I learned something new this year: Not all sprayskirts are created equally.
For a while now, I’ve wondered why I would buy a $200 sprayskirt when my $100 skirts work just fine. I’m here to tell you this: you get what you pay for.
It’s the difference between any roll-top drybag and a Watershed drybag. It’s the difference between a proprietary, waterproof material and Gore-Tex. The Immersion Research (IR) sprayskirts are a premium piece of kit, and I didn’t think I could be so excited about a skirt.
I’ve recently purchased the Immersion Research Lucky Charm sprayskirt. IR bills this skirt as being their most implosion resistant due to the rubber rand. IR’s “dry” skirt is the Kling-On, a bungeed deck instead of the rubber rand. That being said, the implosion resisant Lucky Charm is the driest skirt I’ve ever used. Gone are the days of two inches of water inside my boat (unless I forget my drainplug).
So after two years of hemming and hawing, I made the move and bought the Lucky Charm. This is my first rubber rand skirt, and it was definitely time to try something new. I wasn’t just pleased with the skirt, I was floored!
What makes the Lucky Charm so dry? A lot of it is the “three-fin” style rand. Each “fin” channels water away, providing 3 lines of defense. The extended fabric on the deck further helps deflect more water, resulting in the driest ride I’ve ever had. Add the abrasion resistant nylar tape and you’ve got a dry and durable skirt! It’s a little cheaper than the Royale, which has kevlar instead of nylar. Personally, I’m not using my skirt to rassle bears, so the kevlar was a little rich for my taste.
Other upsides: IR is a company founded, designed, and run by paddlers. Support local, and support small! Their customer service is also through the roof! So patient, informative, and all-around nice, helpful folk. The new grab loop is easy to grab, even with gloved hands. It might be a tiny detail, but it’s a big deal!
Downside: The smallest deck size they currently offer is a large, which is too big for my sea kayak (Valley Nordkapp). But that’s ok. Maybe that’ll change in the future. For now, it’s a strong reminder of how awesome sprayskirts CAN be!
Now I know what #IRdry means, and you should too!
P.S.- IR tunnels fit different than, say, Snapdragon or Seals tunnels, and their deck sizes are based on cockpit circumference. Check out sizing info below