Red Paddle Surf Robes and Ponchos 2024 Preview

Retail Buyers Guide:  Surf Robes and Ponchos 2024 Retail Buyer’s Guide
Brand:  Red Paddle Co
Interviewee: Catherine Morris, Commercial Director

How was the market for Changing Robes and surf ponchos in 2023?
With the surge in popularity of change robes in recent years, as you might expect there have continued to be lots of new entrants to the market, both small start-ups as well as bigger brands producing an offering for the first time. Creating the perfect product isn’t something everyone can do though; we believe genuinely excellent robes have more to them than that. 2023 was a great year for Red and our change robe range. In addition to becoming B Corp certified one highlight was the launch of our new kids range of changing robes, the perfect demonstration of our consumer-first driven innovation as we designed them very much with active kids in mind. At a competitive price point & popular with parents too these have been extremely successful, and a great testament to how innovation can drive the market. 2024 is going to be even more exciting for Red in this space – definitely lots to look out for!

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?
Red is proud of our fantastic heritage in the boardsport community, in fact we still have at HQ the waterproof robe that our founder John Hibbard used to keep warm between heats back in his days as a professional windsurfer, long before they became ‘a thing’. Red has always been an inclusive brand, and right from the start we’ve worked with an amazing cross-section of groups and sports. The Red Foundation works to enable more people to safely enjoy the benefits of the outdoors, and our robes have been used to help break down barriers for an amazing range of groups, all with a passion to make adventure more accessible and inclusive.

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?
The beauty of robes is their practicality and adaptability. You may change under it less frequently shielding from the elements, but it is great to still have that ability when you need to – and when you do a high-quality robe designed to assist with changing really is a game changer. Red is striving to inspire our consumers to get out there and have an adventure, whatever shape that takes for them and our robes are designed to support people in a multitude of activities.

Which price points are best selling for Surf Ponchos and Dry Robes? What are the entry level and high-end rates?
Our best-seller is our Pro Change Robe, for what it offers in terms of technical performance and functionality it offers fantastic value for money at £160.

What are the key materials in your line for both product categories?
High performance technical recycled materials are the cornerstone of our robes. We invest in premium fabrics based on their all-round performance, from their appearance, comfort, durability, and protection from the elements. As a B Corp certified business, it is important to us to use responsibly sourced and recycled materials wherever possible without making any compromise when it comes to the end product.

Bonus specs for functionality are much appreciated: what do you offer in this regard?
Intuitive functionality is a hallmark of a Red product – it is what we are known for, so naturally you’ll find our robes packed full of technical features, from water-resistant pockets, to wind baffles to reflective detailing. We believe robes should boast the same kind of functionality as leading outdoor apparel- why wouldn’t something that is designed to protect you from the rain have an adjustable hood for example? Not everyone invests in that kind of functionality in their product, but consumers are getting more savvy and the well-informed are demanding robes which are considered as well as high-spec.

How are you helping retailers to sell more of your product?
Red has always worked closely with our retail partners. There is a huge value to those personal relationships and we seek to support our partners in a way that suits them best – it’s not one size fits all but finding the right opportunities to support their unique proposition. Ultimately though our primary job is to create a fantastic brand and product that consumers come into store looking for, backed up with exceptional service – that is what we are known for and what we will always strive to deliver.

Key Products:

Red’s best-selling Pro Change EVO robe is a must for any retailer with discerning customers looking for uncompromising quality and performance.



RED Kids Robe:
The Red range of Kids Waterproof Robes – in two different styles and sizes, as well as with different colour options, the Kids robes from Red have taken the market by storm since their launch in 2023. From long sleeves that grow with them to the softest of fabrics, they regularly sell out!

RED Kids Robe

RED Kids Robe

If you are looking for the ultimate robe / coat hybrid, look no further than the Revolution 3 in 1 Parka, with on-trend removable fleece liner and quilted outer, this is a serious piece of kit.



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