Kayaks for Large People

I’m 5’9" and weigh 290. I’ve been kayaking for 5 years with a Walden Scout. But I’m treating myself to a new kayak this spring. I want one that is faster, tracks better and is lighter. I’m looking at the Pungo 120 or 140 duralite. But I wonder if there are others to consider too. Something with a large cockpit for easy entry and exit.

I paddle only flat water lakes, ponds and rivers. No whitewater. Calm is relaxing and I like it that way.

Thank you, Larry

Visit a local outfitter
and kayak retailer and ask questions about what they’ve got in stock. Ask what they’ve got that’s suitable for you. Sit in some kayaks in the store that you think you’ll like. Seriously, you’ll know by the fit and comfort if you’re on the right track. Then try the boat on water at the next demo day.

Perception Prodigy 12
If a local place sells Perception kayaks, you might consider the Prodigy 12. It has a very large cockpit, and it might work well for your needs.

We all want
Fast, Lightweight, and Inexpensive.

You can pick two.

At your weight, I would shy away from the 12 footers if you want any speed at all. The Pungo 14 is fine, a Manta Ray 14 or Tarpon 14/16 (getting heavier), or maybe an Aquafusion Liberty which is in the 13 foot range.

If you want lighter and faster, look into the composite boats in the 16 foot range. These get pricey pretty quick, but you can always buy used…


If youy don’t mind spending the big …
bucks, think QCC-500


and Merry Christmas,


Pungo 140
is hard to beat. a pretty unique hull shape, pretty fast and tracks freaaaaal good!

not to bad, ccmfort-wise either. The phase III seat is pretty sweet.

a fairly biased…steve

Agreed on the 140.
I’m 5’ 11" and over the summer I was around 275lbs. The 12’ Pungo was just too short for me. Because of my weight, it was a bear to paddle.

re: kayak

– Last Updated: Dec-26-08 1:19 PM EST –

hi ..have you considered buying something like Pamilico 135 tandem, or similiar boat, and removing the front seat and making it a solo boat?
Lots of large people have done this and liked the results. Once the front seat and center bar are removed from a pamilico ....the rear seat is unbolted and can be moved fore and aft to suit the paddler's size. this gives the paddler a huge cockpit opening and plenty of room for gear, i think the " pam" is rated for 500# max weight
If you get the ruddered model , try to order the boat without the pedals/racks installed and install them yourself to suit your leg length.easy to do in a couple of hours time.
boreal designs kayaks also makes a tandem , the " Ookpik" that may serve the purpose also. good luck


Pamlico or Pungo

– Last Updated: Dec-24-08 3:56 PM EST –

I weigh 280lbs and I'm 6'. I have a Pungo 140 and Pamlico 135T set up solo. You can see both at the KFS web site in the Wilderness section shown below :


I wasn't that impressed with the Duralite I've "seen", but have not tried it on the water. I like the stiffness and durability of the Pungo in the standard plastic. The Pungo is everything that reviewers have said on this site and it is my goto boat for days fishing when I'm not carrying much other than my fishing tackle and a small cooler. The cockpit is a little cramped for my size 13's but they do fit.

The Pamlico is almost as quick and it is more stable with a bigger cockpit to move around in. My son uses this boat when we are together and he likes it a lot.

Since my Pungo is a little weight constrained with me in it( for camping gear), I'm looking at buying a Native Watercraft Marvel 14.5 solo for days we want to go camping. I'm have not found any reviews of this craft, but the plastic is a little thicker than the Pamlico and I would like to try Natives' seat. I just wish I could find someone who has paddled it and could give a review.

Can’t go wrong with the Pungo…
Tracks great, lots of room. You might also try the Ultimate Marvel 12. Same animal. Nice seating. Does not track anywhere near as well as the Pungo. I have a Pungo120 as a “buddy boat”. DuraLite not a necessity unless you have physical issues.

Kayak Suggestion
You may want to take a test paddle in the new Eddyline Journey. Meets all your requirements and is top quality.

Eddylines are expensive but like most things you get what you pay for.


Kayaks for large people
Current Designs, Necky and Perception and i’m sure other co’s are making boats for larger people. Get on the web and check them out. Vaughn Fulton

Pungo 140
would be a great choice, but I suggest the normal version over duralite- its stronger.

other models to consider-

Old Town dirigo 140

Old Town Loon 138

perception prodigy 12

eddyline sandpiper

Wilderness Systems Pamlico 120

Emotion advant-edge

Dagger blackwater 12.0

I “second” this. Im was about your size
You’re gonna need a bigger boat.

Pungo 120 is great
I don’t know much about other kayaks but I bought a second Pungo 120 as a loner boat based on how much I loved my first one after several years. I think they track very well, large cockpit.

Another option…
More along the lines of sea kayak - a Tsunami 165. It’s a little heavy, but I’ve found it to be very stable with a wide range of people in it.

Eddyline Nighthawk 17.5

as seen on p.net!


Kayaks for larger people
Thanks everyone. I have a large amount of information to read thru further. I appreciate everyone’s comments.

Only 3 more months until Spring and a new paddling season!

Happy Holidays to all!


Kayaks for larger people
Be sure and check out the Ultimate 12 by Native Watercraft. It is a fabulous kayak. I’m 6’3" and 228 lbs.The comfort of the seat is unmatched and the performance is terrific. I’ve paddled the Pungo 120 extensively and the Old Town Loon 138 and several others. The Ultimate 12 is head and shoulders above the others.

I second jackls recomedation of a 500
Buy one used like I did for the price of plastic.