Review by Marilyn Archibald. (previously published in the Daily News of Newburyport)

It’s hard to overestimate the importance of a well-padded derriere.

No, I have not joined the Kardashian Klan. I’m talking about my new sailing shorts. It’s been a long and torturous road to get there, but all’s right with the nether regions now.

You have to understand just how hard the seating is on our little racing sailboat, and how long some of the races are. As I’ve written before, this isn’t heading-off-into-the-sunset-with-a-bottle-of-wine sailing. This is bare-knuckled combat, with friends turning to mortal enemies against the picturesque backdrop of Sandy Bay in Rockport, Mass.

We sail a 19-foot boat called a Flying Scot, and there’s no cushioning at all. In addition, one’s, er, hind end is often hanging (“hiking”) off the side of the boat (the “rail”) and that’s not exactly comfortable either.

I actually bought these same shorts, called Zhik Deckbeaters, a couple of years ago. I tried them on and thought they were too small. Then I doubled down on stupid by wearing them on the boat and realizing that if I actually wanted to breath I needed a larger size. Now it was too late to send them back, so I gave them away (sadly) and tried wearing my biking shorts, which were helpful but not great.

Then I bought some padded shorts that were designed for people who were ultrathin because of illness. These somewhat freakish things were padded on all sides and wearing them felt, well, horrible. Plus, my husband made fun of me. Back to the biking shorts. Then this year Covid happened and the world turned upside down. One of the positives of this time for me has been an increased willingness to say yes to things I might previously have said no to or put off—improving the landscaping in my yard, for instance, or buying a new piece of patio furniture. Our lives have been changed and limited in so many ways it’s no wonder that we’re all looking for comforts where we can find them.

So yes, I re-ordered the dang shorts.

It’s true that I spent about twice what I would have if I had only sent the first pair back and not ordered the weird medical ones. That no longer mattered. It was time to admit defeat and get what I actually wanted and needed.

My new Deckbeaters are perfect. They’re going to last for years. They’re padded exactly where they need to be. They keep me happy during the longest races and allow me to hike like crazy. We actually won a race the other day for the first time in a couple years, and I fully credit the shorts.

Look at it this way. Every day we are told to buckle up and prepare for a rough ride. If that’s true, then why shouldn’t I be as comfortable as possible for the trip?