HUK Men’s Board Shorts Review

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Today I’m reviewing the lineup of HUK men’s board shorts for fishing. HUK is a performance fishing brand that is known for its quality clothing and apparel.

HUK makes a few different types of shorts so I will focus solely on their board short offerings. Here’s the lineup:

HUK Men’s Board Shorts

HUK is a relatively young performance fishing brand based in Charleston, South Carolina. Their goal is to provide apparel that fits the needs of all types of anglers, from freshwater to saltwater.

What needs are these? Well, good sun protection and anti-microbial, stain-release fabric is a good start. Also, it is nice to have a reinforced pocket for tools such as pliers.

These are features that all of the HUK board shorts have in common.

There are quite a few different types of HUK shorts from hybrid shorts and walk shorts to board shorts. To confuse matters some terms will be used interchangeably for one another. Whenever you see HUK swim trunks or HUK swim shorts they are generally referring to their board shorts.

For the purpose of this review, I will review their collection of board shorts.

HUK Men’s Freeman 21″ Board Shorts

Huk Freeman 21View on Amazon

When you’re fishing there’s a 100% chance you’re going to get wet. Not only that, but you will also be spending a good amount of time out of the water so you want shorts that dry quickly.

The HUK Men’s Freeman 21 inch board shorts are made from water-repellent material that fights moisture on 3 different layers. The outer layer has a water repellent finish that keeps water from coming in.

The second layer is the go-between layer that stops outside moisture but also allows interior moisture to wick away to the outer layer to dry.

The inner layer is a liner that wicks the moisture out towards the outer layer. Long story short, these shorts will keep you dry.

These shorts have plenty of pockets, including a secure pliers pocket, making them ideal for storing things out on the water.

Huk Freeman 21

What are the other features of the HUK Freeman board shorts?

  • Quick Drying Fabric

The material is made from a 91% Polyester, 9% Lycra blend that is made with moisture-wicking fibers that transport moisture to the exterior of the fabric for quicker evaporation. The fabric is also a 4-way stretch for easy movement.

  • +30 UPF Sun Protection

Sun Protection is a must out on the water.

  • Anti-microbial, stain-release fabric

The fabric is stain-resistant and anti-microbial, which is crucial when fishing. There’s nothing worse than ruining a pair of board shorts with fish guts. Oh, and not smelling like fish is nice too.

  • Pockets!

There are plenty of pockets including a dedicated, secure pliers pocket. There are also two front pockets and a pocket in the back.

HUK Men’s Classic 20″ Board Shorts

Huk Men's Classic 20View on Amazon

The HUK Classic board short is for the fisherman who is looking for more style than functionality. I’m not saying that Classic isn’t functional, it does have a dedicated pliers pocket, but that is the only one. And the pocket is on the back.

These board shorts are for the person who is more into recreational water activities (surfing, paddleboarding, etc.) than fishing. However, these board shorts are made of the same material as the Freeman model so they will still work great on a fishing excursion.

The features of the HUK classic board short include:

  • Anti-microbial fabric to prevent odor-causing bacteria.
  • Stain-resistant material 
  • +30 UPF Sun Protection
  • 4-way stretch fabric, 91% Polyester, 9% Lycra
  • Scallop-cut

The ultra-scallop cut design on the bottom is great in that it allows even more legroom and movement. If you are more active than your average fisherman or have bigger legs, these would be a good choice.

Huk Classic 20


HUK Men’s Nxtlvl 10.5View on Amazon

I included the HUK Nextlevel shorts because these have the most features that are useful for fishing out of all of the shorts on this list.

Although not technically considered a board short, the HUK Next Level short definitely has a board short-style design.

These shorts have a ton of pockets without looking too cargo-ey (is that a word? It is now.)

HUK Men’s Nxtlvl 10.5

Here are the features:

  • Button and zipper fly

These shorts are definitely more traditional in style with a button and a zipper fly closure. There is also an auto-adjust waistband that can be adjusted for a proper fit.

  • 55% Cotton, 35% Polyester, 14% Spandex

These shorts are made with a soft and stretchable fabric. These have the most amount of cotton in the fabric out of all of these board shorts so they will be softer.

  • +30 UPF Sun Protection

Like the other board shorts on the list, these have +30 UPF Sun Protection.

  • 5 Pockets

The Nextlevel shorts have two front pockets, two back pockets, and one cargo pocket for pliers.

  • Anti-microbial fabric

These shorts have anti-microbial properties that eliminate odors caused by microbes.

  • Gusseted crotch

The crotch is gusseted for mobility and breathability.

  • Stain-release fabric

To complete the total package, these shorts also have stain-release fabric. This is a must if you are fishing.

HUK Men’s Kryptek Freeman 21″ Board Short

HUK Men’s Kryptek Freeman 21View on Amazon

Rounding out the list is the HUK Men’s Freeman board short, the newest variation of the Freeman board short.

The Kryptek Freeman board shorts have all of the same features of the original Freeman board short. The two things that set the Krypteks apart is the style and their patented I.C.E. (Internal Cooling Element) technology, see video below.

In addition to the I.C.E. technology, the Krypetk board shorts are noticeably more colorful than the original Freeman boardies.

HUK Men’s Kryptek Freeman 21

The Kryptek Freeman board shorts share all of the other features of the original Freeman Board shorts, (other than the I.C.E. technology) see above.


If you’re looking for an alternative pair of fishing board shorts, perhaps with a more casual look, might I suggest the AFTCO Pivot Fishing Board Shorts.

They have a nice casual look to them and plenty of useful features such as a reinforced pliers pocket and stain-release fabric.

Final Thoughts

Board shorts that you can wear fishing need to have certain features for them to be worthwhile. Stain-resistant, anti-microbial fabric, as well as a dedicated pocket for pliers are essential for a pair of fishing board shorts.

The HUK performance fishing board shorts have all of these qualities. They are a great option if you are looking for shorts that are not only functional but stylish as well.

If you are interested in more board short options for fishing, check out my complete review of men’s fishing board shorts.

For more board short reviews and advice, check out the other articles from the main menu above. Thanks for reading.