Bungee or Rand Skirt
In the world of spray skirts, there are two common construction methods used to make the skirt grip the cockpit rim:
- Bungee Style - Sew a ring of shock cord around the outer edge of the skirt.
- Rand Style - Glue an extruded rubber ring or “rand” around the outer edge of the skirt.
The bungee method is the most common, the easiest to build, easiest to put on, and provide a drier seal. Bungee cords are filled with latex strands, which stretch well in all sorts of temperatures (including really cold weather) and as a result, the bungee ring sewn onto the skirt tends to be much smaller than the rim it is designed to fit. Bungee skirts then work by stretching the bungee opening big enough to fit over the cockpit rim, and the the seal is made by the bungee retracting from all directions under the rim. The result is generally a drier seal on a wider variety of rims. However, this easy stretchability of the latex bungee cord also means that bungee skirts implode/explode off the rim easier. Therefore, bungee skirts aren’t always the best choice where skirt implosion is a serious issue such as paddling big water class V, running 30ft+ waterfalls, or paddling boats with very poorly shaped rims which are prone to implosion.
The other way to make a skirt seal is with a “rand”, where by a ring of extruded rubber is glued on to the edge of a skirt. Rands tend to have a lot less stretch than bungees, and although our rand compound is formulated to maintain as much stretch as possible in cold weather, they can still require some pre-stretching on really cold days to relax them before use. Rand skirts seal around a rim much like a tupperware lid seals – its more of a mechanical lip-locking seal than a bungee seal. As a result, rand skirts are very resistant to implosion/explosion. This makes them a great choice for people who primarily paddle big water class V, run 30ft+ waterfalls regularly, or for boats with poorly designed rims that are prone to implosion.
Please note that these are general guidelines – there are many exceptions depending on the exact rim shape and paddler’s needs, and many paddlers find that personal preference to either a rand or bungee is a bigger factor than any other consideration.
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