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Which Spray Deck for Kayaking Do I Need?

kayaking spray decks blog

Which Spray Deck for Kayaking Do I Need?

Choosing the right spray deck for kayaking can make a significant difference in your overall experience on the water. A spraydeck helps keep water out of your kayak and there are multiple options out there. Have a read of our quick guide in picking the right spray deck for your kayak.

Material

For many beginners, paddlers in kayak clubs and also flat water paddlers, nylon spray decks prove to be an excellent starting point. They are affordable, durable and easy to use. Making them ideal for those practicing their skills in calmer waters. However, as you progress to more challenging environments like whitewater rapids, the benefits of a neoprene spray deck become evident. Neoprene’s stretch and snug fit provides a watertight seal. Also the flexibility and resilience of neoprene spraydecks makes them the preferred choice for kayakers navigating through turbulent waters.

Seal

A neoprene spray deck uses a stretchy band of material that hooks over your kayak’s cockpit rim and seals tightly against the boat. There are two main types of material used for this: a bungee cord or a rubber rand.

Bungee Neoprene Spraydeck

The bungee cord is what you will find in most spray decks for kayaks, it is a reliable and cost effective way of getting a good seal against your boat. They’re very stretchy and fit a wide range of different cockpit types. The slightly more forgiving nature of the bungee also makes them a great option for people that are in and out of lots of different kayaks. They are also ideal for more delicate composite rims (think polo boats, surf kayaks, or composite freestyle kayaks).

Some budget friendly bungee neoprene spraydeck options include:

Rand Neoprene Spraydeck

For more demanding whitewater, a neoprene rand spray deck is probably what you’re after. The chunky rubber rand seals tightly and extra grip is provided by the texture of the rand. Meaning there should be very little chance of your spray deck imploding when coming off drops, or whilst getting the biggest beatdowns. Although rand spraydecks can be slightly harder to get on, particularly on really cold days or at the limit of their stretch. The shape of the rand means a well fitting deck should hook behind the cockpit and stay on whilst you wrestle with it!

Below are some examples of popular rand neoprene spraydecks:

Innovation

If you’re pushing the boundaries of the sport (or just spending a lot of time upside down in whitewater!), it’s likely that you will be pushing the boundaries of what a spray deck can take. While the general concept remains the same, there is still plenty of innovation in the neoprene spray deck game! A new answer to the not so practical “implosion bar” found in Snapdragon spray skirts came at the 2023 Paddle Sports Show.

Level Six showed off their new ‘Class Six’ spray deck, featuring a pressure release valve to prevent deck implosion even in the gnarliest of whitewater!

What Size Spraydeck do I Need?

Boat manufacturers all have their own different shapes and sizes of cockpit and kayaking spray deck manufacturers also have their own sizing scales. The safest way to ensure you get the right spray deck for your kayak is to measure and check the size charts. As we are too good to you, we’ve made this handy table to get you started for our favourite kayaks and spraydeck options!

KayakPeak PSLevel Six
EXO Zion seriesBigdeckXL
EXO X GUIGUI-Prod Helixir S / XSSmallL
EXO X GUIGUI-Prod Helixir LKeyholeL
EXO T-Rex/Rexy/Party RexyBigdeckXL
ZET Veloc & ChiliKeyholeL
ZET (excluding Veloc & Chili)BigdeckXL
Lettmann Machete & MantaBigdeckXL
Pyranha (most modern models) including: Scorch, Ripper 2, Firecracker, MachnoBigdeckXL
Pyranha JedKeyholeL

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