Help me decide

-- Last Updated: Feb-10-11 7:33 PM EST --

I am looking to get into my first kayak within the next few weeks. I think I have narrowed my search down to two boats. The first being the Wilderness Systems Pungo 140, and the second being the Old Town Vapor 12xt. The Pungo appears to be the better of the two but not having any experience i am not sure. I am looking to mainly use this on lakes so I want something that is going to track nice. Also I am a pretty big boy at 6'4" and ~300lbs so I need a kayak that can hold my big butt and still be stable. Any insight into these two options would be greatly appreciated. I am kind of leaning towards the Pungo right now, but have not made up my mind 100% yet.

Kayak classes
Take a kayak class before you buy a kayak

Big Guy Boat
Big guy boat… you might check out Hurricane Kayaks model Expedition Sport 140. I am also a big guy 6’6 & 300#. This boat has a huge cockpit and is a lite poly boat 52#. Good luck with your search.

There are a lot of other options out there that will fit your needs…

As stated above - Take a paddle stroke class…or find a place to DEMO a bunch of boats - the two boats you are considering are not even comparable!

Where do you live - I can direct you to a shop that can help in narrowing your options down.

Not as easy as it sounds…
I’m about the same size as the OP and in a similar situation (buying my first boat). I tried several times last summer to register for classes, but was shot down each time after being told that the class couldn’t take me because they didn’t have anything appropriate for me to paddle.

I live in the Albany area of upstate NY. I am planning on taking a trip up to the Lake GeorgeKayak Co. in Bolton Landing. They sell the Pungos and I am sure they could help me out in making sure it is what I need.

slow down
I see you are in upstate NY. Not sure how much paddling you’re going to get in in the next month or three. So, slow down, save your money, test a few boats if you can. The best advice anyone new to the market or the sport can get is to demo before buying. You’ll be glad you did.

new yak
i have a pungo 140 and love it! mainly fish out of it. user friendly boat.take new paddlers out in it while i am in my cd breeze.they feel safe in it,real comfy seat.i am 6ft. 4 bout 250.

A 12’ boat will typically be too small
for your weight. Sure, you can paddle it with no problem until you happen to get in a 14’ ,or longer, boat and find out how much faster it is than a 12’.

There are 12’ barges that will float you , but they are just that. Wide and slow.

Pungo or consider a sit on top.
I think the Pungo is one of the best boats available for the fat paddler. It is extremely fast and straight tracking for us big fellas. I would also recommend that you take classes or join a local club before buying a boat. Many Wilderness systems dealers will have instruction available and if there is no local club then I’d make them add classes as part of the purchase deal.

Sit on tops are also very popular for larger paddlers and anglers who pack a lot of heavy gear. I think you would also be very happy with the Tarpon 160 or a Ride 135 from wilderness systems.

I wish I had gotten two pieces of advice when I got my first kayak:

  1. Put a sticker of a PFD where you can see it while paddling so you’ll remember to never paddle without it.

  2. Get a cart! Get a cart! Get a cart!

Go See Ike
at Lake George Kayak. Knowledgeable folks there. I’d side with the longer waterline proponents that have already weighed in but go talk to Ike & Co. and keep an open mind to options they may have that you might not have considered yet.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

Floatin’ or Paddlin’ ???

– Last Updated: Feb-11-11 5:02 PM EST –

No one is born knowing how to paddle
-- just like no one instantly knows how to peddle a bike

Now if you just want to sit and float
-- lots of "stuff" floats just fine

There is a difference and it is a learned skill, not
something inherent in our dna from birth.

Take a serious look at this page for a second

Which zip code should we use ??

Then we just punch it into here - for local info

E-mail some of the people that pop up - they'll help

To expand on ‘go paddle a kayak’ ,
beginners have no point of reference. By all means ,paddle a few and then find a way to paddle your choice(s).Rent them for a half day and paddle to the best of your ability. Instruction before you start will help.

p.s. Few of us stay with the first one for very long.