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Review of the Funky Trunks Black Collection

6 August 2020

Review of the Funky Trunks Black Collection

By Jonathan Rutter

Funky Trunks Black Collection

As a sponsored Funky Trunks swimmer, my presence around the pool is not characterized by subtlety. The patterns on my training suits include, but are not limited to, blue leopard print, luau-style flowers, blue pandas with pink eyes, bright red monkeys on black and white stripes, rainbow feathers, more rainbow feathers, and one large rainbow parrot. My towel and gear bag are covered in skulls; my underwear is covered in toucans. My kickboard has a life-sized gorilla's face on it.

So when I heard that Funky Trunks had come up with a new range of designs, I assumed it would be something along the lines of "Flamboyant Freshwater Fish" or "World's Most Colourful Desserts" or "Fifty Ways to Do Stripes." But no. The name of the new collection, and indeed the design of all the products within it, is plain old "Black."

To be clear, I am a huge fan of the colour black. It feels stealthy. It matches with everything. As a New Zealander, it's refreshing to see an Australian brand acknowledging All Black as a winning aesthetic. But I'll be honest - I was initially a little skeptical of the new theme. Next to brightly coloured pandas and monkeys, wouldn't black swimwear appear (dare I say it?) boring? Surely, I thought, wearing black Funky Trunks would be like Elton John doing a concert in business casual. The music would still be terrific, but would it really be the same without the psychedelic tailcoat?

Having now tried some of the new range, here is my answer: Black is seriously cool. And as it turns out, colour is not the only way to give a dish a bit of zing.

Puff Daddy Deck Coat

Take the Puff Daddy Deck Coat (what I would call a parka). It is entirely black except for the edges of the pockets, which bear the word "FUNKY" in small white lettering. But what Puff Daddy lacks in colour, it makes up for in texture. I don't think I've ever seen a swimming parka with puffy exterior sections, at least none that are quite so classy. And certainly none that are full of duck feathers, like a high-quality hotel pillow or a low-quality Christmas dinner.

Expandable Elite Squad Backpack

Then there's the Expandable Elite Squad Backpack, which answers the age-old astronomy question, "What does the inside of a black hole look like?" It's a black bag with black zippers and black straps. Even the Funky logo is black, which makes for a gloriously sleek I-am-Batman visual effect. It's admittedly hard to read from a distance, but that just seems to suck people in for a closer look. Kind of like a black hole.

Fanged Sidewinder Trunk

Finally, I had the pleasure of trying out the new Black Sidewinder Trunks. Unlike the other products in the range, this one is not entirely black - there is a silhouette of a lion on both sides of the suit, positioned perfectly so that it looks like it is about to take a bite out of my nether regions. Of course that probably wasn't the intention, but I applaud whomever designed it this way.

At this point I should probably mention that, considering their actual functions, each of these products has a bit more to offer than being black. The deck coat, thanks to our feather friends, is blissfully warm and shockingly light. It can also miraculously fold up into a shorter version of itself, using magnets hidden around its bottom edge (jacket in the streets, parka in the meets, you might say). The backpack has an extra zippered section that allows it to expand in volume by 4 litres. Speaking from experience, that's enough for 5-6 regulation-size rubber chickens. And when it comes to the Sidewinder Trunk it's streamlined on the sides with all the room required upfront to give my fullest endorsement.

So there we are. The coat will keep you warm. The backpack will carry your things. The suit, will carry your things. They will perform these functions without a flower or a parrot in sight. And as a result, you will roll up to training looking like an absolute ninja, secure in the knowledge that the new Black collection is subtly, monochromatically, and indisputably funky.

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