Ocean Kayak Brand Respected?

-- Last Updated: Mar-17-05 2:06 PM EST --

I have question - what does everyone think of Ocean Kayak brand sit-on-top kayaks? Do people deride them as a sign of a newbie kayaker? I admit I've owned Ocean Kayaks for 5 years now, and rented them even before that, and I still love mine. I definitely need a sit-on-top - a sit in would be too blazing hot for the Texas summers. OK's are by far the most popular brand for resort rental, but I wonder what people who pride themselves on being "serious" paddlers think of them. I won't be insulted if you think they're toys.

Old question
It sounds like you might be apprehensive of brand snobbery. What is a serious kayaker? I take my paddling serious enough to have a fun time safely. So far I own just 2 boats, an Old Town Loon 138 and an O K Scrambler. The Loon is my work horse that I use for most of my fishing and kicking around lakes. The Scrambler is my fun ride and something I will loan to those who want to come along with me. Both are pretty stable and durable. The Scrambler turns easier and is a complete hoot to take down to my local whitewater park. I have actually made runs down the complete course without dumping. IMHO you could do worse with your $ than O K products.


West Coast Thing
Nevermind what people think. There are a lot of uninformed people out there.

Lots of people put OK products down because they are slow.

OK is a West Coast company born in Malibu and now up north. They are designed to handle big surf and huge swells. They sacrifice speed to do that.

But if you are going to paddle mostly flatwater, you might want to look at other brands. If you are going to be doing surf launches and landings, and off shore paddling, then the OK might be a good choice.

That’s how I feel, too. Kayaking isn’t really big on the Texas coast, so I rarely run into other kayakers. I’d like to get in touch with others out here, and want to know if I should expect snobbery from others. I’ve found in most sports I am involved in, like mountain biking, hiking, etc, there are those who like to think of themselves as “serious” enthusiasts, who see a person with inexpensive but expedient equipment, and scoff at him as a neophyte with entry level equipment even if he had decent experience, however if someone brand new to the sport came in with all the best gear because he wanted to have what he was “supposed” to have, HE’D be scoffed at as a poser.

As for me, if chucking a piece of equipment that works because it doesn’t have enough street cred is what it takes to be a “serious” enthusiast, call me a dabbler."

Can’t wait to paddle another Ocean Kayak
I’m no kayaker but I rented an OK scrambler twice to go out in the surf near Ocean City Maryland. What a blast! I check the classifieds here every day looking for a scrambler or a yak board. They’re just plain fun.

Want a Yak Board?
I’m selling my Yak board. My asking price is $250. It’s almost new condition. If you want to come down to Houston…

My brother is in Dallas
…but he always flies home to visit in Pennsylvania. Hmmm …

Where do you paddle? Kayaking is very hot on the Texas Coast. Lots of people using Scupper Pro’s and Tarpon 140’s. Galveston is a pretty hot spot, but even hotter is the Port Aransas/Rockport area. I’ve owned 6 OK boats and liked them all just fine. I prefer a sit inside these days when I’m kayaking. But, most of the time you’ll find me paddling a canoe.

Re: Dude
I kayak on Galveston Island, in West Bay, Dana Cove near the state park. Also Karankawa Reef, the little coves on the north side of the intracoastal. I also paddle off the Gulf side, on Pirate’s Beach around 12 Mile Road. I was the first person in my neighborhood to get a kayak 5 years ago. Since then they’ve started picking up, but I still have smudgepots who stop me and ask me what my boat is and where I got it. I guess I should have said there isn’t too much of a cohesive community that I have found, and I’ve looked. It’s kind of like being a surfer down here. You’re still looked at a little strangely.

dont knock it till you try it
our club has a fleet of scramblers, for kids to use when theres no wind to sail. i pretty much ignored them till i had an opportunity to surf some small boat wakes with one, fun! i hope to sneak one out to the beach to catch some waves this spring. i would love to add a scupper pro to my fleet, they have a great rep ask scupperfrank : )

OK is not “just” OK with me
They are great! I’ve had my prowler for about a year and a month ago got one for hubby. We have a stable ride in the Gulf that can keep up or pass anyone around. When hot jump in the Ocean then climb back in. We can take a lot of gear (I don’t know how anyone can travel anywhere “light”). People are always admiring of these kayaks and seem a little enveous of our ride. The only ones who “look down” are the sit in siders. They don’t think them sea worthy. Since I don’t plan on going out to sea, who cares? Someday I may get a sit in side, those I tested are FAST–and would probably be warmer and no doubt dryer in cold water. But-hey! I live in Florida and my OK is just fine around here year round. I’m proud to be “OK”, so are you OK too?

Definitely OK
And I’ve taken my Frenzy about 3 miles offshore and found it plenty seaworthy - more so that a sit-in because it can’t fill with water if a wave hits you without a spray skirt.

Who cares, they work
OK makes pretty good boats. Hatches leak more than they should (reportedly better now than the version I have), but they’re tough, versatile, and capable. Slow, so not the greatest for long distances and kind of boring on flat water, but really good for general-purpose messing about in boats.

Kayakers here are still considered odd, though we are growing in number. I usually hit Goose Island SP when I go to the coast. Lots of kayakers there. To hook up with a bunch of kayakers that paddle the Galveston area try going to Fishing Tackle Unlimited in Houston. They are mostly kayak fishermen, but there are some there that are into paddling as well. Check out this site to hook up with others.


Go to the message board. Lots of Scupper Pro and Prowler users there.

They work
alright on rivers around here, but I prefer a SINK for my travels, mostly for better storage area.

While Sally and I now each have a SINK, we’ve assuredly not divested ourselves of our Scuppers -Sally’s Classic or my Old Pro TW. Not only that, but we also have a Scrambler XT to allow guests to use -so I better say OK is OK, or I’M not OK, OK?


As to SINKS vs. SOTs? Is this a case of perceived deck envy? As Grayak perhaps best elocutes it, there’s different boats for differenty strokes.

You’ve found one to fit your needs -nothing more need be said if it satisfies YOU. If your needs change, your boats will probably change. Witness our fleet -we now have 6 boats, including 4 SOTS and 2 SINKs; 3 are stable anyone can play boats and there’s 1 twitchy racing SOT in glass, and our SINKs are roto and Trylon, respectively, Why SINKs? We wanted less effort to maintain spped, or more speed for the same effort (without falling off, LOL!) that we got out of our Scuppers, and went SINKing.

I’ll never get rid of the Old Pro -it’s a fine dive platform, and it’s a terrific fisherman. As noted, it’ll carry a ton of readily accessible stuff. And it’s just plain fun.

As you can see, it IS plainly OK to use OK to


-Frank in Miami

Rent it and decide for yourself
I rented an OK Scupper Pro in Baja and loved it! Yes, it was slower for a given level of effort than either of my 2 SINK sea kayaks, but so what? Some sea kayaks are slower than others, too. The Scupper Pro was good enough for a 15-mile paddle in whitecaps and swells, and I bet others have done longer/harder sessions.

If I lived in a hot area, my main kayak would be a SOT, no doubt about that.

Equipment snobs are either insecure or ignorant. On a group bike tour in the Big Bend area, I was one of two mountain bikers using a fully rigid bike. Most of the group was on dual-suspension, and the rest on front suspension. As we lined up at the beginning, I lost count of how many riders smugly told me “You can’t do this ride on a rigid bike.” Despite having many years of experience on much more difficult rides using only rigid bikes, I actually began to wonder if they were right. Silly me.

The ride leader (the only other person riding a rigid bike) was assessing the plentitude of high-dollar hardware and incongruous beer guts and muttering something about “city boys”. The rest of the group had lined up ahead of us for the rowboat trip across the Rio Grande and, as soon as they landed, they took off. The leader turned to me and said, “I gotta catch them cuz I’m supposed to be the leader!” and bolted.

I was dead last in the rowboat queue so everybody was gone when I got across. I was now alone with my thoughts. Thoughts such as, “Well, it’s a good thing I enjoy riding alone, because I guess I flunked the equipment test!” But soon I began passing people. I kept passing them. These equipment snobs couldn’t climb worth sh*t! Guys actually joked as I passed them, “DOPPLER EFFECT!” I had passed almost everybody when I caught the ride leader, and together we caught up with 1 of the other 2 ahead of us. When we got to town, we found out we had almost caught the 1 remaining guy, who was an 18-year-old bike racer.

So if anybody tells you Ocean Kayaks aren’t for serious use, just smile and ignore them while learning to paddle well. You might take them by surprise some day.

who cares
who cares what other people think about your boat, if they do care then they are not the type of people you probably want to paddle with anyway.

My first boat was a scrambler. It was a great all around kayak, used it for diving and even rode 10-12 foot waves with it! It handled great for the open ocean paddling I was doing, especially in rougher seas. I purchased a perception prism a few years later and love that boat also, but the prism is more for the flatter water. I recently traded in my scrambler for the scupper pro and have loved that boat too. It handles the surf a lot better than the prism. I just wanted a boat I could go camping in also.

Bottom line is that Ocean Kayaks are a great boat too, but maybe find the right one that fits.

Hatches leaking
Yeah, neither of my boats have factory installed hatches, and I’ve refrained from installing some or any other accessories that call for drilling the hull. Just seems to be inviting leaks.

It is a good kayak

– Last Updated: Mar-24-05 9:52 PM EST –

I have had one for almost ten years, and mine is industructble.
It is a SOT yak-board, and if I didn't take it to our annual beach trip that we have with our many many kids, I would be disowned.
I would much rather surf into a beach with it than my QCC 700.