Surf changing mat: the most comfortable way of getting in and out of your wetsuit | Photo: Ho! Stevie

Surf changing mats are one of the most valuable accessories a surfer can get, and they can increase the lifetime of your wetsuit.

It's a durable, portable, waterproof item that improves pre and post-surfing experiences and makes them more enjoyable.

Whether surfing summer or winter waves in high or low latitudes, the wetsuit changing mat makes it more comfortable to get in and out of your neoprene.

However, most surfers never quite seem to have this simple piece of equipment that makes all the difference close by.

How often have we regretted not having the surf changing mat while putting our wetsuits on and taking them off? A few times, for sure.

Why Do Surfers Need Surf Changing Mats?

So, what are the advantages of having a wetsuit changing mat in your car trunk or inside the surfing backpack?

The first thing that comes to mind is the comfort of having a clean, smooth surface you can stand on while putting on a wetsuit.

Why should your feet be on sand, gravel, dirty tarmac, asphalt, and debris if they can comfortably stand on a cushioned layer of fiber?

Surf changing mats protect your feet from the rough, cold, and hot ground while performing the most unpleasant part of surfing - putting on and taking off a wetsuit.

You don't need to touch the ground anymore as you try to free the legs from the sticky, wet neoprene.

These useful and weightless items act as a barrier against your feet and the wetsuit's worst enemies. Plus, they're inexpensive.

Wetsuit changing mats: they extend the lifetime of your wetsuit

Types of Change Mats

Changing after a surf session requires patience, and surfers often want to do it fast, as they're exhausted and just want to drive home.

These small and often rounded layers of plastic and fiber allow you to change quickly while keeping your feet clean.

Furthermore, they ensure the wetsuit's sensitive neoprene doesn't come in contact with the abrasive ground or dirty floor surfaces.

Actually, the getting-out-of-the-wetsuit phase is the moment when your neoprene is under the most stress.

Also, while using the left and right foot to speed up the process, the wetsuit panels tend to rub the ground more intensely, thus becoming more exposed to wear and tear.

There are several types of surf changing mats - standard bag-type models, grass turf pads, and plastic tubs - and most of them also convert into bags.

Immediately after getting out of your wetsuit, they become wet, dry bags that can be carried easily or transported inside your car.

Because they're waterproof, you can take them home and rinse or wash your wetsuit with fresh water wherever you want.

Wetsuits: sand and sun damage neoprene fast | Photo: Shutterstock

How to Use a Wetsuit Changing Mat

Changing mats can be easily stored in a small corner of your car trunk. Here's how to change in and out of your wetsuit using this useful surf accessory:

  1. Grab your surf changing mat and shake out any sand or dirt;
  2. Spread it on the ground;
  3. Stand on the mat;
  4. Start changing in and out of your wetsuit;
  5. Lift the drawstrings to cinch the wet dry bag shut;
  6. Put it in the car trunk and drive away;

Following these simple steps will ensure your wetsuit doesn't break down and your car does not get smelly and wet while heading home.

You can even throw a surf poncho, beach towel, neoprene boots, gloves, and hoods into the dry bag.

Discover the best wetsuit-changing mats for surfing in the world.

Ho Stevie! Wetsuit Changing Mat

Ho Stevie! Wetsuit Changing Mat

Ho Stevie! designed the world's best-selling surf changing mat.

It is made from highly resistant, waterproof nylon and makes changing in and out of your wetsuit in a parking lot much easier and cleaner.

The changing mat minimizes the amount of dirt and sand that gets stuck to the neoprene, legs, and feet, allowing you to carry your gear home and straight to the shower.

When laid out flat on the ground, it measures 29 inches in diameter.

Buy: Amazon


COR Surf Wetsuit Changing Mat

COR Surf Wetsuit Changing Mat

Cor Surf developed a compact and portable wetsuit changing mat and bag that quickly cinches up, and stays closed all the time.

It is built to last and made from PVC-coated polyester, and it can be washed down and measures 38 inches in diameter.

The mat folds up small for easy traveling and keeps your gear clean and easy to pack up. While standing on it, you do not feel the rocks and pebbles that always hurt your feet.

Buy: Amazon


FCS Change Mat

FCS Change Mat

The FCS wetsuit mat allows you to change in and out of your neoprene protection on a durable polyester surface.

It is made from flexible, waterproof 600D polyester laminated and features pull-tab cord locks for quick opening and closing.

It fits two to three wetsuits, and its handles with a Hypalon connector make it easy to transport.

Buy: Amazon


Coastal Collective Surf/Swim Changing Mat and Bag

Coastal Collective Surf/Swim Changing Mat and Bag

Coastal Collective designed a multi-purpose, three-in-one wetsuit-changing solution with a 33-inch diameter.

It features a foldaway mat that doubles as an additional changing surface, a heavy-duty shoulder strap, and padded carry handles.

This model separates clean, dry gear from wet, sandy surf accessories in the same bag while keeping your car protected from wet, muddy, and sandy equipment.

Buy: Amazon


Motomy Island Mat

Motomy Island Mat

Motomy claims to have created a maximum waterproof surf-changing mat using sturdy materials.

It features a 32-inch diameter changing area and a compact folding design with a removable shoulder strap, soft handles, and a large pocket.

The drawstring is rust-proof and free from metal components, and the standing surface is thick enough to hold 15-kilogram gear.

Buy: Amazon


Dorsal Surf Grass Mat

Dorsal Surf Grass Mat

Dorsal developed a 24x24-inch synthetic grass turf that dusts off any sand or dirt that you may have on your feet and wetsuit while changing.

The soft bristles will add comfort to your pre and post-surfing routine thanks to a heavy-duty, water-resistant changing mat lined with 6 mm of artificial grass, which acts as a barrier to the cold or hard ground.

Are you done? Roll it up in seconds and secure it using the velcro strap. Alternatively, lay it flat in your trunk and let your wetsuit dry while driving home.

Buy: Amazon


Red Gorilla Plastic Tub

Red Gorilla Plastic Tub

Do you want to keep it simple?

Red Gorilla's plastic tubs are large enough for you to stand inside them and change in and out of your wetsuit.

They're flexible, frost and UV-resistant, sturdy, and feature strong handles for easy carrying around.

This model is 18 inches wide and 13 inches tall and can easily hold a damp wetsuit.

Buy: Amazon

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