Hello can somebody please recommend a good starter kayak. I’m 6’ 4" and weight around 250. I will most go on streams and small lakes. My budget is around $1k for the boat. I’ve been looking at the Jackson Tupelo. I’ve always considering the pongo 140. Can you recommend any other kayak or do you have an opinion on these two. Thank you for any help!
Go for the bigger boat
By the time you add a paddle, a PFD, a dump bag (dry bag with change of clothing), lunch, drinking water, etc. The smaller of the boats you mentioned is getting close to max load. Boats become sluggish in handling and less fun to paddle near the limits.
I have the Tupelo so far so good
I picked up a tupelo as a first kayak for my wife. I’ve only gotten to paddle it for an hour in a small pond so not enough for a full review yet.
However I did find that it tracked well, yet was easy to turn. It is a comfortable boat even thought I’m 6’2 285lbs. The fitting is nice and I’ve had others comment on it. I believe it should do well for the flat rivers we have in Ohio and its intended purposes as a first boat for my wife. It is better than many other cheaper boats I’ve seen.
My wife did paddle it as a first time in a kayak. She seemed to like it and was comfortable. I think she was more concerned about falling into the cold water than anything.
Hope this helps some even though I can’t give you more firsthand feedback yet.
Your request seems to be quite common of late–a large person looking for a starter boat. You are somewhat different in that your budget should allow you a lot of choice.
If you are in an area where at least some kayaking is present, you might find a good used boat. I would be looking for something at least close to 14’, or so. Old Town used to have some pretty good boats like the 138 Loon and the 14’ Dirigo.
If possible, visit as many real kayak shops as you can and get a good idea about what you like. Be patient and be sure you know how to determine when a hull is straight. Polyethylene boats can be warped even when new, so be very careful.
Pungo 140. I am 6’5" and 230 and it
is a good boat for me.