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O’Neill Taps Isko for Real Denim Board Shorts

Denim manufacturer Isko and heritage surf brand O’Neill partnered for the ultimate surf to street look—the world’s first denim board shorts.

The hybrid shorts are a combination of both companies’ areas of expertise. The real denim shorts are made with a lightweight version of Isko’s patented Blue Skin fabric and are coated with O’Neill’s Hyperdry finish for water repellency.

The 53 percent cotton, 15 percent polyester and 15 percent elastane construction provides surfers 360-degree range of movement and 4-way holding power, while the coating ensures that the shorts dry quickly and don’t weigh down the wearer in water.

The fabric innovation was two years in the making. O’Neill originally contacted Isko for ways to make denim more wearable on the beach, but when the companies met they instantly clicked and began to brainstorm ideas that could take denim into the ocean. “We have the same pioneer syndrome,” Jan Lindeboom, O’Neill business manager of men’s surf, apparel and footwear, said.

O'Neill Taps Isko for Real Denim Board Shorts
Hybrid denim by O’Neill and Isko. Isko

The hybrid denim launched last week in Europe with a fete in Amsterdam. The men’s shorts retail for 89 euros and are offered in indigo and black. The collection will launch online in the U.S. this spring.

Lindeboom said the board shorts wear like regular denim and take on especially unique characteristics from the sun and sand. The shorts also have all the hallmarks of a classic O’Neill board short: a zip pocket, pockets for comfort and a tie closure. “It’s old school, but it’s what works,” he added.