Scrambler and Tarpon120

My wife is shopping for a SOT right now and likes the new Scrambler (XT i think) and the Tarpon 120. She has not tried either of the boats in the water yet but we do have a local outfitter that has Tarpon 120 kayaks. She is going to try the Tarpon out when it warms up some but we don’t have any outfitters around that sell the Scrambler. Can anyone please give me any personal experiences with these kayaks and what their likes/dislikes are. My wife is 5’11 and about 125lbs if that helps. She will be doing a little of everything in her kayak. {Fishing, flat water paddling, Class I-III rapids, some small ocean adventures, etc.)

Also if it helps I paddle a Prowler 13 so she can’t go too short.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Probably the Tarpon

– Last Updated: Mar-20-06 3:27 PM EST –

The Scrambler is more a surf oriented boat.

Not so much "surfing" per se, but oriented to surf launch and landings

scupper pro
have you looked at the scupper pro? My wife has one and just loves it.


Have Scrambler - not XT

– Last Updated: Mar-20-06 4:18 PM EST –

I've heard that it's a good dive platform. It's made with tank well on the stern. Mine came from California and was sold to me really reasonable here in Colorado. It does just fine as a fishing yak. Tracks well and feels stable. It has an odd hull shape that allows water slapping noise in chop. I've used it on the creek in a local white water park just for grins. It handles the rapids in low late summer flows OK (probably II or III at worst) but it's not designed for WW. I don't have WW skills and wouldn't trust the Scrambler or myself in serious white water. I use it on flat water and occasionally have paddled up inlet streams as far as practical (before bottoming out) and it is lots of fun. It's a good hot weather boat for dangling feet over the side and just laying back soaking up sun. Mine has a drain plug in (on top of) the bow. It doesn't seal real well and I get a bit of splash water in the inside. Not much more than a sponge full, but it is good to package anything put in the hatches in a waterproof manner. Also, a local rental place has had good success with them in their fleet.

P.S. I'm also about 5'11" and around 155. Her size and the Scrambler should be no problem. Men usually have a higher center of gravity and I don't have stability problems with it.

We have not
but we will check it out.


for the info. Thats the kind of information I am looking for.

Go with the Scrambler
It’s a proven classic. Very Versatile for a Chubby Little SOT.

I have the Scrambler XT
and love it for what it is… very stable, indestructible, I’ve had some fun in the waves with it as well as fishing.

Not light, not fast, but fun in the warm weather.

I would recommend spending the $ on the thigh straps (regardless of what SOT you go with). Makes it a whole different experience when you can really attach yourself to the boat.

Good luck… I haven’t paddled a Tarpon but I’m sure they are very good as well…

good question
I owned a regular version Scrambler and test paddled the Tarpon on a pond and paddled an older version Scupper pro in ocean.

Scrambler-Cons-slow, lots of hull slap and i think the hull could be prone to catching on rocks if you do real whitewater.

Scrambler Pros-simple,tough,sea worthy,decent tracking,handles good in open water and is very manouverable. i even camped out of it( no hatch version,made for an interesting sight)

Tarpon-my conclusion was it has more initial stability than Scrambler, has no hull slap and is marginally faster and flat bottom means it shouldnt catch on stuff.

Scupper-i thought it’s handling sucked ass in quartering or following seas,good going into the wind waves. overall great on flat water as far as generic SOTs go.

Scrambler is an OK boat.

Our Scrambler XT is a incredibly tough, super solid paddling platform, slightly larger than the straight Scrambler. It’s a rather ugly, chunky barge of a boat compared to many of those you’ll find discussed here, but it’s a passably fair boat at a lot of things, so it might work…

But then again, so might the T120.

But I’ll bet the T120’s not as good in frothy water, and won’t carry the laod that the XT will. It has a tankwell, so you can padeye it and bungee in a crate and your fishing gear in the “trunk”.

And it’ll get you where you’re going pretty safely.

But it’s a slug to paddle…

Which is where I’ll agreee with Brazilbrasil. His wife selected her Scupper Pro TW after she tried ours out, and she’s a great example of why that’s a good suggestion: it’s a longer, faster, easier-to-paddle, seaworthy SOT that other tell me can do a little WW.

I wouldn’t know: down here on Biscayne Bay and the Florida Keys, our WW come from thunderboat and cruiser wakes… I do know that it will handle the ocean waters well, even if agitated. Like the XT, it is also a fairly well-rounded boat, but is a superior paddler by far compared to the Scrambler.

But I think an S-Pro, while an OK boat, is more than OK when compared to the Scrambler. I can keep up with SINKs in it (we paddle in mixed groups a lot), but it’s a lot easier to do with a better boat, so we both got SINKs.

But we didn’t get rid of the Scupper Classic or the Scupper Pro -or, for that matter, the XT. The Scrambler has now become our raw beginner boat to lend, and the S-Pro my fishing & skin diving boat.

(To be perfectly honest, we haven’t gotten rid of any of our boats: we now have 6…);photo_height=-1;photo_width=-1

The S-Pro is a good diving, and especially fishing platform;photo_height=300o

At any rate, other than possibly WW work, I believe the S-Pro’s a superior SOT to both the Scrambler and the T120.

And even after all these years, it STILL is a lot of easy fun to


-Frank in Miami

Hull Slap ???
What kind of conditions are you paddling in when you notice this?

I think if you gave experienced paddlers their choice of the boats mentioned here for paddling in real waves, they would all choose the Scrambler. It’s a very seaworthy plastic tub.

I have paddled both
and own a Tarpon 100.

The Scrambler wasn’t made for whitewater, per se, but I know someone who did a Class III trip in one and was one of the few who didn’t swim that day. I have taken my Tarpon 100 through a Class II wave train and it did fine (but the Scrambler probably would have maneuvered better).

Now, the other side of the coin. The Tarpon definitely tracks better, is a higher quality boat, and is what I’d call “quick” (not fast). Certainly faster than the Scrambler (which did have a hull slap sound when I paddled it).

If it’s more important to keep up with you, go with the Tarpon. If it’s more important to run rapids, go with the Scrambler. That’s my two cents.

ok scrambler xt / ws t-120
The scrabmler was the first sot I paddled, which got me into kayaking, but I feel that the T-120 is more comfortable, has more storage, and gives you a dryer ride. I would not limit yourself just to these two. you may want to check out the prowlers and scupper pro, and several new designs. try before you buy.

If you get a chance, check out a Heritage SeaDart 14,i haven’t paddled one but i think it would be the fastest plastic SOT under 16 ft.won’t do whitewater because aparently very stiff tracking.

The scrambler made lots of hull slapppy slappy noise in quiet flat water,so don’t expect to sneak up on wildlife(harbour seals in my case). and yes, its totaly seaworthy,only held back by it’s lack of speed to cover much distance.

Thanks to everyone for all the advice.
All of your responses have been greatly appreciated and we will definitely remember them when trying out these yaks.

Scupper Pro
While I do not have exp with the other two boats I am very familiar with the Scupper Pro. Part of my fondness for the boat is the way it fits me. It is 26 wide wich makes it much easier to “wear” for me, when combined with thigh straps I am extremely comfortable with the boat(I only use the straps during certain conditions)…I use it here (AZ) year around for guiding and outfitting. Wit or without ruder I am able to paddle it well in high wind conditions( white caps on river, 20mph winds). That is strictly my perpsective. Most boats have their high points and fans g…kim

The Heritage Seadart 14’ is not a good choice if you plan to paddle rivers. It has a built in Skeg, and turns slowly. Great if you want to paddle long distances on open water. It’s fast for a 14’ sit on top but weighs more than 65 lbs. The newer Seadarts look like junk unfortunately. Buy an older one if you want one.