Spray decks are super important to keep you afloat in your closed-cockpit kayaks as they prevent you getting swamped.
One of our biggest FAQs is what deck fits my boat? This guide will answer that & hopefully guide you into getting the correct spray deck, first time.
Brand size their decks differently and name them differently – which is awkward! But the handy table below will outline the sizing.
|Palm Deck Size||External Cockpit Length||External Cockpit Width|
|R3||73 – 82cm||42 – 50cm|
|R4||81 – 91cm||45 – 55cm|
|R5||89 – 98cm||48 – 58cm|
|R6||96 – 105cm||55 – 60cm|
|Peak PS Deck Size||External Cockpit Length||External Cockpit Width|
|Small||79 – 87cm||43 – 49cm|
|Keyhole||83 – 91cm||48 – 54cm|
|Big Deck||86 – 94cm||48 – 54cm|
|Huge Deck||94 – 100cm||53 – 57cm|
You can usually find your cockpit dimensions on the product listing for your kayak, either on our website on the manufacturers website. Once you have the cockpit dimensions, then you just need to select your waist measurement for the spray deck you desire.
Inland Touring & Sea Kayaking
There are 3 types of spray deck that are suitable for Inland touring / Sea Kayaking.
Nylon – Cheap, basic. Good for canals, flat rivers & lakes. Will keep most water out, but will let some water in and will implode if you capsize.
Full Neoprene – Same as a whitewater deck. A tighter more secure fit around the waist. However, having a soggy wet neoprene waist band which can be uncomfortable to wear all day
Combi – These have a breathable Nylon waist tube which is a lot more comfortable to wear than a full neoprene when paddling all day on the sea. Neoprene deck to keep as much water out as possible.
|Boat||Suggested Spray Deck Size|
|Fusion I S, M, L|
Fusion II S, M, L
Islay 12 / 14
|R5 or Big Deck would be a snug fit|
R6 or Huge deck would be a relaxed fit
|Ion S/M||R4 or Keyhole will be ideal|
For whitewater paddling you want a full neoprene spray deck and the choice you need to make is how much you want the spray deck to grip the cockpit. If it’s super grippy then it will be a lot harder to get on, if it’s not grippy that it is likely to implode when paddling through higher volume water.
If you’re a beginner we tend to recommend the ease of getting it on and off is more important the having the deck gripping to your cockpit. This is because you’re probably swimming a lot as you progress & getting a super grippy deck off and on can be very tiering! As a beginner paddler, it might also be worth going up a size to ensure the ease of getting the deck on and off.
The 2 best spray decks for beginner whitewater paddlers that are easy to get on & off are:
If you’re an intermediate paddler then certainly getting a grippier deck is advisable so you have confidence that it won’t implode when paddling through challenging water.
The 2 best spray decks for whitewater paddlers that have grip & durability are:
|Boat||Suggested Spray Deck Size|
|Burn III||Burn III Small – R4 or Keyhole sized spray deck|
Burn III Medium, Large or XL – R5 or Big Deck
|R5 or Big deck would give you a good fit on any of these boats.|
R6 or Huge deck would give you a more relaxed fit
|R4 or Keyhole sized spray deck would be a good snug fit|
R5 or Big deck would be a relaxed fit.
We really hope that this helps you decide what spray deck to get with your kayak.
If you have any queries we’re more than happy to help. Either on live chat, video call, in store, email or over the phone.
Written by Andy, store Manager. Whitewater kayaker, sea kayaker for 12+ years