Are Skirts Universal

We’re Newbies - Our family just bought 3 new Kayaks (2 Elie Sound 10XS for mom and dad an a Dagger 9’ for our 9 year old daughter.)

We are looking at skirts and are wondering if they are a universal fot or if you need to buy one from the manufacturer for that specific model.


Portland, OR

Has to fit

– Last Updated: May-22-14 1:05 PM EST –

You don't have to buy from kayak manufacturer, but it has to fit. Some skirt companies show online what size of theirs fit what kayaks -- for example, I think Seals does. Check Snapdragon, too. (They are 2 of the big skirt manufacturers.) I can't speak to your specific kayaks -- maybe others will.
If you bought the kayaks from a good shop, they will be able to tell you what sizes to get.

WARNING: one skirt manufacturers size M may not match another manufacturers size M -- i.e. even the sizing criteria are not universal; i believe i've even seen WW skirts and Touring skirts use different sizing (even same manufacturer) -- sorry it isn't easier! (But, like I said, websites should tell you or shop folks.)

You will also probably need to think about deck material -- if you will getting a lot of water on the deck, neoprene will not collapse like nylon could. Many folks have neoprene skirt deck with nylon tunnel (the part that fits around your waist/chest).

skirts and kids
A neoprene deck skirt can be a challenge to get on and off for a kid. Whatever the skirt material, make sure your kid can undo it with ONE hand easily. Then they should practice a wet exit with you standing next to them.

Consider half skirts
Without having found exactly a match on the boat model, it is nonetheless a rec boat with a very big cockpit. There is a point of size of cockpit in rec boats where the arm length of the paddler to pull it off is shorter than the distance to the pull loop.

Full skirts, even coated nylon ones, can also be pricey for cockpits that large. Forget neo skirts, you don’t need them for the intended use for these boats, and one fitted to these cockpits could cost half as much as the boat.

These boats should not be paddled in any waters where a full skirt might be needed (like on the salty side of Portland with waves etc), and a half skirt will economically do the job of keeping some sun off your legs and the worst of the splash out of the cockpit. Fit is also less fussy with a half skirt, though you will still need to confirm some measurements there.

Enjoy the boats, and figure you will get a little bit wet.
Has what seems to be a pretty comprehensive compilation of cockpit and skirt sizes. I’ve used it to inform the purchase of several skirts without the bother of having to try them on the cockpit first.

Go talk to Alder Creek Outfitters
If you are beginners with sit-in kayaks, there are important safety considerations you must learn about in order to keep yourselves and your daughter safe.

The best thing you can do is to invest in a beginner class for all three of you. Among other things, you will learn:

-How to release a sprayskirt and get out of the kayak if you capsize (wet exit)

-How to empty and get back in the kayak on the water (self & assisted rescues)

-Cold-water safety (when & what kind of insulating clothing to wear)

-Efficient paddling technique (to keep from getting too tired to get back)

-How wind, current & tides affect kayakers and how to avoid/deal with problems

-What kind of safety gear you need, and how to use it

Go visit Alder Creek Outfitters; they know their stuff and will help you learn to paddle safely and enjoyably from the get-go. They also sell sprayskirts and other paddling gear and will help you make the right choices.

They’re on Tomahawk Drive in Jantzen Beach:

Good luck and happy paddling!

Thank You
Thank You all for your info. We have a reservation for some classes next weekend, and thank you very much for the suggestions. Looking forward to it !!

There are two dimensions
For a neoprene skirt, it has to fit the boat and it has to fit your torso. So the “tunnel”, the part that is around your waist, will come in different sizes. Be sure you and not squeezed too tight or not fitted closely enough.