what should I look for when buying a skirt for my new fiberglass sea kayak? The last time i purchased one was ten years ago and I went with a neoprene one. My brother in law has a nylon one with a drawstring.
If you would like the least amount of water in your cockpit, get a neoprene skirt.
Seal and Snapdragon are among the ones that are well regarded.
Look for one with a pouch sewn into the deck. Great place to keep some basics. I keep my flare gun and other similar small items in there. If you have an out of boat experience, the stuff goes with you.
there were more variations on that theme, not huge bags but a small flat zipper mesh bag.
they’ve got a neoprene deck/goretex tunnell that I like a lot. I gave up on that combo a long time ago but was given one by good luck and it works very well. There’s all kinds of tough stretchy neoprene nowadays. If you do ANY rescue practice get a skirt with reinforcing on the sides as dragging boats across your lap will put holes in the neoprene. Never been a fan of any fabric decked skirts, I just don’t see the need for puddlling water around the waist.
You don’t say what your experience is, so I am hedging on my reply.
If you’ve been paddling right along these ten years, doing wet exits, and good when you go upside down, then definitely neoprene - much more watertight and better fit around the body. Plus the nice taut deck really does not implode under water/waves like nylon.
If you are getting back into kayaking then you might be better off to start with a combo nylon/neo sprayskirt til you refresh your experience with wet exits. As you probably know, the neo grips the fiberglass coaming much more tightly than nylon. This can be unnerving if you’ve not recently done wet exits.
Never used an all nylon sprayskirt. IMO they are more suited for recreational boats on calm waters.
YMMV as they say.
Seals has one
Their “Mariner” series of gore-tex sprayskirts. I have one, and it has overkill things like tons of attachment loops, and a paddle park (That I removed), but it has a nice mesh pocket and bungees on it.
It also has a very good grab handle with a bungee on it that keeps it from being tucked under. Not as watertight as a neoprene skirt, but not bad, either.