Big Guy needs first Kayak

Need a little help looking for my first Kayak

I’m 6’4" 280lbs an I am not sure what brands / models would work besy for my frame… Most rigs I have seen are maxing out at 275.

Looking to do slow rivers and lakes.

Any suggestion much appreicated… Or a link to size limit comparison other than the Boat size/weigth.

Big guy boats
Prijon Kodiak, Current Designs Storm and Wilderness Systems Tsunami 165 are all good choices for larger paddlers.

Another CD
CD makes a nice boat - if you want something a bit shorter than the Storm, the Whistler would fit you well also, and it’s got even a bit more room under the deck.

If you can find a used CD Pachena, it’s basically the same boat but in fiberglass. I have one and love it. It’s discontinued - I’ll never sell mine.

Same situation
If You go back a page You’ll see some info that might be helpful, I think The subject topic I put was Tall Newbie, something like that, I got a lot of good info from some folks.

Several options
There are actually quite a few options out there for you, depending on what type of boat you want and what type of conditions you paddle in.

The previously mentioned Prijon Kodiak is a good choice as is the Wildy Tsunami 175 - a huge boat.

cockpit size
I have a qcc 500 which is a big guy boat that would handle you quite fine. But the cockpit is a small key hole. I find getting out is really harder that getting in. At your size it would take a bit of getting used to. The tsunami 17.5 not 16.5 has a giant cockpit and interior. I would suggest that to make sure you like the sport. Then you could up grade to a cooler composite boat. Tsunamis are relatively cheap and often can be found on clearance.

Ryan L.

Solo canoe would be great for you.
Wenonah Advantage for instance.

Depends on what you want to do.
I’m not sure I’d get the sea kayaks recommended above for lakes and slow rivers. While the Tsunami 175 is an excellent big mans boat so is the Pungo 140 and it will be better for smaller waters than the sea kayaks. There are also a lot of sit on tops for large paddlers like the Wilderness Tarpon 160 and the Ride.

Big Guys

This site may help, but it is a bit outdated, i.e. other, more recent models available.

One not listed is the Current Designs Solstice GT High Vol; very popular for larger folks, can handle you and lots of gear.

Even bigger is the CD Titan, which is huge.

These are both composite boats and not cheap unless you can find a used one. I am considering selling my GT-HV and am in Wisconsin if you are interested (have three other kayaks and 3 solo canoes). Send me a PM.

Bottom line is be sure to sit in it. Some boats are billed for large people, but you may not think so.

some big guys are opting for using doubles boats , like the pamlico135 or 145, take out the extra seat…plenty of room , easy in and out. Max weight is rated @ 500#'s … downside is …its not a rough water boat or fast current or rapids boat. it is a bit of a barge to paddle. it doesn’t have thigh straps to help edge the boat. The pamilico’s are available w/ rudders…and it takes some “re-engineering” ( moving parts around) of the parts to use the rudder pedals in a singles set-up. I have one I set-up for solo fishing.

Rec boats

– Last Updated: Mar-02-11 2:31 PM EST –

Recreational boats don't get much play around here but if you stay in the right conditions (calm waters, good weather) then many of these types of boats will offer wider openings than then sea kayaks which are designed for more advanced paddling and adverse conditions. See if there is a paddling store near you where you can sit in or demo a bunch of different types of boats.

Depends on use and ability
Eddyline: Journey, Nighthawk 17.5; Wilderness: Pungo 140, Tsunami 175, Tempest 180; CD: Storm, Isle, Soltice GT/Titan, Kestrel 140; P&H: Capella 173; QCC: 500; Valley Aquanaut HV and SOTs are just a few of the kayaks you should try. We need more size and use info.


A few choices for us big boys
Check out the Hurricane Expedition 140 ( They also have a “sport” version with a more open cockpit. I’ve been wanting one of these, but they’re very high volume and I’m afraid it’ll sit a bit deep in the water - that’s an issue on the shallow, rocky river we normally paddle on.

I’m shorter and heavier than you and have a Venture Easky 13; I think it’s great boat, but may be a bit tight for your height. Unfortunately, I’m having back problems and the Easky doesn’t provide much back support, so I’m looking at a Perception Carolina 14. It’s rated to hold 300 lbs. and has a much more supportive seat than the Easky.

Big guy boat…
As previous poster stated::: check out Hurricane Sport Exp. I am 6’6" and 300#, with limited knee flex. This was first boat I got. Boat has 400# capciity and 2 sealed bulk heads for hauling camping gear. Plastic boat that only weights 51# for 14". Lots of luck on your search.

re: big guy boats
Check out the Impex assateague or Impex Serenity. The Serenity will hold a larger paddler than the Assateague I think.

Pungo to Titan
If you just want to tool around - the Wilderness Systems Pungo is a great option, as mentioned above.

If you want a more serious boat - the Current Designs Solstice GT - XL or Solstice GT- Titan are great for big guys.

I just sold my GTXL - HV to a guy who was 6’8", 300ish. It was a little snug, but doable.


I have a prijon kodiak that I like, its large and pretty stable.

Tough too!

Oldie but goodie
Necky Pinta – they don’t make them anymore, but i’ve loved mine for years.

I’ve just realized i need to make some big guy a great deal on it too – you or others reading here. It’s in what I’d call really good condition, well sheltered, custom travel/storage bag too.

I’m 6’8" and used to be 330lbs or so. I’ve always been more day-trip, casual with it. I did do a 4-day 100mi paddle with it back in '04 and it did great.

Interested? NorCal is where I’m located. This is my first time posting here, so not sure if this is kosh (sorry gang if i broke a rule, just acting quick to help with opinion and not scouring for the rules at the moment.)

kayaks for us large sized people
you have gotten a lot of good suggestions, a few more pointers you might consider.

A sea kayak with rudder, if your local river is rocky then a rotomold kayak is the best. Do not be afraid of the longer kayaks for rivers unless of course your river is a white water one. The combination of plastic (rotomld) and the length of a sea kayak with rudder will fit both kinds of paddling environment you inquired about.

Find a local outfitter (not chain store) and go sit in a few kayaks.

Look for any demo days at your local outfitter in the spring time where manufactures bring all the kayaks in and let you test paddle them.

Once you purchase your kayak get into a beginner kayaking basic strokes class.

Happy paddling!

Good advice
There is indeed lots of good advice here. I just wanted to come back 'round. I’ve been thinking of a Eddyline Nighthawk 17.5 since '04 when i tried one. It was faster than my Necky Pinta, but a significantly tighter fit for me.

I’m looking at all the recommendations here myself, and echo the value of finding and making time for a Demo Days event if you can. No specs can replace the feel and experience of a hands and butt’s on try.