Every once in a while, we spot something at a trade show that is completely unexpected. This year, that happened when we stopped by the GTFOverland booth and stumbled across Surf Grass Mats. As the name would imply, these were originally created for surfers, but I can confirm that they are the perfect changing mat for cyclists as well.
The concept here is pretty simple—take high-quality synthetic turf and turn it into a portable mat. But there’s more to the design than meets the eye. The thick turf is designed to knock sand and debris off your feet while changing, but it also makes for a ridiculously comfortable changing pad while you’re in the middle of nowhere. That means you can drop it on uneven ground, chunky gravel, whatever, and you’re left with a comfy spot to change. I’ve used a lot of different things over the years as changing mats, and this beats everything I’ve tried.
The underside of the mat is made to be durable, and it doesn’t pick up dirt, bits of leaves, or absorb any moisture like a towel. And thanks to the built-in velcro strap, storing the Surf Grass Mat is as simple as rolling it up and strapping it down. If you do happen to be dripping wet or need to rinse off your feet, there are drain holes punched in the mat to allow water to flow through.
I’ve already used mine a handful of times, and it has completely changed my pre-and post-ride rituals. No more hopping around on one foot or standing on top of your shoes or sandals as you attempt to change in or out of riding shoes and socks. Instead, you’re treated to a relaxing spot to rest your feet. Post-ride, there’s something to the almost massage-like nature of the turf that makes you just want to hang out in your bare feet. When added to something like a Squatch Screen, you end up with the perfect trail-side changing room.
GTFOverland carries them because they also make great accessories for the overland or vanlife crowd—basically for anyone that doesn’t want to track dirt into their car, van, camper, tent, etc.
Made in the USA, Surf Grass Mats are available in rectangle, square, or round versions, and with different color stitching around the perimeter. Pricing starts at $49.99 for the 20 x 25″ rectangle mat, which is the perfect size to stash in your car for your next adventure. Available at Amazon.