Surf Ponchos – Reasons to the Rime
A few years ago we found ourselves standing in the parking lot of a pretty well known surf spot in Washington state. It was a weekend in the middle of winter, and even though it was pouring rain the lot was surprisingly full. I guess good swell has a tendency to draw a crowd, right?
Using the old ‘towel around the waist’ trick to get suited up, just as both ankles were sufficiently wrapped in 5 mills of neoprene a gust of wind came to put my balance to the test. With an awkward sway and instinctive stabilizing arm swing, I had the thought that everyone has in these moments…
“If I fall over my ankles right now, I really hope my towel doesn’t drop and leave me naked, in the mud, in the rain, in the parking lot in front of everyone.”
The wind subsided, I steadied and took a deep breath. The moment passed, and I began to suit up again while thinking about what could be done to ease that fear and make it that much easier to get into the water. I remembered the Sarongs in Indonesia, thought of changing robes for Onsens in Japan, and just when the best idea came out of nowhere, so did another gust of wind…leaving me naked, in the mud, in the rain, in the parking lot in front of everyone.
We began R&D by sewing two towels together with a hood to test the idea. It was great at first, but the cotton got heavy with water, it didn’t try quickly, and after a bit of use the seams frayed and broke apart. After a few variations over months surfing in Canada, Australia, and finally back home in Washington, we had settled on the pattern, materials and design to make something that feels good, performs well, and is built to last.
We went with a soft, super absorbent yet quick drying micro-fiber polyester material for the main part of the poncho. It’s thick, wind resistant, and incredibly comfortable. Then we made it oversized in the length, width and arm holes, with ample room to move you arms in and out while changing in comfort and privacy.
We added a thick hemp rope through the back of it that works as both a hanging hoop to air the poncho out between sessions, and also a tie tassel that packs it away nicely to fit in a backpack or the back of your car. It’s a pretty nifty little feature; we dig it.
Lastly, we’ve got a sweet oversized Kangaroo pocket on the front for keeping your hands warm, or keys nearby as you get ready to get wet.
We designed them to make the transition from warm to wet and back again that much smoother, so that we could enjoy the moments we love in the outdoors that much more. Trust us; they work, and we promise you’ll love it.