Cobra Explorer Owners- Help

I am posting this question since there are no Cobra dealors in this area. I weight 265# and am looking for a comfortable SOT kayak, especially one where my feet will be lower than my seat to minimize back pain. I called Cobra and asked about the feet / seat height difference in the Explorer, Navigator, Tourer and Fish n Dive. The numbers were 2.5", 1", 1.5", 1.5" respectively, which make the Explorer the best choice, but there was some concern about the paddler weight being 265#.

I’d appreciate any input anyone can provide, even if you are not a Cobra owner.


have you tried a wilderness systems tarpon 160?

Cobra Explorer Owners - Help
No sir, the local dealor for Wilderness Systems had the 120 and the 140, but no luck on the 160.

Looks nice though. Kinda reminds me of my first submarine the USS Redfish SS-395. Same shape.



Many back problems come from poor posture less than foot elevation relative to seat height. I find the seat on my S-Pro TW -deep as it is, with my feet equal to sometimes, when I want them to be, higher than my butt -to be a VERY comfortable one -and I just use a back band, not a typical SOT seat with it.

If I keep the back band taut, and my back more or less erect, I do quite well. If the buckles on the straps that maintain tautness slip, and the seat loosens, and I’m not weel supported in the lumbar area, then I begin to slouch and soon enough I begin to to get a lower back ache.

And the same thing holds for my SINK, a Perception Eclipse. Its seat back is this little itty-bitty thing, but it works wonders if you adjust the pegs lengths right and seat back tautness properly -my back is fine. There are a lot -a WHOLE lot -of SINKs so outfitted & adjusted (only many of their bands are nicer & newer than mine!)

So think about that side of things -it might help. Certainly, good posture is always a way to -if not defeat, then certainly stave off -fatique, to start, and aches, later, as you

Paddle On!

-Frank in Miami

Hi Frank
Thanks for your response.

In my case it’s inflexibility. I have only been able to touch my toes once and that was in boot camp. Now, at 62 touching my knees takes effort.

I had to abort a sea kayak class because to sit up at all I had to use both hands to hold on to the foward combing.

I have a feeling that I just might end up in a solo canoe. :wink:


The Cobras are decent SOT’s but IMO a bit pricey for what you get.For a SOT id look at Malibu,OK and WS.SIS id go with WS.Good luck!

Try this as well…
looking into differnet seats/back braces…perhaps paddle with a weight belt on and/or pay attention to your posture…I noticed once I sat correctly and learned to paddle…there was siginificantly less stress on my back and I paddle and wilderness systems equator…


The Explorer
will probably be too small for you. I’m 5’8" and a 150 pounds and I found it a little snug.The cobra Fish n Dive would probably be a better choice for you, but it’s a bit heavy and on the slow side.I’ve seen quite a few large fellows using the WS tarpon boats and they are a bit roomier than the cobras.The upside of the fishndive is that it’s very stable.You can fish with your feet hanging over the side.If you can, try before you buy.

Cobra FnD
I thought about the FnD, but decided against it because I will need to sit with my legs crossed much of the time to give the lower back a break. The FnD has a large box between the paddler’s knees that would prevent that.

I did look at the Malibu kayaks, but the feet and seat height as are about the same.

Looks like the Explorer is going to be to small. Maybe the Navigator?

Another possibility: My grand daughter has decided that she would like the Innova Safari because she wants to paddle at college as well as home. I have been looking at the Innovas, and if I can sit cross-legged in one of their larger models it might work.

The WS Tarpons
Have integrated seat back, that gives great support. They are easy to adjust and recline if you need to take a break and stretch. the foot wells are also lower than the seat. I don’t know if this will help, but you should Demo one if you can.

Go Navigator
From everything I’ve read on your post I’d say go Navigator. I owned an Explorer and fished from it for two years. It’s a great fishing boat but with your size and concerns I’d recommend the Navigator. I was very impressed with Cobra’s quality and support. Have fun, be safe, paddle well.

In my opinion, there is really no way around this problem. For example, if you can’t sit for very long on the floor (in front of the TV) with your legs almost straight and your back fairly straight agains the couch, then you will probably not be comfortable kayaking. Some flexibility is needed for kayaking. It can be improved by simply trying to sit and relax in the “kayaking position” a little while every day.

Old Town H2YO Sport

– Last Updated: Sep-24-04 7:36 AM EST –

I sat in one of these once while shopping for my kayak. It has a huge amount of back support like a lounger and is probably worth your checking out and demo-ing. Opps ... That is OT Sport not Old Town. Bob

I plan to check with the local Wilderness Systems dealor about the Tarpon 160.

Not having a Cobra dealor near here is a problem, but the Navigator looks larger.

I just checked on the H2YO and the seat looked great! Then I saw the weight limit of 225#. Oh well.


Check out the reviews
Paddling net review on the OT Sport H2YO …

Mark says it will easily handle you. Bob

Hey, I’m a guy with a bad back. (disc trouble).For a sot try an Ocean Kayaks 'Scupper Pro. Its fast, for the type of boat, stable and comforatble. For a sink, I paddle a NDK ‘Explorer’ HV.

My feet still go to sleep after about 30 min. but I don’t live in a perfect world.

Good luck ! Todd, aka King Kayak ( KK to my friends)