Kayak fishing for a big guy

6’6" 300 lbs and top heavy. Guy in my office bought a Native Manta Ray, but due to some back issues, he’s not been in it, until yesterday. Slight lean and he flipped it in a pool. He doesn’t feel warm and fuzzy now about taking it with gear into the bay.

He bought it from the Jersey Paddler and they are willing to take it back and provide something more stable. Any suggestions for a more stable fishing kayak I can pass along to him?



Buy another and make a catamaran.
Or maybe he should look at small rowing craft. Being 6’ 5", 225# and topheavy, I should be more sympathetic, but I suspect the problem is more that the fishing kayak makers have not come to terms with the stability needs of customers.

Remember that length can add stability as well as width, while adding load carrying capacity.

Which Manta Ray
At his size and weight he should be in the 14 footer which is a very stable boat (28" wide). I am 6’1" and 230# and can easily stand up and rock the thing from side to side without it flipping.

If he has the 14 footer, he just doesn’t have a lot of balance for whatever reason and he’s probably going to want a wide canoe or a kayak/canoe hybrid that is 36" wide or so. Or just get a flatbottom aluminim boat.

He’s got the 14 foot manta ray
When I said top heavy, I meant it. This guy is BIG from the waist up. I suspect he got the jitters and didn’t feel comfortable.

Native Ultimate
Very open for easy in and out. It certainly seems to be a very stable boat. Excellent fit and finish from what I’ve seen.

Hobie makes some wide boats. I saw a boat on the floor at Campmor the other day that was probably 30" wide.

I think he needs some seat time.
The Manta Ray is a very stable SOT.Any wider and he’d be paddling a john boat.

Manta not stable?
I agree with what the others said. When I was looking at SOTs to buy the Native was noted for its stability and thats one of the reasons I bought it. I’ve flipped it once and thats because I came out of a small rapid and turned at the wrong time. The native just flipped right back up. Sounds like he’s got to learn the right hip motion for his size and learn how to relax in it.

coosa/ tarpon
jackson coosa or w.s. tarpon 12,14,16. I have not paddled either, but have heard good things.

Two choices
He can go to the “gym” or buy an unsinkable Boston Whaler.

Mailbu X- Factor
The X-Factor from Malibu just may be what your friend needs. They are extremely popular with the fishermen and are rated for a max payload of 625#. We call them “bubba boats” in Texas. They were recently given a major design update with many great improvements. Malibu also offers several other models with above the norm weight capacities.

Native Ultimate
the 14 not the 12. He’ll love it!! Big guys have a harder time getting out and the Ultimate has a thwart that you can put a short rope with handle on it that makes climbing out easy!! I’m not your buddy’s size but after knee/achiles surgery I needed help getting up and the rope was a huge aid. Most stable boat AND comfortable seat out there. Dry ride and a great group of accessories available like the gear pockets that attach to the outer track and keep your stuff handy and off the floor.

re bigman kayak
look at Ocean kayak big game prowler, very stable, holds 600 pounds, look up reviews ,

What about Cobra Kayak?
I owned a Cobra tandem that I used as a single most of the time that I owned it. It’s basically a floating barge, so it would be more than suitable for a big guy. While I would never want to paddle long distances due to it’s wide beam, I think it would be great as a fishing platform.