hours. It perfect for leaving plenty of legroom. So you can swim, run, and lounge in it. And it dries up quickly between periods of swimming and taking a nap at the beach.

Whether you’re on a beach or poolside. Besides, you can’t wear cotton in a swimming pool. It’s simply not allowed! 

So you can always rely on compression briefs or boxer briefs. So you won’t have to pull down your board shorts or adjust yourself. It’s annoying to do that while trying to have a good time outdoors, right?

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