If you could own any 2 spray skirts...

If you could own one or two spray skirts for sea kayak touring (warm water/cold water), which would they be?

I recently got engaged to a lovely young lady who has taken to sea kayaking in a big way. We could really use some new gear & we need to come up w/ wedding present ideas for ~100 guests to our wedding (hence money is no object). We paddle the Great Lakes & tributaries, in good weather and bad. I suspect 2 skirts each are the answer, one for warm weather/water, one for cold weather/water. We’d LOVE to have pockets for ‘stuff’, and easy access underdeck would rock (do any good skirts have zippers?).

Paddle On!

for touring i only use an
all neoprene skirt…

i have a snapdragon ocean ez

and an IR shockwave…

neither has a zipper or pockets…but i also prefer to go into big seas off of RI…

i use these two skirts all year around, warm and cold…


I own a few
I own 3 neoprene, 1 Gore-Tex, and two nylon spray skirts. I only use the neoprene ones.

My favorite is the Kokatat Off-Shore Extreme. Don’t know if they still make it. If one is doing wet work nothing beats neo deck and tunnel. My other two neo skirts are made by Seals. One is branded Valley the other is an Extreme Tour. From paddlers here and my experience the three best regarded makers of sprayskirts are Snapdragon, Kokatat, and Seals.

If one does not intend to get wet (side sculling, rolling, etc…) then the Kokatat Gore-Tex Deluxe is very nice. Though nothing will keep water out of the cockpit as well as neoprene.

And you only need one per person. I prefer Snapdragon but there are many others out there that work fine. Save the pockets and zippers etc. for the PFD.

Just one
We paddle in upstate NY and the northeastern coast - I haven’t found any reason to have other than a neoprene deck skirt for along while now. For big water a neo deck is a lot less likely to implode and is a dryer ride, before you get a roll you can drop off of your partner’s bow to take a quick dip to cool off, and once you get a roll or a deep scull you’ll be able to roto-cool and will need the neo skirt anyway since nylon or GoreTex skirts will pull off.

There are a very few hot days in these season where I’d consider somethng like a half skirt, which would also mean not rolling - not enough to get one just for that.

Mountain Surf
for plastic boats. The rubber rand gives a much better seal than the bungee skirts I had previously.

Easy - since I have two
Snap Dragon Glacier trek Breathable and a Brooks Akuilisaq. Both very comfortable.

First for my keyhole touring boat, the other for my Greenland SOF, the Pintail, Sparrow Hawk, anyone else’s SOF or ocean cockpit boats, etc.

Only neo decks for me, nylon sucks. Harder to get on keep on. A breathable tunnel is OK though for touring and some rolling. For offshore and more rolling go all neo. For smaller cockpits go akuilisaq as they allow freer movement.

Ditto the other comments on pockets and zippers.

99% of the time, I use a
Wildwasser all Neoprene spray deck. It has a pocket on the deck which is easy to use while wearing a pfd. I have two of these because my boats don’t all have the same cockpit dimensions.

I just purchased a Wildwasser Pocket Breathable skirt for a mother ship based kayaking trip my wife are takin in the Sea of Cortez next month.

The reason for the nylon is that the rand is adjustable, and we will be paddling in different boats during this trip (sometimes a divorce boat and sometimes singles).

The lightweight breathable material packs well and doesn’t take much room.

The water and air temps are both expected to be in the 80’s - 90’s range. Neoprene would also be a bit warm for that.

Wildwasser also has several skirts with waterproof zippers, although I don’t see a need for one.

Ife known some smart paddlers
using the broks zippered skirt. They liked it!

I own several neo skirts, and use them unless the water is too polluted to roll in! I like smapdragon a lot and ther have been great in some good sized breaking waves.

I use a brooks on my Pygmy and a
snapdragon on my Redfish, both neoprene. I have no complaints or issues with either. The snapdragon is easier to put on the cockpit but that may be a size issue.

Brook Akuilisaq
I own two of them and they’re all I use these days. I order them without the suspenders and sized to fit snug at the top. The loose fit - compared to the taught decks and tight-fitting tunnels in typical neoprene skirts - allows much more freedom of movement and is more comfortable. Although their standard size is designed for small cockpits, they’ll make them any size you want.


If I buy another spray skirt
my wife will kill me!

Ask if you want, but brace yourself: for a wedding you may be getting traditional gifts (place settings, table cloth, pie server, etc.) instead.