While we do not recommend plugging the scupper holes in general, if you are only paddling on flat, calm water, you may wish to do so for a variety of reasons.
Scupper holes have a very specific purpose on our kayaks: they drain the deck of water. The deck can quickly fill with water if you are paddling on the sea – from waves breaking on the deck – and when paddling on rivers, even small rapids. Our Vagabond Scupper Venturi fittings under the seat and in the footwells make a big impact by significantly speeding up the draining of water. This is an important function because a deck full of water will destabilise the kayak when you most need stability and control.
Got dogs? Plug the tankwell holes and line the tankwell with a non-slip mat so that your furry friend’s feet do not slide. Young child? Plug the scupper holes of the tankwell between the paddlers and add a cushion for your child to sit on. If you are paddling on flatwater, plugging these scupper holes will have no impact on the performance of your kayak.
Plugging the scupper holes is as simple as tightly rolling a strip of closed-cell foam and pressing this into the scupper hole. Foam that is 5-8mm thick, similar to that used in those classic, blue camping mats, works perfectly.
Note that the scupper holes in the rear tankwells of our kayaks do not have scupper venturi fittings. For the others, like the tankwell between paddlers on the Mazowe, the rolled-up foam strip can be placed on top of the orange Scupper Venturi fittings.