touring vs. WW spray skirt tunnels

How well do touring skirts with nylon tunnels keep the water out when submerged? Obviously sea kayakers roll. But WW tunnels are neoprene. What’s up?

we use neoprene too
If you roll with an all nylon skirt you do get water in the boat – no way around that. Folks I know who are really into rolling on purpose or who regularly venture into waters where they may HAVE to roll, use a neoprene skirt or wear a one piece tuilik (neoprene wetsuit top with attached skirt) which is the best way to keep the water out and provide mobility for executing various braces and rolls. I always use a neoprene skirt instead of nylon in cold weather or rough water. Or if I’m using a nylon skirt in warmer water in a skin on frame boat (w/o bulkheads) out on open or rough water, I use a sea sock with it to minimize hull flooding in the event of a capsize.

nylon tunnels are for comfort
Sea kayakers may roll, but they typically don’t do it that often. Whitewater play boaters may roll 100 times or more in a day.

Even a neoprene tunnel will admit some water. But it will be a lot less then a nylon tunnel. Still, if you don’t anticipate the need to roll more than a few times at most, nylon tunnels might be a good choice.

neoprene tunnel for sea kayak rolling
practice seems like a good idea then.

Makes me wonder:

I took a WW class last weekend and we practiced T rescues. In this case, the rescue kayak Ts to the overturned but still occupied kayak, and the overturned paddler uses the bow of the rescue kayak to turn back over. That turning back over, once both hands are on the rescue bow (and the head is on the hands) was actually very easy with a hip flick. Anyway, in looking at sea kayak instruction on the web, it seems that T rescue is a term used for T-ing the boats together to dump the water from a wet-exited sea kayak.

Q:Is there a reason that the WW T rescue as described would not work with sea kayaks? (I suppose the maneuverability of a WW boat could it more likely that a rescue boat could position itself for such a rescue faster?)

How this relates to the original question would be that it seems like it would be a good idea to wear a neoprene tunnel for that practice.

What you described is a eskimo or bow rescue, where the capsized kayaker doesn’t exit the boat.

It’s unusual your WW instructor call a bow rescue a T-rescue. I’ve never heard that one at all.

You mean neo deck with nylon tube?
I have one for one boat, and an all-neo skirt for another boat.

They both let water in after repeated rolling. The hybrid skirt lets it in earlier, and in larger quantities.

But it still worked well enough for me to do lots of roll practice over several years. I just would empty the boat more often (needed it by the time I had done about 15 rolls). With the all-neo skirt, I can wait till about 40 rolls. That’s without a jacket tunnel, which helps to seal better but also is not 100% watertight.

I know that some water gets in through the coaming/rand interface; it’s not just coming through the tube/torso area.

BTW, if you are talking about a nylon tube with suspenders (not the skirt that has Velcro-neo band above nylon tube), wear your PFD OVER the tunnel for better sealing. I did this while rolling in my first kayak with the giant nylon-tube suspendered skirt.

In order of water infiltration, from most to least (of what I’ve used):

All-nylon skirt and tube

Neo deck with suspendered nylon tube

Neo deck with nylon tube that tops off with neo band & Velcro

All-neo skirt and tube

I have heard a bow rescue called a t
rescue, but only by a dedicated (No sea experience) ww paddler. Combo paddlers call it a bow rescue, mostly.

And the very reason you stated (maneuverability) is the reason there isn’t as much emphasis on the bow rescue on sea kayaks, as you see on the river.

I think a bow rescue is an excellent way to assist when someone is practicing rolls and fails. I often offer this when someone wants to practice (ocean or river) and they are at all tentative about their ability. It gives me confidence when I have my own doubts.

thanks everybody
I have the hybrid w/suspenders type. I think I’ll have to pick up either the hybrid with neo and velcro at the very top or a full on neo. Yet another quiver!

Old school
I think I have heard what we call the Eskimo rescue in sea kayaks be the the T-rescue by older WW hands. It makes some sense - playboats don’t seem to have a lineage that traces back to hunting seals with harpoons.

Well, depends on who you paddle with
There is plenty of emphasis on the Eskimo rescue, bow presentation (to get the full length name in there), and the paddle shaft presentation, in our pod.

What limits it is not not the maneuverability of sea kayaks - they will maneuver fine if you can paddle, and remember you are usually not arguing with current at the level of a WW run. The issue is the paddler. Unless they get into a paddling pod of people who are really responsible in emphasizing rescues early on, long boaters tend to shy away from getting comfortable with staying in the boat and waiting for a rescue. And short of being in tidal races or similar, getting out of the boat is often a fairly low risk option.

All neoprene
All of the skirts I regularly use for sea and/or ww are neoprene tunnel and neoprene deck. I own a couple of skirts for guests which are not all neo.

Sea Kayak all-neoprene skirts
One difference between all-neo sea kayak skirts from WW skirts is the rand. WW skirts are designed to fit over rounded, poly coamings, and they don’t work so well on thinner, sharper composite coamings typically found on sea kayaks. After struggling with Harmony LC-1 rubber rands on composite sea kayaks for years, I finally found an Immersion Research all-neo skirt with a composite-compatible rand. Snapdragon & Seals also make all-neo sea kayak skirts that do a good job of keeping water out.

And as any rock gardener or longboat surfer will attest, some sea kayakers do roll almost as frequently as WW kayakers.

Randed or Bungeed
Even my ww skirts have bungeed decks rather than randed. My Bombergear ww skirt I use most often, though bungeed, is stiffer and heavier than the skirts I use for my sea kayaks - even though at least one I use on my sea kayaks is marketed as a ww skirt - Seals ProShocker.

WW skirts can be bungied
I used to be somewhat difficult to find bungied WW skirts, agree. But that is not the case now.

I know because I won’t use a skirt - on any boat - that is randed rather than bungied. It’s a matter of safety for me. The only time I ever had trouble getting out of a boat was a randed one. It took way too much effort and I know that once I get tired I may not have that amount of oomph in the tank in my wrists/hands. We have two Bomber gear, one Snapdragon and one other I forget what skirt that are expressly for WW, all are bungied.

To answer the OPer - the neo tunnels are usually considered to be drier in a roll than the fabric ones with a collar, so they will predominate among people who do a lot of paddling that involves rolling or sculling like greenland, surf, and always WW since there is almost constantly water coming over your deck even when not rolling. The guys in our primary pod tend to favor the neo tunnels for all uses. For the long boats, I tend to use skirts having fabric tunnels with a neoprene collar myself, and I don’t end up stopping to get water ouit of my boat any more often. I also have a higher tolerance for a wet boat than some do.