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They are also very good for light rain and provide just enough side coverage for aggressive edging. The Regular size fits all of our normal sized cockpits (we own from 1.4 thru 2.5) and adjusting the bungee to fit each cockpit is easy. The X size fits the couple of large cockpit boats we own (Sandpiper & Santee), although not without some sag - which is to be expected even with 2 tension bars.
My oldest splash deck is about 5 years old and is still going strong although I store all my nylon gear in the house. (All coated nylon has a tendency to flake over time, especially if stored in humid conditions.)
I would give the Seals Splash Skirt a 10 except it is very difficult to find it in any color other than black which is too hot for our blazing sun. Even most of the custom colors (red, blue, orange, gray and brown camo) are quite dark and you can readily feel the difference in heat retention between the custom yellow and all the other colors. If they offered a pale gray along with the deep yellow we would be very happy campers.
The Seals Splash Skirt performs adequately in Class I and II rapids, although some water will get into the Kayak. However, because I can get in and out of the kayak with the Splash skirt on, and because my legs and torso stay cooler than they would with a full Spray Skirt, a little water during warm weather outings is fine.
I would recommend a full Spray Skirt if you kayak in rivers with Class III and above rapids or if you kayak during cooler weather and getting wet is an issue. For warm weather and Class I and II rapids the Seals Splash Skirt is perfect!
More importantly however is the really easy access to gear in the zipper section. Much easier to grab camera in plastic bag from the zipper on the spray deck versus crammed into PFD pocket.
We have found them to do exactly as designed in keeping water and spray out of the cockpit while allowing for air circulation and free movement. They are easy to secure once launched and the two bowed cross members keep them high enough to avoid interfering with the legs and low enough not to interfere with paddling.
From a visual point of view they give the paddler an extended "deck view" which, given the large cockpit, provides for better reference. If we were go to full skirts to extend the season even longer it would be the Seal.
All in all a 10 out of 10.
A splash shirt is nothing more than half of what would be a regular spray skirt, it covers the front half of your cockpit and is used to keep the sun off your legs in the summer time and helps in keeping water out of the cockpit as well.
Some of the advantages of a splash skirt (also know as a sun skirt or half skirt) are that they allow air to circulate inside the cockpit which helps to dissipate the heat on those hot summer days.
Water in the form of splashes and drips coming off the paddle are also kept from entering the cockpit. Some manufactures incorporate pockets in the deck, which you may find convenient for accessing small items quickly.
I tested out a Seals Splash Deck, which comes in two different sizes. The color I selected was black but other colors are available as well. The deck material is a laminated nylon held in place by a bungee cord that is adjustable to fit almost any size kayak. A mesh quick access pocket with a zipper closure is on the top of the bag and to keep the bag from caving in there is implosion bar. A quick release nylon handle is included on the front of the skirt as well.
I tested my Splash Deck out the other day and it did everything it was advertised to do. One the concerns I had was whether my paddle would strike the top of the Splash Deck as I paddled. As a Greenland peddler I hold the paddle very close and low, yet I never came in contact with the implosion bar to my relief.
Greenland paddles have no drip rings, so there can be at times a fair amount of runoff or dripping from the paddle, none of which made its way into my cockpit.
The Splash Deck never pulled off while paddling and what water did fall on it was quickly shed by the side-to-side rolling of the kayak. No water soaked through the laminated nylon so the inside of the cockpit stayed both dry and cool.
A splash shirt was not meant for rolling in, it was meant to keep splashes and small waves off you plus offer some sun protection. Should you roll with it on its not going to keep out much, if any water, better to switch back to the tried and true full skirt, which I recommend always taking along should weather conditions change.
In all not a bad product,and I look forward to using it more as the summer progresses and the water warms up. Good luck.
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