I am looking to purchase a spray skirt and need some help figuring out which is best for the money. Is neoprene or gore-tex better? What features should I look for in a sprayskirt? What are the advantages of one style/material over another. I will be paddling in the Great Lakes. Any suggestions on a brand? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
If you plan to roll…
you need a neo deck. Tunnel more flexible, can be neo or fabric like supplex. If you are paddling the Great Lakes seriously, a roll and related skills are a very good idea.
Do I take it that you haven’t gone for this yet? And what boat are you paddling?
prefer neoprene skirt 75% of time
but warmer summer days even if I roll some (not a lot) I prefer my nylon skirt with an implosion bar. But if I had to own just one skirt it would be the neo. Mine has a nylon tunnel which when covered by my paddle jacket keeps me pretty dry even when spending a day having fun in the surf.
Like the ones above stated:
An all neoprene skirt is hot, but it is also probably the best for rolling.
Another thing that I don’t like about the all neoprene with the tight tunnel is the fact that it is just about impossible to put on while sitting in the boat.
Kind of like a old lady putting on her corsett!
If you are not going to be wearing it during your entire paddle but want to keep it on the deck like I do just in case some bad weather blows up, get one with a loose tunnel that has a velcro closure strap.
You get what you pay for, and with the less expensive nylon ones, lots of times there will be loose pockets on the deck that you will have to shake the water out of.
neo deck for seas, surf and rolling
I’ve acquired nearly a dozen skirts over the past 10 or so years (including 1 Gore-Tex), I’ve only used my neo decked skirts for the last 5 or so years. I’ve only kept the others as ‘guest’ skirts for those who may not be rollers or experienced in pulling skirts when upside down.
I am fond of Seals and Snapdragon skirts.
I’d go with neoprene
I have used lots of different styles/materials and find neoprene the best for me.
Some folks have mentioned neoprene being too hot in the summer. I have lived and kayaked year round in Florida, N Carolina, and S Carolina and have never thought neoprene skirts were too hot.