Kayak sizing - Weight Ranges

just curious what most think the appropriate “paddler” weight range for a boat would be… on a 3 size range. This is for a 17’sea kayak…seems eveyone has a bit of a different take - and regions differ as well - so curious what part of the world you are coming from too.


Med- Large

Large to XL

Thanks -


P&H, Pyranha and Venture Kayaks

Asheville NC

I think of “average” as the mythical 170-lb male,

so it’d be something like 100-170, 150-220, 200+

You Probably Need to Increase "Average"
As Jay Leno frequently says, “Just how fat are we getting…?” I am beginning to wonder about all of this. In reading the boat reviews at this site I am amazed at the number of 240, 270, whatever pounders who are hefting themselves into kayaks. Since most of these people seem quite pleased about how their boat sits in the water, it makes me wonder how a 180-190 pounder like me sits - like a cork maybe. Methinx that the over4all lard factor is up and needs to be factored into your calculations.

Most boat makers will give you a size recomendation for their boats. If you need lard to get in the boat it ain’t for you. Time tested rule: Tale to the pro AND TEST PADDLE THE BOAT! Vaughn Fulton

Paddler from the North East.

Personally I think having three sizes to cover four size ranges is the real issue. Usually the first size range (small) gets too big.

What about designing a kayak for small people at - 100-135

Med - 135-180

Large - 180-220

XL - 220-260

From a marketing perspective, there are probably more big people than small and therefore easier to skew up the small size range.

Personally, I think there are plenty of boats designed for the larger paddler and fewer designed with the small paddler in mind.


Size ranges
I live in the Northeastern US. I’ve paddled sea kayaks for years and started also paddling ww boats this past year.

If three sizes were to be denoted for a 17’ sea kayak I would think:

S-Med = 100-150 lbs

Med- Large = 150-200 lbs

Large to XL = 200-250 lbs

It seems that in sea kayaks, the boats often perform best carrying the middle to high end of their stated range. Whitewater kayaks seem to perform better carrying the middle to lower end of their stated range.

I find that ww kayaks are more sensitive and the weight ranges should be narrower. I like that Jackson states mazimum shoe size and well as weight.

down the road in Spartanburg
100 to 150 small, 150 to 180 med, above is large. I am in med weight, but need larger boat for lanky legs and clown feet. I can squeeze into a Cap 161 with folded toes, Ok into 163, above is a barge.