Outerknown, the clothing brand helmed by surf legend Kelly Slater and design legend John Moore, is a company we’ve followed closely since its 2015 launch; in 2018, Outerknown’s S.E.A. jeans landed on our list of the 100 best products of the year. For its latest release, Outerknown partnered with the legendary Woolmark Company to produce the Woolaroos — the surfing world’s first-ever 100 percent merino wool board shorts.
In keeping with Outerknown’s deeply-ingrained mission of sustainability, these $125 all-wool trunks will get better with time and wear, not worse — kind of like a good pair of jeans or your favorite jacket. And when you’re done with the Woolaroos after years of wear, the natural fibers they’re made of will decompose and return to the earth instead of winding up in a landfill alongside foam coolers and yogurt cups.
Even if you aren’t especially concerned with the big-picture environmental impact of Woolaroos, you should be interested from a pure performance angle. The trunks were designed to handle serious action among the waves, harkening back to times when surf shorts were as much a piece of equipment as a piece of apparel; in essence, they’re everything you love about your favorite merino layers woven into everything you love about great surf shorts. Whether you’re aiming for breakers this summer or staying firmly planted in the sand, these well-made trunks take the best of what nature can provide and deliver a fully modern wearing experience that shouldn’t be passed up.
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