Best kayak for senior citizen

My father-in-law is turning 80 and still loves to paddle around the lake in summer, but is unable to safely get in and out of a normal kayak. Does anyone know of a kayak made for easy access for people without the arm strength to life themselves out of the boat? Thanks.

how about a sit-on-top?
Any of you SOT owners want to chime in?

I think a large cockpit boat like the pungo would be better than a SOT. SOT overturns easier compared to a sit-in of similar dimensions, plus usually you do get wet (not sure if that is an issue or not).

Phoenix 120
Light weight sit on top. Newly redesigned with adjustable foot pegs and slightly deeper seat. Weighs about 38 lbs and costs about $900. Easy to get in and out and is pretty stable. Self bailing. My daughter has the older model and hauls her 4yo in a seat we rigged in the tank well. (He is quite secure and she does not paddle alone so dont get in an uproar.)

Why not look around for a good stable
sit on top?



You have to work at falling out of
a Tarpon or Phoenix. Getting in and out is easy because you can wade out to knee depth and simply sit down.

Hurricane Santee 116 Sport

A double with a strong young buck or
doe in the back seat :slight_smile:

Assuming use when the water is warm
a sit-on-top is the best bet. Even big cockpit recreational sit insides are difficult to get in as you get older.

a pack canoe
you can roll over on all fours and just get out.

Plus they are light…carrying can be an issue for those who get older.

And can be tippy

SOT turns over more easily??
That’s outside my range of experience, unless you’re thinking about secondary stability. What boat(s) are you referring to?

WS Pungo over the SOT
The WS Pungo 120 is the most stable kayak I have paddled and I would recommend it.

I find the SOTs to be very hard to get on and off because they want to slide on the water surface. SOTs are more stable (harder to turn over) than the Pungo but I consider them like paddling a contoured inflated oversized surfboard. (Note: No disrespect to surfboards cause I’m an old G&S surfer)

Paddlin’ on


Rob Roy
Expensive, but so much easier to carry/handle than a Pungo:

Doesnt mean older people dont have balance… and not necessarily tippy at all…the Hornbecks hardly fall into the tippy category…

got an 84 year old friend who keeps on a ticking and tripping in Canada with his seventeen lb Lost Pond.

It all depend on the pack canoe
The Old Town Pack can be very tippy. Had you specified a certain canoe, I may have responded differently.

Phoenix 130

Secondary stability, mostly
I suppose for a lake and calm water a SOT will be stable enough. I have Cobra Explorer and it is something like 36" wide and rather stable. But it catches currents badly and the higher seating position (you remain dry, except for waves and paddle drip) mean low secondary stability, if you lose your balance for some reason. May be not all are like that.

But I think the arguments so far have convinced me that a SOT may not be a bad idea - both easier to climb into from dry land as well as from the water.

Best kayak for Senior citizen
I’m looking at 80, am on chemo, so not the strongest person out there and also have a tad of trouble getting out of my kayaks (LiquidLogic Inuit 13.5 for touring,Jackson Kayaks Zen 75 for short snorts & go-anywhere fun.

I don’t suggest either of the above boats for someone who hasn’t a little arm strength or body flexibility. Nor do I suggest an SOT (Sit On Top). They’re a bit heavy.

But you might have a long look at something like Jackson Kayak’s IBIS. These have a seat that’s sort of like a lawn/beach/stadium seat. The seat portion is high enough to make it easier mounting & dismounting, but not too high to sacrifice stability. It’s way cool to pull up to shore, get out,then take a comfortable chair up the beach to sit on.

They also paddle pretty easy, even in wind, and they’re lighter than SOTs for hefting around. Can carry some stuff, too. Always nice for those luxurious lunches us oldies enjoy. Neat boats! You can see them and read stories about them at: “