Recreational Kayak for a big guy

I am a novice kayaker looking to purchase a recreational kayak mainly for lakes and slow moving rivers. I am 6’5" and 270# and I am haivng trouble finding a kayak suitable for me. After much review and have 2 kayaks in mind including the Pungo 120 and the Cureent Designs Breeze, both of which have been recommended by a kayak dealership. I live about 5 hours away from the nearest dealer so can’t actually sit in them to see how they fit. Could anyone give me some info on either boat, good or bad, to help me make my decision. Thanks for your help.



Perception America?
This boat seems to be made for a larger paddler. It has a large cockpit and is a decent recreational boat. i haven’t paddled those boats you’ve mentioned so i guess I’ll defer to others on those.

Tarpon 160
try it… I am 6’3" 250 and it fits me fine.

Smaller boat!
Thanks for the replies but I am looking for a smaller boat, less than 14’. Thanks again.


Sundance, Pungo, Swifty
I would recommend any of the three. Sundance comes in various sizes including 9.5, like the Swifty. All have large cockpits, all would hold you nicely. (My brother paddles a Swifty and he’s over 240.)

Perception Sundance 12’
A friend of mine has the Airalite version of this boat. He is a pretty big guy, about 6’ and 250# and the boat has plenty of room for him, The cockpit is very large so no cramped leg feeling at all. Plus I think it only weighs in at around 45#.

big guy yak
i’m #300 . i use a perception sierra 11’ for fishing and some whitewater. it turns easily but tracks straight without any windcocking on flat water at all. i have 9 yaks, and two are the sierra. it was recently reintroduced as the america 11…mikey

Necky Manitou
Try out the new Necky Manitou! Very good tracking boat and I believe the cockpit would be large enough for you. Check out the specs at their website!

a smaller boat? Big guys Need big boats…

OK. Tarpon 140.
Swedge and are are dedicated Tarpon 160 guys and I’m not small. Never paddled a 140 though.

I need to try trips out, they look cool, but I suspect you are giving up a bunch of speed. But for a swamp boat it would be great.

Pungo 120
I have two pungo 120"s they are great. I’m 6’4" and about 205 I have no trouble getting in or out, even at age 57+. My wife uses the other one and she love it. Considering the price 550-650 I would make the trip to go and try it out before you plunck down the greenbacks. The seating is great and extremely comfy. Goodluck in you search.

Paddle easy!


Big Guy Kayak
Take a look on the internet at the Old Town Canoe, “Adventure XL 139” kayak. They have the Model “139”, which is 13’ 9" long, by 28" wide. It is a great beginner and intermediate paddler’s Kayak. I am 5’10, and weigh 270 Lb. I had one for two summers, until I upgraded to a Fiberglass kayak. The Adventure XL 160 is 16 feel long. To get any real performance out of a kayak designed to hold our weight, you really need to go 16’ or more. A shorter boat will be wider to accomodate our weight, and paddle like a barge. The “XL 139” is the shortest I would reccommend for you.

The Adventure XL series have front and rear watertight compartments, with hatch covers for storing gear. The boat is available with a rudder, but you really don’t nead one unless you are going to get in some reallly rough or extra windy conditions. This boat tracks well, and paddles easily. The cockpit opening is extra large, to make it easy to get in and out.

If you are at least an intermediate kayaker, and want to go Fiberglass, take a look at an IMPEX, Serenity, or a Current Designs, Solstice GT. One other option is a Boreal, Nanook. These are all designed for big guys like us. I have the Nanook, but my only complaint is that is is a 17’ 8" boat, but is designed to turn like a 12’ boat. It turns on a dime, but needs the rudder to go straight.

Reply if you have any questions, I’d be glad to help! GOOD LUCK!


big guy site

pungo 140
Try before you buy!!! Words to live by in the paddling world… Try the Preception America and Wilderness Systems Pungo 140. Once in the water the Pungo will speaj for itself…

A loon 111 might be good, I have one that I use for duck hunting and general goofing off. Old Town also has a Loon 13, same nice (cavernous) cockpit but a tad faster. the 111 is avaiable in two different materials (heavy polylink and I beleive the other is a lightweight glass).

Your Setting Yourself Up!
Beware! You will buy a “shorter” boat, fall in love with the sport, then want a longer boat.

Note (for the most part) the shorter the boat the slower the boat.

Go for it out of the gate and save yourself the trouble.

Consider an SOT.
I have a WS Pungo 140 and highly recomend it to anyone looking for a good SIS Rec style yak.That said,id also suggest considering a SOT as well.There are some nice advantages.First off you can just hop in/out easily even in deep water.This can be a real bone on river’s.If you should go over,reentry is alot easier and the water just drains out the scuppers.There’s quite a few nice ones to acomodate large paddlers.Under 14’ look at the Malibu Pro Explorer,Ocean’s Drifter,Capper and Scrambler XT.WS’s Tarpon-120 and Ride.Id stay away from the T-140 as it’s best suited for folk’s under 200lbs.Good luck!

I am 6’ 2" and I weigh 300 lbs
I am also looking for a recreation kayak, and so far I tested the Necky Manitou yesterday and it was great, but at the end of the trip, I wanted a little more room in the cockpit and my legs were a tad cramped.

Next I will test the Dagger 13.0 Catalyst which seems a bit bigger cockpit wise, but the footpegs need to go back about another inch or two to fit my long legs. (The kayak shop were out of demo kayaks that day but they let me sit in one of the sale kayaks).

I current own a Perception Sierra which has a large cockpit and is just over 11 feet long, which makes it easy to place it in the back of one’s pickup bed without using any racks. I like my Perception Sierra, but it seems when I hit a certain paddling speed, it ceases to slice through the water and it starts pushing the water in front of the bow. But still a great rec kayak and also great for fishing.

So I still want to try that Catalyst 13.0 by dagger and maybe move the footpegs back. The kayak dealer also suggested I carve out a foam pad to fit my feet and place it against the forward bulk head since I can almost touch the front bulkhead with the balls of my feet.

What is important for me is to:

  1. find a kayak that will fit my large frame with

    out my legs going to sleep.
  2. find a kayak that slices thru the water a bit

    easier than my 11 foot Sierra.
  3. Finding a Kayak under 13 feet so I can throw it

    diagonally in the bed of my truck with the tail

    gate down and have a couple of feet hanging

    over the tailgate with a red flag on it.

    Richard in Boise