Surfing is one of the best summer activities there is. Grabbing your best surfboard, throwing on a rash guard and smearing some reef-safe sunscreen on your face before hitting some waves is a great feeling. Catching a wave, riding it nearly to shore and paddling back out is a cycle I could repeat all day long, day after day as long as the sun holds out. However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. After a day chasing the tides comes the cringe-worthy parking lot ritual every surfer knows all too well — changing out of your wetsuit.
Easily one of the most awkward things about surfing, even in summer, is having to change out of your wetsuit before driving home. There’s almost never a secluded place to change, and getting naked under a towel is risky at best. So you’re stuck being wet or having to briefly get naked while shivering and hiding behind the door of your Tacoma. Shivering and naked is a sad combination, so pick up one of these oddly regal, kind of strange-looking but useful surf ponchos instead.
1. Catalonia Beach Surf Poncho
No, it’s not half a re-used Game of Thrones costume, but we suppose you could wear it to the Renaissance Fair in a pinch. It is however, ideal for staying warm and covered up while changing after climbing out of the surf. Catalonia’s surf poncho is made of a thick microfiber fabric so you stay warm against the ocean breeze, and the ultra-absorbency will help you dry off quickly so your car seat doesn’t get wet. The towel is also made for quick evaporation so it won’t weigh you down while soaking wet, and the polyester blend is made to be soft on skin. This poncho from Catalonia also comes in eight different colors, so you can choose what fits your oceanside fancy.
2. Microfiber Surf Poncho
Billed as a changing towel, this hooded surf poncho may look like a funny wizard get up, but it does let you magically transform from surf outfit to street outfit. It’s made of a lightweight fabric that’s got great absorbency while not being nearly as thick as the Catalonia option. It’s closed underneath the waist so there’s no need to worry about flashing people, and there’s a button underneath each armpit to make changing discretely underneath it easier.
3. Ho Stevie! Thick Surf Poncho
ONE SIZE FITS ALL
This thick microfiber surf poncho is extra long so it fits tall guys well, plus it’s comfortable and flexible enough so you can make a quick change under its ample cover. It’s made one size fits all so men of all sizes can securely change underneath it, and the poncho absorbs water so you can dry off while you change. The material is heavyweight at 280GSM and is machine washable so you can cleanse it regularly during the surf season (which you should).
4. SUN CUBE Surf Poncho
This surf poncho from SUN CUBE is made of 100% microfiber polyester so it easily doubles as an absorbent towel It has a large hood for keeping you warm as well as pockets so your hands can get nice and toasty if you stay post-surf and watch the sunset. It has wide arm holes and a large opening on the bottom for slipping in and out of clothes, and the adjustable buttons on the sleeve keep everything closed while you’re changing so you don’t accidentally flash someone. It comes in five different colors, including this bright ocean blue that seems very on brand.
5. Open Road Goods Store Surf Poncho
This surf poncho from Open Road Goods is made of 100% cotton woven jacquard and not microfiber so you get a more durable fabric and less of a soft, smudgy feeling, if you prefer that. This surf poncho has a larger hood than some of the other options so you’ve got full coverage if you need it, and it’s got a large head opening, arm holes and a long bottom so you’ve got planet of room to change.
6. Cor Surf Poncho Changing Towel
The bright, vibrant design of this surf poncho is perfect for rocking at the beach before or after a surf. It’s a soft, fade-resistant, fast-drying towel that’s shaped like a poncho so you can dry off and change simultaneously. It has a front pocket for keeping your hands warm as well as storing your keys and phone while you enjoy the waves or pool. It also has a large hood, and can easily be folded up after you’re done and stored in your trunk.
7. Vulken Extra Large Hooded Beach Towel
This surf poncho is one of the longest we’ve seen, and provides plenty of coverage while still being a comfortable-to-wear beach towel. It’s got plenty of width and length so you can change easily underneath it, and while it’s made of thick material it’s pretty lightweight, and made of soft microfiber material. This is their L/XL size, so if you don’t need that much coverage go for their S/M size which is also available on Amazon. The material it’s made of dries quicker than cotton and is highly absorbent so you dry off quickly and stay warm.