Friday, July 1, 2011

Blade compression shorts and trunks by Oakley: Racing, Surfing- these are pretty sweet!

Oakley makes gear. We know them for their super technical lenses and sun glass systems but what you're going to find out is that they've been doing a whole lot more with their time. Check out these trunks:

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.


Kiwi said...

Hey John, I just wanted you to know that before I used these compression shorts my knees would ache for 20-30 minutes after a race or long paddle but now there is zero pain. They really help in promoting blood flow and also help you recover quicker. I highly recomend them.

Anonymous said...

Check out elephant surf half the price for compression shorts local San Diego company

Anonymous said...

Wow! $100!!!! When I first started the preferred surf trunk was either white duck Levis, cut off, or British walking shorts, both available at the Veteran's Thrift Store or Jessie's Opportunity Shop for about 25 cents each. They were long enough to protect your legs from rail rash and lasted a long time. We were still able to paddle all day even though they did not provide compression - we "hung loose"! Black Butch won many a paddleboard contest going away wearing the like, and still partied all night. It's amazing to me what the surf industry comes up with every now and then to make money. $100???? NO WAY!!

Anonymous said...

What's next, unitards or speedos? I'd rather be mid-pack in my boardies than out front in a banana hammock. Commando rules!

Anonymous said...

I have a pair of Blades and know that this is the best boardshort I have ever worn.For those of us who have gone on real surf trips to Indo,El Salvador, Mainland Mex and are in boardies all day long know what its like to get leg burn from surfing long points. On top of that what its like to get a rash from a bad seem.

These boardshorts keep that from happening. The Compression holds the leg tight with a blend of less lycra and a stitch line that follows muscle lines. This helps blood flow and oxygen flow in the blood to keep you surfing stronger, longer with less fatigue. Then you don't get a rash on top of that and the BEST part is how the water beads off the trunk with the nanotech a treatment that repells water so its not heavy. Some 4 way stretch boardies get heavy when wet or they bunch in odd places but the O-Stretch makes them nice and lite too and flow with you. They may seem a bit high but if you by a normal pair of lycra short for $45.00 and a Good pair of 4 way strecth for $60-$80. Well do the math or get a great pair of the Blades and not be let down. Do you buy the cheapest wetsuit? If yes this is not for you if you buy highend top shelf wetsuits well then I rest my case...........