Kayak for a big guy

I know this has been asked before but I just wanted to get a few ideas on what kayak would be suitable for a big guy (6’1" 250lbs). I currently own a Perception Acadia 12.5 and have been very happy with it but am now looking for something a bit longer and faster. I currently do trips up to 12 miles but would like to go further. I am in pretty good shape for a guy my size being a little more muscle than fat though I could stand to lose a good 10-15 lbs but that’s beside the point. I have very muscular legs so I need enough room to fit. I’m looking to spend no more than $1500. I have checked out a few kayaks from Current Design and Eddyline. I know I need to test them before I decide.


Touring (13-15’) or sea (16-18’)kayak?

Big difference when you stretch out from the touring models and opens up your range in models and performance.


…of my paddling is on smooth lakes and slow rivers but I am starting to explore tidal rivers and ocean bays as well as I become more experienced. I would tend to lean towards a touring kayak but will not rule out a sea kayak.

one of the biggest options you get with a ‘sea’ kayak is the ability to haul gear for an extended trip. The longer length makes for a longer ‘footprint’ on the water and stretches the weight out for a more effecient ride, especially in rougher conditions.

The longer length also comes with a maneuvering liability. the shorter touring boats are way more fun/ sporty in moving water, narrow/confined passages and such. sea kayaks ‘generally’ track better. some touring boats DO have the best of both worlds, sea kayak tracking, some gear capacity, maneuverable and fun.

if I sound like a salesman, I am.



Force 5 & Assateague
Whenever I have a “linebacker” build of a person come on one of my trips or classes the Assateague has been a wonderful match. Now there is the additional option of the Force 5 for really fast cruising too. I’m biased but I’d recommend taking a trip in both.

See you on the water,



Prijion kodiak
I am in a similar situation as you, I am 6’4 225 but I have 16+ inch hips. I am also shopping for a new boat. My previous boat was a Prijion Kodiak and it may fit your bill nicely. It is around 1500 new w/ rudder and I routinely cruised 8-10 miles at around 4-4.5 mph. It has cavernous storage. I sold mine for 700 used and I wish I never had now. Several people have also recommended the Assateague to me too. I have not yet paddled one.

good luck

I’ll have to do my homework.

Bigger is better
Well, I am bigger than you and the available funds lead you down a certain path. I paddled a Necky Zoar Sport (14’) and fit great. I enjoyed paddling it and fit great. It was a day boat though. I recently bought an Eddyline Night Hawk 17.5 because I want to actually be able to tour and camp with my boat. It is faster than my Necky and very comfortable. But like someone else said here it is an SUV boat not a sportscar. It paddles great in bad or extremely textured water and I really like it. Weel there you go from another big person.


Second Assateague
I owned one. You should fit in to this one easily and it actually may be a little big, depending on personal fit.

Great boat, well worth a test drive.

Prijon Kodiak
I tested this boat a couple years ago. Should easily fit you, based on description.

Best plastic boat I have ever seen. Seemed reasonably fast and appeared to be indestructable.

Girlfriend has a Prijon Seayak. Extremely tough plastic boat.

Big downside on Prijon’s is the neoprene hatch covers. They are a hassle to put on.

From what I see…
and read, the Prijon Kodiak seems to be what I’m looking for. It’s defnitley in my price range and has all the features that I like. Not that I’m ruling out the other boats but test riding them will be the ultimate factor.

I am bigger than you and have two kayaks I use in the BWCA and on Lake Superior. 14’ Pamlico and 16’ Carolina. Both plastic but have respectable speed, reasonable price, stable, room for my size 13 feet and ample storage for extended camping. You could get both for under your limit of $1500

and not too upset if one gets scratched up.

kodiak, or Carolina?
Have had both wish we had kept the Kodiak although the Carolina 16’ is more stable the Kodiak is a better built boat, faster, hatches on Kodiak are also larger. Both fit larger sized people quite well.

I’ve decided to up my price cieling to…
…the $2000 range. I was at a dealer today and sat in a few different ones to see how they fit. I sat in a Eddyline Nighthawk 17.5 and seemed to be a good fit. I tried a few others the Perception Carolina 14.5 which was a little too snug for my liking and a Current Design Sirrocco which was about the same. I am going to rent the Nighthawk in a couple of weeks to see how it feels in the water. The dealer siad they would apply the rental fee toward the purchase price. it retails for $2290. If I could get them down to $2000 or less, I may strongly consider it.

Assateague a super kayak
If you cannot find a used Impex “Assateague”, and you must stay low in cost, try an Old Town Adventure XL-139. It is 13’9" long, by 28" wide. It is a great rec kayak, that will haul a ton (almost) of weight. I started with one and I weigh 270 Lb.

I highly reccomment you beg, borrow, or do what ever you have to do to get into an Impex Assateague. It is such a good design, that they are hard to find used, as once people get them, they keep them! It is a performance kayak that was designed from the start for us bigger guys. it is 17’-10" long, by 22.5" wide. Initial stability isn’t much less that the Adventure XL-139. Secondary stability is just super!

It tracks very well, and speed is great! My friend has a QCC 700, and we paddle side by side. We can both stop paddling, and my glide is the same as his. We just stay side by side!

I bought mine this spring, after searching for 4 years for the “right” kayak. I will search no more, as I have found the “keeper”! :slight_smile:

Happy Paddling!

Kayaking for Big Guys and Gals

– Last Updated: Sep-27-05 9:17 AM EST –

Wes Boyds website Kayaking for Big Guys and (Gals) has some interesting info from gear to kayaks