Posted by: RavenWing on May-13-13 2:04 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: May-13-13 2:27 PM EST --
since this is your first try at buying a skirt I second the advice to get thee to a paddleshop w. your boat. Believe me it isn't easy to get a good fit buying online no matter how many you buy.
While 'the Book of Seals' is a very useful guide, it's just that - a guide. A skirt may fit the cockpit coaming but the tunnel may not be centered enough over the boat's seat pan. Which in turn affects success when you first lean backward, then forward, to put the seat on. It may be difficult to snap over the coaming nose, or too loose and blow off the back and sides.
This boat, on the scale of things, has quite a large cockpit which means you do have a lot of fabric to stretch and a longer reach. If you are petite w. lower hand strength it can be a challenge.
A good staffer can observe all these things and offer options.
Seals neoprene sprayskirts - per their website- are all designated for 'extreme' conditions. meant to be used in a roughwater environment where its tight seal is an asset in surfing, rolling etc. If this is not where you're at now, I question the wisdom of getting this particular model esp. with your hand strength and being new to neoprene skirts.
There is an Athena model for moderate conditions, but it doesn't come in anything larger than 1.7
Seals makes some combo neoprene/nylon skirts which may be where you want to start. Many people start there because these skirts are a lot more beginner friendly. I still have mine and use it for casual flatwater touring days or for a friend to use (after first making sure said friend can do a wet exit).
If you do want to start w. a full neoprene skirt for touring (not ww)Snapdragon, another great U.S. maker, uses Supratex on some models for easy on and off. Their fit list doesn't currently list either the Excursion or the Expedition but they can always whip up a skirt w. the coaming measurements or better yet at tracing (outside edge to outside edge.
Go to a paddleshop, see what else is out there and try them on. MountainSurf is another good name, albeit harder to find regionally. Immersion Research makes touring skirts also, although they are better known for ww skirts, as is BomberGear.
Whatever you do, get a skirt rated for 'touring', not 'whitewater' You do not want the really grippy rand of a ww skirt on a thermoformed plastic (ABS) boat. It'll be very hard to release.
Snapdragon will sew on a knee release strap onto any of its skirts for a modest charge. They put one on my first skirt - for free - when I sent it to them to tune the XXS deck to my cockpit a bit. That one was an Ocean Tour w. Supratex. Still have it, still love it. Seals does tune and detune its skirts also, and likely would add a knee strap as well.
When newer models like the Excursion come along sprayskirt makers try to keep current but sometimes it isn't a perfect fit.
I brought my Pyranha FusionS to my paddleshop in fall 2010 (the first year the S model came out). I tried the recommended Seals 1.4. It blew off the back quarters of the coaming every time I moved side to side as if to brace or set up. The paddle shop owner was helping me (he has over 25 yrs experience in ww paddling). He couldn't believe it fit so badly.
So I moved up to a 1.7 Seals - can't remember the model but it's not in the current lineup. It's nice and stretchy, stays on - so of course Seals discontinued it lol
Great fit. Had I ordered online I would've gotten the wrong fit.
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