My test paddles have been in cooler weather and for only about 20-30 minutes at a time. Now that summer is here in coastal Alabama, I am wondering if I should rethink my decision on getting a SINK.
I had a SOTK, and it was ok, but I like the idea of the drier ride you get out of a SINK. However, I don't want to cook inside the cockpit of a SINK if they get uncomfortably hot in the summer months.
I am going to try and take an "extended" demo this weekend to hopefully answer this for myself, but in the mean time thought I would get some first-hand experience here.
Doesn’t seem terribly bad
to me and I live in the world’s manufacturing head quarters of humidity, Houston, Tx. If I am paddling flatwater and don’t need my spray skirt it just fine, though when I am playing in the surf or choppy water I will use the spray deck, it does get a little stuffy, but I find it tolerable. I’d say you’d be ok, but the heat and humidity doesn’t bother that much, your mileage may vary. Good luck.
It’s Not Too Bad
If it gets really hot, just forget about a spray skirt. I'm in NC. It gets pretty steamy here in July.
Just remember that…
most of your lower body is shaded from the sun and with a light weight skirt it is comfy… no more sunburned feet! Just get a light color…
GH in South Florida
Roll to cool is a good ambition
It works for me but took me two years to lern cause I ma no athlete any more, and never was really coordinated.
makes a very comfy skirt called Tropical Tour. It is made of a highly breathable material. On really hot days with calm conditions, invest in a half skirt just to keep the sun and paddle drips off your thighs. From Miami where the temps are now in the 90’s!
a different perspective
I can't stand paddling a SINK in the warm weather here (Atlanta), and I can't see any reason to protect myself from the warm waters of the Gulf and southern Atlantic ocean. So, I've gravitated entirely towards high performance SOT's, namely surfskis. There are several "entry level" surfskis, all of which offer nice stability and speed that is better than all but the very fastest SINK's- for example the Mako XT, Futura 2, Huki S1-R, and Dolphin. These boats are very close to the speed of the elite skis, but stable enough for all but the least coordinated paddler. Some of these even have small hatches for carrying a few things. And they are almost always far less than a SINK. Finally, having your legs in front of you, at a natural angle is far, far more comfortable and allows proper paddling technique, very difficult in a SINK with your knees splayed out to the side.
So, my advice is to go look at some surfskis. You'll wonder why you ever wanted a closed boat.
Tropical Tour Skirt
The Tropical Tour from Seals is the skirt that I use as well, and I think it is comfortable enough, the problem with it is that it is not very water tight, I always get some water in the cockpit after rolling sessions (it leaks by far more than I expected before buying it).
My first SIK was a RM Zoar Sport from Necky, I got it with Necky’s sprayskirt and that skirt was far more watertight than the Seals skirt on my composite Assateague.
A neoprene skirt would be by far better in keeping water out, but I think that would become an oven under the Florida sun.
If you are considering going back
to an SOT. Consider one of the KasKazi SOT’s like the SKUA. Very light, combines the features of a seatouring yak with a surf ski.
Yet another vote
for the Seals Tropical Tour
haven’t noticed any leaks
with the Seals but have only had it two months. Maybe yours has a defect?
It depends on the water temp
If the water’s reasonably cool, the boat doesnt’ get uncomfortably hot inside. If the water’s warm, the boat can get pretty steamy inside. Color also makes a differece. A light colored boat definitely stays cooler inside.
Sounds like fun. Seriously.
I'm gonna do some research.
I burned my hands in my SINK once
but the dishes were a mess and I needed the hot water.
Sun Protection is worth alot
You will absolutely fry if out in a sit on top for any length of time after about 1100am. Burns to the thighs, shins and feet get pretty tender.
Be like the rest of us, a kayak for every occassion
There’s this stuff called "sunscreen"
that helps with that.
in the summer around here you’re a bit crazy if you spend a lot of time on the water after 11am and before about 4pm. so i go out early or late. lots of good sunscreen helps too- no burns to speak of in 8 years of living down here. Rocky Mountain Sunscreen is the best, btw- available in very large, inexpensive quart and gallon sizes.
Under the sun less clothing is not cooler, despite like people think. Ever seen a Bedouin in a tank top? I like a longsleeve supplex shirt and pants - Travelsmith’s supplex Anywhere pants are great.
I like too go for
a fully clothed (long sleeves) swim before boarding the kayak and when I dry, wet down again with a scoop of the hat. Splashing water on the skirt helps in keeping the temps cool below deck.
difference in comfort is minor
compared to the more dramatic difference in efficiency between the two styles. You’ll go farther in less time in a cockpit than on an SOT.
If all you intend to do is paddle a short distance then sit and fish or snorkel/swim, the SOT would be better choice.