A sea sock is an amazing safety invention, particularly for skin-on-frame kayaks. They keep water out of the boat if you capsize, and give your kayak tremendous flotation. Alas, there really is no good sea sock made for sea kayaks anywhere. That will be ending soon, thanks to Seawolf paddler and textiles master Liz Hawkes.
Available commercial sea socks are too big, install poorly, and generally wrap your lower body in clammy, non-breathable nylon. If you’ve wanted something reasonably comfortable and fitted, you’ve had to make it.
Liz has been prototyping and constructing a newly designed sea sock with input from myself (Kiliii) and Paul Richards, who organizes our Boston-area kayak workshops. The second round of prototypes is just about complete, and fabrics testing is coming.
Here’s what the new sea sock does:
- Ties around your coaming with a small diameter cord, which allows you to install it on cockpits with a regular rim and have your skirt still secure around the coaming.
- Supported by an internal frame which keeps it from lying, clammy and sweaty, over your legs and lower body.
- Supported by a foam piece that is essentially a bulkhead– it is a standard size for Seawolf’s kayaks but will easily be user-modified for other boats. You can rest your feet on something comfortable, and the bulkhead’s position is set by your adjustable foot pegs.
- No need to install velcro or other doodads that fail after a while since the sock is self-supporting.
- Made of several material options right now: a waxed cotton tincloth, or a mid-weight nylon that is easy to clean and keeps moisture away from direct contact with your body.
The sock currently has no name and we don’t have pricing yet, but we are gauging interest in these for the kayak community– they may be ready by September. Feel free to leave a comment or email us directly at kiliii (at) seawolf kayak (dot) com.