Kayak Selection

I am looking to get a new Kayak. I am having a little trouble selecting one as I am a fairly big guy without a ton of jack. I am 6’2" and 240-250 lbs depending on the day.

Most all of my paddling is on extended trips (5-6 days) on rivers with class 2 at most. I have always floated a canoe but borrowed a friends Kayak last year and had a blast. I have some nice backpacking gear so I won’t be carrying a ton of stuff with me.

I have found a Wilderness Pamlico 12 for about $400 that is very lightly used. This seems like it should fit my needs. What do you think, any other suggestions?


I think a 12’ boat is too small for your
weight. You will be pushing a lot of water unnecessarily.

Crossover boats
If you are really going to do Class II rivers, I think you might be happier choosing one of the crossover designs (Liquidlogic Remix XP 10, Pyranha Fusion, Prijon Combi, Dagger Approach, or the new Jackson Rogue). They’re all about 10 feet, designed for padddlers up to 280 lbs (cough - supposedly) with the exception of the Approach which tops out at 240, and are really designed for running rivers. My kick against taking boats like the Pamlico on rivers is that while you can do it, you’re constantly fighting by using a touring design in a whitewater environment.

Look at Prijon
I have been doing so for myself. Don’t know what your budget is but their crossover boats are very highly regarded.

My problem is…
I may need two boats. LOL I here what you are saying about the crossover boats. The Liquidlogic looks really nice. I live near Lawrence, KS so there is not exactly a ton of WW around here. I find myself on lakes paddling around alot. Throughout the spring and summer I make Ozark trips frequently where I see a little faster water. There can be long calm water on many of these streams between rapids.

Most of the time though, I think the max we see is small class 2 water.

I’m guessing I will only see class 2 a couple times a year. Is it worth getting a crossover for that?

Keep in mind that I have been handling this water in a big canoe.

Thanks for the help.

depends on your budget
if your budget is big, or you are willing to make big investment in the sport a Kruger Sea Wind will handle you and your water easily.

You can find Sawyer Loons, or Mad River Monarchs used for anywhere from $1000 up. They are similar boats.

kayak selection, not canoe

Decked canoe
from what the OP was looking for, his weight, and purpose, I think any of those decked canoes would work great.

Decked canoes are the midrange between kayak and canoe. Don’t rule them out.

sea kayak?
There are a lot of sea kayaks that you could fit with camping gear. The Roamny Surf (plastic) off the top of my head.

I’ve paddled with a crossover Liquid Logic that is pretty much a WW kayak with a skeg. The guy said he tried to paddle on a local sea kayaking club and held everyone up and got heat exhaustion. Otherwise he liked being able to carry it himself, and it can do a lot for a WW boat.

If you look in the classified you can find used boats. I would want a sea kayak flat water and then later pick up a canoe or something.

Maybe someone else with more experience in river camping will have a better suggestion.

a Tsunami

– Last Updated: Dec-29-10 12:11 AM EST –

is a much better multiday river-tripping kayak than any crossover boat, even with Class II thrown in, and it will excel on your lakes and flatwater areas. Same with some of the Prijon models. The Tsunami will feel more stable but Prijons are made of tougher (also heavier) plastic. The crossovers are more suitable for the opposite scenario, whitewater trips with only a little intermittent flatwater.

For your size plus gear, a boat like the Tsunami 145 would be suitable; long term you'd be happier with its versatility over the Pamlico. Shop around, you can find them for under a grand.

good suggestion
At the place I instruct and lead trips we have both the Romany Surf and Tsunami and those are the go to kayaks for anyone 6’2’’ 240#. The Tsunami would have more volume for your camping gear and is a fine kayak. There is another Necky with a rudder that big guys like but I can’t recall the name of that one.

Kayak selection
I am approx. the same size as yourself. I started with a WS 12’ Pungo, but quickly moved up to a WS Tsunami 145 - the longer length was a better fit and offered slightly more speed. However I am considering replacing it with a Perception Carolina 14’ kayak. The Tsunami is a great yak, but the narrow and short hatch opening, make it uncomfortable after an hour or so of paddling. My legs get crampy and it is awkward to move them around. the slightly larger cockpit opening of the 14’ Carolina, should make it easier to move my legs into different positions while under way. Good luck with your searching!

Dagger Axis 12
Well, I ended up getting Dagger Axis 12. I really like the fit of the cockpit. I am excited to do some river running with it.

I got a 2010 model on closeout for a little less than $800. The only negative is the temp here in KC…5 dang degrees.

When it warms up a bit I will give an update.

What spray skirt do you recommend for this boat?