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Dive kayaks

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Apr 10, 2002
Hi people,

I'm contemplating the purchase of a kayak for spearfishing and am considering the Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro TW or the Necky Dolphin.

Any opinions or advice regarding these models or others is appreciated.

Cheers, Guy:)
I do all of my diving off of a kayak (Scuba & Free). I tried the scupper TW & found it to be to unstable when I load two AL80's & all my gear. As for the Necky it looks evan more unstable but I have no exp. with one. I am useing a Scrambler XT It is very stable & can handle alot of weight.
If you dont scuba the scupper TW might be the best boat for you it seems a little faster than the Scrambler.
You will love diving off of the the kayak if you never tried it before. You will have a better range & it will give you a place to keep the fish. I bought mine afer having to give up my catch to bull sharks on two diffrent ocasions.:waterwork
Go with the Scupper Pro. You'll have a little learning curve, but once you get used to paddling and loading it, you'll be fat city.

Give Dale here, known as Kayakdiver, a mail. He'll clue you in too.

sven DB's longest running kayak guy


Thanks for the advice, I ordered the Scupper Pro TW. I'm looking foreward to impaling some Stripers in New Hampshire as soon as they return:p

Cheers, Guy
impale, impole..

Give Anderson here a call- he's looking to impale some strippers too. :t

Good choice on the Scupper Pro, great boat. I agree with Sven, once you get used to it, its a great kayak for freediving & scuba. I used to have one without tank well, had lots of storage and tracked well through water. I use Scrambler XT now 'cause its better for teaching, more stable, and I can haul 4 of 'em at a time to the ocean. XT paddles pretty good, but not as good as the Pro.
Hey Sven, where are you guys hunting for strippers, I want some of that action too!!
Hi all ,
I hope to buy a spearing kayak soon , but the only model currently available is the basic scrambler .
Is it worh buying or should I order and wait for a XT ?
A consideration for me is that I move to a different country every year or two max and the scrambler is lighter/smaller .
Though I don't get around as much, extradition and all, I'd wait for the better paddling XT. Longer smoother and more quiet while paddling and at rest. Makes those idyllic locales you're in that much nicer...

Tarpon (its a kayak)

I've been thinking of getting a kayak for multiple use - on the rivers here in Florida as well as the coast. A friend of mine has the Tarpon from Wilderness Systems - a touch longer than the Scupper Pro and about the same width, if my memory serves me. He really likes it, but has not tried using it as a dive platform. Anyone know anything about diving from the Tarpon?
Tarpon as a dive platform


The Tarpon "kayak" is manufactured by Wilderness Systems and appears to be a fine kayak, I have not paddled one but have seen one up close. The Tarpon has two large hatches for storage rather than a single hatch with a tank well or multiple wells more commonly seen on kayaks designed for diving. It's nice not to have to open a hatch in waves to get at your gear. If you like the "lines" or look of the Tarpon, check out the Necky Dolphin. The Dolphin is somewhat similar, though not as long, has a well and is likely a very efficient boat.

Cheers, Guy:)
Too many choices

It seems that the choices for a good freediving/spearfishing kayak come down to the Scrambler XT, Scupper Pro TW, Necky Dolphin, and Perception Swing (have I missed any worth considering?).

I want to be able to haul one of my kids with me (75 lbs) occasionally; will the Scupper Pro or Dolphin be too unstable for that?

The Preception Swing comes with an integral kid seat - anyone tried it? How does it perform (speed, stability, storage space) compared to the Scrambler ST or others? -It is a bit longer than the XT - seems like it might be a bit faster.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.
I'm only familiar with the Scupper Pro TW, Chris, and you could do a lot worse than it. Once your butt gets used to balancing it, you'll be hard pressed to do better for less, or more.

Head to head

thanks sven,

everyone seems to be quite pleased with the scupper pro - it says a lot that no one seems to have any significant gripes about it . . . must be a pretty decent boat.

my anal retentive scientist side wants to test them all head to head to make sure i get exactly the right kayak for my needs. i suppose that's naive since I'd really have to test them for a couple of years to see how they perform in various situations and conditions.
Ocean Kayak makes a two person model suitable for diving, the Malibu 2, holds up to 450 lbs. Check out their website, www. oceankayak.com. There is a product selection guide, punch in what your needs are and they'll show you which one works. Good luck shopping!

Thanks Dale,

I've looked at all the sites (Ocean, Necky, Perception, Dagger, Wilderness Systems, etc.) and am now trying to figure out what features are most important in a dive kayak.

I'm looking for a boat that will serve me well for diving and that I'll be able to take my younger children on (6-10 yrs. old) for snorkel trips. I'll use it in a variety of conditions from moderately rough surf to flat water day trips. I realize that no boat does everything well, but want to stay away from the extremes . . . e.g., the WS Tarpon is a great boat (friend of mine has one and loves it for day touring on rivers and in the ocean) and very versatile, but it might not be as good a dive platform as a boat with a well. My friend opens a hatch to carry his kid - works well on flatwater, but not in swells!

It seems to me that it comes down to the Scupper Pro / Necky Dolphin style versus the Scrambler XT / Perception Swing style. I know I need to test them all, but even then, the initial impression may not be the right one, so I am looking for general guidance from folks who've been doing this for a while.
It sounds to me that the Scrambler XT would be the right choice for what you want to do. Great dive platform for scuba or freedives, very stable, could hold you & small child between legs comfortably, paddles & tracks well, can even surf it through rough water. I've been diving from an XT for several years & I believe it to be the best all around dive kayak. I've had 2 BC's w/ tanks strapped to it, 2 people, even a set of doubles without sinking! 10 foot swells or flat calm, if you can do it, the boat will handle it. I'm going to call Ocean Kayak now about a job as a salesman. Hope this 2 cents worth is helpful:D

I too have been looking for several months at kayaks suitable for diving - scuba and snorkeling. I have to buy 3, 1 for myself and 1 for each of my 2 sons, ages 10 and 13, both certified bubble blowers. We are Keys divers mostly, living 4 hours away in Sarasota. I have decided that the new Ocean Kayak model for 2008, the Trident, is damn near perfect. Length = speed, and this one is 15'7", with a capacity of 550 lbs. Not real wide, and much faster than the other 15 footer they make, the Prowler Big Game (too slow), but stable and tracks well, and faster than nearly all other boats suitable for diving. All the guys I have talked to about a dive yak, which is a shitload, including Daryl Wong of Wong spearguns and Steve Veros of Posiedonsub Spearguns, tell me to go for speed above all else. A slow boat is no fun, and a kayak will change forever the way I dive and how much I dive. This boat, the Trident, has a special hatch for a depth finder and one of the scuppers is enlarged to receive a transducer, which can be installed by factory, dealer, or yourself. Has a long narrow hatch in center that you could use to store fishing rods or large spearguns, which is why I really like it. Don't want to lose my new Wong hybrid to stupidity on my part. I truly have looked at boats for months - demos, dealers, websites, called companies, etc, etc, and this one appears to be the best one ever for kayak diving. I am having a trailer fabricated to hold 3 boats, + 10 tanks or so down low, accessible w/out removing the boats, and a storage locker for the rest of the junk that goes with diving. Scupper Pro's are not made anymore, and finding 3 used ones would be a tough task, so I am going with the the new Trident (no pictures on Ocean Kayak website yet, but if you google-it you can find plenty. Pretty close to perfect for a diver, at least as far as I have been able to figure out with what's out there on the market. Keep in touch and I'll let you know how they do when I come back from my next trip in mid-Feb.
Will in Sarasota, the Ancient Mariner
Life is Good.
I've been down this road, and I have a completely different take on the subject. To make a long story short, after completely outfitting my family with what I now refer to as plastic barges (Cobra Tourer, Necky Dolphin, Scupper Pro), I now paddle only surf skis. Once you get the hang of them, there's no turning back. The difference is like riding a single speed beach cruiser, and then discovering a 27-speed racing bike. If you paddle in the Keys, surf skis are the only way to go, trust me (I'm in Gainesville, so I know the waters you paddle). I wish I had my money back for all the rotomolded plastic I have in my backyard!

Check out Technique in Kayaking and Surfski paddling
for another opinion from a freedive website.

You have an excellent surfski vendor in your area:
VentureSport, Inc. - Kayaks & Surf Skis

Bruce Gipson will treat you right, and his prices are the best I've found in the states.

Also, PM me if you are interested in seeing pictures of my home-made kayak trailer...holds 6 boats and all the paddling/dive gear you could need....a modified 16' boat trailer I picked up used for $300.00.
I've paddled both skis and what we refer to as the Bath Tubs. Both have been excellent purchases at the time. You really need to access your individual needs (which as mine, will change over time). Exchange your purchases as your needs change and you will have more fun ;>)
Pav is right; needs dictate. And no boat does everything well. For example, surf skis have little capacity for extra gear. I'm responding primarily to the advice given scoutdad to opt for speed, with which I concur. I paddle more often now that I paddle surf skis because I can go so much further in the same amount of time, and it is so MUCH more fun. I do hold onto my BT's, as Pav calls them, for the odd day I choose to paddle shallow rivers, and for friends who can't manage the skis. But given where scoutdad is paddling - over long stretches in the open ocean - I can't imagine choosing my BTs over a ski....unless I had an awful lot of gear to haul.

I also find it a lot easier to get my kids to paddle skis than BTs...they can actually move the ski, whereas the wider BTs are a real chore for a kid. They get tired quickly in a BT, and then the fun is lost. The ski is much narrower, so a shorter paddle, which is easier for kids to handle, the balance challenge we adults struggle with our first few times in a ski is nothing for a kid...they just hop in an go.

I also find wing paddles to be unquestionably better for open ocean paddling. My six year old can paddle a couple of miles in a ski with a wing paddle...but he can't move a scupper pro....now there's a good comparison!
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