kayaks for big guys

I am looking for suggestions for kayaks that might be suitable for a guy 6’5" tall and 280 pounds. I want to get my son-in-law on the water with my daughter and me.


Some info

I have an Acadia 12.5
I’m 6’1" 240lbs and have a Perception Acadia 12.5 recreational kayak. Plenty big for me. Nice size cockpit and is very stable.

Worth trying out.
I’m 6’ 2" 185 and my Dagger Charleston 15 is way roomy enough. I can stradle the yak, sit down, and then get my legs in. Of course there is always the Wilderness Systems Pungo 140. Bob

For a good SINK, try the Eddyline NightHawk 17.5. Its gotten good reviews as a “big guy” boat. Necky used to make the Pinta, but they quit this year. Might be able to find one in inventories though.

I can relate to you…

– Last Updated: Sep-16-04 9:27 AM EST –

I am 270 Lb, and 5-10" tall. I am big boned, and wear a size 42 jeans, and a "2-X" T-Shirt.
If you want to stay with a "poly" rotomolded Kaqyak, take a look at the Old Town Adventure XL-139. I started kayaking with one of those, and it did a fine job. Price and performance is Decent too. You would not go wrong with this boat. Old Town also makes a 16' version, so you would have two choices. (I have never paddled the XL-160)
I have test paddled a Perception Carolina 15' or 16' (I think) and it did OK too. But I bought the Old Town as it handled better. I also tried their new Specter 15.5 in thermo form plastic, but it did not do well when I wanted to paddle at some speed. My weight made it sit lower in the water, and the bow plowed water like a snow plow. The cockpit opening is fine for a big guy, but the hull does not perform at all with my weigt in it.

If you move to a fiberglass kayak, look at the Impex "Serenity", or the Current Designs "Solstice GT" in the High Volume or "XL" version. One of these may be my "Next Boat".

Be sure to stay away from the Boreal Designs "Nanook". (I can attest to that)Even though it is rated for the heavier paddler, the cockpit opening is too far forward, and the heavy paddler pushes the bow too low in the water, and the stern rides high. This creates a situation where the boat handles like it is improperly loaded, and becomes hard to paddle straight without using the rudder all of the time. I need 10 Lb of sandbags in the stern of mine to level the boat in the water. (The cockpit opening on the Nanook, is 10" further front than the Solstice GT!) The Nanook seems fine for someone around 200 - 220 Lb, but my 50 extra pounds push it beyond it's "performance envelope". (Even though it is rated for 345 Lb Max)

Most boats I have found that will handle my weight, are either real long (17'), or real wide. The real wide ones are real slow. Good Luck!!

Nighthawk 17.5
I do agree that the Eddyline Nighthawk 17.5 is another good boat for the BIG GUY. At 270 Lb, I had no trouble getting in or out of one, and the boat handled my weight fine. I did test paddle one, but I felt the Solstice GT, and the Impex Serenity were a bit more of a perfoamance Kayak.

But I am sure the Eddyline Nighthawk 17.5 would be fine for a beginner to intermediate paddler.

P&H Orca
Might try out the new P&H Orca 16. Has a large cockpit (37" long) and while only 23" wide, has plenty of room for larger paddlers.

Very stable as well.

Check out web sites,

– Last Updated: Sep-15-04 12:06 PM EST –

and while you're at it,the Old Town Loon 138 would be a vibe.Not too big,not too small,about the size of City Hall !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A good size cockpit,tracks well, and a very stable boat to boot.

If you are interested in a composite boat, you need to check with Quality Composites Corporation. Their QCC500x is nearly 17’ long and 23" wide, so it is relatively speedy with a large cargo. Lots of room under the deck as well.



Impex Assateague
If you can test drive an Impex Assateague, I would recommend it as an option for a larger paddler. Note: the exact same boat is sold as the Formula Cadence in Canada, if applicable to you.

Impex Assateaque too tight
The Impes Asseteaque is too tight of a fit for a guy this size. I am 270, 5-10" tall, and can’t comfortably get into one. The Impex Serenity is his best bet. A nice boat too!

kayaks for big guys
do you want whitewater or flatwater try jackson kayak for whitewater

Wilderness Pungos are worth trying
I second looking at the Wilderness System Pungos. The 100s and 120s are also roomy; no real need to go to the 140 unless you prefer the extra length…guess it also depends on how much gear you also want to carry.

Big Guy Boat
The Prijon Yukon Expedition is a great big guy boat, plenty of room and stable. The Calabria is similar and more touring oriented, cheaper too.

Still, Stick by Recommedation
I still think the Assateague is in the right ball park for someon 5’10" and 270 lbs. Just goes to show that the numbers are not everything and personal preference and “feel” has a big impact.

At the time of purchasing my Assateague, I was 260 lbs. I am 5’10". So, I was only 10 lbs off those dimensions. Even at that time, the cockpit was still too big. I believe the Assateague could fit someone up to 300 lbs (maybe bigger), obviously depending on their preference for a snug fit in the cockpit. The size of the boat will more than accomodate a 270 lb person that is 5’10". They would likely need to pad out the inside of the cockpit to take up some room.

The Serenity Sport cockpit is absolutely huge. At 260 lbs when demoing, I found with a 23 inche beam it had way too much primary stability (it tended to roll on waves; didn’t stay “neutral” as waves passed under). My opinion is that anyone under about 300 lbs is going to need to pad out the Serenity Sport to make the cockpit fit. Its primary stability will also tend to inhibit skills development (edging, turning, etc.)of someone under 270 lbs. Just too much primary stability. As you might guess, I didn’t care for this boat.

Easy Rider Dolphin
I had the same problem. Couple days ago have bought a Easy Rider Dolphin kayak. Fibergalss, extra light, extremly manuvarable with rudder up and has extreme tracking with rudder down.

Very-very like it.

The rear hatch is enormous! It’s huge! My wife can sit in the dry storage compartment %-)

PS. I’m 6’10’’. 210lb. XXL size shirts. :slight_smile:

Pungo 140: Good for the big guys
Sounds like you have plenty of options, but let me throw my 2 cents in. I’m 6’2" 230+, a beginner, who was looking for a stabile kayak with a big cockpit (so I could also bring my 80lb Lab), that would track well, and would move through the water well. I plan on using it to paddle on slow moving rivers, small calm ponds, and some marshes and tidal rivers around the Maine coast. I narrowed my choice to the Perception America 13.5 and the Wilderness Pungo 140. I tried both (in addition to the Pungo 120), and decided to go with the Pungo 140–don’t regret it at all. It is stabile, it tracks well, it is fast (i.e. easy to paddle and get from point a to point b).