Beginner & Extra Pounds

Hi, I want to go slow water kayaking in a few weeks for my birthday. However, I’m a bit worried about my size in relation to the kayak. I’m about five nine and wear a size 16 or 18 on the bottom. The center I’m going to is large, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to find a “big girl” kayak. Do they even make such a thing? I went to the Caribbean and was turned down for horseback riding lessons because I weighed more than 180. So embarrassing to have to turn around and wait for the next bus back to the resort! Thanks in advance.

You won’t have a problem
finding something that fits.

In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if you fit in some of the lower volume kayaks if you don’t have large feet. Try lots of different ones and see what feels best. You might be suprrised.


– Last Updated: Mar-31-08 4:26 PM EST –

As above, you will fit into a number of the rec/transitional boats.

One thing, unless you are particularly strong in your upper body, you may have some problems doing a solo re-entry in a bottom line rec boat if you capsize. I had another reply here which I just took most of away on re-reading and realizing this is about getting into a rental rather than getting a kayak for yourself. In that case you should be with someone who could give you a hand should you capsize, either getting back into the boat or making it to shore depending on the specifics.

Not a problem. There’s plenty of
boats for your size, which is not at all THAT big.

No problem
You’ll be fine.

I can fit in most recreational boats at 300 pounds. They may be floating a bit lower than intended, but it would still work.

You will love kayaking! Wear your PFD and don’t sweat the small stuff.

PS. My wife paddles a Manta Ray 10 Sit-on-Top and is very happy with it.

You are not so large
My bones - somewhere down there are that size and I lately being overweight has me almost angry enough to do something about it. I’ve walked, swam, even cleaned my own living room this weekend and ended up back on pain medication.

There are lots of kayaks that will fit you, just make sure before you buy. I used a 12 foot Pungo and now I use a 14 foot Pungo. Someday I might be able to buy and Eddyline. Paddling about, most of the time, is a very freeing experience for me. Sometimes I’ve even got off the water with an inner peaceful natural buzz going.

good luck and enjoy the summer

I would suggest to call ahead and make sure that outfitter has PFD that will suit your body type.

Don’t worry about the PFD
First, you’re not THAT big. That’s coming from me, who was as wearing a women’s size 20 not all that long ago.

I use a Lotus Lola L/XL PFD, and it fits just fine…

If you’re in slow water, I imagine you aren’t doing any open water crossings that would risk a deep water re-entry. Even still, most rec boats (especially rentals) are very stable, and you’ll have a great time. If there is a guide along on the trip, I’m sure they’d be able to walk you through an assisted stirrup rentry.

Relax and have fun! :slight_smile:

You’re not that big
I’m a big gal too, and I paddle a 16 ft Necky Eskia. I have put gals bigger than me in my Perception Acadia (rec kayak) and they have had no problems getting in and out of it.

Most importantly: enjoy! Don’t dwell on size, concentrate on learning, building strength and agility, and having fun.

If I had let my size stop me, I would never have done anything like kayaking, canoeing, kaboganning, snowshoeing, and so on. Life’s too short.

Have fun!

Not to worry!
I myself am over 180 lbs and have no problem paddling a kayak or a canoe. I’m sure there are many people on this site that are on your par or over that paddle with no problem. You need to find the right boat for you.

Welcome to the sport!

I’ve been a professional
guide for the past 3 years and have fit people a lot larger than you into a Necky Eskia(My employer has a fleet of them) It shouldn’t be a problem—I’m suprised they turned you down for horse riding at 180 lbs—must have been scrawny horses, probably not all that much fun to ride.

fitted yak
yes do what the they say…try out many yaks you can i know there are 1-2 that would suited you up and feel comfort…so go out and do it,you will find your yak

By the way
Happy Birthday!

My Bday is coming up too! 4/17.


But I’m Getting OLD this year. Ugh.

16 or 18 is nothing
I wear a size 42