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Submitted: 06-15-2006 by Kevin1963
Every now and then I find myself with a little bit of money to play with (I emphasize the now and again part) and thus I found myself searching the net for some new piece of equipment to tryout. This time around, I decided on the Seals Splash Deck.
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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