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Cag Decks, aka Top Decks. Where to start, and which one is for you?

Words by GoKayakingAdmin on 21/01/2019 15:17:52

Writen by Maya-Ray Cross (Mayo)custom_semi_long_topdeck_peakuk

Follow her blog: CanuKayak?

As a GB freestyle kayaker & freestyle coach, it is very important to get the correct equipment to wear. Equipment that helps to boost my performance on the water, and that is comfortable to wear for a whole day. My favourite item of clothing to wear when training & competing are cag decks. A garment where the cag & the spraydeck are sewn together for ease, convenience and comfort. My favourite cag decks are made by Peak UK Kayaking Co. who have been innovating the cag deck market for over 25 years.

I was first made aware of top decks after visiting Go Kayaking North West in Runcorn. After some discussions, the team there suggested trying on the different cag deck combinations they had in stock. I loved the idea of having different cag decks depending on where, what I was doing, and the time of year I was padding! The team at Go Kayaking then told me about how they can be customised! This meant I could get a custom garment made to fit my colour scheme & include my unique Zebra print for EDS. I knew I had to get one, or three cag decks!

So here is a run down of the different cag decks that Go Kayaking North West offer, and a few of the additional options to!

Racer Long or Short Sleeved cag deck

Features - 2.5 layer durable lightweight material with a latex wrists & neoprene neck. Short sleeved has neoprene arm seals.

Season – Summer Paddling

Discipline – Slalom

Options – Stock colours (Blue or Black), Custom colours +£36

Speedskin 3 Long or Short sleeved cag deck

Features - 3 layer, 4 way stretch skin tight material and highly breathable for superior performance. The best in the range – keeps you cool in the most demanding of environments. Neoprene neck with latex wrists. Short sleeved has neoprene arm seals.

Season -  Summer Paddling

Discipline – Slalom

Options – Stock colours (Blue or Black), Custom colours +£36

Semi Long or Short sleeved

Features - 3 layer, durable, midweight material. Superstretch adjustable neoprene neck cone and latex wrists. Superstretch adjustable neoprene wrist seals for short sleeved which also has a removeable sleeve option.

Season – Winter Paddling

Discipline – Slalom

Options – Stock colours (Blue or Black), Custom colours +£36. Optional latex neck +£25.

Racer ST Long or Short Sleeved

Features - Same material as the Speedskin. 3 layer, 4 way stretch skin tight material highly breatheable. The Racer ST also has a built in buoyancy aid with on 20mm thickness of foam in the body allowing. This is the same cag deck that helped GB win Olympic medals in 2016 Olympics.

Season – Summer Paddling

Discipline – Slalom Competition

Options – Stock colours (Blue or Black), Custom colours +£72.

Semi ST Long or Short Sleeved

Features - Same material as the Semi Long. 3 layer, durable, midweight material with an optional latex neck. This, like the Racer ST has 20mm thick buoyancy aid built into the body. This makes the cag deck super convenient & comfortable to wear!

Season – Summer Paddling

Discipline – Slalom Competition

Options – Stock colours (Blue or Black), Custom colours +£72. Optional Latex neck +£25

The custom print is sublimation printing into the molecular structure of the garment – meaning the colour will never fade!

After running through these options with the team at Go Kayaking, it was clear that I needed the Semi Long cag deck. Something that was suitable for freestyle in the wet cold rivers of HPP or North Wales. I added the optional latex neck for it to be fully dry, but the adjustable neck cone would be more comfortable to wear over long training days.

It had to be custom, I had to get zebra print all over it. So, we discussed having my trade mark zebra stripes down my left arm. The reason for this was because I wanted to raise awareness of disabilities in sport. Zebras are the mascot for one of my particular disabilities, E.D.S. (EHLORS DANLOS SYNDROME) and are attributed to rare diseases. There is a saying which put my design into perspective, “when you hear the sound of hooves, think horses, not zebras”.


With the support of Go Kayaking North West and Peak UK, I have managed to get my own personal unique design. Peak UK provide a great service with top quality kit and this gives any one the chance to express themselves as they get the opportunity to have custom colours and any designs they have chosen, instead of he usual stock colours of blue or black for top decks.

I also decided to have a custom buoyancy aid made by Peak UK to complement my cag deck, with more zebra print! The Racer Pro buoyancy aid works well as an all round whitewater, slalom, freestyle cag deck as it’s super slim and lightweight for freestyle & slalom but has enough buoyancy for rivers. The Polo Vest is ideal for polo teams wanting to show off their teams colours.

New for 2019, Peak UK have brought out the Polo Deck & the new Kidz cag deck. The Polo Deck is a very simple vest attached to a neoprene spray deck. The vest you can customise to your Polo teams colours and offers a super lightweight, convenient cag deck for the whole team. The Kidz Deck range is a great idea as more and more younger people start out in the paddling world, then they too can have customised design work & is perfect for keeping the young ones warm when they are having fun on the water.

I really rate Peak UK cag decks as they are more comfortable and less bulky than the white water range. Some people think it’s not the ideal kit for them which is fine, but the range is versatile enough for you to use on a river, for doing freestyle, for running slalom and basically whilst just enjoying every day you spend in a kayak. There is so much choice with their top decks, extras and custom colours that allows the opportunity to find the kit that will suit you. Have a trip to Go Kayaking, where in store you will encounter very friendly and helpful staff that encourage you to find the kit that is right for you. Happy paddling!

Here at Go Kayaking we’ve arranged for many custom cag decks or pfds to be made for personal use and for team use. We enjoy seeing the creativity that you have as paddler, and we love seeing them out on the water. If you would like to discuss arranging your own cag deck or pfd to be made please email your idea to Below are some ideas that we’ve done for our customers.nigeljonesmk2





Check out our full range of Cag Decks by clicking here:

Check out our range of Custom PFDs by clicking here:




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