The Evolution of Lifeguard Boardshorts

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The Evolution of Lifeguard Boardshorts


Lifeguard apparel, mainly their boardshorts have come a long way since the 1970s. In the seventies, their boardshorts were shorter, bulkier and rough to the touch. Needless to say, the rough material causing rashes, was the norm. Another issue with board shorts, that could potentially be detrimental, and hinder even the best lifeguard’s ability to save lives, was that they tended to fall down. And sometimes even fall all the way off, in the waves, due to the one-size fits all drawstring. Finally, the all-important, and distinct red color of lifeguard’s board shorts tended to fade quickly in the sun, and in highly chlorinated pools.


Boardshort Material

Now almost 50 years later, Original Watermen, a company owned and operated by ex-lifeguards knows all too well about the pain and rashes causes by the old rough, coarse materials, and are now making a better boardshort. Their lifeguard boardshorts are made from a sanded polyester microfiber, offering a more silky, smooth feel. The microfiber is not only comfortable, but it also creates a fast-drying suit, resulting in a rash free environment in those personal areas. As well, there are no more one size fits all drawstrings. Original Watermen has added Spandex to the boardshorts, creating clean lines with a 4-way stretch which offers all day comfort.


Smells and Color Retention

Being from Southern California my kids spent months at the beach without ever washing their suits. “Aww, mom they get washed everyday”, they’d say. But as a mother you could smell them.  Original Watermen now uses a material made with odorless, antibacterial, technology and can withstand weeks of continuous use.  Lifeguard boardshorts in the past faded quickly, due to the wear and tear commonplace in their everyday work environment. Boardshorts now are chosen for their color fastness. The material selected by Original Watermen is resistant to sun, chlorine and abrasion.


Water Resistance

Boogie boarding became popular in the 1980s and 90s. My kids loved the boogie boards but the problem we had was the pockets would fill with water from the waves and rip their boardshorts off exposing their bare buns. Original Watermen, while trying to create a more arrow dynamic lifeguard boardshort, used their patented technology and craftsmanship to develop a self-draining pocket. The large cargo pockets are not only useful to a lifeguard, but they appeal to anyone that needs a safe place to stash their wax, keys and even money. These pockets are very secure with microshield Velcro closures. Original Watermen also solved that bare buns dilemma, as their boardshorts contain drainage grommets.


Boardshorts No Longer Just for Boys

Being a surfer girl from the seventies, I spent a lot of my time pulling up or hunting down my bathing suit bottoms after waves crushed over the top of me. I tried shorts only to have them yanked off me. If only I had a pair of girl boardshorts. Not ones that went to my knees but form-fitting, with side vents for easy maneuverability. I wanted a boardshort soft to the touch, quick drying, and stretchy. Now almost fifty years later, Original Watermen not only created the perfect lifeguard boardshort for women, but also a fantastic boardshort for everyday water lovers like me.


Original Waterman, a lifeguard company, strives to continue improving the quality of lifeguard and swimming apparel for all types of water sports and activities.

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