kayaks for big guys

I am thinking about buying my first kayak this spring but am a little worried about finding one to comfortably fit my body size. I am 6’4" and about 280 pounds. I will probably be staying in rivers and lakes. Can anyone recommend some sit in kayaks for me to check out? Thanks.

Eddyline nighthawk 17.5

Solstice GT, by Current Design
I am same height, 200#, and importantly, size 13 feet. The GT was a boat that fit my feet.


– Last Updated: Mar-19-08 10:00 AM EST –

Another boat that fits this big guy.


Check out the Impex Assateague. I purchased one 3 years ago when I was in the #280 range. It had a great fit for me. Impex makes some really good boats. You might also check out the Force 5. I had a little tighter fit in this boat.

My $0.02.


Qcc 500
Another vote for the QCC 500, I’m 6’ and about 240lbs and have some room to spare in my 500.

Four more ideas
P&H Capella 173

Nigel Foster Shadow (not really a beginner’s boat, but it does respond very well to proper technique, so it can help a beginner develop)

Necky Chatham 18

CD Gulfstream

Dont’ waste your time with any NDK boat. You won’t fit even in the HV Explorer.

Plastic or Composite $ Range? NM
See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY


price range
I should have put this in my original post, but I can only afford to spend around 900 dollars.

CD Storm
I’m 6’4" x 250 x 34" inseam x size 13. The plastic version of the Solstice GT is the Current Designs Storm…a great first boat. Might also want to look at the Prijon Kodiak, faster but issues with primary stability when empty…just takes some getting used to, and sensative to seat adjustments fore and aft. No problem with fit, but both boats are best served with rudder…IMHO. In the “British” designs…I’ll second the Assategue and Capella 173.

That helps
At that price range you’re probably looking at a plastic sea kayak like any number that have been mentioned so far or a new, perhaps on sale somewhere, plastic touring kayak. Just make sure it has front and rear bulkheads and you get a chance to play with it on the water a bit with some direction from a knowlegeable person who’s more concerned about guiding you to the right decision vs. moving inventory.

I’m sure there’ll be plenty of suggestions coming on kayak models.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY


Go Used …
Check out craigslist and the classified ads on this page.

Necky Narpa - you can find them for around $500-600 usually.

My husband paddles one easily (6’2", size 13’s, about 265#).

My friend is
6’4" 300#'s and he paddles a Tsunami 17.5. Fits him well. I’m 5’10" 180#'s and I’m swimming in the thing.

Romany XL
Sea Kayak Georgia is getting a couple of Romany XL’s, a new NDK boat that’ll be the biggest boat they’ve ever made.

I’m 6’1", and my Explorer is a good fit but if I were an inch taller it wouldn’t work at all. The HV isn’t any better. The Romany XL is supposed to be the first NDK boat truly designed for larger paddlers though.

2 reccommendations
I am about your size and weight.

I started with the “Old Town” Adventure XL-135 kayak. It is a great Kayak for smooth water and for learning about kayaking. It is wide enough to be stable on flat water for a beginner, and the cockpit opening is great for us big guys. Plus it has bulkheads and hatches to make sure it floats if you ever swamp it. This extra width gives what is called “Initial Stability”

But as you learn about kayaking, you will find that a wide stable kayak that is good for flat water, could get you into trouble in rough water. A wide kayak will tip over in waves quicker than a narrow kayak. A narrow kayak may have less initial stability, but a LOT more secondary stability. Waves tend to wash under it without tipping it over, and even if it does tip some, it will not dump you into the water as quickly.

So for a first Kayak, The Old Town Adventure XL-135 is a great starter.

I am now in the Impex Assateague. It is 17’ 8" long, and 22.5" wide. I LOVE it. It is designed as a performance kayak just for Big Guys like us. The cockpit opening is big too. It has good speed, it is great in rough water, the Skeg helps go straight in winds, and the boat is easy to turn by just leaning a little. it is a GREAT intermediate to advance boat.

Welcome and enjoy! :slight_smile:

Assateague or QCC
To further qualify my earlier response, yes, the Assateague would fit. It is on my short list when I buy another touring kayak. The QCC is fast, roomy, and reasonably seaworthy. But I would prefer to have a boat with more rocker for rough conditions (a windy & wavy day in Long Island SOund had me being “rotisseried” between waves due to the high volume ends).

But for lakes and rivers, and my periodic excursions into Chesapeake Bay the 500 has done well.


I had the same problem…
As a fat kid, finding the right boat was a big ordeal. I wanted to stay on lakes and flat rivers with the ability to run some of the tidal channels here in Savannah. I also had the $900 limit which had to fund all the basics. I purchased the Old Town Dirigo 120, pfd, Carlisle Magic 230cm paddle, spray skirt, foam pads for the truck and a couple of tie down straps for $985. It will hold my rotund-ness plus enough gear for a couple of nights out if loaded correctly. I went over budget, but I have enjoyed it very much. I would just make sure you are 100% honest with yourself as to what exactly you want to do and make your decision from that. It took me three months of reading to settle on mine.

I hadn’t heard
Interesting. I’ll have to check that out. The way NDK fans are so passionate about the design, it bothers me that I can’t even sit in one to see what all the fuss is about. Maybe that will change with the Romany XL.

Old Town Loon 138

Wilderness Systems Pamlico 120

Wilderness Systems Pamlico 140

Perception Acadia 13

Perception prodigy 12