Rec kyak for a large guy?

Can anyone recommend a recreational kayak for a large guy? Maybe 6’6’, 6-7 280–300? Does the Necky Santa Cruz fit the bill? Any others?

Thanks much.


The Wilderness Systems Pungo 140 and the Old Town Loon 138 seem to come up a lot as rec boats for big paddlers.

WOW!! I know an answer to this one!
…Greetings Fellow Big Guy!! I canoed for years, and switched to Kayaking a couple years ago. I weigh 270 Lb, and am close to your height.

… In my opinion, a GREAT Rec Kayak for the Big guy is the Old Towne Adventure XL - 139. I started kayaking in this one, and enjoyed it tremendously. The only reason I moved on to another kayak was to get a longer light weight Kevlar kayak.

… This XL-139 kayak is 28" wide, so it is nice and stable, but is also does well in rougher water. It is 13’ 9" long, so it has decent speed for it’s width. The cockpit opening is plenty big to be easy to get in and out. I would straddle the boat, sit in the seat, and then lift both legs in at the same time… Piece of cake!

… It also has front and rear bulkheads with decently sealing hatch covers. Even in rough water I rarely had any water leak in. On top of dry storage, the bulkheads give you flotation should you ever go swimming, accidentally “or” on purpose.

… My XL-139 didn’t have a rudder, but I never needed one. It tracked nice and straight, but turned easily when I wanted to. It is a nice Rec kayak, with the sleeker lines of a sea kayak. I hearlily reccomend you try one.

HAPPY Paddling!

6’6" BUDDY
I’m not 6’6", but a buddy of mine is. I lend him my Perception America, and he claims to be comfortable in it. I consider it Barcalounger comfortable, but I’m only 6’3". When I paddle it the foot pegs are not fully extended. When my buddy paddles it they are.

It’s one of the original models, so is 13’4". There are a couple of “America” models now, so it’s important to be sure which one I’m referring to.

  • Big D

Also consider
a sit-on-top to facilitate easy entry and exit with those long legs. Ocean Kayak Prowler 13, Wilderness Systems Tarpons or Ride, etc.

I’m 6’4", 275lbs. I really enjoy the Pungo 140. Plenty of room. Very comfortable. I’m now looking at the WS Tsunami 145.

You have Options
During your research, consider the America (by Perception) (at and the Kestrel HV (by Current Designs) (at -gb

This will get me started. Plan to take a look at a couple of these at Canoecopia. Thanks again.

I second the Old Town
I have the 12.5 version of this kayak (I’m only 6’, but I am overweight for my height.) I really, really like it. You also get two hatches with sealed bulkheads at good price.