My boyfriend and I are New to kayaking but have decided to make it a frequent activity. We are renting boats this season and have enjoyed the Jackson Riviera 10’ kayaks but he is 6’5 and I am 5’3 so 10 or 11 may work for him but for me a shorter boat seems like it would be more comfortable. Any suggestions from extra tall or short individuals for comfort and convenience appreciated. We are interested in multi-day camping/kayaking excursions and are interested in any tips, tricks, or general information you may want to share. Also open to suggestions for trips to take in the southeastern United States. We are local to Alabama.
For multiday camping, that boat would be a bit small to carry your gear. It is a sit on top, so most gear would also need to be in dry bags or similar to protect from getting wet.
One optiin, you might want to think of him getting a longer boat rather than you getting a shorter one.
Shorter boat means less speed… Not necessarily for shorter people. Its the width that matters more for height. Shorter boats are fine for rivers but go less than ten feet and you will spin like a whitewater boat. Depends on where you go. If you are going on the Gulf both of you should be in sea kayaks for camping… 16 feet with bulkheads.
That said you can do the Okefenokee in just about anything.
You are asking about a huge subject.
I am your boyfriend’s height and weigh 230. It takes a minimum of a 14’ boat to float me properly. By that I mean not having so much hull in the water that it slows forward progress. You should be fine on a 12’ boat.
These points may be obvious, but in this part of the world hydration, sun protection, and insect protection are critical to important.
The best thing you can do is locate some local experienced paddlers and pick their brains.
As above, you don’t need a shorter boat but a skinnier one with a smaller cockpit. Unless you have marvelously out of proportion hips for someone your height. Also a shorter paddle and NOT a bigger blade to keep up with him. You will end up with quite different boats if you are both fitted properly, but you can match ease of paddling if you size it right.
Alabama is a big place. If its south Alabama check out these guys………… http://www.floridakayak.org/ They are a paddle club in lower Alabama and can help you with information tailored to the area.