We sell a lot of scupper plugs. They are a necessary item for many reasons. Their purpose is simple: to prevent water from coming up through the scupper holes and into the kayak.
First, what is a scupper hole and why would you need to plug them?
Most medium range to higher end "sit on top" kayaks used for fishing or recreation have scupper holes. They are holes that allow water that gets into the kayak a way out. When crashing through the surf a lot of water can splash into the kayak. Also when bringing a large fish into the kayak can get you and the kayak wet. This water rolls down to the scupper hole and out again. Most quality fishing kayaks have at least 6 scupper holes:
On paddling on smooth lakes, streams or ponds, water can come up through the scupper holes but generally just within an inch or two of the hole.
What about the sit-inside kayaks. You have seen these. You slide into the kayak instead of sitting on top. Well, they don't have scupper holes. There is no way to put them in. Instead they come with a pump that allows you to pump water out of the kayak if it gets inside. This can be a life threatening problem and certainly not a good solution in the winter. Never use a sit-inside kayak in winter, unless you are experienced and have a skirt to keep water out. Sit-inside kayaks can sink part-ways or completely if totally flooded.
When to Use Scupper Plugs?
In winter: There are times when you do not want water getting into the kayak. In winter on calm lakes or streams, it is important to keep water away from your legs and butt. You need to stay dry.
Note: If your kayak doesn't have a seat or a seat that sits directly on the plastic, you may not be able to plug holes there. If your kayak has an elevated seat, scupper plugs work great.
In summer or winter: In the storage area behind the seat, you may need to plug those holes if you are carrying camping equipment or gear you need to keep dry.
What Scupper Holes Should Be Plugged?
The primary holes that should be concerning are under the seat and by the feet, especially in winter.
Behind the seat when ever there is a need to keep water out of the storage area.
Keep In Mind: Scupper holes are designed to let water out. If you plug the hole and water comes over the side you will need to remove the plug to let it out. Do not use scupper plugs of you are busting through surf or in situations where a significant amount of water will come in.
Calm days or with slight chop is perfect for scupper plug use.
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