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Hurley Phantom Board Shorts

1 rating: 5.0
Phantom 60 and 120 Board Shorts
1 review about Hurley Phantom Board Shorts

It is almost like surfing naked!

  • May 5, 2010
  • by

Before I get to my actual review of the Hurley Phantom 60s and 120s let me give a little bit of background on how I found out that a good pair of board shorts are needed for surfing and I'll try and keep it short....

Last summer I went with some friends of mine on a camping/surf trip to San Onofre.  Unfortunately for us it happened to be the biggest weekend of the summer and we could hardly make it off of the beach but that is another story....

On said trip, we did manage to paddle out at Old Man's on Friday night.  My buddies were caught inside by a monster and they all got washed back into shore.  I managed to make it outside and ended up by myself in surf that continued to get bigger and bigger..  Now that would have been great, if I was a better surfer.  After a while of hanging way outside, I finally decided the I would just have to point my board for the shore the next time a wave broke outside and hope that when the whitewater washed over me I wouldn't get a huge beating.  Long story short, the beating wasn't that bad.  

So, back to the board shorts...

When I made it back to the beach, I didn't know where we parked.  I walked the direction that I thought the car was in and walked all the way to the end of the parking lot.  No car.  I turned around and walked the other direction.  About 10 minutes later, I found the car and my buddies (who had just sent the lifeguards out looking for me because they thought I might have drowned - for the record, no way was I going to drown that day.  The waves were big but they weren't hold you down forever type of waves. But I digress...).  When I found the car, I could hardly walk because the cheap board shorts that I was wearing had chaffed the inside of my legs so much.   To make matters worse, this was the first day of a weekend trip and the shorts just continued to chafe the inside of my legs whenever I wore them.  Painful, painful, painful.  I swore when I got back from the trip that it was time to get a new pair of GOOD shorts.


When I got back I went to my local surf shop.  I perused the dozens of different types of shorts and, I'll be honest, other than color scheme, they all looked like shorts to me.  What I did notice was different price tags.  Some were $30-$45 others were $60 and some were even $100.  My thought was - what in the world would make a pair of board shorts worth $60 much less $100!  I asked the guy working the section what he thought and he took me through the Quicksilver Diamond Dobby, some other brands and then he showed me the Hurley Phantom 60.  The big difference between the $60 trunks and the cheaper trunks is the material stretch and the weight of the fabric.  The Phantoms 60s really stretch quite a lot and the weight of the fabric is a lot less.  More stretch and lighter weight equals more comfort while surfing because the shorts move with you more.  Less stretch means the shorts rub when you move.  You tend to move a lot when you surf and (get your mind out of the gutter) the type of rubbing that you get from your board shorts isn't good.  Now the Quicksilver Diamond Dobbys stretched a lot also so really, they are probably just as good as the Hurleys but I didn't buy them so I couldn't tell you.  

Random item that I will crow bar in:  board shorts don't have a mesh liner, your junk hangs free.  Mesh liners can chafe and I'm not talking on the inside of your legs there.

So I bought the Phantom 60s in basic black and took them surfing.  Super comfortable, super light, hardly even knew they were there.  They have a zippered back pocket that is kind of off to the side and there is a key loop in the pocket so you can secure your ever important car key.  A plus on the design.

I bought the Phantom 60s in August and was able to surf them all the way to October before it got to cold this year.

Now, lets move ahead to Christmas 2009.  I had asked my wife to get me a second pair of board shorts for Christmas so I could have a spare.  Low and behold on Christmas morning I opened up another pair of Phantoms BUT, I recognized immediately, this pair was the Phantom 120s!  The Phantom 120s retail for $100 (I'm happy to report that my fine wife got them on winter sale for about $70).  Needless to say, I went about a full inspection to determine what made the 120s worth so much more than the 60s (obviously the 120s are worth more because 120 is twice as much as 60 - it is kind of like the guitar amp that goes to 11 which is obviously louder than a guitar amp that goes to 10).  Right off the bat I noticed that the 120s have a much greater 4 way stretch than the 60s.  The 60s stretch in two ways a lot but the other 2 directions not quite as much.  The 120s stretch a lot in all 4 directions.  The fabric weight is about the same.  The key pocket on the 120s is in a little bit different location and I actually like the location of the key pocket on the 60s better.  The 120s are a little longer than the 60s.

So, which do I wear most - the 120s.  Why -  because they are 120s and 120 = 60 X 2.  Do I like the 120s more, yes.  Do I think the 120s are worth $40 more than the $60s - probably not.  Do I love and recommend either  - yep, sure do.  They are both super comfortable.  Go with either, you won't go wrong.

Now that you have made it to the bottom of this really long review.   While we were trying to surf and San O the US Open of Surfing was going on at Huntington Beach.  Huntington is a beach break and the waves were huge. In fact the waves were big enough that the contest organizers had to use jet skis to get the competitors out to the line up - that was a first in a professional surfing contest .  Here is a great video that shows the highlights of the contest that weekend at Huntington:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsTJlnjpuIk .  Kelly Slater is the guy with the broken board and I apologize for the first minute of video showing girls in bikinis.  You can skip that part...

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May 05, 2010
Great Review! I had been wondering what exactly makes a boardshort a $30 vs. $60 vs. $120 short. I'll have to key my eye out for some Hurley 60's for the coming summer!
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