Time to upgrade my spray skirt

I’ve been using a Seals Coastal Tour 2.2 on my Necky Manitou 14 and I’ve been happy w/ it (I also have a cockpit cover that’s 1.7 and feel like that is a more appropriate tightness), but now I’m working more on hard edging, hip snaps, and will be rolling so I’m looking for some recommendations to keep the water level reduced in my cockpit. :grin:

First off I’m wondering if one of their hybrids are worth while, (I do spend most of my time in a hot climate) or if I really need to go full neo?
Also I’m wanting to practice more assisted rescues and don’t want to waste the skirt doing T- rescues and such. So I’m thinking that it should have some edge reinforcement like the Coastal Tour to prevent that? Maybe something like the Extreme Tour?

My dry top is double tunneled, I don’t know how much that matters when it comes to a full neo tunnel versus an adjustable nylon one?

Any suggestions greatly appreciated since I’m low budget and prefer to get the right thing to start w/ and not have to do the buy/try/sell/repeat . . .

Seals recommends a 1.7 skirt and cockpit cover for neoprene and 2.2 for nylon with your boat, so your skirt is too big.

Supply chain issues have greatly affected spray skirt manufacturers so many sizes and models can be hard to find. While the Coastal Tour model is still available on many sites, it is not listed as a current model on the Seals website. Seals is just now shipping some orders from last year.

I have a Seals Surf in neoprene that I’ve been happy with that replaced a Snapdragon skirt. I’ve never been happy with the durability of nylon and neoprene/nylon skirts.

The Coastal Tour is nylon so I’m guessing that it’s the right size. And they do still list it on their site.

I’m wanting to get something other than that nylon skirt for practice sessions. Preferably something that lets in a lot less water. :smile:

I mostly use full neo (Seals Surf) skirts but I have one neo/nylon Seals Sea Sprite that I use on my Everglades Challenge boat, mostly because in the race I’m wearing the skirt 16+ hours a day and also taking it on and off frequently. Interestingly, most of the paddlers in the EC use plain old nylon skirts!

While the neo/nylon is quicker to take on and off, and can be loosened while wearing it, for “normal” shorter paddles I do prefer the full neoprene. Slightly more comfortable (less bulk under the PFD) and less prone to pooling water on the skirt deck if the tunnel isn’t pulled up high enough. A Seals Shocker has reinforcement around the edges which would protect it a bit from rescue practice and general wear and tear. I find I get about 4-5 years out of my Surf skirts before the top fabric starts to separate from the neoprene; I don’t abuse my gear but it is used often and the UV in Florida is no joke.

If you want to stick with Seals, I think the Extreme Tour would be a good upgrade for you. Neo deck but nylon tunnel.

For rolling or other activities where you will be twisting around any, a neo deck is about required. Nylon doesn’t stretch enough, so would pull off the combing.

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If you’re going to be rolling, get a full neoprene skirt. Seals has a great following and their neoprene skirts seem well made. I have a nylon skirt of theirs (Seals Sneak) I like to use when I’m just needing something to keep the splashes out of my Tsunami. I have a Level 6 Club skirt for my Tsunami when in rougher water or practicing rolling in it, and an Immersion Research Shockwave for my Jackson whitewater boat. Both of those skirts work great, but I’ll be honest, between the two, I like the IR Shockwave more.

what are the dimensions of your cockpit? I have an unused Sea to Summit Neon size L skirt, neoprene deck with bungie grip (not rand) and nylon tunnel I’ll sell you very cheap if it will fit ($30 plus postage). It turned out to be just a bit too wide for either of the boats I was hoping I could use it on and since I picked it up on clearance while on a trip I could not return it. It is slightly wider than a Seals 1.7 (which fits my boats) but not quite as long as their 2.2 skirts. Sea to Summit lists the fit range as 90 to 100 cm long and 53 to 57 cm wide.

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Thanks, but it looks like it might be too wide for either of our cockpits as well. I found the large listed as fitting “(length) 35.5 - 39.5 in, (width) 21 - 22.5 in” and both of ours measure out as 19" wide. We do fit into the length range, just not the width, dang.

I’m starting to think I should get the Seals “Shocker”. What @Brodie said about less bulk under the PFD resonated w/ me. Being that I’m at the bottom end of the range on adjustable tunnels means I would have a lot of the tunnel folded over itself. It also seems (when I can find one) that the Shocker is a little cheaper than the Extreme Tour.
Now the problem is that I live in a sea kayaking desert. I did find one in stock in Wisconsin (the only one I’ve found so far) that I might have to get. Just have to decide on tunnel size.

If anyone knows of one closer to me in Arizona that would be great, also the best way to determine tunnel size. My waist is smaller than the bottom of my ribcage. Do I just go w/ the smaller waist measurement even though the skirt tends to come up higher than that?

Err on the side of a bigger tunnel than a too-small one. Although I did find out that Seals can put a bigger tunnel on an existing skirt when I underestimated how much my old skirt had stretched out when ordering a new one!

I usually fold the top of the tunnel down as it’s more comfortable that way (darn boobs). So I would probably focus on your waist circumference at skirt/cockpit rim level. Call Seals if you have any questions, they are super helpful.

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I believe that you can custom order a shorter tunnel from Seals, so no need to fold it over. When I was last at Annapolis Canoe & Kayak they had a few skirts with shorter tunnels. Selection was limited. They had just gotten in the skirts that they ordered last year.

Snapdragon use to say measure your chest. Standard ones that fit my hulls were to tight on my chest.

Yeah, it’s odd that the Sea to Summit skirt is so wide. Might be why they discontinued the model (actually S to S is no longer making skirts, I notice). I may try cutting off the bungee and narrowing and shortening the deck a couple of inches in each direction, then stitching on a new bungee to make it usable for my 1.7 size coamings, since it’s made of nice materials.

So I got the Seals Shocker that I ordered in and have a couple concerns.

  1. I noticed right away that the tunnel doesn’t line up w/ the seat placement, even before I got it anywhere near the kayak.
    Now I know people move their seats in situations of bad weathercocking but I’d rather not do that mod if I haven’t been having that issue and I’m sure they had a good idea of where it should be when they designed the model.

  2. that the tunnel doesn’t have any stretch
    happening once I get it on.
    I danced around outside my rig this morning getting into the skirt, it is tight over my hips, and once I had it in place around my torsos (over a Tshirt) it touched all the way around but w/o being stretched at all. Should it not have a little stretch going on at that point? I know that it still needs the dry top over it (or under it. That still seems wrong to me) and a base layer. But I mostly spend my time in the warmer climates and waters, so not loads of layers.

So should I be sending this back for a smaller tunnel, or getting a different one that lines up better w/ seat placement?
I’m headed out for a few days on the water mid-week and will take it w/ me for testing but still would like some experienced input.

You probably do need the next size down for the tunnel. It should be snug.

As far as the kayak seat position, it looks to be unusually far forward. The top of the seat back in my Necky Arluk 1.9 is only a couple of inches from the back of the cockpit rim. Is the seat back further back when you are sitting in the seat or can the seat or seat back be adjusted further back? If not, you hay need a custom skirt, which I think Seals can do. If not, you can make one yourself or there are several companies that custom make skirts to your specifications that you can find online.

You might want to try sitting in the kayak with the skirt first to see if the tunnel position is a problem. It would be unusual if a fairly common kayak needed a custom skirt.

To far back from seat.

Can’t remember exactly but Snapdragon didn’t charge much for larger custom tunnels in neo skirts.

Hope they never wear out.

I don’t know if Seals has tunnel sizes. I have a made-to-order Seals for an Epic 18x; they needed a tracing of the cockpit and distance from my back to the cockpit edge, but nothing about waist size.

They do, and I was right on the line between two sizes so I went for the larger one thinking if I was at the max limit of one size it would be better to bump up one size.

I needed larger for my chest measurement not my waist.

I agree w/ the fact that this is not an unusual kayak model.
The seat back will move back some when I’m in it. I took the framing out that connects it to the seat base so it’s kind of like a overly padded backband. I could let it back more but then I’m starting to be too far back on the seat base, and no, the seat base doesn’t adjust backwards (or forward for that matter).
I did sit in it and it seems to open up if I lean to far forward.