Sprayskirt fit for Nighthawk

What sprayskirt are you all using on your Nighthawk 16’s?

I have a Brooks Neoprene skirt (size large) but find that it comes loose at the side with vigorous rolling attempts. I took a lot of slack out of the shock cord and that helped quite a bit. Just wonder what the rest of you use. The size medium was very difficult to get over the coaming.

They had me try a snapdragon with the rubberized rand, but it was too stiff for me to get on the coaming.


I don’t know whether your kayak is poly
or composite. If it is composite, try taking some coarse (80 to 120) sandpaper and sanding lengthwise along and under the edges of the cockpit rim. The object is to leave longitudinal ridges which will tend to hold the sides of the Brooks skirt on.

If sanding alone does not do enough, you can try coating the sanded areas with something tacky like Acquaseal or Seamsealer. These approaches have helped on a lot of polyethelene whitewater boats.

It’s Carbonlite Polycarbonate
Tough and stiffer than polyethylene with a hard finish. The sanding trick might work.


Fitting a skirt
You are always dealing with getting as tight a seal as possible vs. being able to put a skirt on. Here are a couple of tips. I like Snapdragon skirts and use them for all of my boats. But they can be somewhat difficult. First, put the skirt on the boat and let it sit for at least over night. A day or two is better. Second, always get it wet before you put it on. For example, at pool sessions I just toss it into the pool for a while before I use it. Third (I know I said “a couple”), be sure you are putting it on correctly. By that I mean, lean back and be sure it is seated all along the back and parts or the sides. Grab the skirt with both hands near the grab loop and your thumbs pointing to each other on the top of the skirt. You should still be leaning back and your arms should be almost straight. Then lean forward using your abdominal muscles until the skirt goes over the front of the cockpit. Just as your torso is stronger for paddling than your arms it is stronger for putting on your skirt. As you can probably deduce, the test in the store is not sufficient.

Great tips!
Thanks! I never thought about using my torso to stretch the skirt forward. That makes very good sense. Also the trick of wetting the skirt first. Great idea! I must admit I liked the design and features of the snapdragon (especially the oversized grabloop with a twist to stay open) but had such difficulty getting it on, and admittedly, fear that I wouldn’t be able to get it off either! I’ve gotten over that entrapment fear now, though. If I can’t make adjustments to my existing brooks skirt, I may reconsider getting a Snapdragon.


try www. mountainsurf.com and see…
…what they have to say.

doesn’t list the Eddyline boats in their fit list.


Fit Lists
are separate for ww and touring boats. I took a quick peak for the Eddyline boats. They’re there although they seemed to have missed listing the Nighthawk while listing Merlin, Raven, Falcon, etc. Doesn’t matter, Eddyline uses the same cockpit dimensions for their touring boats – 31.5"x17". The Mountainsurf skirt size listed for that is 200 LK.

Personally, I like SnapDragon skirts and have not had a problem with them for white water or touring boats. The “supratex” models seem to stretch a little easier. Could be my imagination though.


Still Not Over My Entrapment Fear
So I use a nylon Voyageur on my Night Hawk 16. If I ever get a roll that I can count on, I’ll probably try to get over it and go for a Snap Dragon.


Entrapment Fear

The neoprene sprayskirts come off much easier when wet. Borrow one, and do a wet exit in shallow water with someone standing by. You’ll get over it. Then you can go out and buy the one you want.