River running boat for a big guy

In a post on currents, flatpick wrote, “A solid understanding of current comes early on to anyone who paddles whitewater, a highly recommended pastime for any sea boater! ;-)”

And Peter_K wrote, “White water padding will push your sea kayaking skills nicely but watch “the dark side”. >;-) (Unless, of course, it’s where you want to be!)

Also, I just found out that pool sessions are increasing from one per month to one per week in Corvallis, 10 minutes from where I work, plus two per week in Albany where I live. I can rent a WW boat from Peak sports for pool sessions for just $5 which is cool, and could use my own sea boat when I get one, but still, might want my own river boat for pool sessions. Weekly pool sessions, just like Tuesday night bowling, only better!

I’ve certainly got class 1-3 rivers around. Also the Willamette is wide, fast, swirly, and FLAT, just 5 miles from my house. (I could maybe use a sea kayak there.)

I’m thinking I’d want a general river running boat, not a specialized play boat. Also, something that I’d be likely to find on the used market would be good. I’m 285 lb, 44 inch waist, 6’ 3”. Any suggestions?

S h h h,__d o n ‘ t__t e l l__m y__w i f e.

Sheesh, I haven’t even bought my first sea kayak yet.

Paul S.

I think

– Last Updated: Jan-03-04 8:40 PM EST –

you would fit in a Pyranha H-3 255 nice kayak and made for big guys.

There is a larger Pyranha, the G3
which would go a bit faster on the flats and would surf a teeny bit better at the beach. For a more general river cruiser, the Prijon “Chopper” could carry your weight; it is “old school” but handles well. Watch for a used Prijon Tornado; a Perception Corsica (not the X or Matrix) in good condition. You would be too heavy for a Dagger Animas, but a Dagger RPM Max might be OK, relatively fast in spite of its short length.

H3 out of production?
Is the H3 no longer in production? I see an I:3, G3, and Prelude on their site under “River Running.”

Paul S.

Ooh, add wave surfing
to the list of wants. I didn’t think of that. That would be fun, though maybe dangerous. I think the Tempest 180 could wave surf too, but I’d rather try it, just for the sake of it, in a shorter plastic boat.

Paul S.

Check their site under creeking or
playing. The H3s are still in production.

here is a link
i have one and love it, but i think I may be selling it, the fleet is getting to big and I have a tution bill looming aroung the corner. To bad its not your size…


Anyway, its a great boat. comphy, decent speed, I like the semi-planing hull as it feels more natural to me since i learned to paddle WW in a Planing hull boat. BIG cockpit.

a couple of my dislikes are the ratchet systems in all Pyranha boats, buts thats just me. Most people like them. I have a hard time getting out of boats and would rather not have any bits to get hung up on.

there are a few H3 255 on Boater talk now for sell across the U.S.

good luck, but watch out, the whitewater bug bites hard…


rpm max?
If you’re looking for used I’m not sure how many H3’s are out there, you might want to try out an RPM Max from Dagger.

You might be a bit too heavy for the max, so 2x check and/or test paddle it.

Don’t forget
You could also use a canoe!!

Yeah I saw the Prelude
on the Pyranha site. I prefer a closed top though, for roll practice if nothing else.

Thanks for the good suggestions everyone
I’ve sobered up a little (figuratively speeking)since my original post. But I suspect I will have a WW boat eventually. Now if I see good deals, I’ll have an idea what I’m looking for. Appreciate the introduction.

Happy paddling,


big boat
go to www.kayakplace.com/bigguy/bigwhite.htm

lots of interesting info for us big guys and a nice list of kayaks for us too.

Lots of good ideas here…
…Let me add one more to the mix. Kind of a crossover between a touring boat and a WW boat.

Prijon Yukon Expedition. Prijon says it’s good

for class 3 and multiple day trips. It has a

rear bulkhead and a waterproof hatch.

Great plastic, no center pillars, and a sweet

handling boat.

But you’d have a hard time going wrong with the

RPM or the H3.

I do not work for Prijon, I’m just an enthusiastic

owner. I know the Prijon and Pyranha lines far

better than the others.

Interesting boat
Have you actually paddled one of those Yukon Expedititions? It doesn’t look like it would track too well on flat water. Not much of a keel. Still interesting. Thanks for the suggestion.

tracks OK…
…but only marginally for a touring boat. It’s

really meant for multi-day trips on moving water.

You can get it with a rudder.

But from what this person wanted, low-budget

single boat, it might be worth his looking at.

I’ve paddled on, but except for a rather largish

eddy, it was on a class 1 river stretch.

I’m so bummed!
I found out the local kayak shop, Peak Sports, rents WW boats for pool sessions for just $5! They had a Pyranha H3. I went to sit in it—no way! Those big hooked-at-the-top hip pads stopped me cold. 44” waist. The guy at the rental desk was very nice. He said if I come in earlier next time, he’ll remove the pads, then re-install them when I bring back the boat. Would need to remove 2 bolts no each side that connect the seat frame to the plastic deck, then slide the hip brace and bands off the seat frame, then re-install the bolts. Probably 5-10 minutes with some practice. I could have taken the boat and did it my self, but I didn’t want to mess with it tonight. There’s 7 pool sessions a month this winter within a 20 min. drive, so maybe next time.

Even without the pads, I would have just fit. And I’m not sure about my legs, as I couldn’t get in to check. Those WW boats are not too big.

Paul S.

some aren’t as small as others…
…and the H3 comes in, I think, 3 different


Don’t give up.

Don’t worry about tracking.
White water boats are designed to turn, not track. That also makes them easy to control. Doesn’t mean they aren’t slow in the flats (which they generally are) but it is easy to paddle them in a straight line with a little practice.

I forgot that at the time and didn’t ask if it was the biggest one. Probably was though. I’ll find out. At the same time I’m re-doubling my determination to lose weight. I’d be in much better condition and have a lot more choices if I got down to about 220-240 lb.

Paul S.

another suggestion…
…on another thread of a similar subject I bumped

into another WW boater, and I had a sudden

thought about another boat: Prijon Chopper.

If you live near DC, Atlantic Kayaks in alexandria

Va has a few Choppers. Give one a look-see.

And go to


This is a WW board.

There’s a couple of guys there who are pretty big.

One posts under funkmop and one under gordo. They

may have some more ideas.