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Diving kayak

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

T Ash

Freak on a Leash
Sep 29, 2004
Hello, I'm thinking about getting a kayak in the next couple of weeks and had some questions about what to look for. I plan to use it for diving/spearing but will be getting more use out of it on the James River since I live about 300 meters from it. No white water use! Thanks for the help.
I got a Ocean Kayaks Scupper Pro TW and love it. You might want to look at the Tarpn 140 or 120 from Wilderness Systems too. Definitely get a sit-on-top for your planned useage.
Mark, I'm planning on a sit on top, how much does the scupper pro weigh?
55 pounds. Its not too bad to handle alone. Most makes have web sites with specs with a quick Google. See
I like the Scupper Pro for its length, tracking ability, low weight, storage, etc., but that's just me. What works best for you is solely dependent on your specific uses and preferences. The Scupper Pro is pretty popular, though. Mark Theobald has a neat "Kayak Diving" book out you might consider. See:


Thanks Mark, I hit a couple of sights and found the scupper pro. It looks like what I am wanting.
You are welcome, Tom. Please share Kayak diving spots with me. I usually go to the DE Breakwater...perfect for kayak freedive spearfishing. It's about a mile off Cape Henelopen State Park in the mouth of the DE Bay.
Hey Mark, just starting out but once I start finding spots I will let you know.
I have a Ocean Kayak Malibu 2 - which has gobs of room and is very stable due to it's width. Drawback is it weighs about 58 lbs and is difficult for one person to carry. Once in the water though it's great and pretty easy to get in and out of without flipping it over - even in chop. Plenty of room for gear too - even with two adults.
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It may be worth having a look at this page http://www.kayakdiver.com/kayakdiving/topics.htm this guy has serious resevations about ocean kayaks but I have read elsewhere that this may have been down to a batch that had beed left out in the Hawaian sun for a bit to long. Ive looked at buying a sit on top too, its worth having a look at the Cobra versions, they do two of interest, the Fish n Dive and the Navigator theres loads of other makes too that do good canoe's for diving off

Edit: Having said that loads of people seem to use the scupper pro and recomend them! They all cant be wrong ;)
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Alison, I was looking at those two as well. Kind of leaning towards the scupper pro because it is a bit narrower and I'm thinking it would do better on the river for me.
I have owned an Ocean Kayak Scrambler for over 10 years.

I love it for scuba and freediving. My buddies have gone ahead and gotten the Scupper TW and have been VERY happy with them so far. We dive them and surf them- when the winds are up on Lake Michigan.

A couple of years ago I wanted a faster boat for the calmer waters on the inland lakes I now live near. I picked up a Futura surfski and love it!:cool: It is longer, and thinner, than my Scrambler -so it goes a LOT faster. It is also made out of fiberglass and has a rudder for those windy days. It even has a hatch in the back to carry gear in- but not big enough for freediving fins. If your looking for something sleeker I would highly recommend a surfski.

The Cobra's are nice, but I have more experience with the Ocean Kayak's and, thus, that's what we decided to sell at the shop I work at.

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Another view of my Futura "SPORT" surfski.

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I have 2 Scupper Pro(2-hatch versions) here in California & in Hawaii I have a Scupper Pro(tankwell),a Fiberglass Cuda kayak, & an inflatable.

The scuppers are great touring kayaks & their shape, while wide, offers very decent hydrodynamics. In the Past nationals, 95% of the divers used scupper pro's(a lot of that due to the rentals used). Here in Cali, it's still about 95% of competition divers use scupper pros. They really are that good & versatile!

The smaller ones are great for easy entry & exit, but the comfort & stability of the longer ones is hard to pass up. It's also nice that you can fit everything inside the hatches(important for me since I often do acrobatics coming in through surf).

One of my dive partners picked up Ocean Kayak's new Prowler & it's a great kayak, but not enough that I'd want to give mine up.

Diving from Ocean Kayaks is great in that they're really stable, so it's easy to get in & out of them. Even with a 20-pound weightbelt & 7mm suit. They're durable as heck & you can patch any freak accident with a heat gun. I haven't had to do this yet, but have helped others & it's pretty easy.

There are many factors that would influence what type of kayak you buy. It would help me(us) assist you if we knew: how far you're planning on travelling with the kayak? any turbulance at all or primarily flat waters? driving or walking to the river?

Fuzz, thanks for the insights. I'm looking to do anywere from 2-5 miles on the river at least 3 times a week. The river is all flat, I would like to walk it to the river but can get to within about fifty feet of the water with a vehicle if I need to.
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