One of the fundamental pieces of kayaking kit is the spraydeck. (Known as the Sprayskirt to our friends across the pond, so don’t be alarmed if you get into a conversation about rubber skirts.)
That aside, there’s so many different types (and sizes – see our Size Chart here), it can be confusing choosing the right one for you. We’ve put this guide together to help.
The first question we always ask our customers is; “What type of kayaking do you do?” This in itself can be surprisingly challenging to answer due to the variety of ways to describe different disciplines. Here’s a basic summary of how we categorise our spraydecks.
Recreational (Novice – Easy On/Easy Off) – This can describe anything from a novice / beginner just starting out in kayaking, to someone who enjoys flat water in their kayak, or for use in a busy outdoor activity centre. The key to these types of spraydecks is they keep the majority of water out of the kayak cockpit, but are incredibly easy to put on and most importantly even easier to get off.
Touring / Sea Kayaking – A mid-range technical collection of spraydecks for longer distance adventures. Great for sea, swell and endurance requiring comfort and reliability.
Whitewater – The more extreme at heart. Spraydecks for those who get pleasure from pushing their limits against Mother Nature on anything from a Grade II whitewater canoe club trip, to boofing down Grade V or hucking off waterfalls.
NKE Reinforced Centre Deck
A heavy duty waterproof Nylon spraydeck designed to fit nearly all kayaks on the market. Available in 3 sizes with an adjustable shockcord bungee making it perfect for clubs or activity centres with a range of boats. It’s also perfect for beginners, it’s especially easy to get on and off, keeps the majority of the water out and fits lots of kayaks so if you are still trying before you buy, chances are you’ll have a deck to fit.
This is a great intermediate deck. The neoprene deck and waist are super stretchy making it comfortable to wear and easy to fit. Even easier to get off when you need to with the assistance of a knee/deck release strap that’s easy to reach. The high quality neoprene keeps you warm and dry and is more dependable if you do get swamped with water or want to practice your eskimo rolls.
This is the hybrid spraydeck. The reassurance of neoprene on the deck, but the comfort and breathability of waterproof fabric round the waist. This combination is especially favourable if you embark on longer paddles, whether that be out at sea or inland. The adjustable fabric waist has removable elasticated braces (great for holding the waist in place comfortably). The adjustable fit enables you to put on or remove a double-waist jacket while on the water if the conditions change. A zipped pocket in the waist is useful extra storage.
This is the next step up from the Shock Deck. Full neoprene deck and waist, this U.K. made spraydeck boasts chunky 10mm marine grade shockcord for a more tenacious grip on your cockpit. A stretchy yet confident fit this is a great choice for the adventurous sea kayaker embarking on bigger swells and more challenging conditions.
The absolute best all round deck. The tough armo-tex neoprene and sticky latex underneath will perform in the white stuff. Primarily designed for graded whitewater, it has a proven track record taking on rivers around the world. It’s also favoured by some pretty gnarly sea kayakers in rough seas too.
Bullet proof kevlar protection, this premium whitewater spraydeck is for the tough stuff. High grade whitewater and hucking off waterfalls, this U.K. made spraydeck should be your ultimate choice if you’re pushing limits. The ultra sticky latex grips the cockpit underneath and the kevlar layer resists implosion, holding the deck firm.
One deck that’s worth remembering is the Cockpit Cover. We may have left it to the last of our list, but it’s one of the best bits of kit you’ll own. Pop it over your cockpit while travelling or your kayak is in storage and it will make your world a happy place. Great for keeping kit inside your boat when travelling or reducing wind noise while on the roof of your vehicle. Keeps water and creepy crawlies out while your boat is waiting for its next adventure. Super easy to put on, you’ll wonder why you never had one before.