Dunstan Boardshorts // Review
27 February 2015
By: Andrew Cassidy
I was in Bali in the late seventies. I was a pre-teen grom, frothing on all things surfing. My Dad, brother and I found this little old guy in the back streets of Legian who would punch out tailor made boardshorts overnight. He measured us up, we chose our style and fabrics and we went back the next day to find these epic shorts ready and waiting. They looked awesome and fit perfectly. They were my pride and joy and the envy of all my mates back home. It was a very, very sad day when they got too tight (even for the early eighties) and I had to pass them on to some lucky kid via the welfare bin.
Fast forward thirty plus years.
I was mucking around on the net and stumbled upon Dunstan Surfwear, a site that custom makes boardshorts for surfers. Images of my old favourites came flooding back. How personalised they were. How well they fit. How well they were put together. I wanted another pair.
I got to reading about Dunstan - a cool story. He is from the south-eastern surf region of Sri Lanka and he started making boardies for travelling surfers to the area in the eighties. Using off cuts of fabric from the growing textile trade and taking on design suggestions from the international surfers, Dunstan soon had a plethora of options for his customers to choose from. The quality of his product and the excellent customer service he provided allowed his business to grow exponentially even through tsunamis and civil wars. Dunstan Surfwear is now an iconic, international label and his boardshorts are sought after around the globe.
The process of ordering your personalised pair of shorts is very straight forward and a whole heap of fun. You start off by choosing your style from a number of classy designs, then you select a fabric, pattern or colour, for each panel in the design. You even get to choose the colour of the stitching, piping and drawstring. Then you watch the videos of how to measure yourself accurately and plug these measurements into the online form. Finally, you pay for them using the online payment facility and wait for them to arrive.
I ordered mine just before Christmas and even during this busy time, a courier was knocking at my door in just over a week.
Unwrapping the protective bubble wrap, I was presented with a beautiful faux wooden box covered in Dunstan artwork. I lifted the lid and found my awesome shorts, just as I had designed them along with my order form, a book on the history of Dunstan Surfwear and a guide to all the surf breaks in Sri Lanka - all beautifully printed on recycled paper. They even chucked in a Dunstan fridge magnet which seemed to be impregnated with incense and made everything smell like a traditional Sri Lankan village. My senses were on overload and I was brought back to that childhood memory of receiving my very own, custom made boardshorts from that little Balinese man so many years ago. It was a great memory.
So, we've established that the new boardies look great and were fun ordering but what are they like to wear? Well my pair have now been used on a surf trip down south, a couple of fun sessions at home and even in a few heats at our local club comp and the final outcome - excellent. The great workmanship, the quality materials and the custom fit have made these my new favourite boardies. Love 'em.
- Great quality materials and workmanship.
- Quick dry fabric used.
- Beautifully presented.
- Easy to order.
- Quick to deliver.
- Get exactly what you want.
- Great for odd sized people.
- A little pricey.
- No stretch material available.