Tips and Tricks to Getting on the Spray Skirt!

I love my Immersion Research Spray Skirt because it keeps me dry and it is easy to put on my boat. I’ve always used the IR J-Lo skirt, which is super comfortable, with a shorter tunnel and is easy stretch over hips and my cockpit. So, when I received my new IR Kling-Onskirt with the bungee rim I was nervous about putting it on my boat. As an instructor I watch women struggle with this quite often. I must admit that the first time I put it on, yes it was tight but that is what I want in a high performance spray skirt. It is tight, lessening the changes of it imploding and of water pooling in areas around my waste. After that first time though, I haven’t had any more trouble finessing it on my boat. It reaches easily to the edges and keeps me super dry, with the extra material around the rim. I love this skirt and I highly recommend it. The tunnel is snug, keeping me dry and the material is thick and stretchy.

Last month in our monthly newsletter giveaway, we asked women to share their tips for getting the skirt on their boat or body, and the winner of the raffle won an IR J-Lo Skirt (congrats Wendy!). For beginners, it can be quite frustrating, and we wanted to hear how women dealt with this challenge to help any baffled women out there. Here are some of the entries we received, check them out and hopefully you’ll receive some good information you can continue to pass along. Enjoy!

I never had any problems getting my spray skirt on my body, but with my new boat it is difficult to get on the cockpit without getting it wet first. Otherwise, I am stubborn, make sure it is secure on the back, muscle it on to the front (may take several tries), and finally get the sides on. Love all the raffles! Wendy Krause

After years of struggling to pull the skirt up my legs, I learned the alternate method at the GAP instructor course…pull the skirt down over your head! Don’t pull the skirting itself…try to pull the skirt along the tunnel and skirt seem to save stress on the seem. I’ve also heard rumors that it’s easier to put on a wet skirt, although I haven’t experimented with this. If you have short arms like me, when putting your skirt on the boat, start with your backrest back if possible. That way you can start securing the back of your skirt to the back of your boat with as little struggle as possible. Attach one rear side and then the other, trying to get skirt attached far forward on the cockpit as possible (usually about to the waist). With both hands, pull the skirt forward and try to secure the front end (making sure that grab loop is out!). Sometimes you can put your elbows down on the side of your skirt to secure it to the boat as you pull the front end forward.  “Dress” the sides of the skirt if necessary. Run your hands along the side of your cockpit/skirt to make sure the skirt is attached all around the boat. Then pop off the front of the skirt and make the final back band adjustments. For some reason this is easier for me. And if all else fails, ask a friend! Or a random stranger sometimes works too. Tifanny Saffell

I put my spray skirt on over my head. I’m a little hippy and by the time I pull the thing up over my hips, all the layers underneath get pulled and bunched up and I end up with the worst kind of snuggy. Up here in Minnesota that is typically a lot of layers and bulk to get situated. Pulling the skirt on over my head, I just slip one arm through at a time, then my head, pull down until the tunnel is riding at the right height, and then just work the outer layer of my dry top or suit back over the top; it comes out easily and smooths down over the skirt tunnel well. So, putting the skirt on over my head, all the pants layers stay where they belong and the skirt tunnel is seated well beneath the dry top layer. All smooth and comfy and no distractions for paddling – ready to go! Natalie Griffith

Here is my advice for people who are working on perfecting their Spray Skirt Shimmy. Get it good and wet. That way it will stretch sufficiently to go up over your hips, and you don’t have to pull it down over your head. I provide this visual of me (stolen from your Facebook page!) as to why this is important — you never know when such a dance will upstage an otherwise wonderful picture. Janet Hempstead (Thanks Janet for the HILLARIOUS photo. When you stop looking at how beautiful I look when hugging my dry bag, notice the headless Janet in the background :)

Shake it like a polaroid picture to get that baby on! Seriously, they are easier to get on wet so give a dunk in the water before putting on the body. If they are super tight on your boat (we like to call those “skirts of death”), try leaving them on your boat a few days to stretch. Sometimes when you are tired or your hands are cold, it can be hard to pull them forward. A sturdy chunk of wood in the pull loop can help in a pinch.  Carla DeVelder