Similar kayak to OK Scupper Pro?

Just returned from a vacation in Baja where none of the available SINKs fit me (too deep or thigh braces directly over knee caps). Thank the stars for SOTs and their less-critical fit.

I paddled a Seda Revenge first and liked it well enough, but hated the plastic footbrace rails. I could feel and SEE them bend with even slight pressure! What crap on a glass kayak. I only paddled the Revenge one day, about 12 miles.

After that, I used an Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro TW for all my paddling. Though I can’t call it “fast” it was a really nice all-round touring SOT. The thing was so stable I could stand on it in calm water, lie down, turn my entire body around to sit facing the rear, etc. Yet it was still fun to paddle, as it turned better than I thought it would without any thigh straps. I could actually put it on edge a little using foot and hip pressure (the tall wrap-around backband worked much better than I expected).

We had two days of El Norte winds, during which nobody paddled, but when it dropped down to 15 mph two of us paddled 15 miles in the remaining swells and wind waves. (A rudder would have made life a lot easier but that boat didn’t have one.) That day and the next, I got to do a little surfing and again was pleased with the Scupper Pro’s handling.

Now, for my question (finally). Is there a similar kayak, only an inch or two narrower? I could readily give up some of its stability for less weight and maybe more speed. I own a Prijon Twister which is super-manueverable and light but is too short and, um, tracking-challenged to be good for touring. I know because I paddled the Twister 14 to 15 miles one day, working hard to keep up with paddlers in 19’ kayaks.

The Scupper Pro seems like it’d be a nice boat for hot summer camping trips.

Oh, forgot to mention…it’s fun to lie face-down and paddle it with arms, too! I snuck up very close to a blue heron and an egret in this manner (and took a couple of photos).

Based ONLY on what I’ve read…
you may want to enquire about a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 160. It has a rep for being one of, if not, THE fastest SOT around. It’s a little longer and (I believe) a few inches more narrow than the Scupper Pro.

Others will have more informed opinions.


Tarpon 160 is wider
I rented one of those a couple years ago. Yes, it is faster, as long as the effort is put into making it faster. Once gotten going, it holds its glide a long time, and it tracks strongly. But it’s slow to turn and just feels too big for me overall.

Heritage Seadart

– Last Updated: Jan-21-05 1:16 AM EST –

My favorite of course ... a lot faster than the scupper pro, does not feel like an aircraft carrier like the tarpon, might track too well for you though. I know SantaCruz Midwifes friend bought one and did not like it and switched, most people who buy them after trying others out won't part with them. People kill for the old fiberglass models. I think Cuda has one he might sell.

Aircraft carrier, LOL
Space Shuttle!

I’ll look up reviews for the Seadart tomorrow. Been up too late already, sorting through the Baja photo files.

Hope you southern Cali people have been paddling now that the rain has stopped.

Scupper Pro

– Last Updated: Jan-21-05 6:00 AM EST –

I owned one for several years and loved it. It could use a rudder though as it likes to weathercock in beam or following seas and wind. A Tarpon 160 was my next boat, a tad faster, less storage, cheap plastic, felt more unstable to me. One that I've been looking at is the heritage Seadart 17, used to be called the Expedition.

17'4" L x 26" W. Same width as the Scupper but almost 3' longer. Supposedly has a waterline width of 22" the extra 4" are sponsons that kick in as you lean the boat. Should give it good speed, though I have heard it feels tippy initially until you are use to it.

Though I've not paddled one the OK Prowler is supposed to be the next generation Scupper Pro. Supposedly faster, more comfy, more storage. It's on my list to check out.

My friend prefers my old
scupper to the seadart:) As for something a little lighter and narrower…I know of nothing…and I tried very hard to find something. At the time I was looking for something that was higher performance for touring with faster paddlers in sinks, so I ended up with an avocet (sink) and found a used heritage shearwater for those times when I want an SOT. The shearwater is pretty and fast when paddling in a straight line in flat water, but at 18’ is a bear to turn. Ski’s seem to be the way to go if you want a boat that’s a little narrower, and lighter, but they won’t be the stable platform you enjoyed. The futura sport might fit the bill, although I haven’t paddled one. Here is a link:

The other option is to look and wait for a used heritage seadart, or perhaps even a nomad, in glass, to become available.

BTW, I ended up taking the rudder off my scupper and found I liked paddling mine best sans rudder. In retrospect, I think it’s the best all around boat for what you’re looking for. I paddled one through Topock Gorge (lower Colordao) and from one end of Catalina to the other.

'Cuda has a revenge that he doesn’t like, and a heritage shearwater in kevlar that he plans to keep.

If you do find something that fits your description of what you would like, be sure to post back, as there is definitely a market for it! Finding a fun SOT, that’s a stable platform, and under 60# is no easy feat!


No Easy Feat…

– Last Updated: Jan-21-05 2:10 PM EST –

Where did you go in Baja? I have been wanting to go back to Baja for several years now, and every year something comes up....

You have have contracted the SOT virus down there. It can be very frustrating. I love SOTs, and I know someone could design a really nice one, but no one really has. I keep searching...

My recomendation for you is look for a used Scupper Classic. They are discontinued, so you can only find used. But they were the orginal SOTs. There were lots made. I might buy one myself if I came across a good deal. You can probably get one for less than $500, so how bad can you get hurt?

The classic is 14'1" compared to 14'9" for the Pro. Both are 26" wide at center, but the Classic is overall narrower. This is actually very narrow by plastic SOT standards. SOTs are inherently less stable than SINKs due to high center of gravity. Manufacturers compensate for this by making them wider to appeal to the entry level market. The market for performance SOTs is very limited so far. I can't think offhand of any plastic SOTs that are narrower than the Scuppers.

The classic is about 7# lighter than the Pro at 48#. I think OK listed weights are about right. This is also VERY light by plastic SOT standards. Compare to the Tarpon, or SeaDart at 63#.

That Futura 15 Pam mentioned might be perfect for you, but costs a lot more than a Scupper Classic. Unfortunately, I think it would be too small for my wieght. And I just hate rudders!

The Seadart is a very nice boat, but the weight puts me off. Same with the Tarpon. The Prowler is a good boat for big guys, but not someone your size.

My dream SOT is the Heritage Nomad in Kevlar. It is 16'6" long, and 28" wide, but it supposedly only weighs 41# in Kevlar. Good luck finding one. I have been searching for several years. I contacted all the local dealers, and the factory.

Same with the Shearwater. Almost as hard to find as a Nomad. It is 18'4" long and 24" wide. My Kevlar model only weighs #44. Not a beginners boat. For a big guy, it is too tippy for the ocean off NORCAL, and at 18'4" it is hard for a small person to turn.

You are right about the Revenge footpegs. I replaced those plastic foot pegs and the rudder imediately. I replaced with Yakima foot braces for about $50. Big improvement.

My biggest complaint about the Revenge is the weight. Seda used to make wayyy unrealistic claims about the wieght, but they have revised the specs way up. They still underestimate a little.

I have the delux fiberglass and it is now listed at 63#, but is more like 70#. Regular fiberglass is listed at 68#, and is more like 75#. They list the kevlar modal at 53#. I don't really know the actual weight.

Mine is for sale...but I may reconsider that. I am not quite happy with it, but I can't really seem to find anything better....Maybe trade for a kevlar model?

Scupper is about as good as it gets IMHO
I’ve had similar discussions and similar wishes a bunch of times, but nobody in the industry seems to be listening very hard. If you’re really gung ho about it, you could look into bringing in a composite boat from South Africa, but I’ve never been willing to order a boat without paddling it first. One of the more forgiving skis might be an option for you, but it doesn’t sound like that’s what you’re after. You could also look into the Tsunami boats if you don’t mind spending a lot.

I played with mine in the surf last weekend and got reminded again of both its charms and its limitations. Come on, industry, give us a boat with the Scupper’s versatility and forgiving nature but a bit less beam, more speed, drier hatches (although the new OK hatches are supposed to be much better than the ones I have), and designed with rolling in mind.

… you have, point by point, described a sit inside sea kayak perfectly:

“… a boat with the Scupper’s versatility and forgiving nature but a bit less beam, more speed, drier hatches (although the new OK hatches are supposed to be much better than the ones I have), and designed with rolling in mind.”

This lack of narrower touring SOTs we keep seeing on the boards regularly is due more to simple physics and market realities than manufacturers turning a blind eye.

The reason you see a better selection of narrower SOTs in South Africa is the are not as concerned with “forgiving nature” as the US market is. Boats they call stable most US paddlers would call a bit extreme.

As you take the beam of a SOT narrower you either need the added control of engaging the thighs under the deck - or MUCH better balance as with a surf ski. That does not really fit with the “versatility and forgiving nature” part of your request.

Skis and SOTs like the Isthmus also get a good deal of their “stability” from be being ACTIVELY paddled so the paddle is always providing stability input. Very different use than “touring” boats where people want to coast/relax a bit now and then and have the “versatility” you mentioned.

I think the industry understands the market better than we give them credit for.

I went through this whole thing of wanting a faster touring SOT about 2 years ago. I identified several that fit the description (just not in local stores!). I got lucky and found a used Kevlar Heritage Shearwater an hour away.

The Shearwater was nice, but not what I’d hoped. It finally got me over my stubborn SOT preference (it has NO advantage over a good SINK and several added liabilities). Sold it and got a SINK. Haven’t looked back, but I do have a Tsunami X-1 and a surf ski now too - so haven’t abandoned SOTs. I just stopped looking for that in-between do-it-all boat that in the end can’t measure up to SINK sea kayak performance OR plastic SOT versatility.

We’ve been over this before

– Last Updated: Jan-21-05 10:28 PM EST –

And you're still wrong. ;-)

A sit-in sea kayak certainly has advantages. But it's not as easy to enter and exit as a SOT and it's capable of getting a cockpit full of water and needing to be pumpted out. Those are disadvantages. Life is full of tradeoffs.

My next boat will very likely be a sit-in sea kayak. Given what's available on the market, that's the best choice for the next round of stuff I want to be able to do on the water.

But I've spent enough time in the Scupper, skis, and now my little Cobra Wave Witch to be firmly convinced that the touring SOT we keep talking about is perfectly feasible technically. It would be a different set of tradeoffs than a sit-in sea kayak, but for some surf conditions and some kinds of "messing about in boats," it would be a good tradeoff.

Should add: when I said "forgiving," I didn't mean "stable." I was referring to the good-natured, predictable way the Scupper responds to pretty much anything you throw at it and lets you recover when you'd think you couldn't.

Personal Preferences And Local Condition
There is no “right” answer to this.

Given Greyak’s local conditions, his preferences, and his goals, I don’t doubt a SINK is his best choice.

But if I was back in Florida I would insist on an SOT because I spend as much time in the water, as on it, when the water is warm. An SOT is the best platform for fishing and diving. I was a diver long before I was ever a kayaker.

Out here big surf is the issue. I don’t want to get caught inside a SINK in big beach break.

Some people like sports cars, some people like Jeeps…

How’s the Wave Witch Working out?
Getting to surf it much?

Actually Hunt Johnsons longer Witch looks like it would be fun for coastal touring where a lot of use SOTs.

Haven’t done a lot yet
But I’m liking it when I get out. Actually Sunday was the first time I’d paddled since shortly after Thanksgiving, which is really pathetic and much longer than I’d gone without paddling since I first started. Life got in the way.

Conditions Sunday were pretty ugly–moderately strong onshore wind and very messy surf. I had the Scupper out for a while and then switched to the Witch. In the Witch, I spent more time getting worked than anything else, but it was fun when I got it onto a wave. The rudder is going to take some getting used to–a little goes a very long way compared to the Scupper–but it was nice in those conditions to be able to paddle hard and kick the stern around at the same time. And I was impressed at how tightly I could strap in and how much less painful the wipeouts were with less boat for the wave to play with (forward endo, reverse endo, sideways, all pretty painless).

I do think there is a market
for a slightly narrower SOT, in the 14-15 ft range that is made out of some composite, or perhaps carbonlite. It’s a small market to be sure, but it’s needs aren’t being met by sinks or skis. I want a high performance SOT, but not necssarily for racing, and the learning curve with skis is steeper than many other boats. It’s probably too cold for me to learn to paddle a ski here:) I’d be hypothermic before I got going-LOL! Some of the stable beginner skis may be able to help fill this niche. I may have a better idea after this weekend, if they do for me. If they do, I will part with my shearwater and get a ski.

I am very happy with my avocet, and consider it my primary boat now. The shearwater is okay, but not quite what I wanted. I still sometimes miss having the room to move around that an SOT affords, but not usually enough to want to paddle the shearwater. If I lived someplace warm, I would definitely want an SOT.

Check this out

I “borrowed” this link from the SOT board. This is one of those South African yaks that DLonborg referred to - looks like the real deal to me. Wish I had the $$$ to try one out…

I’m a confirmed ScupperPro addict. I love that boat - it’s my main ride these days (sooo good for fishing) but like most Scupper owners, I’m always wishing it was just a tad faster, just a little more glide. Maybe a ScupperPro 180 would be nice…

I’d looked a little bit on Kaskazi’s site, but those are much better pictures. Tweak the deck rigging a little bit and add some well-backed attachment points for knee straps and you’d really be looking sweet.

Thanks for the info
If the Classic is narrower overall, I’ll look for one of those, used. I prefer having 2 hatches anyway, and 48 lbs is much better than 55 lbs.

I was south of Loreto, near Danzante Island. Beautiful marine park, though the water was a bit murky for great snorkeling. We still saw some cool critters down under, though. Also dolphins and a whale. First trip there, and we will definitely return for more!

The rest of the story
The Kaskazi boats are certainly about as close to the higher performance “touring SOTs” specs as you’re likely to find. I traded emails with them two years ago about importing one. The rudder setup alone makes them appealing.

It should be noted that they are rigged for paddle float/outrigger rescue & stabilization (for a reason).

The same reviewer also has the Seda Revenge listed as Ultimate Superyak #1 - and some of you have paddled that and can use that to gain perspective on the other reviews.

One of that clubs members also has his Kaskazi up for sale. If it’s that great, why sell? If non-performance related sale - would you need to advertise it to move a boat that great? Should have to beat off the other yak fishers with your paddle!

The Ultimate Superyak #4: MacSki Kingfisher is also very interesting as a fishing/diving platform. It sat in a shop here in Ft Lauderdale (Waterplay) for a long time (priced at $1200). Bruce from VentureSport imported it and had it on consignment there. Last I talked to him - just before he left for SA - he said he’d let it go for $500 to clear it out before his new containers arrive (like Frank and Grayhawk’s 2 for 1 Isthmus deal last year). Looks like someone may have taken him up on it.

"I have a dream"
Apologies to MLK.

I am small enough that what is stable for the average paddler is overkill for me. That’s why I, too, would like some choices in narrower SOTs that are not surf skis. I like being able to stop and take photos, or eat lunch, without having to disembark–that’s part of what makes touring, touring. There’s a middle ground between short, slow, flatwater putzing and race training, and this is where some narrower SOTs might fit the bill.

Anyway, I do have a dream. I posted this on the kayak building forum a while back, but maybe you guys can unleash some thoughts on my idea:

Instead of thigh straps, instead of SINK thigh braces, how about a SOT with molded extrusions that are, basically, upside-down thigh braces? No deck other than that, just a couple of C-shaped (sort of) pieces that you slide your legs under. Combined with a good wrap-around backband and solid foot bracing, that should allow good body english, including rolling.


I like plastic just fine (though not for footbrace rails). That part does not bother me.