The TCSS Boardshort Designed By Surfers, Not Designers!
Ever wondered how a Boardshort is designed? Well, usually this isn’t the answer…. But it’s fully worked for the guys at TCSS, who have employed a very unconventional method in their design process, putting the power into the hands of those who wear them most. We caught up with the lads from TCSS to get some info on this new short. A stroke of Genius? you decide..
GUYS. Give us the rundown… How did the short come about?
We were heading off to shoot Summer 15 campaign. Geez over 12 months ago! We had the full team together. Which doesn’t actually happen all that often. To make good use of our time we thought it could be kind of cool to throw the forum open to the guys and discuss the ultimate surf boardshort. Internally we obviously have our thoughts around it, but was interesting to get all their perspectives. As with all great ideas, it starts out with a bunch of beers. Within minutes everyone was throwing around their ideas, it became a really good forum and all the guys had their own views, which to be honest ended up with pretty common ground. The short has literally taken us over 12 months to get developed. Lots of fabric options, various changes to shape, leg length, stitch details, branding details etc etc etc. We also had a few rounds of product testing as well. We’ve now seeded the short to all the team and a bunch of people outside of the circle. Including the buyers at Surfstitch! All of whom have given a massive thumbs up.
Who in the TCSS team played a part in the design?
Kai Ellice-Flint, Eden Saul (Dead Kooks), Jerome Forrest, Thomas Bexon (Thomas Surfboards), Jacon Pedrana and our designer, Matt Waters was sort of a mediator in the whole process.
Was it a dream or a nightmare pulling all these different crew together in the design-phase?
It actually ended up being a really straight forward design process. They all ended up in the same spot. Leg length was the only area of dispute. The Longboard centric guys wanted more so 15 1/2 inch outseam. The Shortboard centric guys wanted a 18inch. We had an arm wrestle and the shorties one. No.. not really..we just decided to go with an 18 inch. The shorter Logger short is on the horizon though.
Was it purely a design-based discussion or was utility and functionality also considered?
The brief was ‘If you were going to design one pair of boardshorts that you had to wear everyday for the rest of your life, what would they be? So a mix of functionality and just easy to wear, despite trends.
Any specific design aspects of the short?
A small side waterproof pocket (just large enough for an iPhone), 4 way stretch, but not the sort of stretch fabric that’s going to cling to your leg when you get out of the water, like a pair of your granny curtains. We’ve added an extra eyelet, so a 32 can also become a 31. A 34 a 33. So, if you’re going to have them for life..best allow for a little wiggle room. They are 18 inch. They fall an inch above the knee. We still retain some of our key elements, such as button fly and we’re also done some super tasteful minimal branding and all eyelets are woven as per all our boardies. And we reckon the fit is pretty bang on!
Any creative geniuses discovered in the process? Who surprised you?
To be honest, Eden was a pretty strong voice in the process. He’s also a little bit of our internal Muse in here. He’s got his finger on the pulse and a talented guy in the water and with a blank piece of foam in his hand.
Will you use this method again in designing team shorts?
The next step will be for all the guys to get a good summer out of them and then get their overall feedback. You never know, there may still be room for improvement? But we’d really like to get to the point where the Standard Team Boardshort becomes a staple and people come back to it year after year for different colours. It becomes a boardie that transcends trends..that being said who knows..24 inch outerseam fluro electro boardies (or sea pants) may all be the rage best Summer..and that becomes the new Status Quo..but..I doubt it…and hope the hell not.
If you’re interested in taking a look at this fine new item of summer attire, check it out here!