Swell Scupper 14 Review

Bottom Line:

Experts agree that the Swell Watercraft Scupper 14 is a great kayak to invest in if you’re looking for top performance that doesn’t compromise on stability or learning curve. This is a boat that will hold its own, turning and running straight whenever you need it to.

This is a sit on top kayak with dry storage and is reasonably comfortable to ride. Reviewers also feel this is a great value boat with tons of speed and power potential.

Price Comparison:



based on 5 reviews

Performance Ratings:

  • Handling
  • Stability
  • Comfort
  • Onboard Storage
  • Portability


BrandSwell Watercraft
Size (length x width)14'1" x 25.5"
Weight64 lbs
Capacity390 lbs

Comparison to Similar Kayaks:

Swell Scupper 14 Ocean Kayak Malibu 9.5 Eddyline Caribbean 14FS Perception Hi-Life Feelfree Nomad
Expert Rating
Size14'1" x 25.5"9'5" x 33"14' x 29"11' x 34"9'6 x 29.25"
Weight64 lbs54 lbs50 lbs55 lbs46.2 lbs
Onboard Storage8.

Swell Scupper 14 Review

Reasons to Buy:
  • Tracks well for its size
  • Tons of storage onboard
  • Surprisingly powerful
  • Comfortable and engaging with low seating
  • Great value for money
Reasons Not to Buy:
  • Portability can be awkward due to weight
  • Not ideal if you prioritize primary stability

Performance of the Swell Scupper 14

The Scupper 14 is, according to experts, absolutely built for performance – which means that there is a little take-back on areas such as stability. That said, those reviewers aggregated here state that there’s still a distinct lack of wobbling, and that it’s always easy to edge into the secondary stability.

There’s not much discussion regarding durability, but it’s made using two-layer polyethylene which is supposed to make it lighter and more rigid than traditional roto-molded plastic kayaks. The Scupper picks up a lot of praise for its easy-access, coverable storage capacity. There seems to be lots onboard, proving ideal for long trips and overnight adventures.

This sit-on-top kayak also scores well on acceleration and handling, particularly as it’s been designed to offer fantastic touring capability. According to reviewers, this boat is simply fun to ride and easy to get into.

There’s a little discussion over portability – you’ll need to drag it if you can, reportedly, thanks to the weight and shape of the boat. It may prove to be cumbersome getting on and off a vehicle, too.

Comfort-wise, this kayak appears to score reasonably well, with high praise going to the positioning of feet below the hips. It seems to be fairly responsive and comfortable to paddle with using some force.

Expert Reviews of the Swell Scupper 14

7.3PaddleTVThis really is my style of kayak. It has tons of great features, drains well, and is surprisingly easy to handle. Despite the high price tag, I think this is an exceptional kayak that could suit most paddlers. It's a lot of fun to paddle, and it shouldn't take long to get used to it.Read more
6.7Headwaters KayakI feel super connected to this kayak! It really doesn't take much effort to paddle fast, and it's clearly built for paddlers looking for performance. It's impressive, given its shape and size, and is very reminiscent of being in a sea kayak and having that level of ability and control. The engagement that you have, by being so low in the boat, makes you feel truly connected to the boat. This is definitely what I would call a paddlers kayak!Read more
7.4In4AdventureI really like this kayak - it's clearly built for performance, which means there's a little bit of take-back on comfort and stability, but it's all the more worth it for the sheer speed and power I get in return. The storage and support here are also worth shouting about.Read more
7.4Gear LabThis is a decent kayak that benefits from high articulation and fantastic potential stroke power. It's not an entry-level boat by any means, however, and when it comes to carrying and storage, it's a bit cumbersome.Read more
7.0Paddle ExperienceThis is a high-performance kayak that also gives a decent level of stability all the same - it's great that there's not much sacrifice. There's tons of room to move around, and the storage onboard is fantastic for long journeys.Read more

Handling of the Swell Scupper 14

Expert Rating: 7.3

7.5PaddleTVThis kayak tracks great, and it's decently fast - it compares well out of its class and size! The turning circle is pretty solid, and the shape lets you cut through water. It accelerates well.Read more
7.0Headwaters KayakI really enjoy paddling this boat - it accelerates really well and handles reasonably for a kayak of this type and length.Read more
8.0In4AdventureIn terms of performance, this boat is seriously fast! It cuts decently through the water and really paddles tightly. I felt a bit restricted without knee and thigh support, but this kayak really is built for performance, and it absolutely shows.Read more
7.0Gear LabIt's nice and easy to get paddle strokes in with this kayak thanks to how you're sat above the footwells - this allows for tons of articulation as and when you need it. The sheer design of this boat makes for a fantastic forward stroke.Read more
7.0Paddle ExperienceThis kayak glides really smoothly through the water! I love the fact that it's easy to accelerate up to a comfy speed and keep it there. It seems to do well on water swells.Read more

Stability of the Swell Scupper 14

Expert Rating: 6.7

6.0PaddleTVThis kayak isn't really designed for stability - it lacks the width advantage of other sit-on-top kayaks. However, it's perfectly stable on flat water as-is. I don't feel too wobbly on this - and secondary stability, should you need to take edges, is fine.Read more
7.0Headwaters KayakThere isn't a ton of initial stability, but it's secondary stability that sets this kayak apart. It allows you to lean, almost like you would with a sea kayak, to really work those turns and make pretty quick maneuvers (that you wouldn't be able to do in a lot of other sit-on-tops). it's reasonably easy to do this, if you need to make a quick turn at short notice. It's a serious paddler's kayak!Read more
6.5In4AdventureThis is a reasonably sturdy kayak, though there have been some adjustments made to stability in the name of boosting performance. For me, it doesn't lock perfectly on secondary stability compared to other kayaks I've tested. That said, it floats reasonably well on the flat - there's not much of a wobble here. It's pretty easy to edge.Read more
7.0Gear LabThere's some decent stability here, and in fact, despite the fact the Scupper 14 is built for performance, there's been clear efforts to keep it as stable as possible.Read more
7.0Paddle ExperienceThis boat really holds its own - there was very little need for me to balance this boat out or to over-correct. Read more

Comfort of the Swell Scupper 14

Expert Rating: 6.5

6.5PaddleTVThe padded adjustable seat and foot pegs are welcome here, but as this kayak is designed for performance, comfort has been scaled back - in terms of knee support, for example. However, it's pretty comfortable otherwise. The cockpit is super-low here, which isn't common for this boat style. It's not an exceptionally comfy boat, but it ticks most boxes.Read more
6.0Headwaters KayakThis is a reasonably comfortable boat, and it doesn't rub too much on my legs. The seat, while it doesn't look that comfy, it suits its purpose fine - though the build is performance-focused.Read more
6.5In4AdventureIt's a fairly comfy boat - it's not going to win any awards, but the fact I could easily position my feet below my hips is a big plus here. It's super-sustainable for paddling.Read more
7.0Paddle ExperienceThe cockpit here is absolutely massive, but that's only really going to be uncomfortable if water starts getting in - and that really isn't an issue with the Scupper 14, at least not in my experience. It's nice and easy to move around in when I need to. There's some nice pressure releases along the way, too.Read more

Onboard Storage of the Swell Scupper 14

Expert Rating: 8.5

9.5PaddleTVThis boat has tons of storage - the bow hatch in particular is awesome. There's also stacks of space in the rear tankwell - ideal for dry bags.Read more
9.0In4AdventureThe onboard storage is fantastic - there's a huge front hatch with cover, and another stack of space in the tankwell - and the dry hatch is nice and easy to access on the go. Top marks!Read more
8.5Gear LabThere's tons of organized storage onboard the Scupper 14. You really do have your pick of hatches and gear tracks, making it amazingly customizable for various pieces of equipment. However, it never feels cluttered!Read more
7.0Paddle ExperienceThere's a huge hatch onboard that's perfect for storing larger items such as tents - I've tried!Read more

Portability of the Swell Scupper 14

Expert Rating: 7.0

7.0PaddleTVThe longer a boat gets, the less portable it is - and this is a particularly long kayak. I was able to drag it along with a skid pad on my own, but this isn't always recommended for long. I'd recommend two people carry this boat if possible. It has four grab handles which makes moving around easy enough, but I found my hands pinched a little. However, it's awesomely lightweight for its size and type! High points here despite the length.Read more
7.0In4AdventureFor a 14-foot boat, this kayak is reasonably easy to carry around with two people, though I'd never recommend you try and carry it around on your own. It's actually impressively lightweight for a boat of this size and type.Read more
7.0Gear LabThis is a fairly heavy boat which really benefits from having a skid plate - you're going to need to drag it to the water. Getting it on and off your car is a different story altogether!Read more