Almost a decade ago, I was given a joke gift during a Secret Santa exchange. In the package was a “Shamwow”, the super-absorbent chamois made famous by a very twitchy, over-exuberant spokesperson. The irony was that the towel actually worked really well, so much so that it became a major fixture in my PWC washing/detailing kit that I kept in my trailer at the time. After every open ocean ride (this was while I still lived out in Southern California), I’d wash off the salt water, give the ski a quick rinse and wipe it down with the Shamwow – and almost always fielding inquiries about the towel.
The major issue with the Shamwow was it leaving streaks and waterspots behind. Although it absorbed water amazingly, the material simply didn’t wick water like a microfiber towel did. Plus, it took forever for that Shamwow to dry out. I mean days even out in the sun it seemed. Somewhat resigned to using microfibers from then on, I was impressed when Waves Gear reached out and asked if I would give their Waves Micro Towel a try. Admittedly, it was the first I had ever heard of the brand, although I had seen ads for their floating sunglasses on social media once or twice.
It didn’t take long for a box to arrive with three deceptively small packages inside. Waves had sent me their large full-sized (36″ x 60″) towel as well as their Sport 2-pack. Advertised as the “towel for the family [that] can fit into your pocket” the massive beach towel is made from proprietary micro fiber that allows Waves Micro Towel to fold up 78-percent smaller than a traditional towel. And while that’s pretty neat, being “highly foldable” wasn’t enough to wow me. No, the fact that it dried faster than any of my other micro fiber towels did. Admittedly, I used the towel mainly to dry off the skis, but I had used it once while getting out of the shower. It was bone dry within a few hours of hanging up on a rack.
Yet, what about absorption? For those who know, the angled tray of the new 2017 Kawasaki SX-R has no means to drain the water that collects at its bulkhead. Prior to taking these pictures, I quickly washed down the ski and used the full-sized towel to dry it off, even cramming it into the tray to suck up the last bit of water. I rung it out, hung it up for an hour, and bam! here it is, looking dry and fresh. The Waves Micro Towel Sport (the two-pack comes in two different color variations) is touted as the brand’s perfect size for “the gym, travel or when space is tight.” It too, is made from a proprietary lightweight microfiber fabric, that’s slightly different (and softer) than the other towel. They’re machine washable, so just sort with like colors.
As mentioned, the Sport towels are softer to the touch, designed to be similar to cotton, but far more absorbent and faster-drying than any traditional cotton towel. And true to Waves’ words, they dried faster than any cotton hand towel you might have hanging in your bathroom. As to personal watercraft applications, the larger Waves Micro Towel was a little too big for drying down a full-sized runabout unless you’re really mindful to keep it folded up. I kept the Sport towels in my gear bag for several outings, using them often to dry off camera lenses (they’re great for that and leave zero lint), sunglasses, etc. The larger Micro Towel is priced at $30 as is the Sport two-pack. Waves also sells a multi-colored 3-pack of full-sized towels for $75.