Big Guy needs a kayak

 I'm 6'3", 290 and I'm looking for a kayak.  I currently have a Mad River Adventure 14 canoe, which I like when tandem, but it's way too squirrelly paddling from the middle seat.  The only other option is to load the front end down to counterbalance my weight, then it's like paddling an aircraft carrier.<br />
 So, I'm in need of a new boat.  I'd be using it for day trips, the occasional over-nighter or weekend camping trip.  Lakes and flat water, little to no rapids.  With Gear, the total load out should be less than 350 lb.  (Cooler, camping gear, etc.)  I've looked at the Jackson Daytripper 12 (Capacity 375)and the Perception Sport Patriot Angler (Capacity 400).  Of those, I like the Jackson the best, though it costs almost twice as much.  Would either of those work for me?  I'm also open to suggestions for other boats in that price range.<br />

Any help is greatly appreciated.


Consider going 2’ longer. Not only will you have more options but with all your gear you’ll have a better ride.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

I agree, go longer
Since you’ve already expressed aversion to paddling an “aircraft carrier” don’t limit yourself to short boats. To get the displacement that somebody your size needs, a short boat has to be too wide to be much fun to paddle or to track well. I would go so far as saying look at 15 to 16 foot touring boats. If you check the specs, they weigh close to the same as shorter boats but being narrower they can be more comfortable to paddle and more versatile.

You should be taking as many opportunities as you can find to actually sit inside boats and get out on the water with some demos. You essentially “wear” a kayak and it needs to fit – more like buying shoes or a bicycle. Something like a Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145 is a kayak designed for the larger paddler. These are fairly easy to find at outfitters.

Also run a forum search on here for “big guy kayaks” and you’ll see some useful responses in the past on this from the “big guys” themselves. I know it would help if you posted some more about what area and waters you intend to paddle in.

Eddyline Denali

Re: area
I’ll be paddling mostly in the north Alabama area, flat water. Tennesee River backwater, Sipsey river, etc. The closest place to find a real kayak shop is Birmingham, 2 hours from me. I looked at the Tsunami, I’d like something a bit less expensive. I realize that’s probably going to mean a rec boat.

Pungo 140?
The Pungo 140 might be worth a try. I demoed one and was impressed by how fast it felt compared to some other rec kayaks.