Fastest, stable sit-on-top?

Senior kayaker located in Pacific Northwest looking for suggestions and availability of fast, stable sit-on-tops. Currently own Current Designs Whistlers and 10’ SOT’S. Looked for Swell Scupper but can’t tell if they are still made.

Swell Kayaks still has an active website so their boats are still being made, 'tho unclear to the output. The Swell 14 is really the updated version of the Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro (I have two of these and really like them) that is designed by Tim Niemier. It’s a really good sit on top that paddles pretty fast, unlike a lot of the SOT barges catering to fisher folks. If you have the patience, look around and you will come across a Scupper Pro here and there in the classifieds. Or, you might come across another iteration of this kayak put out by RTM Kayaks as the “Tempo” (rest assured it’s a Scupper Pro).

If you want to consider another SOT that are relatively fast and sleek, consider RTM Midway or RTM Disco. The Midway is probably closer to the Scupper Pro for load and size of paddler. The Disco (I had this can gave it to my sister in-law) is a very sporty and sprite SOT that is better for someone 175 lbs under.

The Scupper Pro (and other iterations) weighs in at around 55 lbs. Don’t know if that is a concern for you. The Midway is similar in weight. The Disco is a tad bit over 50 lbs.

PS - I have been recently intrigued by the EPIC 5 (beginner) surfski. It is narrower (around 24" x 14’.3") and probably tippier than the above SOTs. It will also be faster, if a speedier workout type of boat is possibly swirling in your mind.


Thank you - excellent information. I’ll search for the Ocean Kayak and Midway alternatives in both Oregon and Washington.

Forgot to mention to also look out for used Heritage Sit On Top (Hop On Top) kayaks. The Heritage models range from 13’-16’. These are relatively sleek SOTs with hull bottoms akin to the wider sit in kayaks. These were produced in plastic and composite models.

Here is a pic of a 14’:

Here is a pic of 16’:


Stellar makes a couple but they are pricey . I have an S14S.

Yes, I too would recommend, taking a look at the Stellar hybrid surfski/rec boats. They range in size from 14’x25”, 16’x23” to 18’x20”, so you have different options for stability. The best thing is that they’re very light weight wise, making it very easy to lift and load when off the water. My S18S G2 weighs a mere 34 lbs and yes… she’s fast!

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I wish you (@string, @LQT ) would stop posting the Stellars. I’m trying to resist the temptation.


The Fenn XT is still being made and is one of the most stable surfskis. They have been around for quite a while, so finding a used one should be easy, as they are considered a beginners surfski and many original buyers have moved to a more experienced one.

They are works of art, imo.

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An Epic V5 is the answer. 14’x24" with a low seat makes it very stable and still fun to paddle. You can surf short period lake or boat waves. Look up Boyan at The Kayak Center in Tarifa. He shreds in the V5 specifically to prove you can shred waves in a super beginner boat. He has many great videos on YouTube and farcebook.

The Fenn XT is a 19" intermediate boat and not stable at all (for most people, unless you have a K1/Surfski mindset already. Then its stable as a barge)

Stellars are fine for flat water and have good build quality in my experience. If you intend to go in any waves choose something else. They don’t understand boat design (specifically ski design) as it applies to wavy, dynamic water. In open water, ill take the V5 over the S14S all day.

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Both the Scupper and the V5 are similar length and very stable for their respective type of boat, but the similarities end there.

If OP is used to what rec SOTs feel like, the V5 will probably feel tippy. If, on the other hand, OP also is comfortable paddling narrow and long sea kayaks, either the V5 or V7 will be an easy transition.

Before I got my first surf ski, I rented a V7 and my husband rented a V5 at Aqua Adventures, in Mission Bay. Both of them felt totally stable to me But my husband, used to a wider sea kayak, felt the V7 was tippy—and I could literally see his posture and movement freeze into that restricted, tight, tense look of someone who is worried about imminent falling off.

Both of them felt too similar in speed to the sea kayak I already owned. That was a “pass by” for me, but the tremendous stability of those two V models might put them at the top of the list for someone else. Note that the buckets in them are deep and wide—far too big for me, but good for a bigger person. He felt comfortable enough in the V5.

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Thank you for the excellent information. I lean towards a kayak with a 23-24” beam. We have multiple kayaks from Current Designs Whistlers to 10’ SOT’s which paddle like barges (no glide) but convenient.
I don’t need a surf kayak but would like one that could handle some waves (like the Columbia River, OR).
Seems like kayak brands are regional and Oregon had a scarcity of the many good suggestions cited by our helpful members.
Thank you!

No luck in selling it?

No. Only one slightly interested potential. I made the decision to remove the foot brace/ rudder controls so there is room for my legs. Added 2" of minicell and its a perfect fit.
I don’t think a 14’ mostly rec hull needs a rudder.

Trial run Friday, hurricane permitting.

Have you considered the Hobie Revolution 16? It’s been considered the fastest SOT available, and it’s extremely seaworthy. This year, Paddling
Space chose it has the best kayak for deep sea fishing. I don’t think Hobie offers the Revolution 16 anymore, but they do offer the Revolution 13, which may behave similarly.

I have the Revo 16, and it is indeed seaworthy. I’ve had it in 5 foot, perhaps 6 foot, swells on Lake Michigan and it does amazingly well. And it just slices through the smaller chop. You do get a bit wet, but that’s part of kayaking. It’s about as fast as a 17 foot rotomolded kayak.

It’s quite narrow, and so you do need good balance. It’s also important to keep a paddle across your lap when in heavier conditions, even though you’re peddling, so you can do a low brace when necessary. Be sure you have a good low brace.

Quite a few years ago they held a regatta of Revo 16s at Lands End, England. You know the sea conditions off of Lands End, so that attests to the kayak’s seaworthiness.

I’d buy the Revolution 16 again, but I’d also consider the Revolution 13. Years ago, the 13 was popular among offshore fisherman, but time and technology marches on, and I think most of those fishermen have moved on to more specialized fishing kayaks. Regardless, it shows how seaworthy the Revolution 13 is.

By the way, people consider me to be a senior paddler.

Best regards. Stay safe!

Yes, Sir,
I’ve previously owned the Hobie with their drive, fitted out for freshwater big lake fishing ( with downrigger) and enjoyed the hands-free component but found I enjoy the padfle in hand even more. Truly a seaworthy vessel. I appreciate the suggestion.

I have a Revo 13 and love it for kayak fishing in the RIGHT conditions. One time pedaling back in from the outer Boston Harbor, the offshore wind seriously picked up beyond the 10-12 knots forecasted. It was gusting up to about 20 knots according to the Boston Buoy. I have to say I was exhausted when I got myself back to shore. At times, I was barely making headway. I then switched to the paddle. That proved harder because of the width of the Revo and seating position which is not ideal for paddling. (I wish I was in my Scupper Pro that day!!!)

All kayaks have limitations. Learn what they are and stay within the parameters!


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Two that I had forgotten about are the Cobra Tourer and Cobra Strike + ( not just the Strike).

Cobra uses a denser plastic than most rotomolders, so it has less of an oil-can effect and produces more glide.

Anyone know if the early, two hatch, no adjustable foot peg Ocean Kayak Scupper Pros (designed by TIM N) had the same lower center-of-gravity “cockpit” as the newer versions?

The Cobra Strike Plus is just another name for the Cobra ReVision.

I like the Cobra Strike Plus (ReVision) but it is not a general paddling SOT like the Scupper Pro. The ReVison is mostly a surf specific design.