Submitted: 08-20-2004 by jimkozel
This is my 5th paddling season. I started out paddling sit-in kayaks, including building several Pygmy boats and strip-built boats. I recently purchased the Scupper Pro specifically for Lake Erie paddling/fishing and haven't been disappointed. I figured that if warm climate divers, paddlers, and fishermen were using the Scupper Pro to punch through surf and reef dive, etc., it should be a great boat for Lake Erie wave conditions. Well, it handles chop and whitecaps just great (read tons of fun) and is a breeze to launch. No spray skirt, paddle float, bilge pump required. It's sheer paddling simplicity. Need to take a break? Just roll over the side to cool off, then climb back on. It's not a very wet ride, especially when you plug the cockpit scupper holes. This boat is changing the way I enjoy my time on the water, all for the better!
What has surprised me is that my GPS confirmed the Scupper Pro paddles comfortably at speeds between 4 to 5 mph. That's very respectable for a "recreational" SOT that's just 14'9" long and 26" wide. I'm 6'1", 215lbs and the Scupper fits me great. The one item I'm adding is a backband to help me sit forward a bit. I've noticed, verified by other paddling friends, that the Scupper trims low in the stern, so moving forward one footwell position should correct that. I've also added side handles to make lifting its 55+ lbs onto the car rack easier.
Coming from 22" beam sit-ins, the Scupper Pro is rock solid stable, easily handling wave conditions that would require my attention in my other kayaks. It turns easily and tracks very well. On Lake Erie, because you're typically paddling along the shoreline, you have to deal constantly with quartering wind and waves. The Scupper Pro handles those conditions very well, with only occasional corrective strokes required. Again, that's WAY better than some sit-ins I've paddled. I'm also planning on paddling the Scupper in early and late season conditions when water temps require dressing for immersion. Wearing a drysuit, I'll just climb back on the Scupper Pro if I get dumped, minimizing the time I'm in hypothermic waters. Again, no need to spend time in frigid waters while I wet exit, deploy a paddle float, reentry, and pump out the sit-in. The Scupper Pro is a great boat at a great price. Most fun for the dollar I've had in a kayak yet. I'll bet if the Inuits had figured out how to build SOT's, everybody would be paddling one, instead of sit-ins.