have wrong kayak, help with right one

-- Last Updated: Apr-05-09 9:42 PM EST --

I am a beginner. have wanted to get in to paddling for a long time to get on the water, exercise, and just enjoy the wildlife down here. lots of porpoises,turtles,rays..etc in the intracoastal. plenty of creeks and spring rivers also.

got a pretty good paddle to start. aqua bound hybrid/sting ray/carbon shaft. 32oz I think.

boat: got tired of reading about all the diff possibilities and bought an eddyline phoenix. nicely crafted boat, impressive looking. only 1-1.5 years old.

problem: i didn't test paddle it. i sat in it w/o the footbraces adjusted for me. when extended out, my size 11 doesn't fit. my legs are almost flat to fit in the low cockpit height. and it was hell getting my legs in there.

took it out on a windy day on large lake. paddling north. had stiff ne winds blowing. steady lines of 1-2 waves coming in. prob not the best day for first paddle. my body in this boat just didn't fit. it tipped violently back and forth the entire time. including when i was back in the protected cove.

i'm 6-1,36 waist, 33inseam,11 shoe. looking for betting fitting cockpit and much more primary stability. slow roll to the left or right is ok, want to float steady sometimes and enjoy the nature.

that may put me in a rec boat or even a sot. don't know. just want something i can paddle at a fair pace. the more comfortable i am the longer i'll paddle it. i'm not even opposed to a canoe.
thanks for advice!

if you want to learn kayaking
i think you got a decent boat. it takes time to learn new skills. you say you want to paddle at a decent pace.

what shoes do you wear in your boat? theres a lot of difference in room and comfort for me when i wear my boots (tight and cramped feeling) and my booties (lotsa luxurious room) even my teva sandals are too big (size 10) so i bought a pair of size 9 just for paddling.

you can probably learn to be quite comfortable in that boat if you spend enough time in it.

dog boat
If you want to paddle with a dog, that sounds like a large-cockpit boat or a solo canoe. The Pungo 140 is one of the better big-guy rec boats – it’s surprisingly fast. The Dirigo 140 is similar.

Your best bet would be to paddle a few different boats and find out what feels good to you. Perceptions of stability are very subjective.

If you’re not bringing the dog there are lots of choices for larger paddlers. Eddyline makes the Nighthawk 17.5, and almost every manufacturer has models in a range of sizes.


– Last Updated: Apr-03-09 12:08 PM EST –

forgot to mention: local outfitter is cool with me testing any or all of their boats but they only carry wilderness systems.

only bringing the dog if I have a canoe. he's a Vizsla. 50lbs. wouldn't fit in a kayak.lol

try out their Tsunami line then
I think you would be happy with the feeling of stability and cockpit & foot room, plus the comfortable seat.

My second boat was a QCC 700. Same thing, it just didn’t fit me. I felt like a sardine in a can. Went to a CD Titan LV. Fits me great! Love it. Kayaks are like shoes, some fit some don’t. Test paddle is a must!

WS Tsunami
I second the advice to try a Tsunami. A friend who is about 6’ 4" and 250 lbs likes a 145. WS boats have very good and adjustable cockpit outfitting

I, too, also have some kayaks that don’t fit me too well, purchased without trying them first. It happens to others, not just you. I eventually decided that fit was most important, and fit is an individual thing. I needed hours in the boat to decide I could enjoy it for hours.


– Last Updated: Apr-03-09 12:31 PM EST –

Can't find info on the Phoenix on Eddyline's site, must be discontinued, but what you are describing sounds like a boat that is too small for you in volume and/or your being stiff and tensing up when things get a little bumpy.

On the boat part - there are lots of boats that'll fit you and your feet, in the WS Tsunami or the Tempest series. You aren't over the top large, in fact you'd be swimming in some of the really big guy boats.

As to the slow roll versus more snappy rocking back and forth - that is as much an aspect of the hull shape as anything else. Hard-edged chines will produce more abrupt feeling rocking, a rounder hull will feel smoother. But be aware that neither is more likely to put you into the water on that alone - in fact the more abrupt feeling hard edged boats often stop better before capsizing than the rounder boats that can flow right thru that point.

While the boat may need a change, it also sounds like you could profit from some work or help in handling dimensional water with less concern.

are kayaks

– Last Updated: Apr-03-09 7:14 PM EST –

There are sea kayaks that will fit. I am 6', 220 lbs (large legs from cycling), and 11 shoes - various Necky boats have been just fine, like Looksha 4s and 5s. Seda has boats that fit also - they have some made specifically for larger people. Most manufacturers have them. Check out to see what local shops are using for rental fleets, as they often choose boats with larger cockpits.

The comments about the boat you have possibly fitting at some point are true. As you get more used to kayaking, and build up some of the flexibility and core muscles that help with kayaking, you can start fitting in tighter kayaks.

If paddling with the dog is important, a sea kayak may not be the route. Sit on top kayak or recreational boat may be better.

thanks for the info so far
i was wearing size 11 tennis shoes. both feet tured inward to fit in. i’m really wedged in this thing. can’t just jump in. have to hold myself above the deck behind cockpit,get one leg started,then the other, and slowly lower myself in flat. still had legs rubbing on the cockpit getting in and out. when i’m in, i’m in. can’t move at all. can’t move legs at all, butt,nothing. i had a very uncomfortable feeling in there. worried if i flipped, i wouldn’t be able to get out? not a good feeling. now i’m not really looking for a barge, but i don’t want to have to brace myself every second. although cockpit sounded big, it took the smallest cover (1.4)

With a dog, a canoe is the way to go.
There are many solo canoes with good performance. Wenonah Advantage or Voyager for instance.I take my Standard Poodle in the Voyager and in the Rapidfire.

just to clarify
i’d only take my dog if I had a canoe. its not a priority. he’s full of energy to play, sometimes i need a break!

kayak Q’s
hi …is there a dollar limit on what you’ll spend? that may help others with suggestions. IF the WS boats are your only option due to availibility in your area, looks like the Pungo’s or the Pamlico’s are your best bet.I have a Pamlico135T w/rudder, set up for solo use…not the best boat for anything other than calm, lazy backwaters IMHO. I feel it paddles like a barge and doesn’t have a high enough or sharp Vee enough bow to cut the waves, it tends too plow. also look at boats listed as " high volume" that may solve the foot room problem. Q"s to ask yourself…How big of a cockpit opening do i need or want? how far am i willing to travel to get the best suited boat? Spend some time doing internet research on the various boats. hope this helps …PS: you can plan on getting wet on SOT boats.easy on /off for sure but they don’t have those scupper drain holes all over for nothing.

snappy rocking
A couple of Eddylines I’ve paddled have had a more pronounced “V” hull shape than many other boats. The side-to-side transition was unnerving at first, especially when going slowly or stopped.

anything over 1400.00 new, will have to be found used. i’m not locked in to the jacksonville area. I can travel a little for the right craft.

Get a Tarpon 160
great boat, and who cares if you get wet, dress for it. or not depending on the weather.

web link…
have a look at this web site…Yes , the the place is in NY , but once you learn to navigate the web site.,…you can " look" at a lot of boats by different companies real fast and get some ideas of what you may want or what may work for you. good luck

opsssssssss !!! sorry
forgot the the link ! …


Tsunami 145
If you’re dealer has it try out the Tsunami 145 - think it will fit you very well, will provide the kind of stability you are looking for to start, but still plenty of edge-ability and secondary stability, and give you lots of room for potential skills growth with the boat.

pungo for speed?
If he is hoping to paddle somewhat fast, as he said, I’m not sure a rec boat would suit him. Sounds like he just needs a slightly larger sea kayak, and perhaps one that is a little more beginner friendly.

Before you give up on your current boat, I think you need to take it out on flat water, and leave your tennis shoes at home. I can’t fit an any of the boats I’ve owned wearing tennis shoes. Get some water shoes, or booties with low soles, and a no sole behind the heel. (at the back of your foot the sole should just round up toward the back of your ankle.)

You may find that your current boat, which felt tippy on the first day, becomes a perfect boat to grow into skill-wise. That is, if it fits. :slight_smile: