beginner needs help!!!

Hey I am wanting to break into kayaking, and I had some questions on a couple of things. First off, I am 6’4" and right at 300 lbs. What length kayak should I get support my weight ? I like the 10 footers but when I look at the specs, I surpass the weight limits. So any advice would be helpful. Second, what is a good kayak to get? I am planning on mostly flat water lakes and the brazos river for now. I would like to stay in the 200 to 300 dollar range considering I’m new to this. All and any advice would be appreciated.

For a used boat in the 12-14’ range you may have to spring for a little more cash than your willing to pay. With 9-10’ boat you could be fish food in short order!

Have you been canoeing on the Brazos?
Personally, I would prefer a canoe, although I’m 2/3 your weight. A properly selected canoe will ride higher on the water and deal better with shallows. With some canoes, you can use a double bladed paddle when you want to. Getting in and out of a canoe is usually easier. You can carry much more gear, and it’s easier to access.

Go to demos

– Last Updated: Apr-27-12 1:02 PM EST –

Your budget is simply too low right now. Can you find demos around you to try out boats and figure out why I said that?

Added later - people don't realize how important a decent paddle is, let alone PFD and clothing. That is why I said the above about your budget - needs to account for all of that stuff.

At your height and weight forget 10 footer. You would sink most. At your budget you have to look for a used boat. Try craigs list. My guess would be at least a 13 footer or bigger because of your size.You can use this to search craigs list around you. And like someone else already said try renting/demoing a kayak if theres a place around you.

Look for Used SOT on Craigslist
In your price range the only thing you can do is look for used boats. Most paddlers actually buy their first few boats used. Since you need something that will hold 300 pounds you are looking at Sit-On-Tops, a good used boat that is shorter and works on streams is the Scrambler, but you can also look at newer Models from Ocean Kayak, like the Prowler that would be longer. The Tarpon series from wilderness system would also be good. Remember you need a decent paddle and PFD too. Sometimes you can buy both as a deal when you buy a used boat.

With your height, I’d imagine your shoe size is pretty large also. Some sit in have low decks which won’t allow you to keep your feet totally upright or to move them around a lot. So if you do try out a sit in, make sure you see if your feet are comfortable.

Are you sure?
At 6’4’’ and 300 lbs you are by far the biggest fellow I’ve heard of in a kayak :). Canoe may be a better option, roomier and more comfortable… Or you’d need a huge 17’+ ocean expedition boat. Don’t think either are exactly in your price range.

Cut yourself in half
otherwise you need a much larger vessel. A cubic foot of water weighs 62.38 lbs. You need to displace almost 5 cubic feet just to have the boat above the surface (not sinking). You’ll also want/need some freeboard. Do the math.

I guess looking at academy would be a good start to see what some feel like. So I’m gonna need at least a 12 footer is what I got from that . I’m not really feeling a canoe but… Thanks for the advice. This is a hell of a lot harder than I thought.

You might want to look for a Mad River Adventure 16 (or 14) model canoe. These plastic boats are very kayak-like in that they have lower sides and are more narrow than most canoes so they can be paddled with a double-ended 230cm or 240cm kayak paddle. You might find the seating position more comfortable than trying to fit into a kayak. You could paddle it from the center solo or from the stern with some ballast in the bow, or share it with a buddy. They are fairly inexpensive and would be very usable for the waters you are contemplating.

I usually kayak and sometimes canoe but we rented one of the MR Adventure 16’s down in the Everglades a couple of months ago and I found it very enjoyable to paddle, kind of a nice hybrid of the two kinds of boat.

bargain boat near you
There’s this one for $400 in a Craigslist ad in the Dallas/Ft. Worth listings (in Grapevine?). As the ad says, “a great big boy boat”:

So I like the Carolina 16. But if I ever wanted to do whitewater or surfing, I doubt I could cram my self into a liquid logic? No?

beginner needs help!!!
When we wanted a yak, we started going to places that sold them. We soon learned that Dick’s and similar stores knew less than we did, so found a store that specialize in kayaking. He guided us quite well but our best help came from Eastern Mountain Sports in the east. The staff knew their stuff and we found what we needed to know as far as fitting us and the type we wanted. That does not mean you have to buy from these folks, but we did. We bought 12 footers and for your size, a bigger yak will be needed. Good luck.

Thanks everyone for ur help

I looked and I’m not getting out cheap. I don’t think…

Buy used
First, go to demo events to sit in as many boats as you can fit in. Plastic ones, given your budget.

But even plastic boats new will be over your budget. So once you have a list of boats you fit and like the way it paddles, start looking at the classified section here and craigslist.

Don’t forget to budget for paddles and life jackets. Buying used has the advantage you may end up taking those along with the boat.

Think of it this way
Kayaking is kind of like bicycling - once you have the stuff, you aren’t paying out a significant chunk of change to use it every time like in golf or skiing. Even the highest launch access fees in parks are cheap for an all day activity compared to these other sports. So whatever money you spend is all up front.

Buying used to start with is smart for other than money reasons. Hardly anyone can make a really good choice on a boat until they have paddled a while to find out their preferences. There are many boats and many ways to spend time on the water. It can be much more than the simple float along the top that most new paddlers see as paddling.

Getting a used boat means that you’ll have more money available for the long term things that will make this safe and pleasant, like a well-fitting PFD that you can wear all day and a fairly lightweight paddle that you can swing all day comfortably. And maybe a couple of lessons to get down self-rescue and a basic paddle stroke that will avoid joint injury.

I ended up talking to am expert, if u will. Hes setting up the Texas paddlesports show at lake grapevine on may 12. So I’m going to go up there and try some.

As an aside, there are many here who also qualify as “expert” if you will.

I am NOT one! :slight_smile: