When do you use a kayak skirt?
A kayak skirt is an appendage fitted to the lower part. It typically has the effect of increasing width, which can have multiple uses. Skirts are usually made from tough fabric like canvas or nylon and non-corrodible fasteners to strap them tightly around a boat’s cockpit.
They can be fitted with inflatable chambers that let them expand and contract according to water depth, so they stay tight.
Skirts are used for a variety of purposes. They can widen the area around the cockpit, protecting paddlers from waves. You can fit them to keep water out of the boat’s cockpit (e.g., during whitewater rapids).
This can protect the kayaker’s equipment and clothing in case of swamping or capsizing or keep them dry if sleet or spray is causing discomfort.
Select a kayak skirt for use in cooler weather. Being comfortable in your kayak is the most important factor in using a skirt. The skirt provides a warmer area and keeps any water entering the cockpit.
The parts of the skirt are:
• a tunnel
• a deck
• a rand
The tunnel goes around the kayaker’s torso. At the lower edge of the tunnel is the deck, and it extends out from the tunnel and covers the kayak’s cockpit. The rand at the edge of the skirt holds the deck firmly, so it stays taut. It fastens over the cockpit lip called the cockpit coaming.
Fabrics for Kayak Skirts
When the water and air are really cold, the fabric that works the best is neoprene. The rand of the neoprene skirt can be rubber or neoprene.
These materials give the extra strength to hold up to breaking waves or if you might encounter a situation where your kayak rolls. Kayaking in extreme conditions like whitewater or kayaking in the sea when the waves are rough would qualify for this type of skirt.
The seal on a neoprene skirt can be harder to remove during a wet exit so practice the skirt removal process with this type of skirt.
The neoprene skirt tunnel fits very snugly around your body to keep water out, so consider if that feature is uncomfortable.
Skirts made from nylon are more comfortable in milder weather.
The rand often is made with a bungee cord which provides a good seal. Adjustable means it does not keep water from the cockpit when you capsize.
The tunnel of the nylon skirt is often spandex and can be adjustable. Determine if you need shoulder straps to hold the tunnel up and check if shoulder straps might also need to be used.
They are providing the comfort of the nylon for venting this tunnel. The neoprene gives a very tight seal on the deck. An excellent choice when water conditions may vary during your kayak trip.
Types of kayak skirts
Finding a brand of kayak skirt that will work for you. Here are our suggestions for where to start.
Some are designed to go inside and under the cockpit rim, while others go over it. These latter skirts help protect against spray and splash from above.
There is also the Immersion Suit to keep water out during whitewater paddling. This item is made in one piece, so it does not have separate legs or an opening for legs as other types do. It is sized with extra room to accommodate a spray skirt, and it has armholes that can be covered with a sleeveless wetsuit.
Yosoo Health Gear Kayak Spray Skirt, Adjustable Nylon Kayak Spray Skirt Waterproof Cover Kayak Accessory Water Sports Accessory
KUNPENG Kayak Skirt, Adjustable Nylon Kayak Spray Skirts Kayak Skirt Cover Kayak Skirt, Universal Waterproof Cover Canoe Spray Skirt Water Sports Accessories
Dagger Outbound Spray Skirt | Touring Kayak Skirt | Kevlar Reinforced Neoprene | Adjustable Waist | 4 Cockpit Sizes
Immersion Research Klingon Empire Kayak Spray Skirt
Perception Truefit Spray Skirt | Kayak Spray Skirt For Sit Inside Kayaks | Size P7 thru P12
To keep your skirt in good condition, follow these tips:
The material of a kayak skirt is waterproof, thus preventing water from getting in during use.
However, it is not waterproof enough to resist the natural effects of water. Therefore, leaving your kayak skirt in the sun for extended periods can cause it to become stiff and crumbly. Store it out of the sun and dry it out every few days to keep it in good condition.
To keep water out of your kayak during whitewater paddling, you may need to install additional water-tight seals around your cockpit. These can be quickly installed on skirts by tying them onto the skirt’s legs and then snapping each leg through a plastic tab secured to the rim of your kayak.
Note: A skirt can also work as an external enclosure for a drysack or inflatable mattress.
You can use a skirt for various purposes, from paddling in rough water to paddling your kayak down a river. A kayak skirt is made to resist water and keep it at bay, so it can help protect your kayak and you inside it. Its extra width also gives you more room to paddle and maneuver and carry items in the kayak with you.
To find the best skirt for your kayak or small boat, consider what you plan on using. There are several different options, from the wider skirts that can extend your cockpit to those built to keep the water from entering.
If you’re paddling in rough water, you will likely want a skirt that can hold up in this condition. On the other hand, if you will primarily use your kayak for flatwater or whitewater and plan on leaving it on dry land most of the time, a skirt built for keeping water out may suit your needs better.
When choosing a skirt, consider the type of kayak you have. A skirt that wraps around the cockpit rim might not be a good fit for your decked kayak. A skirt built specifically to go over a cockpit rim is less likely to impede your access to the kayak’s storage compartment.
When choosing a kayak skirt, consider its size and material. The size you choose depends on how wide you want your kayak to be and how much space you need for each ride.
The material skirt is made from is also essential to consider. Nylon and polyester are among the materials available for use in kayak skirts. These materials are water-resistant and will resist tearing and water damaged when wet.
When choosing a kayak skirt, consider these things:
Whether you’re kayaking in rough or flatwater
The size of your kayak
The amount of space you need for paddling, maneuvering, and storage
The type of activity for which you will use your kayak
How waterproof it needs to be, resistance to tearing and water damage
How it fits your boat cockpit
How easy it is to install on your kayak
Whether you need one that wraps around the cockpit rim or one that goes over it
Use a kayak skirt
Use a kayak skirt when planning a trip on flatwater, whitewater paddling, or making a trip downriver.
A kayak skirt is essential for whitewater paddling. You can use one to protect gear and gear storage space during rapids. For a less intense trip, consider the dry skirt type.
A kayak skirt will protect your gear by keeping it dry and out of the water.
The material of your skirt should be resistant to tearing, water damage, and leakage. Use one that will fit your kayak’s cockpit to avoid interference with your storage space.