The kayak spraydeck is an essential element for canoeing. It is an essential element for any good kayaker because it provides waterproofing and thermal insulation in cold water. There are different types of spraydecks depending on the size of the coamings and different materials.
What is the use of kayak spraydecks?
The main function of a skirt is to prevent water from entering the coaming of your kayak. Although at first glance, the use of a skirt gives the impression of being stuck in your kayak and can frighten novices, it can actually be removed very easily with a handle at the front. The skirt is an essential element if you want to progress in kayaking, because without it, you will not be confronted with difficult conditions such as going out in rough seas or with current. In white water, a skirt is of course mandatory.
In addition, a skirt allows you to stay warm in your kayak. Ideal for winter outings, it retains heat for better comfort.
The nylon skirt is certainly the most affordable in terms of price, so it is especially designed for beginner kayakers.
This type of skirt generally includes an elastic tightening at the chest to adapt it to your morphology. However, they are less waterproof than neoprene skirts and provide less protection from the cold, making them ideal for the summer season.
However, if you practice in white water a nylon skirt does not make your boat completely waterproof, especially during an Eskimo roll where the water enters through the top of the chimney (top of the skirt). It should also be noted that a nylon skirt is also more fragile.
For a practice in calm water as in lake, it can be sufficient, always on condition that you do not desalinate.
To sum up, a nylon skirt is interesting for occasional and leisure use.
The neoprene spraydecks:
The neoprene skirt is perfect for a more technical use, it is completely waterproof and will fit perfectly into your coaming. Indeed, whether due to waves or after an Eskimo, water will not infiltrate.
For a practice in cool waters it will protect you better from the cold than a nylon skirt, without keeping you too warm during the summer season.
It also has the quality of being more resistant and will therefore be suitable for white water or sea kayaking.
Let’s finish with a little technical advice: remember to wet your skirt, this will make it more flexible and therefore easier to fix it on the coaming.
Choose the right size
After choosing the type of skirt adapted to your needs, you must choose the right size. There are mainly two sizes, Keyhole for small coamings and Bigdeck for large coamings. If you have any doubts when buying a skirt, it is recommended to take a slightly larger size. It is necessary to choose a skirt adapted to the dimensions of the coaming so that it is perfectly adjusted and plays its full role.
There are also universal skirts. Mainly in nylons, these skirts have an adjustable elastic band that allows you to adjust the size according to the kayak. Note that an adjustable skirt loses its waterproofness.
If you plan to practice kayaking regularly, and get involved in this practice it will be better to go on a neoprene skirt. In addition to the various advantages mentioned above, they have a longer life span than nylon and are now quite affordable.
On the other hand, if you plan to sail occasionally, such as only in summer, a nylon skirt will suit you perfectly.