Hilde Schweitzer 22/06/2019 | Posted in Internationalisation, Reviews, United States, Whitewater
Whats a good boat without a good skirt? Wet at best, dangerous at worst. There are a lot of good skirts out there and everyone has a personal bias or preference towards one particular brand or another.
My favorite sprayskirt for many decades now has been the SEALS skirts and below is a list of a few of the reasons why I love them.
First, and most importantly, they work. If I am careful getting into my boats I will often get out at the end of the day with only the water I imported through my shoes, which is to say, no water at all from my day of paddling. Jackson boats are the driest on the market but they are only as dry as your skirt allows. If it doesn’t seal the cockpit well you will get leaks. Seals skirts don’t leak.
Second, they are easy to put on. I have used both the Pro Rand and Pro Shocker bungee skirts and I prefer the bungees for ease of use in all conditions, hot or cold, wet or dry. While I prefer bungees, the rands made by Seals are one of the easiest randed skirts to get on boats and if you are doing extreme boating, these might be your best choice.
Third, they stay on, and while I am not hucking waterfalls or doing crazy expeditions, many friends do and can attest that these skirts work and stay on the boat. I have never had my skirt blow off of my boat and have had to come up with a new excuse when I swim.
Fourth, they last. The rubber they use is the best they can source and is 4mm thick. They hand glue all seams and seam tape them to make them even stronger. I boat a lot and can easily get 2-3 years out of my skirts before the rubber begins to wet through. I have skirts that are over 6 years old and keep them as loners because they are still functionally sound.
Fifth, they fit. It is easy to find a perfect fit for whatever kayak you boat—they have one of the most extensive fit lists of skirts and continue to update whenever a new boat model comes out. If you follow their list, your skirt will fit absolutely perfectly, one of the reasons they are so dry.
Seals has been around for 36 years and what started as a tiny home business has grown into a world market leader that has never lost its USA roots and still cuts, glues, and seam seals all of their skirts in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. If you call them, you are just as likely to get Joe, the owner, picking up the phone as anyone else and he is always available to help if you have questions about the skirts.
Seals is also a socially responsible company that cares about its workers as well as their product and follow eco friendly practices. In other words, they care about the planet and the natural resources as well as the boaters they are making things for.
If you need a new skirt, and want one of the best, definitely give Seals a try.
Photo credit Lava: William Lesch Photography