I just got a Jackson Rogue kayak. Most likely I will only use it up to Class 2 (or maybe 3 if I get enough experience) but I would like to learn how to roll. Do I need a full-blown whitewater skirt or could I just get a heavier nylon skirt? I will typically only be out in warm water so a little water is no big deal.


– Last Updated: Aug-03-14 7:27 PM EST –

As long as the skirt fits right you can learn to roll using any skirt. The question is more how much water gets in the kayak and how often you have to dump water.

A neoprene deck and tunnel will keep out the most water. A hybrid skirt (neoprene deck, nylon tunnel) is the next best. An all nylon skirt is going to let the most water in.

Using the suspenders on a nylon tunnel, wearing a jacket over the tunnel then a PFD over all of that, will all help to keep you drier.

If you are going out to buy your first skirt I would recommend at least getting a hybrid or full neoprene.

The hybrids are nice in that they are cooler in the heat but it seems every rogue wave that breaks over you find that small opening in the back of your tunnel to deliver a squirt of nice cold water down to your butt.

Cheaping out
When I first got serious about paddling I cheaped out on a skirt and it was a waste of money in the end.

My go-to is a Snap Dragon (glacier trek maybe) neo deck, half-neo/half-nylon tunnel.

For harder core stuff I really like the Immersion Research full neo. The $130 version is totally sufficient.

With skirts you definitely get what you pay for.

NyIon skirts in a roll
They pull off way too easily in a roll, at least for me, because they don’t stretch. Neo deck skirts will twist and turn with you without pulling off as long as they fit right. Same issue if they get water dumped on them when playing around rocks.

Same here
This was my experience. When I was first learning hip snaps off a friend’s bow (with a nylon skirt), the thing popped off every single time. Usually just along the side, but this was enough to let the water pour in.

Go Neo

– Last Updated: Aug-04-14 6:55 PM EST –

Especially if you want to start rolling, get a full neoprene skirt. I started with a good neo/nylon skirt, thinking it would be cooler in warm weather. But I soon found out it leaked a lot around the waist, no matter how much I squeezed the air from lungs with the velcro tabs, and the nylon wasn't quite as waterproof as advertised, allowing any pooled water to continually drip into the cockpit. The nylon also didn't stretch enough when rolling, which resulted in the skirt having a tendency to pop off on aggressive rolls. Neoprene is much better, and honestly isn't any hotter in warm weather. Unless you just want keep paddle drips off of your lap on flat water and and are trying to save a few bucks, don't bother with nylon.

which Rogue do you have?
If you’ve got a Rogue 9 rather than a Rogue 10, I have a Seals neoprene skirt you can have (as in free) if you want it. It fit my Dagger RPM which I sold in the Spring (the buyer had his own skirt and didn’t want mine). Don’t know the size off the top of my head but the Seals site says the Rogue 9 and Dagger RPM take the same model skirt, a 1.4. I would have to check the tunnel size but I would say it fits from 32" to 36" waist. This one has seen some use and has a wear spot on the deck edge that could use a patch. I could even include a scrap of neoprene you could glue on with some Aquaseal. It’s the heavy duty neoprene style with the snug rubber rand (rather than bungie) and those run around $125 new. Doesn’t fit any of my touring boats so I have no use for it. You can email me (click on my profile) privately if it’s the right size and you want it and I’ll mail it to you.

neo first
IMO a combo nylon/neo skirt is for AFTER you’ve learned to roll.