The 4 Best Surf Ponchos

Updated: Oct 4

Do you need a surf poncho?

The truth is that there’s an art to drying off after a surf session.

You can dry off in one of two ways: with a soured, cold towel that falls, leaving you mooning the parking lot or those on the beach.

Or, you can try off and change easily, and without the risk of baring all, with a surf poncho.

But surf ponchos have a complicated reputation. Are they…cool?

We’re here to argue that yes, they are cool, but more importantly, surf ponchos are practical.

In this article, we’ll explain what a surf poncho is, and help you find the best one for your drying off needs.

What is a Surf Poncho?

A surf poncho, a loosely fitted soft robe, is ideal for drying off and getting changed, all while staying warm.

The epitome of a 2 for 1 special, the surf poncho is a towel and shirt wrapped into one.

What Should You Look For in a Surf Poncho? 4 Factors

With many types of surf ponchos on the market today, what are the important factors that differentiate each one? We’ll look at them next.


The most important aspect: you want it to feel soft. That’s the whole point of a surf poncho: soft fabric.


If it’s not long enough to cover you, what’s the point?


Is it your style? Bright? Muted?


Prices for a surf poncho range from $60-100. With this spectrum, there is room if you’re trying to get one on the cheaper end, and also ones available on the higher end.

4 Surf Ponchos to Consider

Now that you know the advantages of a surf poncho — and why we recommend it — let’s take a look at some of the leading surf ponchos today.

Slowtide’s "The Digs" Changing Poncho

“Stop flashing the tourists."

We couldn’t agree more with Slowtide’s motivation behind their surf poncho, known as The Digs Changing Poncho.

It’s comfy, warm, absorbent and, if that's not enough, it’s got a bit of style to it.

Here are additional details:

  • $80

  • Chest: 31.5"

  • Length: 44.5"

  • Ultra Soft and Absorbent 100% Winter-Weight Cotton Terry

  • Internal Access Dual Pocket that keeps your hands warm and makes changing a breeze.

  • Comes in three stylish colors: green, heather gray or black

You can buy the Slowtide surf poncho here.

Billabong Surf Poncho

Billabong’s take on the surf poncho market features one on the lower end of the price spectrum — $65.95 — while also maintaining quality with 100% cotton.

Warm? Check.

Comfy? Check?

Length? Just long enough.

Plus, it features a handful of style options, including Aqua, Marine, Military, Navy, and Dark military.

Here’s a few other details:

  • All-over print.

  • Pullover style with hood.

  • Chest pocket.

You can purchase the Billabong surf poncho here.

Rip Curl’s Icon Hooded Towel

Rip Curl’s take on the surf poncho is one to take into consideration when you factor in its styles (navy, gray, and black) — along with the details — made from Cotton terry as well as its price point ($69.95)

Learn more about Rip Curl’s surf poncho here.

Ho Stevie! Surf Poncho

Another surf poncho option comes from Ho Stevie! What makes their ponchos great is that they take the time to go into the details — from the thickness of the poncho itself to the lack of lint, a hanging loop, and more — to ensure customers get every bang for their buck.

Here’s a few details:

  • Soft, thick microfiber or cotton material that dries fast…and dries you off fast

  • Low lint

  • Makes changing easy, comfortable, and private

  • Hood keeps your head and face warm when it's cold and windy

  • Hanging loop for easy hanging back home

  • Made from 100% cotton material

  • Comes in one size.

  • Ponchos fit men and women both and measure 47" from top of shoulders to the bottom hem, and 33" wide.

If you want to buy this surf poncho, or support this surfer-owned business, you can do so here.

Kassia’s Your Favorite Changing Poncho

While Kassia’s take on the surf poncho is on the higher end of the price spectrum — $129 — there are several unique aspects to take into consideration: a surf poncho constructed from Deadstock Cotton, low impact dyes, and is entirely French seamed.

Plus, the surf poncho includes:

  • Roomy Hood

  • Big Front Pocket

  • Extra Cozy Fit

  • 35in Length ( Shoulder to bottom hem )

  • 26in Base Width ( Bottom hem opening )

  • 39in Chest

  • 10.5in Arm Opening

You can buy this surf poncho here.

The Bottom Line: Surf Ponchos

There you have it — the surf poncho, the ultimate 2 for 1 special.

Not only is it cool; it’s functional.

While there are many styles to choose from, at the end of the day, choose the style and price that works best for you and your budget.

And if your friends wonder what you’re wearing after a surf session, let them try it on.

A test drive may be all that’s needed to convince them to buy their own surf poncho.