NDK Explorer

I am trying to figure out if I will fit in an NDK Explorer. I am 6’3” tall and about 200 lbs. I have a 34” inseam and size 10 feet. I prefer a little extra leg room. I know the only way to know for sure is to paddle one but that means a long drive. I don’t mind the drive but I don’t want to waste time either.

It would also help if I knew the distance in inches from either foot brace (when fully extended) to the back center of the seat. Anyone with an explorer, tape and a little time on their hands?

Thanks for any advise!


Shouldn’t Be a Problem
I owned one for a period of time and regret selling it. I’m 6’1", 198 lbs., 34 inseam, and size 12. Plenty of room. Great boat, if a bit heavy.

Ditto but caveats on used
MiKCO up your way orders them with bulkheads sed a few inches backwards from the normal position.

If going used, watch out for that.

For me 30 inch inseam, it’s an asset for you it might be a liability.

This would be a new boat with standard bulkhead position. Don’t know if it would be a better idea to look for a HV or not. Hate to have the kayak bigger than I need to if I can help it. I have a tempest 170 but had to modify the seat a little to make it fit. I also have a Gulfstream that is standard but there is no room to spare. I know the distance from the foot brace to the back of the seat in both boats is 48"

NDK Explorer
Try the boats at MIKCO on Peaks Island in Portland. Tom orders the boats with the bulkhead at 34" normally and I am sure you will fit very well. To be even more comfortable take out the foot pegs and pad the bulkhead a little. You would be surprised at the comfort. I’m 6’ 206 lbs with a 34" inseam and I fit very comfortably in my standard explorer with a 33" bulkhead and 1" of foam on the bulkhead. The way the HV would be too big for you.

No problem
Standard bulkhead placement is at 37". As noted, Tom (MIKCo)usually oders boats with the bulkheads at 34".

At 200lbs you certainly don’t need the HV.

There is no one better from whom to get an NDK boat than Tom Bergh. Though he is in Wales right now with Nigel Dennis, he should be back on Peaks’ shortly.

36" inseam report:
Hay no problema, senor.

Buenos suerta,

Agusto Dogmaticus

Take the drive
I’m 6’2"-200lbs with size 10-1/2 feet (34’ inseam), I paddle a 16’ Romany-fits great, no problem.

I’ve paddled an Explorer (great boat) also & I’m not sure that that a shortened (34" vs 37") bulkhead location (via MiKCO) would be right for your size. It almost seems like MiKCO’s orders are an LV model as that’s all an Explorer LV really is (closer bulkhead). I know if I lost 3" of cockpit room in the Explorer I paddle, it would be a close fit (if it fit at all).

Try to find a standard fit if possible. You’ll have no problem paddling a standard fit Explorer. If an “expedition type” boat is what you desire, a better choice would be hard to come by.

If a “day/play” boat is what your looking for, try the 16’ Romany, trust me - you’re not too big for it.

Why do most want to sell folks boats that are larger than needed/desired???

Is your Tempest composite?
If so, why spend the cash on another similar boat?? Why not buy a surf ski, surf kayak, Rapier, etc.

I wonder why people on this forum debate so much over very similar boats. The NDK is great, but assuming your Tempest now fits well, why drop another 2500+? Not judging, as you may have a legit rationale, just curious. If the T is plastic, I totally understand. A good paddler will make any of these boats work very well.

A very profound quote was in the Patagonia Pro catalogue. Something to the effect of “Perfection is attained not by adding more, but when nothing more can be taken away.”

Correction re the Explorer LV

– Last Updated: Oct-06-06 9:38 AM EST –

Just so that you don't thinking too small - I have an Explorer LV and the diff's go beyond any bulkhead settings. While the hull is the same, the deck is an inch or so lower and the cockpit is downsized such that it takes an extra small skirt. Great fit in the braces for someone my size(5'4"), but a 6 plus footer would be very challenged to get thru the cockpit.
The HV is similarly modified, except in the opposite direction. Same hull, but the deck is elevated with an extra round on each side to accomodate large thighs. We have a friend who is the right size for the HV, just got one, but at your weight you should probably be in the standard one. He is a really big guy.

Just one thing, we know someone who is 6'4" with unusually wide hips for how lean he is - he just goes straight down - who has found the Explorer a bit cramped that way. But he has deceptively broad hips.

Your foot size should be fine.

As to the bulkhead, just check your inseam and comfirm what it is in the boat. In terms of measures, be aware that the NDK hung seat is pretty shallow front to back, so the distance from the front of that to the bulkhead will be a good reflection of your likely fit.

I suspect you'll be OK with most standard Explorers out there - my husband and I both had the usual MIKCo setback reduced a little more further to buy more room up front and we both still have room for foam blocks. That reduced length was based on years of experience of MIKCo finding that the standard placement was further forward tham most paddlers needed. At 6'3", you just need to be a little more careful to get that measurement.

The Tempest is poly. I love the way it handles but it is a little slower than I would like. Unfortunatly this will be the kayak to be sold if I pick up the Explorer. Unless I build a bigger garage…Hmmmm.

Anyway thanks for the advise from everyone.All comments were very helpful.

Explorer fit
I’m 6’4" 205lb , size 13s and fit just fine in a standard Explorer (OK, the feet wouldn’t mind a bit more room). You don’t need an HV. I can use the pegs but preferred a padded bulkhead for my feet. As others have said, check out MIKCO on Peak’s Island for NDK boats.

Used options?

– Last Updated: Oct-06-06 10:38 AM EST –

Though I would not want to discourage the sale of a new boat for Tom, there are usually a number of used Explorers or the equivalent around -- especially this time of year.

A friend just picked up a used Explorer in very good shape for $1600.

Another friend has both a poly Tempest 170 and a composite Aquanaut. Each of which he picked up used at very good prices. BTW He is 6'4" and not a weed.

I second taking the drive
I’m 6’2", 175 lbs and my standard Explorer fits me like a glove. I agree that you will probably fit in the standard Explorer, albeit a bit more snugly, but I would really recommend that you take the drive and try out both the standard and high volume Explorer.

It’s a major purchase and I think your height and weight are borderline enough that it would be wise to check out both kayaks. After all, it’s all a matter of personal preference how snugly or loosely you want to fit in your kayak. If you’re torn on the decision after trying them both, like a number of people I’ve spoken with, the majority of the folks that went with the standard Explorer appeared to be happier with their decision.

Best of Luck,


Explorer vs Explorer LV
Except for hull shape/behavior these two boats fit very differently. I have owned both, and I am 6’2 and 195 with size 11 feet.

I have way too much room in the regular explorer without alot of padding and unless the bulkhead is pulled back you will have no problems with fit. DO NOT get an Explorer HV - I started to buy one years ago then paddled it for about 4 hours and quickly changed my mind.

I like small cockpits and low front/rear decks so slid into an Explorer LV no problem. I never use footpegs (hate them) so just pad the front bulkhead out with foam and always replace the seat and seat back with foam ones as well. However, I did notice that the LV was very snug for me when I put on a drysuit plus layers for warmth. So, just based on that I would not recommend this boat for you.

I just had a brand new round cockpit Greenlander built by NDK that was ordered through Tom at MIKCO and asked for a 34 inch bulkhead to be installed by NDK. However, for whatever reason when the boat arrived the bulkhead was at least 2 inches to short to fit my 34 inch inseam legs into. Not good. I had to pay some local builders to move the bulkhead 4 inches forward to allow me plus some foam to fit. So, be careful whenever getting a boat with the bulkhead moved…as some folks inch measurements are shorter than others!! (gee - where have i heard that before?)


A shelter from coverit.com and some

– Last Updated: Oct-09-06 1:44 AM EST –

4X4 and two by four will keep six boats through a maine blizzard for about $400 bullt padded strapped out with optional vents title, tax etc.

B nystroms webshots space shows a great, much lower cost, probably not as bombproof solution.

If the goal is to get a faster boat than the Tempest, perhaps reconsider.

First, a rant. We ought not to be talking in terms of “what boat is faster”; boat dynamics are more complex than that. It may be better to address the subject as, "I like to paddle at ____kn, and want an (expedition, day play, training, race) boat. What boat has the least resistance at that speed?

Case in point, at 4kn, I think the Tempest may be slightly lower resistance than the NDK (yes, I know the NDK is longer, be careful with that assumpion). But the difference is sort of at the level of a bull session over a pint, after the paddle.

You would not see much difference in effort (unless your poly Tempest is quite scratched).

I do think you would fit in the standard Explorer.

Now, to open a can of worms- careful with such assumptions, folks! I paddle with some (unheralded) folk that would astound most on this board with their proficiency- they are lean and not tall (5’8"ish)- and prefer the Explorer HV because of the higher knee position. Any one wants to say they are wrong, come out here and get their butt whupped on a wave by these folks.

Moral? Just 'cuz others say YOU will fit, doesnt mean you will like the fit.

The standard Explporer is certainly much lower in fit than the Tempest. Even the HV is lower, in some areas of the cockpit.

Ya gotta try it out. Salty is right, IMO. Nuances.

And if you try it, and like the nuances, then it may be worth it to you.

But it ain’t really faster.

Now an NDK Greenlander Pro, that has speed potential, but a slightly snugger fit than the standard Ex.


BTW, Salty, I have always loved that quote about perfection. Ever read anything by Antoine de Saint-Exupery? Early days of flying has much in common with sea boating, I think (and the source of that quote)

Haven’t but will
Otterslide I like your posts. I believe people should first assess their engine honestly. If they have a realistic 3.5 knot engine the question then becomes “What is the best, most efficient, fastest boat for me?” At some point folk obsess over very similar yaks, rather than being satisfied with their very good yak within it’s category. Me thinks it better to have a sample from different categories than a driveway full of minivans. Play boat, touring boat, fast cruiser, surf boat, WW etc. 90% focus on boats, 10% on paddler. What if that was reversed? I’d bet the focus on minute differences would fade. Take care ya’ll.

Those sound like 1derful boats.

Good luck in finding a nice 1. I don’t know how far u have to drive 2 c 1, but they can b bought online rarely (as above – a Romany).

I know someone whose first kayak was a roto T170. He still owns it but somewhere early along he became enamored of the CD Extreme HV, for its speed. He routinely paddles the latter at between 5.5 and 6 mph (going by a 3rd party’s report as well as the guy’s own GPS data).

Recently he bought a Gulfstream and reported that his cruising speed in that was 4.9 mph according to GPS.

Even more recently, I suggested he take the little-used T170 out because its better outfitting might demonstrate something to him during roll practice. We both paddled a little first, him in the T170 and I in my Merganser 16. He suddenly looked up from his GPS and said with some surprise, “The Tempest is faster than I thought…we’ve been averaging 4.9 mph.” (Note: it was ME dragging down the speed to 4.9 mph.) Later on, he said, “…5 mph. It’d be easy to do 5 mph in this for at least an hour.”

Do ya think maybe the revised view towards the “slow boat” had something to do with greatly improved paddling technique since when he bought the boat?!