Spray Skirt

I will be looking to purchase a spray skirt for my new kayak. What are the things that I want to look for in a good spray skirt? Also, I would imagine it will make it much warmer on an already warm day. Thoughts and suggestions are appreciated.

Thank You

What boat type and where do you paddle
These are questions to ask because if you’re paddling a recreational boat on flat water the requirements for a sprayskirt are very different than if you’re doing whitewater or level 4+ ocean boating.

I paddle NDK and Tempest boats and use a SnapDragon sprayskirt. Neoprene desk with a goretex tunnel.

I love it!!!


goretex tunnel…
Is this a new product for Snap Dragon? Does the Goretex really breath enough to reduce the ‘clammy’ felling on a hot day?


Spray Skirt
The boat is a Perception Eclipse. We paddle mostly ponds and lakes with some Class I rivers. An occasional forray in protected coastline of Maine is not out of the picture.

Yes, it will make you warmer
Much warmer on a hot day, unpleasantly so. I feel like I’m getting steamed on such days if I wear the sprayskirt in its closed position.

However, mine consists of a neoprene deck with nylon tunnel. The tunnel is huge, so I have the option of wearing it OVER the PFD with the top loosely open instead of cinched in. It’s also made by SnapDragon, and is of very high quality, as is their backband. Comes with either suspenders or an adjustable top band made of neoprene.

If you are paddling in rough water, I don’t advise having the top open as described above. But for calm conditions, it allows ventilation and still prevents water from getting in the cockpit.


– Last Updated: Apr-16-04 5:38 PM EST –

Generally speaking Goretex is most effective when it is used in an environment with a great humidity gradient. In the Southeastern US where the atmospheric humdity is generally pretty high Goretex and other propietary "breathable" material is less effective.

In your neck of the country (Rocky Mtns) it would be more effective.

You'll also pay $$$ for Goretex. It would be best if you could try a skirt first. In milder temps. a polypropylene coated nylon skirt (it's pretty warm too) may be just as uncomfortable (yes, uncomfortable) as a high $$$ Goretex skirt. Try before you buy.

Snap Dragon EZ Trek
is what I use. I got the one with the Sympatex (breathable) tunnel. I had been using a Kokatat DLX job that was coated oxford nylon. The Snapdragon is way more comfortable. I would get lots of condensation on the underside of the Kokatat deck and sweaty underneath the tunnel. I was skeptical about the breatability of the Snapdragon tunnel but here in the PNW it works. I am drier underneath my PFD and no longer have that clammy feeling from the deck condensation.

It works much better for me, seals better around my chest, grips the coaming better yet goes on easier. Money well spent.

Over the PFD wear: Yes
See Jon Turk’s Sea Kayaker article on expedition technique. Not good for the roughest conditions.

Read These Sea Kayaker Reviews

I use several different skirts
depending on where I’m paddling, conditions, and temperatures.

For those hot days and calm water, I use a Wild Wasser Pocket Nylon skirt–nylon tunnel and nylon deck. Keeps me fairly dry but cooler.

If it’s a warm day and I expect to be in some rougher water, I use a Snap Dragon nylon tube/Neoprene deck skirt.

If it’s going to be rough conditions or cold, I use a Wild Wasser Pocket Neo/Neo. It has a Neoprene tube and Neoprene deck.

Both of the Neoprene deck skirts are tight enough that a breaking wave won’t tear them off. The Pocket Nylon deck has an implosion bar and also has never come off in the surf, but it is not as dry as the other skirts.