fast kayak for a big guy

Hello all,

I am a large guy (6’4 and 225 pounds)but I am in good shape. My inseam is a 33 1/2 and my hips are around a 16 1/2. I like to paddle fast, but very few boats are made for my group. I paddle Pensacola Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. We do not have huge swells, but 2-4 foot chop is regular. My previous boat was a Prijion Kodiak, and I would routinely go on 8-10 mile journeys and average 4 1/2 mph in wind and current.

I have paddled a Seda Glider and fit (barely) and don’t know if I could reenter in anything other than calm seas. I am also considering a Novus Composites (NC 19), an Eddyline s18 falcon, a Mirage 580, and an Epic Endurance. All of these boats are priced within 200 bucks of each other. My current leaning is towards the NC.

Any thoughts are appreciated.



Well…I’m 6’/205…
…I paddle a Prijon Barracuda.

I love that boat. 17’x21". Might be a bit tight for you, but maybe you could find one to try.

How about a surfski?
You might try a Fenn XT.

never paddled the nuvus
but it seems like it would track really straight.

I paddled and loved the epic and have been intrigued by the mirage. Sounds like you must be on the right track.

Kajak Sport Viviane
Do yourself a favor and check out a Kajak Sport Viviane. It is a roomy high volume boat, 19’x21" and it goes like stink, one of the fastest ‘touring’ boats I’ve ever paddled! Seems like it has no top end! I recently got a C.D. Stratus and it’s no where near as fast as the Viviane, seat of the pants, my opinion only. The Viviane is capable of hanging with my buddys sprint boat on 10 mile paddles using a wing blade. Not super pretty but the speed makes up for it. I’ve got a long inseam and no problems.

Necky Chatham 18
Long narrow fast and comfortable in messy seas.

It has a large cockpit, high fore deck anfd far forswrd placement of front bulkhead.

Thanks for the input. I just sent out an info request to Kajak. I tried a ski, but the Burton i tried was too narrow in the hips. I thought of a Mako XT, but the nearest on is 500 miles and that’s too much.

See if you can get
your hands on a P&H Spitzbergen. Great hull design with a larger cockpit than the Glider (though tippier). I have one, if you’re ever in Massachusetts and want to try it.

I second the Kajaksport Viviane too, though if you find a Glider restrictive, you might have the same problem with the Viviane. A tight fit can be a good thing–better boat control. The Glider and Spitz are both much faster (by a half knot or so over distance) than the Viviane, but the Viviane is another half-knot faster than the average sea kayak.


Impex Assateague or Seaward Quest
fits large guys very well with a wide cockpit. it is quite turny and rockered so not super fast but at 17,10 by 22.5 not too shabby either, and likes the rough.

but i doubt it is anything like this Vivane kayak which simply must have a very high hull speed.

the Seaward is 19 and roomy as heck. quite round bottomed and nice to paddle for such a large craft; defintely fast.

I just bought a CD Extreme and the rep. told me the Stratus was not as fast (though supposed to be faster) than the Extreme.

iffy self-rescue skills
You’re really not that big, the average big sea kayak is meant for the “average” paddler plus 75lbs of stuff. That average is moving up but a 225lb paddler is about perfect to sink a big kayak. You make a passing reference to not being able to re-enter in anything except calm waters,so you really don’t want a tippy kayak getting the extra 2% of potential speed. Although you mention a production kayaks Pygmys Coho is exactly what you’re looking for regarding stability/efficiency. The QCC500 is a BIG kayak but would provide a lot of stability and efficiency/speed.

Is the Mirage 580
the Australian designed craft? If it is, then from my experience, if you fit into this one you should be able to get back in. I paddle with a group who all have moved to the Mirage 580’s. In fact it is the craft that has acheived the most Bass Strait crossings. (From Tasmainia to Australia) across some of the worst wind and seas you will find anywhere.

This is my home page…

more mirages than you can poke a stick at.

NF Shadow
Have you tried a Nigel Foster Shadow or an NDK Greenlander? You might have to remove the seat in the Greenlander but you should fit in the Shadow easily.

Consider the Impex Force 5
Consider the Impex Force 5. Very fast, very well made, and great dealer and manufacturer backing of the boat, ensures you have a good experience. Well made boats. This is a great design for a larger paddler. 18 feet long, narrow, but still good secondary stability.

Contact the experts at QCC. I am nowhere close to your size, but when I was selecting a kayak, they were very helpful. I remember I was way too small for the QCC700. I bought my QCC600 over the Internet and has been very happy.

I have a friend close to your size that paddles an Epic. You may want to check them out too. They are very good over the phone.

Swift Labrodor sea
Am about your size 6ft 3" and 240lb Love my boat and its very fast.

Incredible Webite
Really appreciate your website. I think it’s the best I have seen. Incredible photos. I have save it thanks.


Check out Greg Barton’s V10 surf ski. Oscar Chalupsky fits in it, they are based in Charleston, SC, the boat is good, fast, and stable for surf skis. The average paddlers test paddling it do well without tipping out. Compare that to normal skis. And best of all, it comes in robins egg blue.

Force 5? still hasn’t come ashore…
looks like the latest Impex boats still remain a mystery and will do so for some time.

still waiting for them to come in through the thick clouds that rolled in, yadda yadda, and come the hell ashore…

for the compliment. Its only a small part of my paddle trips. One day I might put on an “attempted” seven day solo paddle in 2000 at a remote area that ended up a total disaster. In fact I posted a photo of the week years ago when I was paddling a Current design storm it was ironically called the “Calm before the Storm” The events leading up to the paddle would make some good reading as what not to do and what to look out for.

Certainly made me aware of planning your paddle to the greatest detail.