Skirt for rolling
Cautions I mentioned above aside, a neo deck skirt is much more apt for rolling and wet work than nylon. They stretch with you rather than pulling off the coaming when you roll, and they are usually drier.
You just have to practice pulling them off, unlike the nylon where you should but a good panicked push will usually take them off anyway.
Skirt for rolling
Thanks jimx200, cool video! I didn’t realize they were hand made like that!
Willowleaf, thanks for the sizing info! The half neo half gortex-like material sounds like it might be okay.
Celia, thanks for the pointers. At my local canoe and kayak club, I have tested out several kayaks and practiced wet exits with neo skirts, so I feel pretty comfortable with them. That being said, I don’t know if they were bungee cords or rubber rands. I’ll check that. I think I’m probably looking for something in between - super dry would be nice, but probably expensive and unnecessary for my needs. But I do want it to stay on the coaming if I do roll. Perhaps something like the part neo, part gortex-like material that Willowleaf mentioned?
There are three basic makeups for skirts -
All neo skirts - neo deck and neo tunnel
Neo deck with fabric tunnel
Fabric deck and fabric tunnel
All I was talking about was having a neo deck, whatever the tunnel, and that will stay on when you roll. Tunnel is personal preference. I have neo tunnels for my WW skirts and fabric tunnels for the sea kayaks because I don’t have the patience to squeeze a neo tunnel over a dry suit. But at times I am in the minority - the guys in the pod all prefer neo tunnels.
Rand versus bungie is how the edge that goes under the coaming is made. Bungies tend to be less sticky to get off.
Dryness is a lot of things once you start rolling. Water can come in thru the tunnel, very small opportunities at the edge of the coaming… it starts getting relative to water sloshing around in your boat.
9 months later
So after everyone's help in trying to figure out if I should by the Venture Easky 15LV, I did buy it and I thought I'd post a review.
To start with, I bought it at the end of last summer and used it about half a dozen times, and now that winter's over I've been out a few more times so far this spring. So I realize that I don't have a TON of experience yet, but I'll add that most of my paddles are about 2-3 hours in choppy conditions. For what it's worth, here's my review.
This is a fantastic kayak! It tracks so nicely, even without the skeg. In really choppy conditions, I drop the skeg and it's as straight as an arrow.
It's a very quick kayak. It glides through the water effortlessly, and picks up speed nicely. Granted, I haven't tried it directly against other boats, but I have tried out about a dozen other boats on my own (12-17 footers), and this is a quick one.
As it's quite a narrow boat, for the first few uses (especially if you are more on the beginner side) it feels really tippy. But it's the great kind of tippy, where you can learn to edge. I'm still learning just how far over I can go (secondary stability), but the more I trust myself, the more I realize how stable this kayak is on it's side. That being said, you can just sit and relax without paddling, which is nice too.
Perhaps the thing that's impressed me most is how it handles in swells and rough water. I've been in 3-5 foot swells, and the Easky glides over them like they're nothing - both facing head on into the wave, and having the wave hit you from the side.
The one thing I'd add is to make sure you have a skirt, especially in choppy conditions. The water definitely comes over the bow in swells. But again, it handles them beautifully. That seems like a contradiction, but somehow it's not.
My skeg has gotten stuck the past few paddles, but it's a rope skeg and should be easily repaired - in fact I think I may have already fixed it just by fiddling with it. I'll find out on my next paddle.
Paddleholder is beautiful!!! I can't believe all kayaks don't have a paddleholder.
The little day hatch on top is nice, I just need to buy a smaller water bottle.
The seat is comfortable. I've sat in other kayaks that are far less comfortable. I can sit in this one for 2-3 hours. My legs are stiff by the end, but hey, I've just been sitting for a few hours! I always have the seat-back in the down position, as I paddle with a skirt and it won't fit if the seat is up.
Overall, I'm thrilled with this purchase. I can't wait to get out a lot more this summer and improve my skill, see just how far I can edge, and learn to roll. I'd recommend it to anyone with my dimensions (5'7", 155lbs) who's an intermediate paddler looking to get better.