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FCS Surf Robes and Ponchos 2024 Preview

Retail Buyers Guide:  Surf Robes and Ponchos 2024 Retail Buyer’s Guide
Brand:  FCS
Interviewee: Brad Rochfort – UK Territory Manager

How was the market for Changing Robes and surf ponchos in 2023?
2023 was tough due to an over saturated market, but we kept our customer base the same. 10 years ago FCS were one of the only brands offering a range of towel ponchos. These days most brands are offering their own version.

The element resistant Changing Robe is extremely popular, way beyond the boardsport community. Did you have to address new channels to reach the casual customer? Is it different for Surf Ponchos?
Our brand is surf specific, so we mainly supply core surf stores.

Is the term “changing robe” still relevant as many (most ?) of the people use it as a jacket or an additional shell for tough weather?
Our version is called the ‘Shelter Poncho’ and it’s designed as a multi-purpose poncho. Perfect for warm changing but also fully water-proof with taped seems and water resistant zippers.

What are the trends within the Surf Poncho category: core riders, kids, women, beachgoers, seasonality?
For us, it’s core riders looking for a product tailored to a surfers needs, rather than mass-market.



What are the key materials in your line for both product categories?
For the Shelter Poncho, we use a 5k water resistant polyester shell with 100% cotton terry toweling internal layer. For the Towel Poncho we use 100% cotton terry toweling.

Bonus specs for functionality are much appreciated: what do you offer in this regard?
Shelter Poncho – 5000mm water resistant polyester shell with 3000mm breathability, fully taped seems  and water resistant zippers. It’s basically designed with the same external features as a snowboard jacket. We chose black as our colour due to it’s obvious heat absorbing properties to keep you warmer and it dries faster. On the inside we use thick toweling instead of polyester fluff. Toweling will dry you much faster and it’s far less bulky which makes it packable to take on surf trips.

Which are your key colors/prints/pattern of 2024?
We are using simple, clean pastel colours on our 2024 Towel Poncho collection.

How are you helping retailers to sell more of your product?
We simply offer a high quality, functional product at a competitive price.

Key Products:

FCS Shelter Poncho:

  • Water Resistant & Breathable.
  • 115GSM 100% Polyester with TPU backing external layer with 100% cotton terry toweling internal inlay.
  • 5,000MM water resistance/3,000MM breathability.
  • Oversized for the ultimate feeling of warmth.
  • Internal stash pocket.



FCS Towel Poncho:

  • Plush 100% cotton material.
  • Warm cotton hood.
  • Front FCS logo.
  • One size fits all.
  • Length: 1,000mm from top of shoulder.
  • Generous fit.
  • Internal pocket for keys, cards, money



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