Spray skirt reco

Hi all – I seek to replace an aging Snap Dragon full neoprene spray skirt with one that’s as bombproof as possible. What I have currently acts as a sieve and even with braced turns I get water coming in…

Hence, my desire is a skirt that does great at keeping water out of the cockpit in surf, during rolls, etc etc. Within reason, of course.

My local shop has suggested:

Seals Stretch Nylon skirt

the Immersion Research Klingon

I’m also considering the SD Ocean Tour EXP.

Any suggestions are welcome - please tell me about your experience.

Klingon or Klingon Empire. (Yes those are the model names.)

Either would exactly fit your uses.

See you on the water,


The Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY



how old is it?
does it look beat? Waterproof it possibly?

Neoprene is about as waterproof as it gets. Everything ages so eventually they leak. Nylon skirts are VERY wet to start with, don’t get better with age.

Bill H.

Agree with Bill

– Last Updated: Oct-16-16 2:37 AM EST –

I don't know why your local shop recommended a nylon skirt - doesn't seem appropriate for the uses you mentioned.

Seals does have a lot of neoprene skirts that likely would work fine. One of my skirts is a Seals Shocker, and it has seen a lot of hard use. So Seals, along with other brands, could be fine.

You didn't mention your boat. If it is composite, then you likely won't want to use a randed skirt. They can stick. But if plastic, a rand does provide a superior seal (which both keeps water out, but also makes it harder to get skirt on and off). If the boat has a huge cockpit, then finding a skirt that seals and stays on may be hard.

Stretch Nylon vs Neo

– Last Updated: Oct-16-16 8:21 AM EST –

The OP provides two examples. The IR Klingon is a bungee ranged apron style skirt that works equally well with poLy or composite coamings and the Stetch Nylon is a sewn bungee rand with decking material that has 4 way stretch so it behaves like a neoprene deck with a fabric tunnel. The later has been my go to skirt for most purposes except die hard wave dumpage/whitewater conditions that the OP described. For that type of duty the IR Klingon is use built for that.

See you on the water,
The Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY

Thanks for clarification
I’ll have to take a closer look at this Seals skirt. Maybe it will change my old stool view of nylon skirts not being stretchable enough.

It’s a wonderful skirt.
Very stretchy yet quite taut. While I’ve not yet learned to roll, I’ve had waves dump in my lap and have been saved by that skirt. It stays put and keeps out the water.

Thanks all for the recommendations and ideas. My boat (it’s a wood boat, the Petrel from Guillemot Kakays) has a relatively small cockpit, with a low profile cowling that snugs into a rear deck recess. This creates a tight fit for any skirt, but I test-fitted a Klingon and it’s wide rand proved difficult to secure efficiently.

I’ve reached out to Reed Chilleater, Snapdragon, IR, and Seals to see about custom skirts. The issue with my current skirt (which is only ~1 year old, so the neo has not worn out) is that there’s too much deck behind the tube. The extra fabric wrinkles up and results in a loose fit. I’ve had a chance to roll the boat a few times now (I’d just launched it when I first poster) and collect way too much water.

I would highly recommend getting a custom neoprene skirt made by either Snap Dragon or Seals. You may have to call Immersion Research to see if they’re doing custom skirts anymore. Either Snap Dragon or Seals you can’t go wrong, Both will need you to make a template of your cockpit rim to ensure proper fit but it’s definitely worth it.

I currently have a Snap Dragon Glacier Trek Breathable for my Impex kayaks and a Reed Aquasiliq and Tuliq for my Greenland boat. Both have done a great job of keeping water out in rough weather.

GSBPaddler, thanks for the feedback.

IR no longer does custom skirts, I’ve learned, but will move the tunnel to a new position on the deck. They offered to send me a skirt off the rack to test for fit on the cockpit, and from there they’d move the tunnel to suit.

As for Snap Dragon and Seals, exactly as you state, with an accurate tracing of the cockpit + measurement of the rear of the cockpit to the seat back, they’ll cut a custom skirt. The person from Seals included that all skirts are made-to-fit for Guillemot Kayaks.