Sit On Top Pros’ Nick Budden shows all how to install the Sealect Trucourse rudder into the Scupper 14 kayak. Any questions, comments or concerns email to us @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shipping kayaks can sometimes feel like gambling. You spend lots and lots of time adding foam packing or bubble wrap only to end up mercy to the guys working at the various trucking terminals. There are times when heavy pallets or products will be stacked directly on top of kayaks in bags. Breakage can occur.
Enter the kayak shipping box- the longest cardboard box ever assembled in the state of Washington. It has perfect dimensions to fit the Scupper 14 kayak.
It costs us a lot of extra funds and effort to get this added security into our shipping. The box costs more than shipping insurance- so, why do we do it? Answer: we believe that the purchase of a non essential product of this magnitude deserves a GREAT customer experience. You chose our service- well then we will go above and beyond to make it the best possible experience.
Of course we back up everything we sell 100% satisfaction. But we understand that once that kayak arrives it’s time to paddle, not time to wait for another product to show up weeks later.
Stackable boxes receive a much better level of treatment on trucks and in terminals. So far, we’ve had 100% success rate with these simple boxes to avoid damages. Inside the boxes they are layered with foam and a very thick plastic bag that’s water tight.
Customers can sit back and relax. Your job is simply to unpack it:
Head to the water. And leave your troubles behind you for a bit.
By Jim Marsh
Swell Watercraft set out to build a faster, more comfortable sit on top kayak. The big idea was to lower the footwells all the way, just like a sea kayak. The added performance would be a game changer. But what to do with the excess water that filled into the cockpit? We had a number of ideas, but our patented Scupper valve was the avenue we ended up taking. It utilizes a 1″ ball that keeps water from coming in, but drains the cockpit through the scupper hole when you paddle fast. This is our journey building our revolutionary valve.
#1 We built this rudimentary yellow valve out of urethane as a test of concept. We were pleased it drained, but it also leaked, making it hard to measure. Still, we decided to build another one even though we weren’t sure this would be our solution.
#2 We added a rim underneath the kayak that keep water from rushing in. Bingo! We likey. It works well. Let’s make a polished prototype!
#3 We decided to allow the Scupper Valve to push down so you can turn it off and on. This allows one to not have drag under the kayak, especially nice when launching and landing. The orange cord was for pulling it upward. The metal bar was for pushing downward. It was also determined it wasn’t draining as fast as we wanted so we immediately made another one (both are in the photo)that was 25% larger to flush water faster. We’ll just make our Scupper hole larger on the kayak to compensate. Ultimately, we wanted more drainage so we made major changes to get there.
#4 Enter our masterpiece. Destined for greatness, this valve answered all our questions and solved all our problems. Perfect seal, great drainage, easy to operate. There was only one problem, when pushing the valve down occasionally the circular hole would distort and leak water. This took the air out of our balloon, but we knew we could fix the issue. So back to the drawing board.
#5 We added height, allowing the ball to move more freely. We thickened up the handle. We altered the shape of the drainage holes. We figured out a much better lip at the bottom, which creates the seal. Easy to operate, easy to drain, indestructible. We had finally achieved the level of performance we had envisioned in the first place!
Conclusion: It was Tim Niemier’s dream to lower the footwells to make the world’s most comfortable performance sit on top. In order to achieve this we had to take a journey of discovery to find our solution that would make this happen. This was more of a deep dive versus a quick dip. Thankfully Tim, Adam Bierschenk and myself had the time and energy to continue building and testing these prototypes.
Each step had value. The failure of #4 hurt our feelings, but it was very important to get us the level of performance we eventually got. We even had an injection molder alter our valves’ interior without our consent or knowledge. Unraveling that mystery, as irritating as it was, had immense value! We were able to understand the interior dynamics by comparing their version with ours and accentuate features that were obviously working. In the end, our own mistakes became our greatest teachers.
For More Info on the Swell Watercraft Scupper Valve, check out this video:
Swell Watercraft kayaks have now been discounted for the very first time online! A new website called the Sit On Top Pros has the Scupper 14 on sale @ sitontopkayak.com.
The 10% discount lasts until June 30. Kayaks will be shipping to customers on approximately July 15.
The 2020 version of the Scupper 14 is now being built in South Africa with a lighter, stiffer plastic. The Sit On Top Pros are importing several kayaks from South Africa as well, including Vagabond, Stealth and Carbonology Sport Surfskis.
It’s a great place to reserve your new + improved Scupper 14. And this is the lowest price you’ll find this year.
We want to welcome the Sit On Top Pros to the world wide web. We commend them for their stance on innovative, fast, performance SOT’s and of course- the Scupper fits amazing with their inventory. These guys have great taste.
May the Sit On Top Reign Supreme!
In 1993 a legendary paddling event occurred at the Salsbury Point launch, near the Hood River Canal Bridge in southern Washington State. After walking a half mile to retrieve his car, paddler Roan Eastman realized his kayak and paddle had been stolen. His PFD was the only thing that remained.
“I looked across the water and I saw nothing. The kayak has just vanished” he said. He’d never recover his orange Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro or his paddle.
This is where things get more than a little weird. A Coast Guard helicopter out on a search and rescue mission mentioned over the radio they were seeing a “huge hairy beast” paddling a “small blue kayak” near the bridge.
Was this the famed upright-walking, ape-like creature known locally as the sasquatch? Was this Roan’s kayak? Noone has the answers to these questions. No Coast Guard vessel attempted an intervention with the kayak that we know of. The kayak was never seen again.
The Sasquatch, of course, has been seen many times since, including by members of the Swell Watercraft staff. At first we thought we’d get a tattoo, then we decided we needed to tattoo all the Scupper kayaks. So we did it. In the tankwell.
Suffice to say that when Sasquatch decided to paddle, he took a Scupper kayak. We’re more than happy not honor the legacy of that fateful day. And if that beast should ever want a new Scupper, he just needs to drop us a line and we’ll hook him up with a good deal.
Hairy beasts. Killer kayaks. The Sasquatch Guarantee of Satisfaction. We all win here. Everyone that is, except Roan Eastman.
Swell Watercraft has made significant changes to it’s signature kayak- the Scupper 14. The changes are in material construction, part placement, and artwork are evidence of Swell’s dedication to the continuing development of the product.
- New Plastic!!! Swell Watercraft now has the lightest and stiffest roto molded plastic in the USA. Their PE² plastic uses foaming agents to create a double layer combining the durability of PE with the stiffness and weight saving of foam. This process helped the Scupper 14 lose 8 lbs. At 64lbs the Scupper is much easier to roof rack. Being stiffer makes it move through the water more efficiently, which means it’s faster and you use less energy.
To accomplish this, Swell moved to the Vagabond Kayak factory in South Africa where famed designer Celliers Kruger has his base. Kruger perfected this PE² process while producing Epic V7 Surfskis prior to the company moving to it’s own rotomolding facility in China.
2. New Footpegs. They moved the footpegs to the outside of the kayak. This delivers better leverage in combination with the seated position. They added a new footpeg system that adjusts on the go faster and fits feet better. Lastly, the new position works much better for rudder kayaks, giving the cables less exposure and a better flow.
3. New Colors. Swell is moving forward with just two colors for 2020: Safety Orange and the new Blue Steel. Zoolander would be proud of this stylish move towards fresh, fun and explosive colors.
4. New Logo. Swell added this Sasquatch logo to the tankwell in order to celebrate an old story about a “huge hairy beast” stealing a Scupper kayak and paddling it across Puget Sound. It’s also a tribute to the area Swell lives and paddles in. “I’ve seen the Sasquatch, and so have some of my friends. So it’s no joke to us” said Swell Watercraft owner Jim Marsh.
The 2020 Scuppers arrive in the USA July 15. There will be a 10% off pre-sale at sitontopkayak.com (The Sit-On-Top Pros) during the month of June.
Tim Niemier was a teenager in Malibu, CA with a problem. He loved to dive out past the surf break, but he needed a craft that didn’t hold water and would fit on top of his 1959 VW Beetle. He ended up introducing the sit-on-top kayak to the world. This is the progression of his story.
Niemier’s first vessel was an old double surf board that he carved a seat onto and added a hatch for storage. It was rudimentary, off balance, but it actually worked. Tim was finally able to get past the surf break safely and had a dive platform with dry storage waiting for him on the surface.
Niemier took a sculpture class at the local community college and made this his final project. He got an ‘A.’ Just like that, Niemier, still a teenager, was a bonafide kayak designer. One day while walking the craft back to his VW he was approached to sell it. He asked for 3 times the materials cost. Without trying he had found his first customer and he was in business.
1972- Ocean Kayak
Tim ended up selling 30 of this model in just a 1-mile stretch of beach near his home. That’s when he knew he was onto something. “There are a lot of beaches in the world,” he says. Why is the rear of the sit-on-top called a “tankwell” you ask? Because these models all had a well for Tim’s scuba tanks.
In 1976 the Ocean Kayak logo was added to the kayak. Tim is 5’6” tall, and he realized it was time to alter the cockpit for taller paddlers. This version was the first that accommodated for all different body sizes. Tim continued making kayaks for a few years, but was eventually side tracked by life for a while. But that didn’t last forever.
1984: The Scupper
The world’s first roto molded sit on top kayak was the first with an official model name: The Scupper. At 14‘ long and only 43 lbs, it was also the first with the little drainage holes commonly known as “scuppers.”
When errors rendered the mold too big to fit into the planned oven, he had to build his own kayak oven to accommodate it. Eventually, the oven had issues with environmental codes, which lead him to move away from California.
1989: Scupper Pro
By 1988 Niemier moved his company to Ferndale, WA. The 15’9” saltwater ready Scupper Pro was built there to carry more gear and hit rougher waters. This is definitely the most legendary sit-on-top kayak ever devised.
In 1997, Niemier sold Ocean Kayak to Johnson Outdoors. They continued to produce them off and on until 2010, when it was finally discontinued to the dismay of many.
2010: Wild Designs
After Ocean Kayak, Niemier was itching to get back in the kayak business so he started a brand called NuCanoe in 2006. After a few years launching this new brand, he sold it. After that he went right back to his passion project: The Scupper. This is a thermoformed prototype for his Wild Designs business. It was never sold commercially.
2018: Swell Watercraft
In 2016 Niemier began to build the Scupper 14 model with Swell Watercraft. Two years later the highly rated, ocean ready craft hit the market. The final tweeks he included improved ergonomics with the feet area below the waterline. Patented valves drain the cockpit if water accumulates. The hatch is larger than ever. And once again the tankwell fits a scuba tank.
Things have truly run full circle after almost 50 years for designer Tim Niemier, the man who introduced the sit on top kayak to the world.
Swell Watercraft is 100% dedicated to improving it’s products. Our first kayak, the Scupper 14, has received tremendous user reviews online. The Scupper truly is different. It’s the first sit-on-top with the feet below waterline and utilizes an innovative, patented drainage valve.
Recently we had the first “professional” media review of the kayak completed @GearJunkie.com. We were thrilled! The writer was loving the Scupper. He did list two ‘cons’ as real writers tend to do. The rod holders’ angle: easy fix. The weight of the kayak: we had no easy fix for that.
I had another problem: my back hurt. As the owner/operator of Swell, no one had come anywhere close to lifting as many of these kayaks as I had. At 71 lbs, I was able to get them on and off my roof rack, but after doing it hundreds of times I found myself dreading the experience. Gear Junkie was right, built in standard plastic the kayak was heavy.
A little research indicated my kayak was already the lightest rotomolded 14 footer one could buy. The Scupper was always envisioned to be a roof rack type of kayak. How would we lower the weight? Fiberglass was too brittle and expensive for most customers. Thermoformed plastic lack rigidity, which makes them flutter when paddled.
Enter my old friend Celliers Kruger from South Africa. He’s a kayak designer from South Africa who has perfected a unique “Poly2” rotmolding that makes kayaks not only lighter but also stiffer. A thin outer shell is laid in, followed on the inside by a foaming agent. Kruger learned the process during a contract he had to make the world’s first roto molded surfskis. Later, he applied the process to Vagabond Kayaks, his own line of performance based sit-on-tops.
Kruger offered to make the Scupper about 11% lighter and much stiffer at his South African factory. We quickly agreed to terms. From there, the partnership expanded. We are now the exclusive distributor of Vagabond Kayaks in North America. Vagabond is also the exclusive distributor for Swell Watercraft in the Europe and Africa. Both brands see the synergy of combining performance brands into the same portfolio.
So that’s why we moved kayak production to South Africa. Lighter, faster, stiffer, better kayaks. European distribution for Swell. Exclusive rights to distribute Vagabond Kayaks in North America. We’ll be receiving our first container of the updated Scupper 14 as well as Vagabond line on July 15.
We’re so stoked to deliver these advanced rotomolded plastic kayaks to the USA!