Seals Spray Skirt

So as I continue to learn I am ready for a spray skirt. Mostly Gulf and some slow rivers. No white water or surfing. I have decided on Seals skirt. Initially was going to order the Extreme touring skirt. Neoprene deck and fabric tunnel. I than looked at the whitewater skirts such as the Shocker. The WW skirts are neoprene deck and tunnel.

Is there any downside to ordering a WW all neoprene for my type of paddling? it may be overkill but any negatives?

i should mention that i live in N. central Florida and the temps in summer hit 90s. Right now Gulf water is 87 degrees. i will be in water year round.

Am I better served going fabric/neoprene or all neoprene?

I know neo/neo may be warm in summer but is this acceptable trade off for winter paddling when air is in 50s and water is 60-70

all neo vs combi or nylon

– Last Updated: Jul-18-12 1:37 PM EST –

I have several skirts (of each type for ww and touring boats) and almost always use one for touring since I use a Greenland paddle and they drip on your lap constantly.

The advantage of an all neo and the reason they are used for whitewater is that they stay on really tight even when you are getting thrown around. That also means they are a PITA to put on every time. So anytime you have to get anything from under the deck (or to cool off) you have to do "kayak yoga" to get it fastened back onto the lip. And, as you deduced, they are hot around the waist and under the deck. On the other hand, an all nylon skirt is comfortable to wear and easy to put on and take off the coaming. In most touring conditions, even pretty rough ones, I have never had one come off if it was fitted right to the boat.

The combination ones kind of have the best of both features in that they fit more snugly than all nylon but you don't have to fight to get them on like an all-neoprene one.

For really hot weather I recently bought one of the Seals Half skirts:

I love this thing -- gives you protection from splash and sunburned thighs, plus a handy pocket for a water bottle, charts or camera, but is open around the waist so it doesn't feel like a sauna. It has a flexible support stay sewn in so it maintains a "hump" that sheds paddle drip.

So depending on what most of your paddling is likely to be, you might want to go for a combi skirt for open water and rough conditions and get a half skirt for easy water tours in hot weather.

If you plan to do surfing and rolling an all neoprene might be in order for security and water exclusion when you go over. Otherwise, I would not choose an all neo for touring myself.

(BTW, I paddle up north and have been out in air temps below 30 and water below 50 -- still used only the combi skirt since the nylon tunnel fits over a drysuit better than the all neo.)

Snap Dragon vs Seals

Thanks for your input. Any thoughts on Seals Extreme fabric/neo vs Snap Dragon Glacier Trek fabric/neo

Both get good reviews. Is one a "better"quality skirt?

I know this is subjective but I’d like to get quality product.

sprayskirts for Florida
I live in Orlando.

For calm-weather touring I usually use a all-nylon skirt (with small ocean cockpits), or a skirt with an adjustable nylon body tube and neoprene deck. The latter allows for adjustment and ventilation. I’m not a fan of models with “suspenders” (shoulder straps).

All-nylon is lightweight, inexpensive and is cooler, however they are more prone to pop-off the coaming than neoprene and they usually don’t form as good a seal around your body. A neoprene deck is less prone to “pop” and is taut, so it doesn’t allow a puddle to form on your lap, like nylon.

I use all-neoprene for rolling practice, surf and rough-weather kayaking. Neoprene is more watertight, but also is less comfortable in hot weather. In Winter, you might prefer to wear neoprene for the added warmth.

For most of my kayaks I have both neoprene and nylon skirts to match the season and activity. If I had to pick just one (for Florida touring) I’d get a neoprene deck, and nylon top tube.

I’m sponsored by Snapdragon, and am a big fan of their products. I have a blog posting about sprayskirts for Florida at .

Greg Stamer

Also IR

– Last Updated: Jul-18-12 3:31 PM EST –

I have the Glacier EXP breathable skirt that gstamer mentions in his blog as a good hot-weather touring skirt, and it is a good one.

I also have an Immersion Research Excursion skirt, which IMO is even better for hot weather. The deck is thin 2mm neoprene, and it has a breathable tunnel - it is quite forgiving in hot weather. It has suspenders (which I like) that are removable if you don't. It's discontinued, so is currently on deep discount at Campmor - definitely worth considering.{keyword}

Seals Sneak
Look at this one. It may not be best for rolling, but it’s great in cold water/air, breathes, and even opens up for ventilation or reaching into the boat.

I wish you could take your kayak to
a store where you could try the skirt on yourself and on your boat. That works so much better than a home delivery.

I would avoid a neoprene tunnel for hot climes. But if you do get a neoprene tunnel, don’t get one that is too tight. The tunnel will fight your torso rotation, and may be a bit hotter. If water tends to get down the tunnel, you can perhaps wear a light, short-sleeved paddle jacket to keep water out of the tunnel. Nice breathable ones available now. But I think a neo deck and a Nylon tunnel may be best.

Never had a problem with neoprene
I live and paddle year-round in the southeast US and I have never had a problem (or even noticed) neoprene sprayskirts being hot. Maybe I am acclimated to it.

Nylon skirts don’t do a good job of keeping water out (IMO). Neo/nylon skirts do a better job, but not great.

get the all-neo and fuhgedaboudit
Because you will. You can always roll or brace to cool off. IMO the temperature difference is too small to be worth it.

What boat?
I would would purchase an all neo skirt if you plan to learn to roll, kayak bigger waters, or kayak in winter in FL. Stock color of neo Seals skirts is black. You can custom order skirts in lighter colors like gray or yellow which might be better for you in spring, summer and fall! However, on some touring boats I would not use a neo skirt because of the depth of the cockpit and or type of cockpit rim. With a rim that is too deep they can be nearly impossible to remove. The Surf, Shocker and Pro Shocker all work well with a shock cord (bungee) rim, but don’t get a randed skirt for use on a composite boat. Randed skirts can be used safely on some plastic boats.