Sit on top kayaks are growing in popularity, and many people are starting to enjoy kayaking this way. However, wet pants and wet underwear is not pleasant, especially when you’re out on the water all day, so let’s look into how you can stay dryer with sit-on-top kayaks.
How Do You Keep Your Butt Dry In A Sit On Top Kayak?
There is only so much you can do to stay dry in any kayak, particularly a sit-on-top kayak. By their very nature, they tend to have the seat very close to the water level. And with the self-bailing holes, you’ll notice water coming in. However, with good gear and a good paddle stroke, you’ll stay semi-dry.
Why Are Sit On Top Kayaks So Wet?
Sit on top kayaks tend to make the passengers inside very wet. Because they allow water to wash through the self-bailing holes. This keeps the kayak afloat. But it does make for a much damper ride than a traditional sit-in kayak.
This is particularly true on choppy water. So when the weather is rough, you’re much more likely to get wet while kayaking. On the other hand, you may find that you stay a lot dryer on still days. But either way, you will probably get at least a bit wet when you’re using a sit-on-top kayak.
Furthermore, sit on top kayaks don’t have much of a cockpit to protect you from splashing. There is no skirt or edging and nothing to stop the water from washing over the sides of the boat (hence the self-bailing holes).
That means if you splash with the paddle or you’re dealing with even relatively small waves, they will wash straight into your boat.
That’s why sit on top kayaks tend to be wetter – so, let’s discuss how to stay dry.
Tip One: Wear Waterproof Gear
The best way to make sure you have a comfortable, dry seat while you’re using a sit-on-top kayak is to kit yourself out in waterproof pants or shorts. These will keep your behind dry, making for a much more comfortable ride.
You can choose any waterproof shorts, but bear in mind that most waterproof gear is not particularly breathable. So if you are going to spend all day kayaking, you may find yourself uncomfortable after a while.
SingleTrackWorld recommends finding GORE-TEX gear, which allows sweat and water vapor to pass through it but repels splashes and rainfall. This is probably the best way to ensure your butt stays dry on sit-on-top kayaks. As a few other methods are going to prove as effective.
You may also want to buy GORE-Tex or water-resistant fabrics for the rest of your clothing. As you are likely to find your torso, and even your head can get quite damp. Again, this is fine on a sunny day, but if you’re paddling in less-than-ideal conditions, you may find it quite unpleasant.
If you don’t have the money to invest in GORE-TEX gear. Other waterproof clothing will help you to stay dry, but you’re likely to find you get quite damp from sweat, even if you don’t get soaked by the lake water.
Try to find a middle ground where you are comfortable and as dry as possible.
You can also try wetsuit shorts, neoprene shorts, or other quick-drying materials. Avoid cotton for both your shorts and your underwear, as this soaks up water and holds onto it, and may start to chafe if it stays wet for a while.
It’s always a good idea to carry some dry clothes in a watertight container for the ride home or an emergency. A towel is also a good idea.
Tip Two: Learn A Good Paddle Stroke
Part of what makes you wet when kayaking is splashes from your own paddle. If you can learn to paddle with a minimal splash, you will stay much dryer. Paddling at a shallow angle is the best way to keep yourself dry on your kayak; it will prevent the water from leaping out at you.
Paddle gently and less aggressively when you want to stay dry. You may not move as quickly, but you will not get as wet. Slip your blade under the surface of the water slowly, and pay attention to its angle and position as you lift it out – this is when the biggest splash often occurs.
Being careful with your paddle can make a big difference to how dry you manage to stay onboard your sit-on kayak.
Tip Three: Use Scupper Plugs
The self-bailing functionality of a sit-on-top kayak is useful, but it can be annoying sometimes. Unfortunately, this is what causes the most water in a sit-on-top kayak. So if you’re looking to try and keep your butt dry, these are usually the culprits you need to look at first.
Of course, the bailing holes are helpful. The purpose of them is to allow water to drain back off the kayak, keeping it afloat at all times.
In choppy weather, however, a lot of water can wash through these holes. And although it washes straight back out again, it is frustrating at points. If your trip is being spoiled by posterior dampness, you may want to consider using scupper plugs to block up the draining holes on your kayak.
You can do this on the holes closest to you if you prefer; the others should be sufficient to prevent water from staying on your kayak and affecting its buoyancy.
Scupper plugs are designed for easy adding and removal, so don’t be afraid to put them in when you want to stay drier and take them out when necessary.
Your kayak isn’t in danger of sinking just because you block up a hole or two. And you can always take the plugs out again if you are getting a lot of water in the boat – they won’t be helping you stay dry at that point anyway!
Tip Four: Buy A High-Seated Kayak
You can buy kayaks that have particularly high seats (common for fishing kayaks especially, as sitting in a puddle for hours while you fish isn’t fun for anyone). However, these tend to sacrifice a bit of stability, as being raised up above the water level makes you somewhat more likely to capsize.
However, they are drier on the whole and often have additional storage under the seats. If staying dry is necessary, consider this option.
If you don’t have a kayak with a high seat, you can get a similar effect by cutting a piece of foam to the size of your seat. This will lift your butt away from water washing into the kayak and help to keep you drier.
Tip Five: Take A Change of Clothing
While this won’t keep you dry while you’re on the water, it does allow you to have a dry pair of clothes to change into. Unfortunately, there’s a huge probability you’ll get wet when sitting on a sit-on-top kayak.
Having some dry clothing, you can change into when you get off the water makes it more tolerable. It will allow you to enjoy kayaking without having to worry about staying dry.
Sit on top kayaks will always result in a somewhat damp ride because they take on a lot of water, and there isn’t much you can do to prevent that from happening.
If you want to stay dry, you might want to consider using a sit-in kayak instead.
Alternatively, high-tech waterproof clothing, quick-drying fabrics, a good paddle stroke, and scupper plugs are the best solutions for a dry ride when using a sit-on-top kayak.
If all else fails, then make sure you always have dry clothing you can change into when you get off the water!