Sprayskirts are worn to prevent water from entering the cockpit of a sea kayak or light touring kayak. They are also available for recreational kayaks, though the half skirt or “mini-skirt” option is the more common for recreational kayaking.
Sprayskirts are not just for rough water kayaking. When controlling or maneuvering a kayak by leaning the hull, the cockpit edge may end up very close to the water. The sprayskirt ensures that water will not enter the cockpit… or at least decreases the amount of water in most cases depending on the type of skirt. They are crucial when learning to roll a kayak or paddling in rough or open water.
The fit of a spray skirt is important – not only fitting the cockpit but your waist as well. Finding the right fit is not only important for ensuring that you don’t take on excess water, but is also a safety consideration. A proper fitting sprayskirt should keep the water out of your cockpit, but should also be easy enough to remove in the event that you need to bail out of your boat (also known as a “wet exit”). There are many articles on line about this. For more information and discussion on this topic, stop by or give us a call. We’ll be happy to help you choose the right skirt to fit your boat and needs!
Various materials are used including neoprene, nylon, breathable fabrics and combinations of the above. Neoprene skirts tend to be the most effective in keeping water out of the boat during rolling and more aggressive paddling conditions, but tend to be a bit warmer in the summertime. They also fit very snug at the waist. Nylon or breathable type skirts are generally more of a laid back approach and do well to keep most of the water out during “average” paddling scenarios, however can allow some water to enter the cockpit during rolling or more rough conditions.
Half skirts are also available. These are actually half decks that cover the front of the cockpit and provide sun protection and reduces the amount of water collecting in the cockpit from spray and rain. They provide some ventilation in the cockpit while deterring some water from entering the cockpit. The effectiveness of the mini-skirt can vary greatly depending on the paddling conditions.
ACK stocks spray skirts as well as cockpit covers from:
Touring | Recreational | Whitewater | Cockpit Covers | Custom
Touring | Recreational | Whitewater | Cockpit Covers | Pogies
Touring | Recreational | Akuilisaq | Tuilik | Avataq