Help Me If You Can..Please

I am a beginner who has made one trip… I am in love.

I live i mile from some good water short creek and town creek and can’t believe this has been under my nose for 36 yrs. I went in a borrowed Kayak. I weigh 280. I flipped alot as it took a bunch to get used too. I got the hang of some beginning elements at the end. I loved being outside and I loved the cold water here in January. My friends said I need to get a canoe as the kayak i borrowed set to low in the water and my build is just no good for what I was in.

Please give me recommendations on what to do as

i have searched and seem limited by weight to this great sport and outdoor activity. I don’t want to miss anymore great opportunities to be outside. We talked about doing a camping trip and a day away would be great.

PS I am on a diet

but unless I cut off a leg 230 is it I am just not built to be 190 and that ^#^#^#.



Check the specs
on whatever boat you are planning to purchase. The all have a maximun weight. You can exceed some of them by 10 to 15 percent, but I would recommend finding one with a capacity closer to your weight.

What did you enjoy the most
about your trip? On the water speed, getting in and out of the boat to explore? Are you interested in photography or fishing from a boat? Lots of questions you can ask yourself before moving to the big question. What kind of boat will better meet your needs? Canoe or kayak?

If kayak, surely there is a model out there that will suit you. But don’t choose kayak simply because that’s what you started out in.

A canoe might be the best choice. There are many models that will fit you and your gear too. Some models will keep up with and even outperform kayaks in longer than short sprints. Voyager for one. Carries lots of gear too.

Another thing to consider is women prefer men who paddle canoes. Before you buy a kayak imagine trying to explain to your sweetheart that you are more comfortable outdoors when in a skirt.

I’m in Arab…

– Last Updated: Jan-08-07 9:43 AM EST –

9 Miles from Guntersville...

I was on the lake (Town Creek) on Saturday, with 10 friends. (We paddled Long Boats, Mine was the Shortest at 14.5).

My Carolina 14.5 has a large enough cockpit, and is rated for your weight, (it also has outriggers to give you some stability) getting wet.

Email me a phone number, and I'll meet you with the boat to test paddle....then we can go see some people I know local (Guntersville outfitters downtown Guntersville).....

It shouldn't be to hard to get you started.

Next Saturday, 13 January 2007, the Huntsville Canoe Club is going to Town Creek for an Eagle Watch...(Another oportunity for you to meet and paddle with local folks with the same love of the water).

Keep in mind this is FLAT water...if it's the WHITE water you're into, I can hook you up with the HCC White Water crowd...they give lessons....

anuther boat to try woulkd be the Tarpon 160… Its a Sit on top, no cockpit to mess with.

Sounds like an instant replay of my life
I crossed the Delaware River on a bridge for 20 years and never stepped foot into a boat. Now I’m on the water 12 months of the year.

You’ll likely have many boats in the first few years. You can spent a lot of time and money with specialty shops and searching specs. Or you can get a general idea of what will work and drive down to the local chain store and find something you’re comfortable sitting in, take it home and start paddling. In the first few months is 90% boat and 10% paddler but that quickly changes.

I’m about your size and I purchased a Perception America from Dicks for $300.00. I’ve had more expensive boats that were carefully specked out and ordered from dealers but the America was the best fit.

I have learned an incredible amount from this website. It has saved me a lot of time and money and may have even saved my life more than once. There’s a lot here if you check out the links to the left.

canoe or kayak
size does matter. If either of them are too small for you the boat will be unstable.

Switching to canoe may not be the answer. You need to find a boat that fits you and not your friends.

If you like sitting on the bottom and using a double blade go kayak. If you like sitting in a chair posture go canoe.

I’m 220 and paddle a canoe.
You won’t have any problems finding a canoe to paddle at your weight. I’d suggest going on extended paddling trips to help you lose weight. Besides having lots of fun, you burn a lot of calories and it helps restrict your diet. I easily shed five pounds or so after a hard paddling trip. A season of paddling will help with the weight loss and give you a reason for shedding the pounds and keeping them off. It doesn’t matter what you paddle as long as you have fun and get off the couch. Permanent weight loss comes from a life style change and not just from constant dieting. Paddling can help you make the change.

I had a post all typed out before I looked at what you were running. The sections of Town Creek and Short Creek I know of are listed at class II/III, and your profile says ‘whitewater’.

Yes, there are whitewater canoes AND whitewater kayaks that will fit you. Big guys do not present big problems - but you aren’t going to comfortably paddle, or even fit, in all boats.

An opinion…

a WW kayak is :

warmer from the waist down

wetter from the waist up

smaller/more manueverable


quicker to learn beginning paddle strokes

more comfortable for those with weak knees and a good back

a WW canoe is:

easier to see downriver from

warmer on the hands (they’re not in the water so much)

bigger/less manueverable

easier to get in and out of

easier to pack gear in and out of

enjoyable in the number of paddle strokes to learn

more comfortable for those with a bad back and healthy knees

What boat did you borrow, and level of WW do you plan on paddling in the months ahead?

type of boat
Greetings…I wish I was back at that weight! I am a BIG guy. I paddle a Wenonah “Escapade” as a solo boat…room for gear, easy to maneuver. I am also an avid kayaker…paddle a Solstice GTXL now called the “Titan” by Current Designs. I am also tall which affects the kayaks I fit more than the canoes. Bottom line advice: be sure of what trips you want to take, how long a trip, how much gear, what activities and by all means try one out before you buy. A good dealer should give good advise in all areas. Lot’s of maneuvering - meandering rivers - are best in shorter canoes (15’), open water paddling in either canoe or kayak better in longer, sleeker boats (16-18’) You gain volume in canoes by going either deeper or longer. If you want to fish, photo, etc and don’t want to go any great distances too often, consider a shorter, wider boat -more stable and forgiving but less efficient for distance paddling. Very important: choose carefully that you don’t grow out of your boat in 6 months. As you learn, the boat will be easier to handle so don’t under buy just to wish you’d gone to a more challenging ride in the very near future.

I went to Alabama Small Boats in Helena and got with a good sales guy. He helped me out and we tried out some Kayaks. I bought a recyak for begginners and put it in the water. It was very comfortable and stable. It was very inexexpensive and I felt like he was not overselling me as I spent way less than I thought I would. I am trying it out today!!!Thanks everyone for advice

A rec boat is a very convenient and fun exercise machine. I hope you can get out and paddle often. You’ll do even more paddling if you keep it on your roof racks alll the time. Then you can stop and padlle for 20 minutes to an hour on the way home from work.