For some, choosing a new pair of baggies is a complicated procedure. You analyse a list of requirements in your brain, then cross reference that with the retail price, before deciding whether they’re worth laying down some hard earned bucks for.
Of course there are many others that check a kiff pair on the rail and drop some coin without too much thought, because they look lekker or are from a brand they trust.
This particular Zag reviewer is one of the former. My equations are focussed heavily on price for the final decision, and because of this there are often compromises that have to be made when it comes to comfort and durability. That doesn’t mean that choices are limited though, because all brands offer a wide range of boardies from price minimum to price maximus.
So many choices…
If you’ve got the dough, some of those hi-end baggies are ridiculous. They’re so comfortable, like someone’s squeezing your butt with a generous but gentle grip. You could surf for days in them and not get rash on your bits. Ah, rash on your bits, that’s a compromise we don’t like to make – but just how comfy do you want to go before your wallet feels like it’s haemorrhaging Randellas?
This is where the Lizzard Sealed-In Boardies score their first points, with a very decent mid-range price of R419.99. But besides price, what other features does a good mid-range pair of boardies need to cut it?
Let’s see…they need to have a good fit. Tick, these Lizzard ’Sealed-In’ boarshorts fitted well. They did have a slight bulge just below the fly, but we weren’t quite sure if that was perhaps because we didn’t fill them out enough. None of the other reviewers reported this abnormality, so that may be the case.
Another feature to look out for is the comfort and durability of the fabric. The 96% polyester 4% Spandex Quadflex (4-way stretch) fabric of the Sealed-In shorts were not only as the name suggests, stretchy, but also lightweight and did not hold much if any water – which means they feel like you’re wearing nothing while surfing. That’s because they weren’t ‘clingy’ either. With their ‘above the knee’ cut there was also no catching or inhibition of movement when squatting for tiny barrels or other attempts at manoeuvres by the reviewer. Tick.
This was the best the reviewer could do with regards to an action shot. “Sorry I missed your wave…” said Greg Ewing.
Style is also an important factor, because let’s face it, nobody likes to look like a dork. You won’t in these – the shorter seam and striped print makes for a good outline and detail. You can’t really call the pocket ‘stylish’, but it was nice to see a zipper used for sealing the pocket. This meant that whatever was stashed in there was not coming out unless it was set free. Velcro doesn’t give the same confidence, but the Sealed-In boardies were trusted to hold our car key.
There were two negatives found with these boardies, unfortunately. One was the fact that if not hung up properly to dry, the fabric easily gained an unpleasant odour. Perfectly preventable if the reviewer had practiced better laundry habits, like rinsing them and hanging them out to dry, but forgivable after a hectic session where all you want to do is crawl inside and have a chow.
The other negative was the dreaded chafe. The compromise we don’t like to make. During a particularly consistent run of swell while testing, this reviewer copped a couple of patches of pink and annoyed flesh. Two small sections on the front of the thighs, and a smattering on the old sack. We’ve experienced worse, but it was there. Mind you, this was after a solid number of sessions over a two day period – comes with the territory for most pairs of baggies.
The ‘Sealed-In’ features minimal stitching with the hem, outer leg seam and ass all stitch-free and glued. Stitching was visible around the waistband, fly and pocket though, but this combo seemed to work, because the boardies have held up well to frequent use. No stitching has come loose and neither have any glued seams split.
THE VERDICT: Despite some compromises in the rash department, the retail price of the Lizzard Sealed-In boardies are what tips things in its favour, because at R419.99 a pair you get a durable, lightweight and stylish pair of high-quality surf shorts at a decent price.
ABOUT THE ZAG REVIEW:
The Zag Review is an independent editorial feature on surfing hard goods, ranging the full spectrum from boards and wetsuits to tide watches and travel bags. None of the reviews are paid for by advertisers or part of an advertising deal, and we retain the right to give honest, critical feedback that is in the interest of our readers. The product is reviewed by Zag staff and everyday surfers who rip, not pros who are paid to endorse the goods. We test the gear for a minimum period of two weeks (and a month for boards) to give you comprehensive feedback for the surfing layman. We know that surfboards are not a “one size fits all solution” and different surfers prefer different aspects on a board according to how they surf, even if they are the same weight and height. In the case of surfboard reviews, we’ve made sure to seek feedback from at least three different surfers to get well-rounded input.
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