NEXT PAGE: Implosion
Finally, on to what I think is the single best thing about the Lucky Charm. It has never imploded on me! I took it on the Stikine and never worried about the skirt blowing when plugging the numerous huge holes that came my way. The same goes for waterfalls. It makes me much more confident when I don’t have to worry about my skirt imploding every time I end up going deep or taking a big hit.
I don’t know if I should attribute this to the three-finned design of the rubber rand or to the very flexible neoprene deck material. It’s probably a combination of both.
Either way, this is the only skirt, bungee or rubber rand, I’ve owned that hasn’t imploded on me at some point or another. Even my old Mountain Surf rand skirt that I loved eventually blew on me (and after seven years of use started sprouting more holes than I could fix). It’s likely that the Lucky Charm will implode eventually (as all skirts do), but so far its track record inspires confidence when I’m rolling up to a big drop.
I’ve paddled with the Lucky Charm for more than 80 days, and I still don’t feel like I’m anywhere close to testing the limits of its durability. The only real sign of wear is some fading and thinning of the material near the front of the deck.
Immersion Research could fix this by adding more reinforcement here, but that would jeopardize the stretchiness of the skirt. As I see it, I’m approaching 100 days in this skirt—including some pretty high-level expeditions—and it still doesn’t show any really major signs of wear. That’s tough enough in my book.
I also have a deep gouge in the deck due to an unfortunate encounter this skirt had with a sharp bit of metal a few weeks after I bought it. This gouge did not go all the way through the skirt material and has not spread at all. So despite this tear, the skirt is still holding up strong and it’s still very dry after a lot of days on the water.
If you’re only doing one type of paddling, either playboating or stout running, you may be able to find a skirt that’s tailored specifically for that discipline. And there may be even tougher spray skirts on the market, or skirts that are easier to put on for playboating.
But if you plan to do multiple types of paddling and only want one skirt, the Lucky Charm can do it all and does it very well for a relatively affordable price.
This is the best skirt I’ve used so far—it strikes a good balance between comfort, ease of use, dryness, and implosion resistance. For anyone who wants a “do-it-all” spray skirt, this should be on your list.