Drifties are the first neoprene wetsuit-lined boardshorts. COURTESY PHOTO
Wes Horbatuck and Greg Orfe are transforming the world of watersports for men, one comfortable, Drifties boardshort at a time.
The college buddies recently launched Pacific Beach-based Driftline, an aquatic, fashion-apparel line for watermen. Innovative to say the least, their “passion” project features Drifties, the first neoprene wetsuit-lined boardshorts.
A ‘buttery,” 0.5mm neoprene liner is sewn into the inside of a “stylish” outer boardshorts shell
to provide warmth, comfort, and chafe protection for one’s “nether’ regions.
“Surfers sporting boardshorts – a shell with no lining – often wear boxers, briefs or compression shorts beneath the shorts,” explained Horbatuck. “Not only is it uncomfortable because of bunching and chaffing, there’s no warmth. Drifties is a comfortable and durable hybrid option that provides warmth, support, and flexibility of movement.”
“Our unmentionables are the first to agree,” added Orfe.
The idea became a lightbulb moment while the two were surfing their favorite Pacific Beach jaunt during October, a time described as a seasonal transition period when the water’s too cold for boardshorts and too warm for a wetsuit.
Stuck with zero options, the duo spent two years tinkering with prototypes while learning the language of apparel. A provisional patent coincided with a business blueprint and a manufacturer that accepted the project (after 16 rejections), enabling Drifties to be launched last May.
The team then hit the ground running – while working their day jobs – to introduce the product the best way they knew how – by allowing everyone to touch them.
“Drifties speaks for themselves when they’re in the hands of the consumer,” continued Horbatuck. “So, we’re running – literally – boots on the ground, hitting every outdoor event that involves watersports. The reception’s always positive. People comment, ‘I can’t believe how incredibly soft these are, or what a great idea, why hasn’t it been done before?”
Both agree that as buyers “evangelize” the brand, they’re working to embed a “scalable” growth strategy for their unique brand identity.
“Because Driftline’s an innovative product, we’re focusing on brand awareness,” said Orfe. “Drifties are redefining how men interact with the water by giving them the tools to meet every moment head-on with a clear headspace and total comfort. We’re here to say, ‘Go ahead, dive right in.’”
The company’s name and logo represent their “innovation.”
“The Driftline logo shows fluidity at the bottom and rigidity at the top, a fluid motion with a hard facet,” continued Orfe. “That’s who we are – a technical company selling products within the relaxed surfing and watersports industry.”
Although redefining comfort “in the areas that matter the most” remains the driving force, longevity is truly the name of their game.
“Drifties isn’t just a passion project,” they said. “We’re constantly focused on the details, using technical innovation, bodily comfort, and athletic functionality as our guiding force. We’re focused on leaving our stamp not only on the industry but on the world.”
Sharing a Pacific Beach apartment that serves as both an office and a distribution center, the two are working on future fashionable, yet functional, long-lasting clothing “that will be able to withstand the brunt end of the ocean and watersports.”
“We’re incredibly humbled when our products are purchased with a consumer’s hard-earned money,” continued Orfe. “Even though our days have become a 24/7 juggling act, we’re proud of our work and the support of others who would like to see us succeed.”
Future goals include a line for women and children to “keep every water athlete in the water longer, happy and content with the product that is on their body.”
Drifties should be hand-washed in cold water ideally with wetsuit cleaner and hung dry out of direct sunlight. Driftline also offers T-shirts and hats. To order or find out more about Drifties, visit driftline.co.