The O’Neill Hyperfreak Hydro Boardshort is the brand’s top tier pair of performance boardshorts (trunks for some). They run a little different than competing performance boardies with the inclusion of what O’Neill call the ‘no tie fly’, which is essentially a velcro closure vs the current drawcord waist.

O’Neill say of the short that:

“Hyperfreak Hydro, the ultimate performance boardshort. Featuring the ‘ NO TIE FLY”, Hyperdry Plus stretch materials and welded stitch-less seams, theres no rash, no bulk, no restrictions. The very best in boardshort technology right here..”

O'Neill Hyperfreak Hydroshort Boardshort Review

No Tie Fly

A closure system that is engineered to maximize comfort in the water.

Hyperfreak Stretch

Made with Repreve® recycled materials, engineered to be rash and cling free.

Welded Construction

Welded seams to minimise rash and maximise comfort


The O'Neill Hyperfreak Hydro Boardshorts are great to surf in. These aren’t your go into town for a lunchy/shops run, they aren’t for walking into the pub for a sneaky pot. They are for surfing, and doing cutbacks, getting head dips and dodging crowds. These are performance board shorts for surfing/shredding (depending on what you think you do)

One of the main draws of this short is the material - an easy four-way stretch in a weight that feels like you’re wearing a feather duster around your loins - and the ‘no tie fly’ that O’Neill created. The No Tie Fly minimises bulk around the front of the trunks and thus, helps maximise comfort.

Patagonia Hyrdroflow Boardshorts



The O’Neill Hyperfreak Hydro Boardshorts fit ok and are comfortable. That would be an easy statement to make, but if we dig a bit deeper…

The No Tie Fly (velcro closure) waistband, while unique and sturdy, means you really need to nail your sizing before buying a pair. There’s no half sizes here or being a 36 and squeezing down into a 34. And then if you get them fitting perfectly and you lose or gain weight, you’re kind screwed again.

The overall fit of the O’Neill Hyperfreak Hydro Boardshorts are good in my opinion. It’s a regular fitting short, not super shrot or tight, not super long or baggy. They hang off your waist well and you don’t get any weird drape, cling happening and the waistband is quite comfortable. Add to that no rash happening with these and you’ve got a dream run of boardshorts. Given thats the one thing everyone asks me – do they rash you? – it’s obviously an important factor to be aware of.

Overall, these are comfortable enough to surf in and the fit is good enough that we’re throwing them an 8 out of 10.


The O’Neill Hyperfreak Hydro Boardshorts are readily available on the O’Neill Aus Website for $120 AUD (actually, scratch that, they’re on sale for $90 now, which only increases the value you get when buying them.

If you want newest of the new though, hit up the US O’Neill site as they’re dropping updates to the Hyperfreak line coming into their summer.

Some last notes –
The price is on level with competing styles at the same price.
The fabric is recycled, has great stretch.
The colours/prints are subjective (would love an all black)

Buy from O’Neill’s Online Store
Check O’Neill’s Stockist list


O’Neill designed these with performance in mind, and perform they do. They aren’t for your milk store run, or gym workout, they are for surfing and surfing hard and as often as you can.

No rash, which is wild to type, but is true. I can say it with all honesty, and combined with feedback from three others, the O’Neill Hyperfreak Hydro Boardshort didn’t chafe me when walking laps of the points, surfing or just going over the falls.

The Repreve material that O’Neill use for their Hyperfreak stretch is quite light, soft against the skin and doesn’t get that weird drape around ya pipe that some lightweight shorts do. I WAS IN THE POOL.

You can rip, shred and tear in these without fear of rash, clingy/climbing legs or pockets filling with water, etc. The O’Neill Hyperfreak Hydro Boardshorts are a pair of shorts you can go surf, and don’t think about again until you come in. Solid showing, they’ll take home a 9/10 here.


Generally the warranty on boardshorts isn’t great, but is in line with the country in where you bought them. For Australia, it’s roughly 3 months on faulty materials, etc.

With that in mind, it places every brand (except Patagonia who have an Ironclad Warranty) somewhat under the same umbrella warranty wise (in Australia) and the difference in value comes down to price and a subjective viewpoint on whether or not the product delivers the experience as promised.

So for $130 are the O’Neill Hyperfreak Hydro Boardshorts worth the price tag? I think so, I’m a big fan of O’Neill and given the other shorts I’ve used at around the same price point I’d say these are worth it. We’ll throw them an 8/10 here.


So, we tried something different when testing the O’Neill Hyperfreak Hydro Boardshorts. O’Neill we’re nice enough to send out a few pairs, so while I got to test/review them I also got a couple of every day surfers to give them a run as well. I figure I sometimes get too close to the product and nerd out and miss a lot of layman terms, ways to explain it, etc.

So having these three guys (below, as their nicknames – if you know, you’ll know) who are every day, but die hard, surfers give them a run and throw me feedback to include was cool to do.

“Worn them non-stop. I’ve slid down those slippery rocks on the wall about 6 times, and haven’t ripped the arse out of them yet.  Super comfy with no chafe at all, which is wild with the number of run arounds I’ve been doing. They’ve held together heaps better than other brands I’ve used, but the one downer is the velcro has come undone a couple of times lately – not sure if velcro weakening or maybe because they haven’t been washed yet😷😀” 

Sports Car:
“The Velcro system is sick but make sure you go down a size or or even two as you cannot pull them in as tight as traditional draw cord ties. The pocket is a little small personally as I like to wear them training to and they don’t hold a phone (not deep enough). Length is perfect and no nut rash, which is amazing. Pricewise, I personally wouldn’t spend more than $99 for them.”

Mr Badd:
“I loved ’em. Like Sports Car said, you definitely need to size them down, or try them on, before buying them with the velcro system (no tie fly). I’ll just wait for the dad bod to come back so I can wear them again

The print I got I really liked though but always would go black as well. Black boardies always win. I feel like they wouldn’t cut it as a town run shorts as nowhere to put anything, just surfing… “

Fit & Comfort
Overall Rating
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If you enjoyed this review you can visit our Product Reviews page for more, including a recent run of Winter Wetsuits. More Boardshorts reviews coming soon (Billabong, Patagonia and Florence Marine X)

Again, if you’re interested in buying the O’Neill Hyperfreak Hydro Boardshorts hit the links below:

Buy from O’Neill’s Online Store
Check O’Neill’s Stockist list 


As a bonus, we managed to get three or four questions answered by the lead boardshorts designer at O’Neill in the US – Lorin Ely-McGregor, see below

-How did the “No Tie Fly” come to be? What benefits does it offer vs. a typical drawstring?

The O’Neill brand is synonymous with innovation through Jack O’Neill’s endless pursuit to improve the surfing experience. The No Tie Fly is the result of continuing the legacy of innovation that Jack had laid out before us. The drawcord has been a standard boardshort closure for decades but has some issues coming undone and can be a bit bulky and clumsy. I set out to find a better solution and after reviewing some of our O’Neill wetsuit technology, as well closures from products outside of surf like footwear, outerwear, and performance, I came up with the initial version of the No Tie Fly. After extensive R&D internally and with our team riders like Jordy Smith, Ian Crane, Soli Bailey, Torrey Meister, and Eli Olson testing in heavy North Shore conditions, we refined the design and released it on our pinnacle boardshort, the Hyperfreak Hydro. There’s always a bit of hesitancy with new ideas, but once you surf in one of these it’s hard to go back to a standard boardshort. The No Tie Fly is low profile, comfortable, and super secure. There’s no more messing with your drawcord.

-Any other cool features people should know about?

There are so many features within our boardshorts, many of them subtle, but some of the features that set O’Neill apart are:

  • Laser cut hem: Most boardshorts have a sewn or welded hem which can restrict flexibility. The Laser cut hem cuts and burns the edge to a clean finish and allows for more unrestricted movement.
  • Flex-Tie drawcord: As stated above, drawcords always seem to come untied. The Flex-Tie has a bit of stretch that allows the knot to lock in more securely. You don’t need to double knot!
  • O’Neill Hyperdry DWR: Our quick dry water repellency treatment.
  • The TVLR Nomad has an anti-microbial treatment to keep the stink away and also has a packable pocket that the entire boardshort zips inside.

-How do these shorts combat the dreaded surf rash?

This is one of my primary focusses in boardshort design. Rashes are generally caused by fabrication quality along with seam placement and construction. We’ve spent years refining our performance boardshort fabric and in 2019 released Hyperfreak Stretch Pro which is a very high density 4-way stretch fabrication that has a smooth finish and the perfect stretch to weight ratio that provides durability and mobility while being cling resistant. No one likes the shrink wrap!

Furthermore, in our Hyperfreak Hydro and Hyperfreak Hydro Comp styles we’ve removed the inseam! The inner thigh area tends to chafe the easiest from straddling the board while transitioning from prone to sitting position repeatedly. Walking around in wet trunks can also cause irritation. By constructing the boardshort design without a seam at the inner thigh it has basically eliminated any opportunity for rash. Beyond that, the Hyperfreak Hydro is almost completely stitch less. The interior of the short clean and buttery smooth. It’s super comfortable!

-Can you talk about the Repreve recycled materials a bit?

The Repreve recycled polyester fiber is made from recycled plastic bottles. Recycling the plastic bottles keeps them from going into landfills. This is part of our O’NEILL BLUE collection that focuses on protecting the ocean through the use of more sustainable materials. We will continue to expand the O’Neill Blue initiative throughout the line.

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