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Wave Hawaii Surf Robes and Ponchos 2024 Preview

Retail Buyers Guide:  Surf Robes and Ponchos 2024 Retail Buyer’s Guide
Brand:  Wave Hawaii
Interviewee: Carsten Raphael, CEO

How was the market for Changing Robes and surf ponchos in 2023?
2023 was the best year in our company’s history. Although poncho brands have popped up from many directions and a lot of manufacturers have discovered ponchos as a new product category for themselves, we were able to increase our sales by over 37%. Ponchos have established themselves from a practical item for surfers to a lifestyle product for a very broad target group.

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?
With Changing robes, we reach not only water sports enthusiasts but also people who go ice swimming. One part of our Changing robe range features a terry cloth material on the inside that is highly water-absorbent and therefore very comfortable on bare skin – unlike the usual sherpa fleece materials, which usually do not absorb water. The other part of our range is for everyone else who wants to protect themselves against the uncomfortable weather conditions. Whether it’s watersports enthusiasts, people who are working in the garden, those who are out and about with their dog or standing on the sidelines at a football match. We also have these target groups on our radar. The situation is similar for surf ponchos, which are our main focus. The target groups are much more broadly distributed than they were 3 years ago.

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?
We call them Storm Ponchos. We think that suits the purpose much better.

What are the trends within the Surf Poncho category: core riders, kids, women, beachgoers, seasonality?
First: We realise that people prefer a high-quality poncho for the widest possible range of uses. This applies to both core riders and beachgoers. Our AirLite ponchos, for example, are climate-regulating, so they keep you warm when it’s cold and let out steam when it’s hot. They are also lightweight and dry quickly – combined with sustainable materials made in Portugal. However, in addition to all the technical and qualitative advantages of surf ponchos, the designs are of course always in the foreground.
Second: Technical fabrics, which are quick drying, have minimal pack size and made from sustainable fabrics. Our new FastLite ponchos match these requirements for 100%. Made from a special recycled polyester. Developed in Germany and Portugal, produced in Portugal.

Which price points are best selling for Surf Ponchos and Dry Robes? What are the entry level and high-end rates?
When it comes to surf ponchos, we have a good balance between our entry level and high-end products. The range of our style ponchos is between € 65 and € 80. Our travel ponchos range from € 55,- to € 60,-. For a Changing Robe/ Storm Poncho the consumer pays € 120,-.

What are the key materials in your line for both product categories?
Surf ponchos – only sustainable materials:
1) AirLite with a special recycled polyester (5%) and cotton (95%). However, the user only comes into contact with the cotton.
2) 100% cotton. Our cotton is always Oeko Tex certified.
3) 60% viscose from bamboo plus 40% cotton.
Changing Robes:

  1. Polyester outside with cotton terry inside
  2. Polyester outside with sherpa vlies inside

Bonus specs for functionality are much appreciated: what do you offer in this regard?
AirLite ponchos:
Climate-regulating, warming in cold weather, vapour-releasing in hot weather, quick-drying, lightweight, sustainable.
Travel ponchos:
small pack size, lightweight, quick-drying, naturally sustainable.
FastLite ponchos:
minimal pack size, very lightweight, very quick-drying, sustainable

Which are your key colors/prints/pattern of 2024?
Our new style poncho colours are essentially taken from the natural elements: Blue, green, brown, beige – with matching designs such as leaves, waves, jellyfish. In contrast, the new travel ponchos stand out with fresh, bright colours and Hawaiian designs.

How are you helping retailers to sell more of your product?
Our dealer margin is very competitive – after all, we all want to have fun selling. In addition, we occasionally offer promotions with further purchasing benefits, as well as pre-order discounts. Furthermore, we are usually always well stocked so that we can also reorder at short notice during the season. Beautiful floor displays made of wood or cardboard are currently in development/production and will be available to retailers shortly. We also have an extensive, sustainable product range that goes beyond ponchos and is specially tailored to board sports retailers.

Key Products:

AirLite poncho CUMBUCO:
Climate-regulating poncho made from AirLite material. Warms in the cold, breathes in the heat. The poncho is therefore designed for the widest possible temperature range. Lightweight, highly water-absorbent and quick-drying. Made from 5% recycled polyester and 95% cotton in accordance with the Oeko Tex standard. The skin only comes into contact with the cotton. This makes the poncho ideal for people with sensitive skin. Made in Portugal.

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Cotton velour poncho LEEVS:
Flauschiger Poncho aus natürlicher Baumwolle. Innen Frottee, außen robustes Velours, Oeko Tex Standrd 100 zertifiziert. Hat eine hohe Wasserabsorption und ist angenehm flauschig auf der Haut. Zweilagige, besonders warme Kapuze mit hohem Kragen und Kordel.

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Travel poncho WAILUA:
Small pack size and quick-drying, made of 100% cotton, certified to Oeko Tex Standard 100. Pleasant on the skin and functional as usual. The poncho can be easily rolled up into the hood and is practical to use as a travelling pillow. The large front pocket with the matching Hawaiian look offers space for utensils such as shampoo, brush etc.

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120 Wave Hawaii  surf robes and ponchos and sunglasses

Retail Buyer’s Guides


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