One of the annoyances of surfing is putting on and taking off your wetsuit. Especially, taking off your wetsuit. For times like these, it’s handy to have a surf changing mat. And not just any but, the best surf changing mats!
In this post, I’ll share what a surf changing mat is, the types of surf changing mats, and help you choose the best surf changing mat.
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What is a Surf Changing Mat?
Simply put, a surf changing mat is a mat or pad to help you change into your wetsuit, out of your wetsuit, and also store it while it’s wet.
If you ever go surfing in cool water, you likely wear a wet suit. As such, you’ve dealt with changing into or out of your wetsuit by your car post surf. In my opinion, surf changing mats are most useful after a surf.
When your feet and wetsuit are all wet, the last thing you want to do is pull your wetsuit off in the sand or even the street. The reason being is because when you do this, your wetsuit picks up all sorts of sand and debris. That’s a recipe for shortening the life of your wetsuit when you don’t practice proper wetsuit care. Furthermore, you don’t want to track all that sand into your car from a dirty wetsuit.
As such, get yourself a surf mat to help make changing out of your wetsuit a simple and clean affair. Read on for the different types of surf changing mats.
Types of Surf Changing Mats
Basically, there are two main types of surf changing mats.
Firstly, you have your nylon-based surf mats. Usually, these come with a drawstring to help cinch up the mat for carrying your wetsuit. These types of surf mats are inexpensive, easy to use and easy to store.
Secondly, there are synthetic grass surf mats. Synthetic grass surf mats are a small square of fake grass. These surf mats are soft and easy on your feet so that you can change out of your wetsuit with ease.
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Below, I’ll share the best surf changing mats for each type of surf mat discussed above.
Best Surf Changing Mats
In this section, I’ll share two of my favorite surfing mats as well as the pros and cons of each.
To begin, the SunCube is my favorite surf changing mat of the nylon-based variety. This surf mat is easy to lay out on the ground to allow for quick changing. Additionally, it’s waterproof and comes with a cinchable draw string. The draw string is great for cinching up the mat for storing and transporting a wetsuit.
This surf mat is in an inexpensive price range which makes it a go to for any surfer on the move.
- Cinches up to allow for wetsuit storage
- Mat is not cushioned if you are changing on a rough surface
Dorsal Grass Mat
Next up, we have the Dorsal Surf Grass Mat. I believe this is the best surf changing mat if you are looking for a non-nylon-based mat.
The Dorsal is made of synthetic grass, water resistant grass. This surf mat is also very easy to lay out for changing. Most notably, the synthetic grass has a soft and cushy feel which allows you to change out of your wetsuit in comfort.
This surf mat costs more than the nylon-based surf mats but it’s worth it for the surfer that enjoys comfort.
- Folds up easily
- Cannot be used as a carry bag for wetsuit transport
Other Post Surf Accessories
Moving on from surf changing mats, I wanted to a couple other super handy surf accessories that are useful when changing out of your wetsuit.
First, introducing the Rinsekit!
The Rinsekit idea was actually started by a surfing buddy of mine in San Diego. It was born out surfer’s struggling with the best way to rinse off after a session. Many beaches don’t have showers. As such, I used to always carry a jug or pitcher of water with me to pour over my suit and feet for a post surf rinse. With the Rinsekit, now I am able to efficiently rinse off with this portable shower!
The Rinsekit comes in multiple sizes depending on your needs. The basic shower kit shown below is a great place to start.
Next, we have the Surf Poncho!
The surf poncho was born out of the idea of finding something easier and more comfortable to dry off and change with. While standing on your surf changing mat, grab your surf poncho to dry yourself and drape over your body to easily cover your skin while changing. Rather than tying a towel around your waist, simply slip this poncho over your head to allow yourself to change with ease. Plus, it’s fashionable! You can wear comfortably driving in your car or even into the burrito shop!
In conclusion, I hope this was a useful guide to help you choose the best surf changing mat and consider other post surf options for rinsing and drying off! Having a good surf changing mat is also an essential component of proper wetsuit care. For more of my personal gear recommendations, check out my Surf Gear Guide or tips on choosing the best wetsuit for surfing.
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