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kayaks for big guys

I am thinking about buying my first kayak this spring but am a little worried about finding one to comfortably fit my body size. I am 6'4" and about 280 pounds. I will probably be staying in rivers and lakes. Can anyone recommend some sit in kayaks for me to check out? Thanks.


  • Eddyline nighthawk 17.5
  • Solstice GT, by Current Design
    I am same height, 200#, and importantly, size 13 feet. The GT was a boat that fit my feet.
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    -- Last Updated: Mar-19-08 10:00 AM EST --

    Another boat that fits this big guy.


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    Check out the Impex Assateague. I purchased one 3 years ago when I was in the #280 range. It had a great fit for me. Impex makes some really good boats. You might also check out the Force 5. I had a little tighter fit in this boat.
    My $0.02.

  • Qcc 500
    Another vote for the QCC 500, I'm 6' and about 240lbs and have some room to spare in my 500.
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    Four more ideas
    P&H Capella 173
    Nigel Foster Shadow (not really a beginner's boat, but it does respond very well to proper technique, so it can help a beginner develop)
    Necky Chatham 18
    CD Gulfstream

    Dont' waste your time with any NDK boat. You won't fit even in the HV Explorer.
  • Plastic or Composite $ Range? NM
    See you on the water,
    The River Connection, Inc.
    Hyde Park, NY
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    price range
    I should have put this in my original post, but I can only afford to spend around 900 dollars.
  • CD Storm
    I'm 6'4" x 250 x 34" inseam x size 13. The plastic version of the Solstice GT is the Current Designs Storm.....a great first boat. Might also want to look at the Prijon Kodiak, faster but issues with primary stability when empty.......just takes some getting used to, and sensative to seat adjustments fore and aft. No problem with fit, but both boats are best served with rudder...IMHO. In the "British" designs....I'll second the Assategue and Capella 173.
  • That helps
    At that price range you're probably looking at a plastic sea kayak like any number that have been mentioned so far or a new, perhaps on sale somewhere, plastic touring kayak. Just make sure it has front and rear bulkheads and you get a chance to play with it on the water a bit with some direction from a knowlegeable person who's more concerned about guiding you to the right decision vs. moving inventory.

    I'm sure there'll be plenty of suggestions coming on kayak models.

    See you on the water,
    The River Connection, Inc.
    Hyde Park, NY

  • Go Used ....
    Check out craigslist and the classified ads on this page.
  • Used
    Necky Narpa - you can find them for around $500-600 usually.

    My husband paddles one easily (6'2", size 13's, about 265#).

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    My friend is
    6'4" 300#'s and he paddles a Tsunami 17.5. Fits him well. I'm 5'10" 180#'s and I'm swimming in the thing.
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    Romany XL
    Sea Kayak Georgia is getting a couple of Romany XL's, a new NDK boat that'll be the biggest boat they've ever made.

    I'm 6'1", and my Explorer is a good fit but if I were an inch taller it wouldn't work at all. The HV isn't any better. The Romany XL is supposed to be the first NDK boat truly designed for larger paddlers though.
  • 2 reccommendations
    I am about your size and weight.

    I started with the "Old Town" Adventure XL-135 kayak. It is a great Kayak for smooth water and for learning about kayaking. It is wide enough to be stable on flat water for a beginner, and the cockpit opening is great for us big guys. Plus it has bulkheads and hatches to make sure it floats if you ever swamp it. This extra width gives what is called "Initial Stability"

    But as you learn about kayaking, you will find that a wide stable kayak that is good for flat water, could get you into trouble in rough water. A wide kayak will tip over in waves quicker than a narrow kayak. A narrow kayak may have less initial stability, but a LOT more secondary stability. Waves tend to wash under it without tipping it over, and even if it does tip some, it will not dump you into the water as quickly.

    So for a first Kayak, The Old Town Adventure XL-135 is a great starter.

    I am now in the Impex Assateague. It is 17' 8" long, and 22.5" wide. I LOVE it. It is designed as a performance kayak just for Big Guys like us. The cockpit opening is big too. It has good speed, it is great in rough water, the Skeg helps go straight in winds, and the boat is easy to turn by just leaning a little. it is a GREAT intermediate to advance boat.

    Welcome and enjoy! :)
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    Assateague or QCC
    To further qualify my earlier response, yes, the Assateague would fit. It is on my short list when I buy another touring kayak. The QCC is fast, roomy, and reasonably seaworthy. But I would prefer to have a boat with more rocker for rough conditions (a windy & wavy day in Long Island SOund had me being "rotisseried" between waves due to the high volume ends).

    But for lakes and rivers, and my periodic excursions into Chesapeake Bay the 500 has done well.

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    I had the same problem...
    As a fat kid, finding the right boat was a big ordeal. I wanted to stay on lakes and flat rivers with the ability to run some of the tidal channels here in Savannah. I also had the $900 limit which had to fund all the basics. I purchased the Old Town Dirigo 120, pfd, Carlisle Magic 230cm paddle, spray skirt, foam pads for the truck and a couple of tie down straps for $985. It will hold my rotund-ness plus enough gear for a couple of nights out if loaded correctly. I went over budget, but I have enjoyed it very much. I would just make sure you are 100% honest with yourself as to what exactly you want to do and make your decision from that. It took me three months of reading to settle on mine.
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    I hadn't heard
    Interesting. I'll have to check that out. The way NDK fans are so passionate about the design, it bothers me that I can't even sit in one to see what all the fuss is about. Maybe that will change with the Romany XL.
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    Old Town Loon 138
    Wilderness Systems Pamlico 120
    Wilderness Systems Pamlico 140
    Perception Acadia 13
    Perception prodigy 12
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    Weight and Shoe size
    Its no fun toting a long boat up the mud bank of a river and through the trees to portage. You'll have to lift 2/3 of it out of the water to get up an 8' bank, and then it'll start to twist on the tail. Once up there, it doesn't wind through the saplings and brush real well.

    For me, at 6'2" and 300, the thing becomes an uncomfortable bit of compromise - how short can I go? Will it float me and a middling lunch without wallowing around? Is the cockpit large enough to work with my aging knees? Does it track and glide well enough to take it out on the lake?

    At the moment, a Perception Sundance 12 is working fine. Maybe an Acadia? ...a bit smaller cockpit and a bit less weight rating.

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    Ditto the sundance
    But I think the acadia's cockpit is a bit small for a big guy. The sundance has a much larger cockpit witch will give you more room and a better experience.
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    boats for big men
    I am similar sized,paddled 40 yrs. Best Kruger Dreamcatcher or Seawind. Another good boat Easy Rider Eskimo 18'6". Do not go under 23"-24" beam to carry your weight and be stable enough to concentrate on forward progress instead of balance. Get a boat that tracks with rudder down and turns easy with rudder up, not tracks with rudder up and needs rudder to turn.
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    Tempest 180
    I'm about 6'3" and bought a WS Tempest 180 last year when I weighed about 240. It's my first kayak and I'm very happy with it. I could squeeze into a Tempest 170 but for safety reasons I thought I might not get out very fast. The Tempest 180 is very comfortable.
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    big guy kayaks
    Hi, 6'7" and 300# here.. I think we can talk "big guys". Of course, whatever you decide, make sure you paddle it before you buy...Being comfy or "fitting it" on the showroom floor does not mean its going to handle well...etc. One thing to keep in mind is whether your height is in your legs or torso. If legs, consider the size of the front of the cockpit (keyholes are very restrictive if you have long legs). Also, how big are your feet. Kayaks taper and a large foot (size 14", for example) may not fit at the point along the taper down by the foot braces. Check the dimensions of the boat, a higher "depth" measure means its a taller cockpit and easier to enter, especially with long legs.
    Another concern. IF you have to sit back on the aft cockpit to get those long legs down into a boat, make sure that aft cockpit deck area is reinforced. You can crack your deck with too much pressure. Try to get the narrowest boat you can IF you want to have a responsive boat. Some of the "Big guy" boats are just too darn wide. Wide is good for stability, but perhaps too limiting with speed, maneuvering, etc. Necky makes some nice larger kayaks, as does Current Design. I think Wilderness System has some larger boats, too.

    GOOD LUCK...demo paddle first!
  • Solstice Titan LV
    I tried the Solstice Titan and it was to big. Then I tried the Titan LV low volume version and it was great fit for me. If memory servers it is 3/4" lesss in hight, I didn't think that would make a diference but it did.
    Good luck.
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    Anything by Prijon
    Except the Catalina.

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    How would you know?
    In another posting you claim you are only 155 lbs, so how can you say what works for a big guy?

    If you must get your jollies out of creating an alter ego, at least try to be consistent.
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    Necky Eskia, CD Storm
    Necky Eskia, CD Storm are both plastic "big guy" boats that can often be found used locally, or sold from various outfitters stock of boats as they buy new.

    Most Prijons as well, but they are harder to find and often cost more, even used.
  • Pungo 140 works well for this big gal
    With my issues and history I'm lucky to be paddling at all. You can buy a new one for about $800.00 I think. Weight of Pungo is 53 lbs which is manageable enough.
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    Kayak for tall man
    I am 6'5" and 215 with a 36 inseam. I have found only one kayak that fits well. The Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145. The key is that it has more depth. This kayak is very stable and surprisingly fast. It works great for me on both lakes and rivers. I found a great deal on amazon at this location: http://amzn.to/MiHvQl
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