Kayaking enthusiasts know the significance of scupper holes in the bottom of a kayak as they serve as drainage points for water to flow out of the hull.
However, some kayakers believe that scupper holes negatively impact their performance and opt to plug them. So, do scupper holes need to be plugged?
Scupper holes don’t need to be plugged during regular kayaking, as they allow water to drain out of the kayak, which keeps it light and stable. However, if you plan to kayak in cold water or rough conditions, you may want to consider plugging your scupper holes to prevent water from entering.
Keep reading to learn more about why kayaks have scupper holes, whether they need to be plugged, and how to plug them.
Table of Contents
Why Do Kayaks Have Scupper Holes?
Scupper holes are small openings found in the hull or deck of some kayak models, particularly sit-on-top kayaks.
They also improve the kayak’s ventilation by allowing air to circulate inside the kayak. This will prevent moisture and mold buildup inside the kayak, keeping it fresh and clean.
Do Scupper Holes Need to Be Plugged?
Scupper holes do not necessarily need to be plugged.
They are designed to be open and should remain so unless you have a specific reason for plugging them.
Whether or not to plug your kayak’s scupper holes depends on your preference and the type of kayaking activity you plan to do.
For instance, it’s better to leave the scupper holes unplugged during most recreational kayaking activities, such as fishing or touring, to allow water to drain out of the kayak, keeping it light and stable.
Is It Dangerous to Plug the Kayak’s Scupper Holes?
Plugging your kayak’s scupper holes can be dangerous if not done correctly or used inappropriately.
Overall, scupper holes play a vital role in the safety and stability of the kayak. So, before plugging them, you should carefully consider the water conditions and the potential risks.
If you’re unsure whether to plug your kayak’s scupper holes, it’s best to consult a professional or experienced kayaker for guidance.
When to Plug Your Kayak’s Scupper Holes?
In some cases, such as when kayaking in colder water or rougher conditions, you may want to plug your scupper holes to prevent water from entering the kayak.
This is because the water that enters through the scupper holes can be cold and uncomfortable and can even pose a safety risk if you’re not taking precautions.
What Are Scupper Plugs?
Scupper plugs are small rubber or plastic pieces that are designed to fit into the scupper holes of a kayak. They come in various shapes and sizes to fit different types of kayaks.
How to Use Scupper Plugs?
Using scupper plugs to plug your kayak’s scupper holes is a straightforward process.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Choose the Right Size Scupper Plug: Scupper plugs come in various sizes, so it’s important to choose the right size for your kayak’s scupper holes.
- The manufacturer’s instructions or the diameter of the scupper hole can help you determine the correct size.
- Clean the Scupper Holes: Before inserting the scupper plugs, ensure the scupper holes are clean and debris-free. You can use a soft brush or a damp cloth to clean them.
- Insert the Scupper Plug: Insert the scupper plug into the scupper hole, making sure it fits snugly.
- Depending on the type of scupper plug you have; you may need to push it in firmly, twist it, or snap it into place.
- Test for Leaks: Once you have inserted the scupper plugs, test them for leaks by filling the kayak with water or taking it out for a test run.
- If you notice any water entering the kayak through the scupper holes, you may need to adjust or reinsert the scupper plugs.
When you’re finished kayaking, remove the scupper plugs and clean them if necessary, then store them in a dry place for the next time you need them.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Scupper Plugs for your Kayak
When choosing scupper plugs for your kayak, several factors must be considered to ensure you get the right ones. These factors include:
- Kayak Model: The type of scupper plugs you choose should be compatible with your kayak model.
- Different kayak models have different scupper hole sizes and shapes, so choosing the right size and shape of scupper plug is essential to ensure a secure fit.
- Scupper Hole Size: Scupper plugs come in different sizes, so it’s important to measure the diameter of your kayak’s scupper holes to ensure you get the right size of scupper plugs.
- A loose-fitting scupper plug can come out of the scupper hole, allowing water to enter the kayak.
- Material: Scupper plugs come in different materials, including rubber and plastic.
- Rubber plugs are flexible and tend to provide a better seal, but they can also degrade faster than plastic plugs. On the other hand, plastic plugs are more durable, but they may not fit as tightly as rubber plugs.
- Shape: Scupper plugs come in different shapes, including round, oval, and square. The shape of the scupper plugs should match the shape of the kayak’s scupper holes to ensure a secure fit.
- Water Conditions: The water conditions you plan to kayak in can also affect the type of scupper plugs you choose. If you plan to kayak in rough conditions or cold water, you may need scupper plugs that provide a tighter seal to prevent water from entering the kayak.
By considering these factors, you can choose the right scupper plugs for your kayak to ensure a secure fit and prevent water from entering the kayak through the scupper holes.
My top recommendation for reliable scupper plugs is these Hikeen Kayak Scupper Plugs that can fit most kayaks. They’re made from durable and lightweight EVA material and feature a sturdy lanyard attached to the top, which makes them easy to install and remove.
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