Cockpit size for a 38 inch waist

Hey everyone, I’m hoping for some advice/ clarity. I’ve been kayaking since my early teens in surf conditions and close to shore (salt water) in the past I’ve used a wilderness systems tarpon 100, 120, ripper, as well as an ocean kayak mysto. These are all of course sit on top kayaks but I am now looking to buy an Oru kayak bay ST. One of the main reasons is the folding capability will allow me to store it in my new apartment with relative ease. I plan to use it in bay water so not too rough but definitely gets some chop on windy days. My concern is the cockpit size. At 16 inches wide, I don’t know if it’ll be too narrow. I have a size 38 waist and although I have been losing weight and getting healthier I want to make sure I’m not putting myself in an uncomfortable position or more importantly unsafe position with such a narrow cockpit. Has anyone had any experience being a bigger guy and working with a 30x 16 cockpit? Thanks in advance!

It’s potentially no problem at all. These dimensions often tell you very little about fit. The important part on your body is the width of your hips. Then the seat in the kayak needs to be a good match for that. I’ve sat in 20.5" wide kayaks with plenty of hip room, and 22" wide kayaks where I wish there was more. Hopefully there are folks here that have gotten into that kayak that are similar in size.

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Thank you for this, I wish the website had more information on the seat size. But I’ll keep my fingers crossed that someone has figured this out

I’m 235 lb 6’ 38" waist 68 years old and slip into 29.5 by 16" keyhole cockpit in my Extreme. I did swap the seat to a wide base seat which is 17" wide to allow rotation comfortably. The seat widens under the combing 1/2" on each side. Combing / deck height matters when trying to enter. I did move seat back a bit when I installed all the wide base seats. CD seats are plastic but very comfortable I don’t use the pad they give you.

When measuring your hips sit on a bench place to square items like cement blocks on each side then stand up and measure distance. Learned that from buying seats to road race cars where you wanted no ass movement.

Make sure you can easily wet exit.
Being trapped upside down in a sea kayak can get you dead.

That’s why I’m asking the question. I want to make sure that 16” isn’t too small in case I need to water exit

Thank you for the tips and the insight this is really helpful!

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I have the Oru Coast XT. According to the specifications, the cockpit opening is the same as the Bay ST. I have a 38 inch waist, and find the cockpit opening fine.

Mind you, with my longish legs, I have to sit on the back deck or sit across the cockpit opening and get my legs in before I can sink down into the seat. But it works fine for me.

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Regarding wet exits, exiting is easier with the kayak upside down, the stakes are just higher. If you don’t have trouble getting your hips in and out with the kayak upright then wet exit will be no problem as long as you don’t panic.

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I paddle about 3-4 times a week with a friend who owns one of the Oru 12 footers and I have paddled it myself a few times. If you’d like to speak to him directly, let me know and I’ll pit you in touch with him directly.

Hands on the combing push you’re out easily that’s if you don’t fall out.