Beginner Surf Gear

The Ultimate Surf Poncho Guide for Beginner Surfers

A problem that many surfers face is getting changed on the beach or in the parking lot. It always ends up being a bit of a faff.  A surf poncho however allows you to get changed easily in a warm environment. They act as a wind-breaker, an absorbent towel, and they offer total privacy while getting in and out of your wetsuit. 

Although these may seem like the simplest accessory, surf ponchos come in all kinds of different shapes and forms. Let’s take a look at some of the best surf ponchos available, and how they can transform your next surf session. 

surf ponchos

What Is A Surf Poncho?

A surf poncho is part-towel, part-clothing, part changing room. These items are basically wearable towels with a hood. They provide surfers (or any water users for that matter) a convenient way to change on the beach while still maintaining privacy. Surf ponchos fit loosely and offer absolute comfort when getting out of the water. 

Besides being a portable changing room, surf ponchos will also keep you warm and dry. They can be really convenient for wearing in the car, or for when you need to thaw out on the beach. 

What To Look Out For When Buying A Surf Poncho

There are many key attributes to consider when buying a surf poncho. Here we outline the most important ones.


The material should always be the first thing to consider when looking for a changing poncho. You want something that is warm, soft and comfortable. The poncho is what you will jump into straight after a cold session in the ocean, so having an inviting material is important. 

The material will also help to determine the durability of the item, how easy it is to clean, and how quickly it dries. The most common materials are microfiber and pure cotton. 

person using sewing machine


As with anything you wear, the fit is very important. Most surf ponchos are designed to be oversized to allow you to change underneath them. However, you still want a poncho that isn’t too big or too small.

Water Absorption

Changing ponchos are not only about comfort and privacy, but they are also there to act as a towel. This means that you will want something that can keep you dry while you wear it. Choose a material that is highly absorbent while still being able to dry off quickly. Nobody wants to wear a heavy wet towel.

7 Best Surf Ponchos

If you are after a new addition to your surfing accessories, then a poncho is always a good idea. Whether you are an avid surfer, swimmer, or even just want to use it around the pool, these changing towels will always come in handy. Here are some of the top surf ponchos available. 

Rip Curl Changing Poncho

  • Velour – 100% cotton
  • Generously sized hood
  • Inside front pocket
  • 96cm long by 89cm wide

We know that Rip Curl makes quality clothing, boardshorts and wetsuits, and their answer to the surf poncho is no exception. This thoughtful accessory has got to be one of the most comfortable things you could wrap around your body post-surf

The poncho is made from 100% cotton for a luxurious feel. It is big, baggy, and warm. As you would expect, this surf poncho has been designed to soak up plenty of water while still drying quickly. You also get a convenient inner pocket which might make you want to wear this thing all day. 

rip curl changing poncho

Cor Surf Poncho

  • Microfiber material
  • Outer front pocket
  • Quick-drying
  • Available in a range of sizes and colours

Cor Surf has designed a changing robe that makes getting out of your wetsuit into an act of total joy. This warm surf poncho is made from a quick-drying and highly absorbent microfiber material. There are short sleeves, a generously sized hood, and front pockets to keep your hands warm. 

These ponchos come in sizes for children, teens and adults. There are some fun prints and colours to choose from. The fabric is also easy to wash, durable, and is totally fade resistant. This is a quality product that offers convenience to any watersport enthusiast. 

cor surf poncho

Lost & Leisure Surf Poncho

  • 100% natural cotton
  • Quick-drying waffle weave
  • Front pocket
  • Sand free design

If you are looking for a surf poncho that feels totally luxurious, then this one from Lost & Leisure would be it. This Turkish towel poncho is made using 100% natural cotton. With a subtle waffle weave, the material is quick to dry and it wicks the water off your body. This quality material will last longer between washes. To top it off, the fabric won’t collect sand and doesn’t feature any loops. 

The poncho has a warm hood, short sleeves, and a convenient front pocket. It also has a useful hanging loop. This product is made to fit adults or teens taller than 5’6”. The poncho also rolls up nice and small and has some cool tassels at the bottom. Overall a smart choice for any surfer. 

lost & leisure poncho

Open Road Good Poncho

  • 100% cotton
  • Drawstring hood
  • Double button neck
  • Heavyweight and durable

Open Road Goods has created one of the most thoughtfully designed surf ponchos available. This thing is not just a towel with a hood – its a fashionable and extremely well-made surf accessory. The Good Poncho has a couple of clever features – such as a zippered front pocket, a drawstring hood, and a button-down neck. 

The poncho is made from 100% cotton woven jacquard. This means that it is incredibly soft, while still being heavy, warm and water absorbent. The poncho is quick to dry and it looks great! For added comfort and style, there is a soft print lining inside the hood. 

This item is an eco-friendly product, as the brand has partnered with the non-profit SEE Turtles. So you get a poncho that is good for your skin, good for the planet, and seriously stylish.

open road good poncho

Bomb Waves Surf Poncho

  • 100% cotton body
  • Hooded with front pocket
  • Colourful print design
  • Highly absorbent

This is a cool changing poncho that looks as good as it feels. It is made using quality materials (the bulk of it is 100% cotton) that have been designed to keep your body warm and dry when you come out of the water. The poncho has a large fit, complete with a hood and front pocket to keep your hands warm. 

This simple poncho provides everything a surfer would want after a cold session. The Bomb Waves surf poncho is made in the USA, and it will certainly offer a step up from your towel! 

bomb waves surf robe

Besta Wetsuit Changing Robe

  • Plush microfiber
  • Extra length for greater coverage
  • Large hood and front pocket
  • Thick and warm

Besta has created a surf poncho that is all about comfort and convenience. This changing robe is thick, durable, fluffy and warm. It will keep you dry, keep you covered up, and is easy to wear while changing. This is thanks to the extra length, as well as the plush microfiber material. 

This poncho has a large hood, a roomy front pocket to keep your hands warm, and easy to wear short sleeves. Due to the appealing size and sheer comfort of the material, this is the kind of robe that you could wear for hours after your surf. 

besta changing robe

Surf Gear Lab Poncho

  • Microfiber material 
  • Quick-drying
  • Wide range of colours available
  • 110cm long by 80cm wide

Surf Gear Lab has the ultimate accessory for anyone that loves to spend time in the ocean. This comfy surf poncho is made out of lightweight and very soft microfiber material. This also means that it is quick to dry, while still offering great water absorption.

All you need to do is hang it up after use, let it dry out, and it’s ready to use again. The large baggy size will fit basically anyone. There is also a wide range of different colours to choose from. Quality material, comfortable, and convenient to use – this is a smart replacement for your towel.

Where Can You Buy A Surf Poncho

Although surf ponchos may seem like pretty specialised items, they are actually fairly simple to find. Online sites such as Amazon make it easy to find a quality changing robe that is just right for you. Shopping online is a smart choice, as it allows you to find the exact product that you are after. As surf ponchos are generally a one size fits all design, buying them online is convenient. Alternatively, you could check out your local surf store. 

surfer dude


Getting out of the water and getting changed can be a difficult experience – especially when you are icy cold. Having a quality surf poncho will completely transform this. These items can be enjoyed in the parking lot, on the beach, and worn in the car home. They are made to keep you warm, keep you dry, and to make changing a breeze. 

If you are serious about spending time in the water, then a poncho will become your new best friend. Once you try one on for the first time, you may never want to take it off! 


Why should I get a surf poncho?

A surf poncho makes changing out of your wetsuit so much easier. They also keep you dry, keep you warm, and are seriously comfortable to wear. 

What size poncho should I buy?

Most ponchos come in a one size fits all for adults. You don’t need to be too fussy about sizing, as oversized items still work great. 

Are surf ponchos useful?

Any surfer that uses one will certainly not want to go back to a towel. They make changing far more convenient while providing a whole new level of comfort post-surf. 

1 thought on “The Ultimate Surf Poncho Guide for Beginner Surfers”

  1. Marlin Ray makes a nice line of surfer ponchos, made at a fair traído operation in Kenya. The sewing factory “Wildlife Works” supports a couple large preserves as well. The ponchos as completely plastic free sabia their shipping. The ponchos come in a broad array of patterns – and the cloth dries out much faster than the bulky towel material that many are made from.

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