Gear Review: Virus Aquatic Performance V2 Airprene Compression Tech Shorts

I’m guessing the folks at Virus might have heard about my OC wardrobe malfunction of late. ‘Cause not too long after that rather gripping experience, these shorts arrived in the mail for me to test.

Where have they been all my paddling life??

Now, make no mistake, I am still going to be wearing my Bluesmiths boardies on almost any given day. But in a racing or training scenario when I need more compression than boardshorts can provide, in the summer, this new entry to the Virus aquatic arsenal is going to be my body armor of choice.

For a performance paddle short, Virus nails it. Again.

Let’s talk the tech first.

The compression pattern in the short wraps around the quads and hamstrings but the short also comes up high enough in the back that you actually get lower back support from the compression as well. You can really feel the support. The material is nano-infused with Virus’ bio-ceramic material which it claims aids in recovery.  I used tights made with this fabric in last year’s Chattajack and I can attest to not feeling nearly as sore or stiff afterwards.

The shorts have several “airprene” panels, including one in the front. “Airprene” is a perforated neoprene that drains well, while providing some cushioning as well as thermal protection. if your paddle outrigger or surfski, you will LOVE this fabric. You won’t be parboiling in your cockpit, but you will be comfortable, whether or not you’re wearing these alone or a thermal layer under another piece of kit. They dry fast and you want to stay in them, not like regular neoprene, which I can’t wait to get out of as quickly as I can when I am forced to wear it.

Virus airprene performance compression shorts
Close up of the inside of the shorts showing the Airprene fabric

Unlike tri shorts or other so-called paddle shorts, the seams on the Virus shorts is in exactly the right spot to avoid any irritation.

But…when you slip them on….they just feel good. Better than good. When I put on my pair for the first time, I think I actually uttered an audible gasp.  They were just. That. Comfy.

Virus seems to really get paddlers. These shorts are just another example of that.

I liked them so much I bought a second pair.