O’Neill Santa Cruz Board Shorts Review

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Having worn the O’Neill Men’s Santa Cruz Solid 2.0 Board Shorts to the pool and the beach multiple times, I thought it was a good time to write a review on them.

These shorts fit true to size and have held up as I’ve put them to the test in saltwater and chlorinated pool water. However, I wouldn’t recommend these for surfing as they aren’t made of stretchable fabric.

Showing the back side of the O'Neill Santa Cruz Board Shorts

If you don’t foresee yourself on a surfboard anytime soon then these shorts are a good option.

O’Neill is a premier surfwear brand known for quality and these board shorts are no exception.

What do the O’Neill Santa Cruz Board Shorts bring to the table in terms of features and price? Let’s take a look!

O'NEILL Santa Cruz Solid 2.0 Boardshorts Onyx 32 Check Price on Amazon

O’Neill Santa Cruz Board Shorts

The O’Neill Men’s Santa Cruz 2.0 Board Shorts are among the top-selling board shorts on the market today.

Jack O’Neill opened his first surf shop in 1952 off of the Great Highway in San Francisco, California. He began tinkering with wetsuits made from World War 2 diving vests and the rest is surfwear history.

Since then, O’Neill has become an industry leader in performance surfwear apparel. The men’s Santa Cruz 2.0 Board Shorts continue that tradition of quality and features that you need out on the water.

Who are the O’Neill Santa Cruz Board Shorts For?

These board shorts are for guys who are looking for a  standard pair of board shorts, either in the ocean or at the pool.

You won’t find any extra bells and whistles with this pair of board shorts. If you are looking for a pair suited more for extreme water activity, check out the O’Neill Hyperfreak board shorts alternative later in this review.

I already owned a pair of O’Neill Hybrid Board Shorts so I knew that the Santa Cruz board shorts would be comfortable and fit true to size.

O'NEILL Santa Cruz Solid 2.0 Boardshorts Anthracite 32

Features of these Board Shorts

Here are all of the important features of the Men’s Santa Cruz 2.o Board Shorts

  • Quick Dry Material

These shorts are made of O’Neill’s Hyperdry DWR (durable water repellent) material that dries quickly.

  • Surf tie front

These shorts won’t be coming off even in heavy surf as they a drawstring front closure with a velcro backup closure underneath.

Four eyelets for drawstrings as well as velcro closure in front on O'Neill Board Shorts

Four eyelets for drawstrings as well as velcro closure in front on O’Neill Board Shorts

  • Side Cargo Pocket

There is a side cargo pocket that has a key loop as well as an eyelet drain hole. The pocket has two velcro snaps that are very sturdy and take a lot of pressure to get them open. This is one of the more secure side pockets I’ve seen on a pair of board shorts.

The side pocket of the O'Neill Men's Santa Cruz 2.0 Board Shorts

The side pocket of the O’ Neill Men’s Santa Cruz 2.0 Board Shorts.

Open side cargo pocket of O'Neill Santa Cruz Board shorts revealing two velcro patches and a key loop

Open side cargo pocket of O’Neill Santa Cruz Board shorts revealing two velcro patches and a key loop

  • Fit True to Size

These shorts fit as advertised. This means that if you generally wear a 32-inch waist then you will want to get a size 32 in these shorts.

O'NEILL Santa Cruz Solid 2.0 Boardshorts Anthracite 32
  • Many Colors to Choose From

These board shorts come in 16 different colors from black all the way to orange.

Pros and Cons

What are the things that I like about these board shorts? Quite a bit actually. Here are the pros.

Pros

  • Fit true to Size
  • Comfortable Waistband
  • No mesh lining for the guys that prefer no liners in their shorts.
  • Perfect length, they come to just above the knee.
  • Velcro side pocket is really secure.

Cons

Here are some of the things I don’t like about the O’Neill Santa Cruz Board Shorts

  • No 4-Way Stretch material. 100% polyester material. Usually, board shorts will have a 92% polyester, 8% spandex or elastane material. Not a huge deal but it’s nice to have that type of flexibility in your board shorts. I haven’t encountered a problem with this yet so I will keep you updated.
  • Re-iterating the issue above, some guys have split the seam on these shorts due to the 100% polyester material that isn’t too stretchable.
  • The material can be a little clingy after you get out of the water.

Alternative

If you are looking for a pair of board shorts that are made of more stretchable material then I would suggest taking a look at the O’Neill Men’s Hyperfreak Stretch Board Shorts.

These shorts are made from O’Neill’s Hyperfreak 4-way stretch material, a mixture of 89% Polyester, 11 % Elastane. These shorts are like all of the Hyperfreak collection, super-stretchy, durable, and comfortable.

I have an older pair of Hyperfreaks from 5 years ago that I still wear occasionally. They are solid board shorts.

Verdict

I recommend the O’Neill Men’s Santa Cruz Board Shorts with just one caveat. If you are looking for board shorts with a little more stretch in the fabric I would definitely take a look at the O’Neill Hyperfreak shorts above.

Other than the stretchability issue with the fabric, the Santa Cruz Board Shorts are a nice pair of board shorts that will handle most beach and pool activities you encounter.