kayak recommendations for big guy


I’m thinking about making kayaking my latest obsession and have been doing research on equipment. My question: what kayak/s would you recommend for a big guy – I’m 6’4 and weigh 270 pounds. I’m hoping to get a kayak I can grow into, skillwise, and am looking at touring kayaks. Doubt I’ll do long trips, but weekends wouldn’t be out of the question. I’ll be learning on Fort Loudon Lake in Knoxville, TN.

Thanks in advance.


Nice structure on blog.
Well, there are a few good choices, but please say more about your visualized use. There are many shorter, wider cross-over type kayaks that are very capable craft. Necky Looksha 14, several WS Tsunami’s, Looksha 17, Tempest 180, Manitou 14, Eddyline has a couple of cool boats that would work, Delta as well has some cool stuff. And many more. Kit boats like Pygmy are another option…they are excellent.

It really depends on the use. Both rudders and skegs are great and both are valid tools used differently for different styles, so avoid the silly fighting that goes on there. I recommend a boat with a big comfy cockpit, two bulkheads and hatches, and enough stability to allow comfort and learning. Be wary of boats that are too long right away, as they won’t add value until your experience level grows and use changes to longer journeys.

There are many good kayaks, and the best one is the one you really feel good in and enjoy paddling…regardless of the logo! Keep an open mind, test as many as practical, run from absolutist sales folk and deal only with open minded shops that carry several choices. Be wary of internet well meaning folk who have limited experience in reality with lots of boats. What they love you may not and vice vesa.

Lots of big boys on this site, so I think you’ll get some good places to start your search.

Get a good paddle! That’s almost more important, and of course lessons up front will help ensure a better purchse. Do that.

Web site reference
take a look at http://danwebb.com/kayak/bigkayaks.htm

it is a bit out of date, but useful

I’m about your size can recommend
two for you. Of course, use is important but I can take from your post that you are just starting. The 13.5’ Perception America and the Prijon Crusier. It’s unlikely you can find the America new, but it’s a common design that will be easy to find. The Cruiser is available new. Manufactores weight limits are not comperable company to company. Your first boat won’t last long so just get out there and start paddling. You will quickly learn what you’re looking for as you buy your second and third boats.

Eddyline Nighthawk 17.5 should work

Here are a bunch of big guy boats
I’m 6’1" 270 lbs and I just bought a sea kayak this fall, so I’ve recently paddled a bunch of boats for larger guys. I was focusing on boats with skegs, so their are probably rudder boats that would work as well. In my opinion, the skeg boats most likely to fit someone your size are:

Necky Chatham 18

Nigel Foster Shadow

P&H Capella 173

Current Designs Gulfstream

Impex Assateague

Don’t waste your time with any Nigel Dennis boat or a Cetus. People who are not our size often think the ND HV boats or the P&H Cetus are built for big guys, but I can’t believe their cockpits fit anyone over about 220.

Any of the boats on the above list would allow you to grow into them. You would also have all of the cargo space you would need.

Big guy boat
I havent done the most paddling but this is the boat I have and Im about the same as you:


Very comfortable boat. Tracks well without dropping the rudder does even better with the rudder down. There are only a few small things that Im going to change about the boat but beyond that I like it alot.

Point 65 Sea Rover

– Last Updated: Dec-26-07 11:58 AM EST –

Check it out at http://www.point65.com/Default.asp?page=kayaks&kayak=20

The QCC 500X is another boat I frequently recommend for larger paddlers, but I think in your case the Sea Rover will give more cockpit room and more stability. (The Rover is 2 inches wider than the 500 X).

recent thread

Considering your location
I doubt that you will be able to walk into a store and look at several models.

Suggestion: Attend the East Coast Canoe & Kayak Festival in Charleston SC in April. You will have a chance to test paddle many boats that are appropriately sized for you, under the tutleage of manufacturer’s reps and some fairly experienced folks (I’ll bet that one of teh P-Net regulars, Flatpick will be there with Confluence).

If you cannot attend, I will put in another plug for QCC. I have a 500x and am of similar weight. It is a fast. reasonably stable boat (for a 23" wide hull). QCC has a great money-back guarantee, so you can “test paddle” a boat for 30 days and return it if you do not like it.


big guy boats
WS Tempest 180

Impex Assateague

Eddyline Nighthawk 17.5

Current Designs Gulfstream/Sirocco

Second sssssss and bohemia
Not that I disagree with other posts, but I have paddled these boats and they are all great.

I would not recommend the Shadow to a beginner, but who knows, you might adapt to it quickly.

I would add the Valley Aquanaut HV and Atlantis Titan to the mix.

From your nice blog, it looks like you have an appreciation for the nicer things in life and want a boat for the long run. My top picks would be The P&H Capella 173 and Valley Aquanaut HV.

Also great would be the Impex Assateague and WS Tempest 170.

These boats should work for a beginner and won’t ever hold you back. The most important issue would be how the boat fits and feels to you.

mo’ boat
I’m 6’2" and about 300 pounds. To top it off, my knees aren’t what they once were. SOTs used to be my prime choice, but I have been paddling a 12’ Perception Sundance since spring. It is rated for 400 pounds and I mostly use it for lakes, fat rivers, and I/II streams. Don’t forget that you may well find a desire to paddle different kinds of water.

It tracks and glides well. The 12’ length makes it easier to handle when we have to climb a mud bank and portage through the saplings or takeout under a highway bridge. Weight won’t be your issue, but length might. The tradeoff over the longer boat is worth it to me.

I like the biiig cockpit. It gives me room to swing my legs up and out, much like a SitOnTop. The bigger cockpit is friendly to my wider frame, longer legs, and stiff knees.

They no longer make a Sundance, but the Perception Acadia is pretty close. The weight rating is just a bit less, and the cockpit is a little shorter, but you should find it to be a good multi-use boat.

QCC 500
I’m 6’ and 240 pounds, I paddle a QCC 500 and have room to spare. It’s my first real kayak and I’m very happy with it.

Thanks for all the advice …
All I can say is “wow.” You guys are great. Thanks for all the tips and info. I’ll let you know when I finally make a purchase … and how it goes from there.

You have a nice Home!! Anyways, you might want to check out the Following kayaks. Not sure if you a long High-end Sea kayak or Entry Level so I’ll just post some of both

Necky Looksha 17

Necky Eskia

Dagger echo 14

Wilderness systems Pungo 140

Current Designs Solstice Gt Titan

wilderness Systems Pamlico 140

Wilderness systems Tsunami 175

Current Designs Vision 150

Old town Dirigo 140

Heritage Stingray 14/Featherlite 14

Good boat for a “larger” person. Check out others’ and my recent reviews.

You mean the trak t-1600
the most Expensive touring kayak on the market??

Enlightened Kayaks T-16

I’m about your size
also a beginner. I paddle a Pungo 140. Good boat for me.