The Perfect Post Paddle Changing System
I am always looking for the perfect changing poncho or system or strategy for making getting out of wet paddling clothes and into dry clothes easier. And let’s face it – the guys have it so much easier in this department than we ladies. I have reached a certain age were much of my so-called modesty has been shoved to the wayside when it comes to changing at my car after a paddle. That’s due in part to my “I don’t give a flip because I am over 50” attitude, and the advent of the sports bra and Brandi Chastain’s key move at the World Cup 22 years ago.
But that’s fine for the top outer layer. What about when the wet sports bra/bikini top needs to go, as well as the bottom wet bathing suit, board shorts or paddling tights?
I have tried it all – from big, thick Terry cloth ponchos, to the Surf Fur Coat (definitely a favorite in the winter,) to light weight Turkish cotton ponchos.
All of these work great for changing the bottoms. The Surf Fur coat is excellent for both tops and bottoms but it is too heavy and warm for summer. The regular surf changing ponchos are always a bit difficult when it comes to wrangling the wet bathing suit/sports bra off and getting the dry one on. Especially in humid summer temps. I struggle. And I am sure I look like someone who really doesn’t know what she’s doing throughout the process.
Sometimes – especially in the high humidity of the North Carolina summers, I just give up and slink down in the front seat of my car and just strip it all off. That’s followed by a hastened attempt to get the dry undergarment on without pulling something. My heart rate sometimes exceeds that of my workout when undergoing this process.
Enter the Shower Toga. Spartan or triathlon racers, as well as Shark Tank fans already know about the Shower Toga., It is a longish “skirt” made of high quality, coated nylon, with drawstrings at both ends, and even a pocket to hold soap.
It looks like a much more substantial “space blanket” that’s made into a kilt.
This reusable garment was developed for both male and female athletes to use after those dirt-intensive competitions where private showers might not be available.
The drawstring at the top of the Shower Toga allows women to pull it up over their chests and cinch it around the neck so everything is covered. And it DOES stay in place.
Discrete openings along the sides allow you to easily remove your wet or dirty clothes. You can hose down outside, in a public shower situation and get everything clean efficiently, then dry off and change into fresh kit without anyone seeing anything between the knees and your neck. Guys of course don’t have to pull it up that high, if they don’t want to.
It is water resistant and rolls down into a mesh bag about the size of a sunglasses case, making it easy to carry along with you wherever you go. Cannot say that about a poncho.
It also makes a great protector for your car seat. And because of the drawstring closures at both ends, it will contain your wet clothes for the trip home.
The Shower Toga is a remarkably simple and easy to use changing system. And after you have used it once or twice, it makes you wonder why someone didn’t think of it before.
I may still use the thick, warm poncho (they actually make good bathrobes for home use.) And of course my Surf Fur parka in colder temps. But the Shower Toga will always be with me, in the car as well as in the travel paddle bag.