I am about to purchase a snapdragon Ocean Tour exp spray skirt for my VCP Anas Acuta. Since it is a custom order due to the ocean cockpit, I am concerned about the specs for waist size from Snapdragon. They have medium to be 30 to 32, and large as 32 to 34. I usually wear size 32 pants, or size medium, so my question to owners of snapdragon skirts with neo tunnel, would you err on the side of large, or medium, given the fact that I would like to stay dry, but also have decent range of motion for rolls?
What kinds of paddling clothing?
There’s a big difference between paddling in a 2mm wetsuit and a drysuit with underlayer or 2.
I’ve been using a very tight-fitting Snap Dragon “whitewater school” skirt–it is a child’s skirt and the upper end of the size spec is smaller than my actual waist circumference. But I only use it with a single layer of light clothing, and it is definitely tighter than I like. Recently I got wise and bought the adult size that actually has my waist measurement at the bottom of its range, and that is more comfortable.
The child’s skirt is now only for pool practice. It is too tight to accommodate a drysuit.
It sounds like you will do fine with a medium tunnel. My waist is 35 and my SD skirt with medium tunnel is quite snug. In fact, depending on what I’m wearing it can be too tight. Time to loose some weight I guess. If you’re layering over winter wear then too snug is no good.
I would go for the larger tunnel size.
I don’t rely on the tunnel for water seal. I wear a drytop over it, or a lighter garment with snug wrist, neck, and waist seals.
A tight tunnel not only impedes roll motion, it also resists your torso twisting while paddling.
Of course, a tunnel shouldn’t be sloppy-loose. But when you’re seated in the boat, it should allow your torso to twist without serious resistance.
Often, tunnels are higher than they need to be. Use yours for a while, and the trim the top if you see that you could do with a shorter stack.
Range of motion
is very important to me, so I think I will go with your advice on the large. Most companies that sell outdoor gear actually stipulate medium as 32 to 34, so I think that calling that size range ‘Large’ has thrown me off a bit.
Agree with G2D
A tunnel that is too tight will make it very uncomfortable to paddle. In particular you need to be able to breath comfortably. You will never get a tunnel that prevents leaks down the back if you roll or capsize.
I have 2 Snapdragon neoprene spray skirts for 2 different kayaks, I am a smaller 34" waist and the large tunnel is a nice tight fit. I have been using one for 5 years and the other for 3 years and would recommend them.
The XXS Snap dragon deck has worked very well for me on an AA and a SOF with an OC. So if you to use a neoprene tube, you should be able to use a stock skirt. Personally, I would not want a nylon tube when paddling an AA. Agree with others about size. I have a 34" waist and use a XL tunnel. If you are doing Greenland stuff, just want something more comfy, or a good compromise for nylon tunnel; then you might try a Brooks Akuilisaq or summer skirt which works very well.
go with large
My waist is a bit larger than yours and a Snapdragon large tunnel is quite a snug fit even when wearing nothing above the waist (except for a PFD which goes on top of the tunnel, of course).
You really don’t want motion between you and the tunnel. The neoprene stretches to allow motion between the tunnel and your cockpit coaming.
Although you might get by with the medium, the large tunnel will allow more flexibility for wearing insulating clothing underneath it, as others have suggested
I haven’t found
an online or local dealer that has the xxs deck size as a stock item, therefore the need to get the order right, since a return on a waist size issue would probably be costly.
Go with the Large tunnel
I have a 32-33" waist. I own a SnapDragon neo skirt with a medium tunnel. It is a bit too snug, particularly when wearing a drysuit or drytop. I also have a Seals neo deck with a large tunnel. It is far more comfortable. If I purchase another SD skirt it will have Large tunnel.
If you only do warm water paddling wearing little immersion clothing the Medium size tunnel might be OK.