Before we jump in and tell you all the reasons why you need one of these Mystic Deluxe Explore Ponchos in your life (if you haven’t got your hands on one already), we’re going to take a walk down memory lane to when Mystic first started, back in 2002. Yes you read that right, Mystic has been around for nearly two decades and have been rocking ponchos since Day 1.
These guys were a group of kitesurfers and windsurfers who were passionate about the most extreme conditions. They originally started out way back when, to fill a gap they found in the market, which was building durable and sturdy enough kite and windsurf equipment to live up to their physical demands. This kit would allow them to go after stronger winds, bigger waves and more extreme conditions. It was during this time, as they were out searching for the most extreme rides in the harshest condition, the poncho was born…
I’m Lex Balladon, I’m a Mystic Ambassador / wakeboarder / wake coach / surfer / new cold water dipper and I’m going to tell you five reasons as to why you need a Deluxe Explore Poncho in your life…
The first place I tore open my Deluxe Explore Poncho was at the lake. It was the middle of winter (or at least it felt like the middle of winter) and it was a chilly foggy day. You know when the air is still but damp and freezing - cold to the bone freezing. I busted out the 5mm neoprene for my session, and then afterwards I changed quickly and threw my new poncho around me over all my layers, hood up and all. It was like wearing a warm hug. This is now a lake staple, it comes with me every single time.
It’s also been perfect on photo shoots when there's time between filming or photos but you need to keep your wet wetsuit on, but need extra warmth. It’s just the perfect piece of kit.
I’m as landlocked as they come but at any given chance I’ll be down on the west coast in a flash. If you surf then you know the drill - wake up early and surf check, or sometimes you have to park up and walk a distance in the wind and rain to surf check. These are the times the Deluxe Explore Poncho comes into its own as it is literally like waking up and going to surf check in your sleeping bag, it’s just so perfect for this. Obviously you can change easily under it to keep your modesty intact (mainly UK based - on the continent they are a little more free regarding modesty). And the best thing after any kind of surf session, good bad or ugly, is getting back into something warm and sipping on a hot drink.
By January 2021, I’d read enough to take ‘the plunge’ into cold water swimming. It’s not exactly the most ideal time to start wild swimming when there is ice on the ground, but the enthusiasm was there. I started in full 5mm neoprene, including boots and gloves and figured I’d be fine as I’m accustomed to wakeboarding all winter long. I was wrong. The main difference being that wakeboarding you’re IN the water for a very minimal time, whereas with swimming, you’re obviously IN the water the whole time. Well I feel I’ve progressed from that very first session but the main constant throughout is the Deluxe Explore Poncho. On the way there, I wear my swimsuit or wetsuit in the car with my poncho over it for extra warmth. I wear it immediately after getting out of my gear to start the warming up - with a hot drink and some sort of cake in my hand too (obvs).
Yes, sometimes I do stand on the sidelines. If I’m at an event where the weather is less than favorable, the Deluxe Explore Poncho gets me through. Layered up underneath, zipped up, hood up and I’m ready to spectate whether its a wakeboard competition, I’m coaching wakeboarding, waiting for my turn to surf (my husband and I have to alternate - we have small children and it's frowned upon if you leave them unattended), at a kids sports game, you name it, this thing is my staple. You will be so smug at how warm and dry you are underneath while everyone else is complaining about the weather; we are in England after all.
Now I am big on camping. The wilder, the better. Living in England, it’s usually quite a luxury to get decent weather on a camping trip. I’ve had it all thrown at me from torrential rain pouring through into my sleeping area, to tent poles hitting me in the face while sleeping in 55mph winds. And I still love it. With the ‘rough’ living, the Deluxe Explore Poncho comes in handy, from wearing it as a dressing gown brushing my teeth outside the tent, to keeping warm and cozy while enjoying drinks while watching the sunset. And don’t forget keeping dry while making the dash for the loo in the middle of the night. It comes with me every time!
Written by Lex Balladon from Mystic.
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