Sea skirt advice

I got a gift card to a nearby sport shop that carries Seal and Snapdragon skirts. Those of you who have use these brands, which do you recommend in the $60-$90 range. I have a CD Sirocco and paddle mostly calm with some smaller surf on Lakes Superior and Michigan. I don’t roll yet, but plan to learn only to do it when I have to.

I don’t need neoprene, but would buy one in my price range. I want something that will be adequate; it doesn’t need to be the best, but I don’t want junk either.


Avg. water temperature
Recommend either brand in neopreme. You’ll appreciate that over nylon in the long run.

I use
the snapdragon all neo skirt in my sirocco. If you want to limit the water entry to the boat for when you start rolling (and not have it pop off), its the only way to go, IMO.

Of the boats I have owned (plastic, glass, kevlar, folder) this combination of sirocco and SD all neo is by far and away the driest combination. Skirt fits really well.

I’ve also never had this skirt implode.

Either in all neo
Nothing beats an all neoprene skirt. Both Seals and Snapdragon make very good skirts.

Try finding one with a rubber rand
Which ever one you buy try to find one with a rubber rand as they stay secured to the coaming better. I have a harmony neo with rubber rand and out of all of the spray skirts I own (6) it is the best. Happy shopping.

Agree with wilsjo
Pop in a few extra bucks, wait for a sale, and a neo Snapdragon Glacier Trek skirt will last you years and years. Chuck_IL suggested it to me, now I own several. They rock

One other suggestion
If you haven’t paddled with a neo skirt, be sure to practice the wet exit drill a few times on dry land before you venture out the first time. Neoprene skirts can require more force to remove, particularly from a fiberglass coaming. It’s good to know what it will take to pop the skirt before you’re upside down under water.

My .02 worth.

Pull the neo forward to dislodge from
…coaming. Don’t just pull it upward. Pull it forward (to disengage from the coaming lip) and then upward.

And make sure the grab loop is out
Definately get neoprene. Water always pools in the nylon skirts, and eventually, it ends up in the cockpit.

Add a new ritual to your launch sequence. Always make sure the grab loop is showing. You’d be surprised at its propensity to tuck inside the cockpit rim. If you are paddling with buddies, take a look at their skirts too, and speak up if you don’t see the grab loop.

I have never tried popping the skirt without the loop. There must be a way to do it. But by the time I grab for it, I really want out, and I’d hate to have to figure out how to get the skirt off without the loop. I’d like to think I’d remember the knife on my pfd, but I’d rather not find out.

~~Chip Walsh, Gambrills, MD

Get the neo skirt, then…
get that roll. Even if you don’t “get it” for a long time (like me), at least you are in better shape to learn or improve a lot of associated skills like bracing and sculling. The first time you may “need” it could be a very uncomfortable moment.

I prefer the combo skirts …
I have both Snap and Seals all neo and half & half. For three season paddling (which is the majority of my paddling) I prefer the neo deck with breathable tunnel. It does let more water in when rolling than an all neo would, but I go out to paddle - not to roll. So, getting a small amount of water in from rolling, usually at the end of a paddle, does not bother me and the breathable tunnel is much more comfortable in warmer weather. I also primarily paddle inland lakes and rivers because I’m not near the coast. For these reasons my preferred three season skirt is the Seals Extreme Tour. If I paddled more in salt water open conditions I would likely choose all neo.


reconsider neo
I think as you wear it you’ll get used to it. I’ve used a combo skirt and on the hot days you really won’t notice a difference in breathability - below deck will be hot period. OTOH, a neo skirt will let less water in. I like it also because it’s more form fitting and makes a tighter bond with a wetsuit or rashguard. I wear mine all the time, even in midsummer.

I hope
most people teaching wet exits incorporate learning how to pop the skirt without the loop.

In reference to “boozetalkin’s” post, you need to grab the very sides of the skirt and work your fingers under the band. Then work your hands around, either to the front or back and your skirt will pop fairly easy.

… just grab at the side, grabbing/pinching the skirt material in your hand like loose skin (coaming edge lets you get hold of even tight neo) and push out and up. Don’t waste time trying to get fingers under/inside - it’s not needed (and won’t work well on many skirts). Small motor control motions (finger dexterity) are also very unreliable/uncontrollable when someone’s panicked (x10 in cold).

CD Sirocco cockpit is large
I have the same thing. Get a neoprene Snapdragon skirt. You’ll be glad/won’t regret that you did.

Thanks so much …
for all this advice! I learn so much from reading all your posts on this site. Keep the replies coming and it will certainly help me in my decision.