How to Choose an Après Surf Changing Poncho

A towel poncho is the ultimate addition to any surf kit list. A surf changing poncho makes any apres surf stresses melt away.

Every surfer needs to get wrapped up in the world of towel ponchos. 

Here are some tips and tricks for how to pick the best surf changing poncho.


A man and a woman changing on a beach with poncho towels

What is a surf changing poncho?

A surf changing poncho or towel poncho is a long, t-shirt shaped clothing item made of towelling material. Towel ponchos cover the shoulders, torso, upper legs in towelling material to make drying and changing as effective and as discreet as possible. Some surf changing ponchos will also cover the head if the towel poncho features a hood, making them like a big towel hoodie.

A surf changing poncho normally also features a drawstring so you can close the hood around your chin, neck and face for extra warmth and shelter.

Anyone can use a surf changing poncho, even after a shower at home, but they really come into their own in the wild, when nature comes out to play. 

What does a surf changing poncho do?

A surf changing poncho makes waterside drying and changing more easier and much more private. The towelling material of the poncho wicks away water from the body to dry the skin of any soggy surfer. The ergonomic shape of the towel poncho hangs off the body to maintain modesty when changing. Surf changing ponchos make it easier to wriggle in and out of tricky wetsuits and costumes without having to contort your body into awkward shapes and positions. 

What are the benefits of a surf changing poncho?

Towel ponchos have many benefits, especially for the intricate needs of a surfer. The more surfers add towel ponchos into the after-surf routine, the more they simply can't live without them!

Once you go to the towel poncho bright side, you don't go back. No more trying to find corners of thin and non-absorbent towels to dry yourself off in sandy car parks - the towel poncho is here to save you. 

Some benefits of towel ponchos include:


A poncho towel gives you full body coverage when taking a wetsuit or swimming costume off when you’re wet after a surf. This makes changing much more relaxed, as you can take your time to without having to rush. You can change at a beachside location with groups of new friends without having to wander off and find a public facility or worry about accidentally flashing anyone. 


Ponchos promote easier mobility when changing, especially at waterside locations when the ground can be uneven underfoot. The needs to hop from one bare foot to another in gravelly car parks is reduced when you’re able to full stand up tall and get changed at a relaxed pace, lift your arms above your head to put boards on the roof without exposing any lower regions of your body unwantedly


Keep the harsh, surf-style elements like wind, rain and sea spray off your bare skin when changing. No more exposed, chilly shoulders lowering your core temperature. The extra layer of towel is an assured way to stay happy and warm after a surf and enjoy the sunset.


Drive home, walk home, skip home in your towel poncho. No need to spend ages forcing your sticky and salty legs back into restrictive trackies. Feel free and breezy by using your towel poncho as your after-surf outfit. Plus, they look cool and everyone will know you’ve just been shredding in the water!
    Surf Poncho Towels Hanging in a Shower

    How do you choose the best poncho-changing towel for your surf sessions?

    There is a big difference between a good poncho changing towel and a poor poncho changing towel. The differences will ultimately impact your surf experience. 

    The cheaper and lower quality towel ponchos will end up making your surf session more tricky. The low end towel ponchos will be made of materials that soak in lots of water and don’t dry, meaning you’ll end up with a soggy oversized towel in your surf kit. Low end towel ponchos also don’t shake off the usual beach suspects, like sand, salt and dirt very well, meaning you’ll have to wash it more frequently. Low end towel ponchos won’t be as insulated and cold winds will whip straight through the material and make you colder post surf and less likely to double dip in the sea. 

    You’re going to want to invest in the best towel poncho option there is when adding to your surf kit. Afterall trying to maximise your time on the water and out in the surf is a surfer's ultimate goal.

    There are many features on a poncho changing towel that need to be on point for it to be the best poncho towel on the market. 

    Here are a few features to consider when choosing your après surf poncho:


    Look for high quality, quick drying materials that will wick away water fast in the first instance and dry quickly, ready for the next session


    Do your research on the quality of the insulation materials of your towel poncho. The thicker the towel poncho, the warmer you will be after your next surf. 

    Pockets & Hood

    Definitely select a towel poncho that has a hood. A hood makes all the difference when sheltering the face from the elements and you will miss one when you need it most. 

    Pockets in a towel poncho makes the item more diverse and means you can stash valuables whilst you surf or your underwear as you change. There’s nothing more risky than balancing keys, earrings, shells and snacks on towels with no insurance that you’ll come back to those items in the same place. Do cartwheels with your possessions in your pockets with ease and a smile!

    Choose the Vivida Lifestyle Poncho Towels 

    Vivida have crafted the perfect solution for post surf changing. 

    With a variety of poncho towels, Vivida has a post-surf option for everyone, with a trio of options in a magnitude of colour ways. These are the Premium, Original and Essential poncho towels.

    Every poncho in the collection is innovative in design and specifically engineered for the unique needs of a surfer and watersports person. 

    They have been tried, tested and tugged in all the watersports ways, so you know you are getting a product that’s going to do the job well and last. Read on to discover the specific features of the Vivida changing ponchos and why you definitely need to add a towel poncho to your surf gear collection today. 

    Essential Surf Poncho Towel

    Essential Poncho Towel

    Jump right in with the Essential poncho towel. Vivida's Essential towel poncho  comes in a range of beautiful block colourways: Blossom Pink, Mineral Blue and Rhubarb Red. 

    The Essential surf poncho featured a tapered, less boxy fit, with side slits to enable easy movement for post surf activities. It also features a large kangaroo front pocket.

    There is no zip pocket feature on the Essential poncho but it's lightweight and easily packable. 

    Price: £50

    Original Surf Poncho Towel

    Original Poncho Towel

    This best-selling towel poncho from Vivida comes in a range of two-toned striking colourways. The Original surf poncho features a double lined hood for extra protection, and longer sleeves than the Essential, to provide extra shelter from the pre and post surf elements. 

    The Vivida Original surf poncho also has underarm slits for easy changing, meaning you won't lift up the sides of the robe when you are pulling under garments on and off. 

    Even better, the Original surf poncho features a super handy concealed zip pocket inside the large kangaroo pocket, meaning you can secretly store valuables with confidence. 

    Price: £65

    Man wearing a Premium Surf Poncho Towel

    Premium Poncho Towel 

    Vividas Premium towel poncho comes in two striking colourways: Turquoise Teal/Olive Grey and the iconic Map of Dreams print.

    The Premium poncho towel has all the same amazing features of the Original, with a little bit extra. Like the Original, the Premium features reinforced side slits for freedom of movement, without compromising on warmth. 

    The extra special touch of the Premium is the waffle material used in the hood, to ensure ultimate comfort, warmth and shaping. 

    I personally love the the Map of Dreams design too. According to Vivida, it's an ever evolving interactive natural map of our planet, that is continually updated with designs by artists who share the Vivida Lifestyle ethos. A truly unique feature for the surf ponchos.

    Price: £70 


    Get changed, dry and adventurous anywhere with the Vivida après surf poncho towelling experience. Not only are all the ponchos ultra absorbent, the plush lining is lightweight, super cosy and versatile. Use them at home, post shower, then you don’t need to get properly changed for hours! Wahey!

    Perfect for any surfer, kitesurfer, wakeboarders, pool lover, beach goer, triathlete, swimmer and more. It’s a essential for life by the water. 

    Make sure you add a Vivida après surf towelling poncho to your surf gear kit list ASAP. 


    Indie Bornhoft is a personal trainer and watersports coach, who encourages her clients to make movement their mantra. She has coached every ability in wakeboarding, paddleboarding, SUP fitness, and windsurfing for over ten years, and is highly qualified in all disciplines. Discover more about her drive to just keep moving and be inspired to connect to the raw power of body & spirit through fitness.