• Matthew Chebatoris

Gear Review: Shelta


Shelta Hats, Lithuanian Canoe and Kayak Team, Nelo Surfski, Nelo 520, Marina del Rey, Braca paddles, Los Angeles, PaddleXaminer
Wearing the Blaze Orange Seahawk model in my Nelo surfski.

Founded in the proving grounds of Southern California by avid paddler surfer Jurgen Schulz, Shelta was designed to deliver a high performance sun hat that functioned in the water as well as it did on land. Every Shelta hat, regardless of the model, is uniquely identifiable by Shelta’s signature “no flop brim”.


Each piece of Shelta gear from the hats to the growing lineup of shirts and accessories is built with purpose and designed for action with the overarching goal of providing the best possible sun protection for outdoor athletes and adventurers. Shelta hats float in most conditions and are now available in five brim widths and shapes to encompass a diverse range of activities. Click here to view the full list of design features for each model.


Complementing Shelta’s hats are two technical shirts, the Assault (hooded) and the Amphibian (crew), which are every bit as cutting edge as the hats. Like the hats, the Assault and Amphibian are designed to perform equally well on land and in the water. Both are available in a variety of colorways and packed full of features.


Our Take


It is difficult to hold back the urge to simply state a long string of superlatives when writing about Shelta. I’ve been wearing Shelta hats and technical shirts for several years now and they are without question the best gear I own.


Whenever I’m outdoors, there is almost always a Shelta hat on my head. I’ve worn a Shelta hat during Catalina Channel crossings racing outrigger canoes and would feel naked without one paddling my Nelo surfski. The “no flop brim” is no joke - it works exceedingly well at blocking the sun from your face without blocking your field of view.


My favorite color in recent years has been the blaze orange, so much so that there are at least a handful of paddlers who know me simply as “the guy in the orange hat”!


The Assault and Amphibian technical shirts are as solid as the hats. The Amphibian is without question my favorite shirt to wear when paddling my surfski. It offers unrivaled sun protection and breaks the ocean breeze in a manner which never causes my body to overheat or be too cool. For Southern California surfski paddling, it is a viable four season shirt which I can reliably wear in any conditions.





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