After a long day surfing at the beach, it’s now time to head back home and pack your surfing gear. But before all these, there’s just one more thing to do; how do you get out of those board shorts or wetsuits when there are no changing rooms?
If you ever find yourself without the benefit of a public shower or changing room, there are quite a few ingenious ways of switching back to your casual clothes. These include using a surf poncho, surf towel, or surf changing robe.
A poncho is a type of clothing with roots going back to South America. Basically, it’s a piece of clothing that is slipped over the body with a slit in the middle for the head.
A surf poncho combines the benefits of a surf towel and a changing robe. It is designed to help you change clothes in privacy, even in the middle of the beach. It can even keep you warm while getting a breather during those cold surfing months. Some surf ponchos are also made out of towel material, making drying much easier. These can often be found under the name towel hoodie or hooded towels. Check out the popular surf ponchos from Slowtide to check out their wide selection of styles and colors.
When it comes to changing, a surf poncho is your all-in-one portable changing room. When you place high-quality and standard surf ponchos side by side, you will surely know the difference immediately. You can see it in the stitching, softness of the material, and how these are constructed. Once you know what a quality surf poncho is, you won’t use something less ever again.
Selecting the best surf poncho starts with quality materials. And when it comes to materials, nothing beats 100 percent cotton. It is best at absorbing moisture, helps you dry faster and easy on the skin.
Having the best materials is half of the equation. How these are put together is equally important. A well-crafted surf poncho will have solid edging, which prevents unraveling. If you’re going for a colorful poncho, make sure that these are properly dyed. Prolonged exposure to the sun and elements would surely test what your poncho is made of.
When it comes to fitting, choose something that gives you more than enough room to change your clothes comfortably. It is especially important when you’re getting in or out of wetsuits. When buying a surf poncho, look for something that makes it easy for you to wiggle yourself out of your clothes without being too big, making you look like a sack of potatoes.
One of the most common yet simplest problems facing surfers is how to change clothes when there are no available changing rooms near the beach. This could easily be done by strapping a beach towel over your waist for those wearing board shorts, but what about those wearing wetsuits or female surfers. Merely using a beach towel may not do the trick.
Below is a collection of our most recommended surf ponchos. We have narrowed the list down to some of the best surf ponchos available in the market today.
If you're looking for something that will keep you warm and that will dry your body quickly, look no further than this changing poncho.
· Pouch on the front for storing items
This has to be one of the easiest and fastest ways to get out of wet swimwear. It's functionality meets style and sustainability.
· 100 percent winter-weight terry cotton
· Double layer woven hood
· Kangaroo pocket
· Hidden internal access openings for privately changing in public
Rip Curl Changing Poncho
One of the biggest names in surfing apparel, the Rip Curl Changing Poncho is made of 100 percent cotton making it one of the most absorbent and comfortable ponchos on our list. This easy to slip on surf poncho comes with an oversized hood and armholes, and a front pocket. It comes in one size and is perfect for keeping you dry and warm while changing outdoors.
· 100 percent cotton
· Velour fabric
· Large adjustable hood with shoelace
· Kangaroo pocket
· It comes with integrated bag for easy storage
Dryrobe Advance Adult Changing Robe
The Dryrobe Advance Adult Changing Robe is a versatile surf poncho that works as a towel, changing room, and all-weather protector. However, it is quite bulky and heavy and is more suited for rainy or less than perfect weather conditions. These are perfect for keeping you dry and warm but may not be the best idea for sunny conditions because of their weight and poor ventilation.
· One of the heaviest in the market (4.5 pounds)
· Multiple pockets
· Two styles (long and short sleeve)
· Made from synthetic lambswool and nylon
Besta Surf Poncho Wetsuit Changing Robe
The Surf Poncho by Besta is a changing robe that offers maximum privacy when changing in public. The poncho is made from a plush microfiber material that is great for keeping you warm. It also comes with a hood and front pocket for storing small items or keeping your hands warm. However, it comes short in terms of water absorption when compared to 100 percent cotton ponchos.
· Made from plush microfiber, warm and absorbent material
· It comes with a front pocket
· 41 inches long
· Enough room for changing wetsuits
Bomb Waves Surf Poncho
One of the best-looking and most comfortable surf ponchos, the Bomb Waves Surf Poncho is made of 100 percent cotton and comes with a large fit. It is highly absorbent and can keep you warm and dry after your foray into the beach. The Bomb Wave Surf Poncho also has a front pocket for storage.
· Made from 100 percent cotton
· Come with a hood and front pocket
· Very absorbent
· Stylish print designs
· Made in the U.S.A.
Sand tends to stick and find its way into every nook and cranny, especially when dealing with wet clothing. This is why we must have something at least on our feet that works as a barrier when we’re changing. And here is where a surf-changing mat comes in.
Surf changing mats prevent your wetsuit from coming in direct contact with the surface (sand, ground, tarmac) and protects it from coming in contact with sharp objects, which can damage your wetsuit. Most of the best surf changing mats also double as bags, so all you have to do is drop your wetsuit, change your mat into a bag, and you’re good to go.
We give you our top recommendations for surf-changing mats. These changing mats are designed to prevent your wetsuits from getting damaged and even turn into a bag for better convenience.
Toygogo Surfing Diving Wetsuit Changing Mat
The Toygogo changing mat is made from waterproof Oxford cloth, which is not entirely leak proof but does a great job of preventing your car from getting soaked by seawater from your surfing gear. It doubles as a bag allowing you to carry your surf poncho or towels to the beach. It also has a shoulder strap which makes it easier to carry rather than having flimsy cords.
Opening the bag turns it into a surfing changing mat with an 33 inch diameter that is more than enough surface area when you get out of your wetsuit. It also has a small internal pocket for keeping your keys while you’re surfing.
Sportlite Surf Changing Mat
This self-draining, non-slip surf changing mat has 24 inches by 36 inches surface area. It is made from a Phthalate-free material and is highly durable and versatile. The Sportlite changing mat folds for easy storage and cleaning can be done by simply flicking it. The surfing mat has a waffle pattern for easy draining.
Cor Surf Changing Mat
Perfect for the budget-conscious surfer but don’t want to miss out on the best features of a surf changing mat. This mat is ideal for use by people across different water activities. This mat can be used for any sport that involves sand and water. The Cor Surf Changing Mat is constructed from PVC poly fabric, both durable and easy to clean. This also doubles as a bag making it a piece of versatile surf equipment.
Osprey Wetsuit Beach Changing Mat
Tough, easy to carry, and with its 39 inch diameter, the Osprey Wetsuit Beach Changing Mat is sure to keep your wetsuit protected. The changing mat also doubles as a bag for additional carrying convenience. Keep your wet stuff safely stored and away from all your dry gear.
The best surfing locations are often found in isolated locations away from popular beach destinations. Making it difficult, if not impossible, to find any nearby establishments or changing rooms in the area. In cases like this, a surf poncho and surf changing mat give you all the privacy and protection you will ever need.
Surfing ponchos are more than portable changing rooms. If you’re the adventurous surfer who finds themself in some of the most remote destinations searching for the perfect wave, then a surfing poncho is one piece of equipment you should consider. It will keep you dry, warm and give you the privacy you need when changing.