|Not so much a pair of trunks as a system: compression shorts underneath and super techy, super stretchy trunks over the top.
Oakley calls these trunks the Blade. The system is composed of a compression short that, "focuses power and increases strength output." and a pair of four way stretch trunks that are worn over it (Oakley calls their stretch technology, O Stretch). Of course if you like walking around in a pair of compression shorts that look something like Lance Armstrong's Tour de France cast off, lycra stretchies, then, by all means, go for it.
|The stretchy, compression short part of the program.
The idea with compression, according to Oakley, is that, "Oakley Blade enhances blood flow and oxygen delivery to working muscles and improves proprioception (muscle awareness and focus)." I do know that my racing buddy, Kiwi has been paddling and racing in his Blades and has reported less leg fatigue and soreness in his weak knee.
|The trunk side of it- four way stretch, welded seams, hydrophobic material and salt water durable... all the good stuff you'd expect from a pair of high quality trunks.
The trunks, by themselves, are pretty trick. I especially like the care given to the seams which are welded instead of stitched. What that means is that there are no raised sewing junctions to slowly eat away at the tender parts of your undercarriage (okay, I'll go there.... ball rash... you know what I'm talking about) or inner thigh. Additionally, the zipper on the wax pocket is a high quality, sealed looking job that is resistant to corrosion- zippers typically die a quick death in salt water environments.
|If this much thought went into the zipper selection and seam construction- odds are you're looking at a high quality piece of surf gear.
I haven't had a chance to give these a run but I'm stoked to try them out. If you've been out racing around southern California, you've seen compression garments all over the place- the technology has definitely taken hold. As far as surf gear, my buddy and Oakley rep Andrew described the place for these trunks really well. He said, "Imagine if you were taking off on an Indo boat trip and you had to grab trunks that would absolutely not let you down- you could just grab this system and you'd be covered- done."
Blade will only be available at three stores in San Diego county so if you're interested in getting a pair for yourself you'll need to go to Emerald City in Coronado (get down here this weekend and you'll get to check out Oakley's lab-on-wheels, the O-Lab) or SurfRide in Oceanside and Solana Beach. Blade retails for $110.