Good lighter wieght kayak for a big guy

I’m about 6’1 & 275-280, retired, kind of out of shape " well, definitely out of shape due to a stroke", but don’t consider that a problem. Usually with a friend anyway. I have a Ride 115 & really enjoy it, can get it in my pickup fine, but was thinking of a lighter & little faster kayak, maybe a sink this time. There are a lot of good kayaks out there to choose from, but was thinking there might be a couple guys out there that have had good luck with certain ones. I use the Ride for fishing, but would like to have a kayak for just enjoying the water. Might use it some for fishing, but probably just for panfish, & I don’t keep a lot of the fish I fish for anyway. I saw the Pungo 120 has a lot of good reviews, but I’m sure there are others. I want to spend less than $1100, which should get me a pretty decent yak. I paddle calm lakes, don’t go to far from shore, but would like a little easier trip if I end up going against a wind or pulling it up a hill at my favorite pond. Would like to get one that I won’t want to replace for awhile because of one reason or another. Will be keeping my Ride too. Any help??? Thanks in advance.

Too many options!
Wow. A rec kayak to diddle around in lakes for pleasure and costing under $1100 - man, there are literally hundreds of possibilities.

My suggestion is to go to a paddling shop - not a big box store but a real paddling shop - and take a seat in a few.

SinKs do tend to be lighter than SOTs. Also, I like the better sun protection.

Take a look at the Jackson Daytripper, a whole slew of Perception boats (the Swifty is, in my opinion, the best value in rec boats right now, but it’s only 9’ and kind of slow), lots of folks like the Wilderness Systems Commander (I’ve never paddled one, but do like WS boats in general), and Emotion has the Envy 11 that sounds like it fits your needs well. Your price range will get you pretty much any mainstream recreational or rec crossover kayak on the market.

You’re really going to have to go see what’s available near you, and what fits your backside and legs comfortably. I have long legs and pretty large thighs and feet, so what fits me is not going to fit someone who has a taller trunk and has their meat more in their shoulders than their butt.

Check some out, have fun, stay safe on the water.

  • Big D


– Last Updated: Jun-18-14 4:20 PM EST –

You should consider performing a P-NET-based search for that phrase (literally), as the subject seems to have been covered here at least trace a year in the dozen-plus years I've been in the P-NET family. Go to the upper right corner of the site/page, and you'll see the search box.

If memory serves, replies discuss not only boats, but advantages and disadvantages of each, including experiences of big guys in their own boats, boat weights and sizes, paddling characteristics, carrying them, and transporting them, among other things.

By the way, it would be greatly beneficial for you to fill out your profile with info like you've given -height, weight, experience, medical data -but also with current boat and its specs, where you currently paddle and in what conditions, and perhaps what you aspire to, paddling-wise. That sort of background makes it a lot easier to get a better feel for you as a paddler and to offer you some more meaningful advice.

Good luck with your search, and may you find a better boat -SINK or SOT, for you to, in the future, even more happily


-Frank in Miami

Pungo 120 not big enough, Pungo 140 may
Wenonah fisherman w long kayak paddle might be a good combo.

At your
weight I would forget the Pungo 120 but the 140 would be fine.If you can find one CD’s Kestrel 140 OC would be my recommendation.I’m pretty sure they discontinued that version this year but there’s still a good chance of finding one.

It’s plenty big enough.
I’ve known 350 lb guys to use Pamlico 100. The Pamlico and Pungo only differ in the amount of keel in the hull design. I’m taller than he is and weigh only a little less and have used Pungo 100’s with comfort.

The Pungo 120 will work for a 275 pound guy. Depending on his wallet and comfort level and preferences, the 140 may be better, but don’t make what might be best the enemy of the good.

hurricane Phoenix
Take a look at the hurricane Phoenix 15 light with plenty of buoyancy and a great yak

Love my Sun Velocity for same uses
I’m 230 lbs. and have fished from a Sun Velocity SINK for several years and LOVE it. It’s beamy, stable, big capacity, dry riding in our choppy and windy cold waters of the Pacifc Northwest, and mine weighs 42 lbs. in plastic with a (needless) rudder.

A quick check indicates thagt nobody makes the same boat now… natch. The Riot 12’ Enduro is fairly close though a lot heavier.

I prefer my Velocity for my fishing and some exploring/camping use over anything I’ve seen. Would love to clone it in Kevlar or something super light. Good luck in whatever your choose, most fun toy I’ve ever owned!