How to Attach a Spray Skirt to a Kayak

Whitewater Kayakers
Paddlers Get into their Kayaks.

Attaching a spray skirt to a kayak can be a chore that beginners and even more experienced paddlers wrestle with under the wrong conditions.  Once the paddler has put on their spray skirt and is sitting in the kayak with the rear of the skirt attached, the hard work begins.  They must pull and attach the remainder of the skirt.  Here are a few methods,  tips and watchouts for attaching your spray skirt to your kayak. 

Method 1 for Attaching a Spray Skirt

Grab the spray skirt on each side in front of you toward the front of the cockpit. Pull and stretch the spray skirt from both sides. As it stretches attempt to maneuver the skirt so that it grabs the cockpit combing as it moves up the cockpit. Also, as it stretches slide your hands while maintaining your grip on the skirt up toward the grab loop. You should get to a point where your hands are both at the front of the spray skirt. Attempt to get the tip of the spray skirt over the tip of the cockpit coaming.

Method 2 for Attaching a Spray Skirt

If the spray skirt is too tight to pull from the sides toward the front you can pull from the grab loop. The grab loop of the spray skirt is as at the tip. With the back of the spray skirt secured take hold of the grab loop with both hands and pull it up to the tip of the cockpit. Try to get it over the tip of the cockpit. You may need to adjust the back again at this point push the sides over the edges of the cockpit combing.

Method 3 for Attaching a Spray Skirt

If either of the first two methods did not work you will need to do a combination of both. The problem is that the tighter the skirt gets pulled it wants to come off of the edges.  You’ll need to hold the skirt on the back somehow while you work your way to the front.  This can be done by holding the spray skirt on with one hand and stretch with the other either from the grab loop or a side.  Another option is to use your forearms to apply pressure to the middle of the spray skirt against the cockpit as your hands force the front over the front of the coaming.

More Tips for Putting on Spray Skirts

The above three methods are obviously all variations of the same thing.  The idea is to wrap the spray skirt around the rear of the cockpit coaming and to stretch it around the sides and over the top of the front of the cockpit.  However, there are times when a spray skirt that’s supposed to fit, simply doesn’t. Here are more tips and watchouts on how to put on a spray skirt.