Why Do Kayaks Have Bungs? Different Types – 2022

If you’re a kayaker, or just love everything about kayaks, you’ve likely wondered why do kayaks have bungs. What are bungs, and what do they do?

Bungs are a necessary part of kayaks. They play an important role in keeping the boat afloat and making it easy to use. There are many different types of bungs, each with its own unique purpose.

So, here we will explain the purpose of bungs and how to use them properly. Stay safe on the water by learning about this essential piece of kayaking gear!

What Are Bungs? 

Bungs are molded plastic inserts that cover the scupper holes, or drain holes, in a kayak. The term “bung” is derived from an old German word for barrel (barrel bung). Bungs can be found all over a kayak to plug any leaky areas. Bungs allow you to store gear and supplies in your kayak without fear of them getting wet. They also allow you to dive and swim off your kayak safely, by covering the scupper holes that would otherwise let water into your boat if submerged.

Bungs can be made from a variety of plastics or molded materials such as Lexan, ABS, PVC, Polyethylene, and Polycarbonate.

Bungs can be found in many different sizes and shapes to fit the scupper holes of a kayak. They come in both round and shaped (oval or star shape) bungs.

Why Do Kayaks Have Bungs? 

Bungs help keep your boat afloat. They plug the scupper holes in your kayak, which are drain holes that allow water to enter into the hull of your kayak when submerged. When these drain holes are covered with bungs, you can store gear or supplies inside of your kayak without fear of them getting wet. 

Bungs also allow you to dive and swim from your kayak, which is a very helpful feature for those who wish to explore the waters.

How Do You Use Bungs? 

Bungs are easy to use! Simply insert them into the scupper holes of your kayak. Here are some helpful tips for using bungs correctly:

  • Make sure that they are inserted into the proper scupper hole, as each one is designed for a specific purpose. Drain holes are round, while storage bungs have special shaped openings to allow water to flow in and out of the kayak.
  • Use silicone or some other waterproof adhesive around the bung opening to ensure that it stays tight.
  • Double check that your bungs are securely attached before hitting the water!
  • If you’re going to be diving or swimming from your kayak, keep in mind that the bungs may not stay secure while submerged under water.

Types of Kayak Bungs 

There are several different types of kayak bungs, each with their own unique use.

Round Bungs 

Round Bungs are the most widely used bungs on kayaks. They are useful for covering all types of scupper holes, on kayaks of all sizes. A good choice for overnighters or weekend campers who need to store important things in their kayak while paddling through rough waters. 

Oval Bungs 

Oval Bungs are a new type of bung that have an oval-shaped hole for improved water resistance. They also provide space to attach rope handles, making it easy to drag your kayak up on shore or carry it around if docked. Oval bungs work well as a replacement bung for any scupper holes, but they may not fit all kayaks. 

Star Shaped Bungs (also known as Hatch Bungs) 

These are a great choice for replacing scupper bungs that can’t be removed, or bungs that already have molded-in handles. Star-shaped bung fits inside the scupper hole and provides many possible carrying options by adding grooves to hold multiple ropes. You can also add a deck plug to keep your gear secured inside the kayak. 

Deck Plugs 

Deck Plugs are bungs that have been molded into a flat shape for portability and easy storage. They’re made from rubber, neoprene, or plastic materials, and they provide an excellent way to secure your valuables in your kayak while it’s sitting in the water.

Scupper Stoppers 

Scupper Stoppers are bungs that have been designed to plug scupper holes, but can easily be removed when you need to use the scupper. They differ from other bungs because they don’t thread into your scupper hole, which makes them harder to lose overboard and easier to get in and out of your kayak.


Hopefully, this article has helped you understand why do kayaks have bungs. Bungs are obviously not the most exciting feature of a boat, but they’re an important part that every kayaker should know about.

Now that you’re well informed on scupper holes and bungs, be sure to keep yourself safe out there! Use bungs properly while you’re on the water, and you’ll be sure to have a safe kayaking experience.


What is the purpose of a scupper hole? 

Scupper holes are drain holes designed to help prevent water from entering the kayak, and keep it afloat. They allow excess water to exit out through the bungs. So if you find your kayak starting to sink, check that all of your bungs are in place and snug, and that they are properly styled.

Which bung do I use for my storage hole?

You would use your oval bung to cover up your scupper hole when you need extra storage space. That way, you can put all of your valuables inside and keep them dry while you’re out on the water.

What do scupper stoppers do?

 Scupper stoppers are bungs with a circular top and a handle, they fit snugly into your scupper holes to keep water from getting in. They make it easier to remove as well as keep you from losing them overboard during use.

How do I use round bungs?

Bungs are inserted into a hole in the kayak known as a scupper hole. This is done to keep water from entering your kayak while allowing it to drain out through the bung when submerged under water. Round bungs will fit any scupper hole, but oval and star shaped bungs may not fit every kayak.

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