First kayak, big guy w/bigger feet!

New to site, looking for some advice w/first kayak. Looking for sit-in, gonna be mostly for paddling small lakes/rivers in NY Adirondacks, some bigger water, some fishing. Have used 17’ aluminum Grumman canoe forever, hard to handle well in wind/rough water solo. Not fun to load/carry either! Been looking at kayaks a lot, really seems like best option. Had built a 10’ poke boat myself from kit, worked well at 225lbs, but several yrs later not floating my almost 300lbs. I’m a big guy - 6’ 3" - and I see one possible problem w/kayak choices as my size 17 feet being cramped. For real, 17s! I’m thinking after reading a lot of posts here I need to test quite a few, but narrowing down choices would really help. Any advice’d be great!

If you like to build

– Last Updated: May-01-07 6:48 AM EST –

the Tern HV might work. I'd call Pygmy to ask.

What boats have you tried? Are you thinking about something with a big cockpit, like a Pungo 140, or something more like a sea kayak?

Solo canoes can be paddled with double blades, and sit-on-tops can work fine in the northeast with proper clothing.

These might help:

Mountainman Outdoor Supply

– Last Updated: May-01-07 7:33 AM EST –

Right in your backyard is Mountainman Outdoor Supply in Inlet and Old Forge. They carry an extensive inventory of canoes and kayaks and should be able to help you with your choice. Besides the fact that they have on-site demo capability, they are also having a Paddlefest coming up in May. My husband got his boat from them - very nice to deal with.

Sounds like…
Prijon Kodiak.

Maybe Necky Eskia

CD Extreme

Should be a quick list to winnow down.

See you on the water,


Hyde Park, NY

My Pungo 140 points
I am 6’ 270 and the Pungo 140 is very comfortable.

I can cover some ground, have space galore, and seems very stable. The system 3 seats are very nice.

The down side, I am already expanding my range and the large cockpit is more of hindrance then help because I want to play in bigger water but you are not going to roll the Pungo, at least not a three sixty.

One other mistake I made, before you buy, try, try and try some more.

Good luck and have fun!


this time i’ll let the pro’s build it!
not really looking to build again, as it became much more of a project than i’d planned on, especially being my first time glassing a boat. had a rough time getting the glass to sit right and made a heck of a mess in the garage!

i’ve canoed in all types of boats, big to small, but never tried a real kayak yet. wanted to have some ideas to look at when i start test-paddling - there’s such a big selection. looking for high initial stability and good maneuverability, especially since i tend to get into tight places. with the old 17’ grumman beast i’ve been stuck with forever it can get tiring trying to squeeze into those small waters.

looking for a big cockpit, roomy seat, and good leg room. wasn’t considering SOT models, but maybe it’d be worth a look. just figured the SIKs would be lots drier/warmer in our cooler water/weather

thanks, Scoot

Thanks, this is one of the places i’m planning on stopping for some test paddling - heard lots of good reports on their selection, and about the knowledgeable staff. a few places on the Mohawk River too, in Scotia and Schenectady. Not sure if it’d be better to wait till warmer weather to head up there, or go now and see about a deal on a used starter boat…figure if i wait till the big weekend all the good deals will be gone



thanks, i’ll add them to the list and take a look


thanks, i had looked at this one a couple times already online, seems like a good fit, and with the extra space fishing from it should be easy too. nice first boat anyway. i guess i’m really looking for the space and stability of a small canoe, with the light weight and easier solo paddling of a kayak. i’ve got an ambitious goal to paddle all the nearby lakes, eventually working my way up to the Great Sacandaga - although that one will be in stages! the most i’ve done in the canoe solo is an 8-mile stretch of the Mohawk River, but it’s got to be easier in a kayak (i hope)

Another to try –
maybe a Swift Labrador Sea?

If you want to build #2
Like Angstrom, I would consider building if you are so inclined. Am just starting my 3rd boat, Joe Greenley’s King. Couldn’t think of a better way to start the day than to finish breakfast, grab a cup of hot coffee and go down to my garage for 45 minutes to work on the strongback (setup for the forms)…pure meditation!!!

You might want to email Vaclav @

He is a big guy and designs/sells plans and now a great kit as well for folks of all sizes. The Cirrus might just do the trick.



CD Solstice GT Titan High Volume
The name says it all. My GT XL HV is plenty big for me. 6’6", 220, 14’s. The Titan dwarfs the XL.

size 17 feet will be the tough part
try test paddling the new Native Ultimate and consider the front bow skirt accessory. Way drier than a SOT but plenty of room for your feet as they won’t be wedged under a deck.

Old Town Adventure XL 160

– Last Updated: May-02-07 9:38 PM EST –

for the price,(under $1,000) I don't think they make it anymore but there may still be a few left in stock at mountainman, also try delivered to your door, the price will be comparable or a little cheaper than mountainman. test them out for a small rental fee but paddle ANY boat for more than an hour if you can so you can really get a feel for what you are buying. As the name states XL there is plenty of room. And you may have to use neoprene socks instead of shoes/boots with 17's!

Don’t discount canoes until you have
tried some solos. They are as far from that old Grumman as a kayak. Fast,comfortable, and seaworthy. Wenonah Voyager, Advantage,Bell majic, many others.

Look at Folbot and maybe checkout some other folding kayaks like Long Haul, Klepper, Feathercraft, Wayland, PakBoat

How about a Perception Carolina 14. With the new modifications…more open cockpit, more of a v-hull, better seat, this is a great boat! Very impressed with it. It is versatile, I can use it for longer tours, and I am comfortable.

Also lok at SOT’s
Hurricane makes some nice looking SOT’s.

Seda makes the Viking Max, Sink which fit me well. Shouldn’t be a problem with your weight, but I can’t speak to the shoe size. I’m 6-4, size 12. I was 245 when I demo the Viking, and highly recommend it. Alternately its available as a SOT, as the Revenge.

The Necky Eskia, mentioned above might also work. But go to the store sit in them, and then demo those that fit.


No limit to shoe size on a SOT and they are the preferred fishing boat as the majority of kayak fishermen use them. Lots of big guy models available designed for fishing. Google kayak fishing and you will come up with plenty of options.

thanks, i just took a look online, gonna add this to my test-paddle wishlist. i better hurry and get myself up to the water soon and start narrowing down my choices. Scoot