Tightening your skirt

I am on my second skirt for my kayak and have a question. The first skirt was way too small and popped off the front any chance it got, no matter how tight the bungee deal was… sooo I got a new skirt but now that this one fits well i was wondering how tight you want the bungee to be. Do you tie it tight off the kayak then stretch it on really tight, or put the skirt on the tighten it down? I’m just really not sure how tight it needs to be to properly stay on… any help is appreciated… Thanks!

If you don’t plan to roll, or paddle in
heavy surf, then the skirt needn’t be very tight. But I would suggest getting it tight enough that you can press down with flat hands on the surface of the skirt in front of you without the front, or the sides of the skirt popping off. This duplicates the pressure of water when you are upside down and preparing to roll.

I’m a little surprised that you found a skirt where you can adjust the bungee tension. Most of the neoprene skirts nowadays have the bungee sewn to the rim, or have a rubber rand, and these can’t be adjusted.

The other thing you can do is (maybe with someone to assist) get skirted up in a safe place where you can stand on the bottom, and then deliberately flip the boat. Wait a few seconds before you pull the skirt, and feel with your thighs how much water is getting in. If your buddy can help you flip back up, you won’t need to wet exit at all, and you can then pull the skirt and see how much water you have taken.

its a nylon skirt
Thanks… its not a neoprene skirt it is nylon and has the cord coming out the back… that was just the problem i was having with the old skirt the popping off from the impact of a wave on top of it, so since the new fits a lot better with the right tension that should no longer be a problem.


Issue with nylon
Glad to hear that the new skirt is staying on better - but be aware that the best nylon (or Goretex) skirt will still be less able to absorb impact than a neo skirt. That’s because the deck material won’t stretch and flex.

As above, at any point that you try to do something like learn a roll you’ll end up going neo because the non-stretch deck will tend to pull off as you go thru the motions.

We have a couple of non-neo skirts that we use at times - they are always useful for quiet paddles on warm days (especially the GoreTex one) or guests who we figure won’t want to be upside down. But don’t be surprised if you find yourself looking at neo deck skirts before long too.