Kayak for wife.

I would like to get my wife her own Kayak. She is 5’7" tall and 125lbs. I would like to get her a stable kayak for slow rivers, calm lakes, and smooth efficient gliding. I have looked at the product reviews but there are to many to choose from. We tried the Pungo 120, but she hit her elbows on the coaming. To the women on this site…what do you recommend? Thanks in advance for your help.

Not a woman but…

– Last Updated: May-17-06 4:17 PM EST –

...have her try a Perception Sundance 12. Same type of yak, but with a lower coaming.

Another Idea
Wilderness Systems Tsnuami 140 or 145. Easy to paddle, stable, generous open cockpit for easy in and out. Nice comfy seat. Don’t know about the coaming distance, but should be fine. Works well in slow moving creeks, rivers, and can be taken out in calm/mild ocean conditions.


also not a woman, …
At a local demo day featuring dozens of kayaks, a couple of the most popular with several women present were the Hurricane Aqua Sports Santee and Santee 116, (formerly XL). These are significantly lighter than other kayaks in these sizes, and they glide through the water with ease. I’m pretty seriously considering the larger cockpit version of the Santee 116, called the Sport. They’re light enough that cartopping them is easy, even on taller vehicles.

Another that’s popular locally with a few folks I know is the WS Pamlico 100 & 120.

an old joke…
…“I got a kayak for my wife.”

“Dude, good trade.”

Prijon Capri Tour

– Last Updated: May-17-06 5:25 PM EST –

12 foot. Rudder ready (but not needed in general; outstanding edging). 44 lbs. Tough and light blowmolded plastic (not rotomolded). Fast, great glide. Sprayskirt compatible. German made.



Similar, but longer and more Lake Michigan worthy, are the Calabria and the Seayak. Right at this moment, on Pnet classifieds, I see two used boats for sale in WI of these two models at veryu low prices. Enter pnet classifieds and check in WI.

I bought my wife an Epic 16…
and she loves it. It is fast, stable and only weighs 39 pounds. Good luck with your search!


For what it’s worth
I’m the right gender even if I am 3 inches shorter and about 8 pounds heavier. (We must be talking major weed with your wife.)

I can’t comment intelligently on the perfomance of the boats that are being suggested because I haven’t really paddled boats in that class for a while. But I have worked in skills sessions with women who have them, and can mention a couple of criteria for you to consider.

First and foremost, don’t shy away from a boat because it feels like it is twitchy to you. Like it or not, your wife is going to have a better placed center of gravity, well may have better natural balance than you, and at a lighter weight will not jiggle a boat over onto its balance edge as much as you will in a typical manuver. Boats like the Epic may be much more comfortable for her than you think.

Second, consider how high that deck is for possible paddle float self-rescue and how strong she is in her upper body. The shorter Hurricane boats have some advantages in terms of comfort for beginners, but I’ve had the experience of finding that a woman couldn’t get herself back in without at least a stirrup plus a strong backed person pulling them onto the boat. The Tracers may be better - the ones I’ve seen up close look like they have a lower deck than the transition boats by Hurricane.

I did take a closer look at a Tsunami 14something on a recent evening paddle. The boat was in the hands of a good paddler, but he was moving along at a good clip without pushing much of a bow wake. I know that they are decently respected boats by many of this board.

The best news is that, while you wife may have to throw a few gallons of water into a boat to get it loaded to the waterline, her legs should be long enough to hit the thigh braces worth a darn. At three inches shorter that gets to be a real challenge for me in most of the boats out there.

Celia: Thanks
Celia has given great advice time and time again, including the ballast water advice here and on my recent question. I have never said this before, Celia, but just wanted you to know (even though this is not my original post) that your advice is always thoughtful, thought-provoking and intelligently written.

Aw shucks…
Thanks, very nice of you to say that. Many on this board know a heck of a lot more than I do, so if I contribute a bit that’s great. If we ever meet on a paddle, I hope it isn’t just after one of the days that people at work just decide to steer clear of my desk for their own safety. Be a shame to ruin such a nice impression.

Buy her the one boat…
…that she won’t let you buy for yourself!!

Then, when she tires of it…you got the boat!



ok I agree
give me your kayak and you can have the wife.

(curently not on speaking terms)and no it was not my fault.


Paul, it is ALWAYS your fault.

My wife likes the Tempest 165
The stupid boat is only 21.5 inches wide and she has no problems in the ocean with it. She is the the exact same size as your wife. If I was in a boat that narrow the only way for me to keep it from flipping over is to start out with it cockpit down. See previous posts for breathing tube and submersion ideas.


So as Celia notes, what is stable enough for her will be different than you. The local shop here has a 4 hour out to sea class thats good for trying out boats in the ocean. I plan on “retaking” it with the boat I want, when I think I’ve settled on the one boat I want. Happy hunting.


The boat knows
The best way to make you nuts is to behave better for your wife than you. So maybe the tandems aren’t the only divorce boats out there. :slight_smile:

Since the wife does so much better than me in singles, I make her sit in the front of our tandem.


love my hurricane aquasports santee
I’m not as tall as your wife, but this boat is so easy to handle! I wouldn’t really worry about getting back in—if you’re going on slow water she’d have to throw herself out of it deliberately before she’d get wet.