Touring skirts-any advice

Hi…I have a Perception Carolina 13.5 and would like to purchase a nice spray skirt. I would like either nylon/neoprene or just neoprene material. I am looking at Snap Dragon’s Glacier Trek Supratex/Nylon series. Does anyone have any suggestions on this brand or on what brand would be the best? I am 18 and I received this kayak for a graduation present. I am becoming a serious kayaker and would like to know what would be the best type for me to get and invest in. Thank you so much for your advice. God bless


Get Nylon Skirt

– Last Updated: Mar-29-05 6:56 AM EST –

since you are just starting out, you want the skirt to keep out sun and spray and to begin working on skills: strokes, bracing edging/leaning, perhaps rolling. The nylon skirt will help keep water out of the cockpit.

The Carolina 13.5 is a nice present and something to start off. But, as your skills develop, you may want to move up to another boat, one that is not as beamy as the 24.5" wide Carolina. The wider beam makes it harder to edge and roll for a beginner, especially a smaller person.

I think you should save the expensive skirt for the next boat. Right now get the skirt for that extra little protection against the elements and focus on working your strokes and boat control.



I have a Glacier
Actually two of them since my newer boat needed a smaller size. I’m not sure exactly which model of the Glacier series they are. Both have the Snapdragon breathable waterproof material with neo deck. The one for my Squall has a bungie sewn into a tunnel around the edge and the one for my composite boat bas the bungie sewn into the edge in a more integrated fashion. I think the latter is the fancier of the two - seems the surface of the neo deck has more going on.

I love these skirts and they have held up very well. I haven’t been uncomfortably hot. though we paddle in northern climes and I wear a lot of breathable stuff.

My only complaint with them is that the pull loop is less finessed than some other manufacturers, like Kokotat. I’d advise that you visit a store with plumbing supplies and get some clear tubing to make the loop more distinct and wider for an emergency pull. Slice it in half and tape it up with electrician’s tape.

Also - if you have any question at all about size call Snapdragon itself and talk with them. Rich has always called me back. I ended up ordering the skirts themselves from a dealer out in Portland area also via a phone conversation.

Snapdragon, Carolina
The financial prudence of not spending major bucks on a fancier skirt until you haved moved up a bit in paddling is quite wise.

As far as the likelihood of the skirts releasing - unless the Dagger has a lot deeper coaming than my Squall did a neo slirt with a bungee in a tunnel around will fall off the coaming as easily as a nylon with the same affixing arrangement. Perhaps I am out of date and the skirt mentioned has closer to a whitewater rand? If so I goofed - should have said no go to that.

Skirts, "Final Answer"
Really! I realized I’ve sounded inconsistent. So, what I mean…

Bungee with knot exposed so that it can be tied looser or tighter as needed - Good

Integrated heavy gripper rand - Bad

Nylon skirts - Always have the re-tieable bungee, so always good

Neo skirts -

With bungee, retieable knot and not too tight a fit, OK

With heavy rand or very tight fit - Bad

Plastic boats - Better because the skirt will generally fall off of the combing

Glass boats - Shaky because the hard edges will hold even a tighter nylon skirt

If I could remove my prior posts and replace it with this I would.

Respectfully disagree
I guess it depends on how aggressively you plan to work on leaning, edging, braces, & rolling with that boat. Having water come in every time the coaming touches the water is frustrating for me. The knotted-bungee skirts I’ve tried leaked way too much to be fun, and I’ve been much drier since going to a tighter molded-rand skirt.

pass on the all nylon skirt
I agree with the sewn in bungie with a neo deck at least. Maybe go all neo if you can. Nylon skirts with adjustable cords do leak on my boats at least and seem a compromise at best. And nothings worse than a spraydeck that pops off every time you lean out or do sculling or bracing so try the skirt on and do some active moves on dry land and see if things work. The all nylon skirts can allow puddles too on wet days. It’s pretty cool to learn an 18 year old is getting into touring kayaks!! All I see is gray hair out there mine included!! Keep asking questions!!

SnapDragon skirts are excellent
I have two of them. The first one is in its 4th season of use and came back from a 1-month kayak camping trip not one bit worse for wear. The second one I bought only last year. Both skirts are well-made and fit well.

I tend to agree with sing about getting a nylon skirt for this kayak, but it’s your money and decision.

If you live in a hot area and do get a SnapDragon, you might want to get the skirt that has the neoprene deck with nylon tunnel and suspender straps. That’s my older skirt. This model has the advantage of being useable either under or over a PFD. In very hot conditions, wearing the tunnel over your PFD and leaving the top loose allows heat to vent up and out. In colder conditions or for rolling, wear the tunnel under the PFD.

Kokotat - Snapdragon
While Snapdragon has an excellent reputation (and I use a Snapdragon neoprene cockpit cover) I use Kokotat skirts.

I am very pleased with my all neo Kokotat ‘Offshore Extreme Sea Skirt.’ This skirt has the best grab loop of any touring skirt I’ve seen. Not only is there plastic tubing over it but it is attached in such a way that no matter how you pull it the skirt curls off the coaming.

My none neo skirt is also Kokotat - ‘Gore-Tex Deluxe Sea Skirt.’ However, both of these are rather expensive.

An advantage of getting a Snapdragon skirt is that they will resize it for you when you move to a boat with smaller cockpit coaming. I do not know if Kokotat offers that service.

Nylon skirts do not achieve the same level of watertightness as neo skirts. I learned to roll and attempt to learn sculling in a Capelookout with nylon skirt. At 23.5" wide, the Capelookout wasn’t the easy boat to learn in for me as a small paddler. I never had the skirt popped though it leaked and certainly puddled.

I moved up a Squall about 6 months later and bought a neo skirt for that. I was glad I didn’t spend more money on a skirt for the CapeLookout. I enjoying the learning in that boat but I knew I was going to move up to another boat soon.


I’ve had the…
…Glacier Trek Breathable Supratex/Sympatex for about three months, very comfy and it looks great with a good seal… well worth the $… GH

Ditto NM