Riverrunner for larger paddler

Well, I had a bit of a reality check yesterday. I was very excited about finding a Dagger Crossfire for sale locally, and cheaply. I went to buy it, and couldn’t even get my thighs up into the thigh braces. I’m not really all THAT large, but some more exercise is definitely in order. (Oddly, I think it was years of biking that contributed to my thighs not fitting that boat. And it was years of beer drinking that contributed more than their share to the rest of this fine physique.)

My specs: 6’, 220lbs, 23" thigh diameter at midpoint, 40" gut (yeah, I’m working on that), size 12.5 big wide feet

I like to kid myself that anytime I’m feeling bad about my weight I can just go to Walmart, where I’m sure to be one of the smaller people. :wink:

What riverrunning boats should I be looking for? (One thing I love about canoes, is I’ve never had to worry about not fitting.) I’m not really interested in any of the dinky playboats, just a competent 9-11 ft riverrunner.

dagger gt 8.1
I am 2" shorter than you but the same sizes…and the gt 8.1 fit awesome!!!loved it!!!

btw it surfs ocean waves great!

Big boats
I have been successful with the following kayaks:

Prijon Hercules or Chopper

Jackson Super Hero or Super Fun

Good Luck.


I actually own the Dagger Crossfire,its my rolling practice/short range putter around boat, i made a strap on skeg so i can take it distance too if i feel like it. Not only is it not meant for people over 190 lbs, my size 12 feet are crammed in it. I actually made my own thigh braces because the original ones were spreading my legs in a very uncomfortable angle. but it cost me 200 bucks with airbags so well worth it.

For you-i can think of one boat that will fit.

Wavesport Diesel 75. Creeker/all purpose whitewater boat, they gave me one of those in the rolling class. I actually think my crossfire or my Elaho for that matter roll easier,but the diesel is nice with good outfitting and you’ll fit in it no problem long as it’s set up right. and it’s BOYANT like a foam dock.

pricey Prijon boats
Those 2 Prijon boats look nice. I can see why you like them. That’s more than I wanted to spend, but I’ll keep my eyes out for one. I’m also considering a Wave Sport Super EZ.

RPM Max?
Reviews on the RPM Max look good, and I may have a line on a used one. Anybody got any comments on this one?


I think you would like it, but it is old
school, no longer au courant. Its handling is kind of slalomish, and it is relatively fast, but it is neither a planer (Pyranha G3) nor a semi-planer (Jackson SuperHero). If you like to pinball from eddy to eddy, and do wave surfing or occasional enders, the RPM Max is pretty good. I think the Jackson SuperHero would be a good transition between old school and new school paddling styles.

Dunno if I’m old school or not…
But I bought the RPM Max tonight. I just wasn’t going to let this deal pass me by, and I can probably sell it any old time for more or less what I gave for it. As soon as I sat in this one, and saw how it not only had room for my thighs, but was comfortable for my big feet, I just knew it was going on the roof rack. The lines make sense to me, too. I wasn’t looking for a playboat, but something to go down river, up river and across river in. And I wanted something with gentle curves that would roll and manuver. I guess this might do that. (Dunno, cuz I haven’t tried, but did I mention that this boat, as the previous owner had it outfitted, fits me like a set of plastic mermaid legs but with enough room not to feel cramped?)

I am psyched to get this on the water for a coming skills clinic.

After getting the boat, I went and looked at skirts. The girls were cute. No, seriously, I couldn’t even get some of the recommended skirts on a boat with a supposedly similar cockpit. They had one kevlar jobbie on sale at an amazingly good deal, that I don’t think Arrnuld Swartz. could’ve put on that boat. I couldn’t even get the neoprene ones on the demo. It wasn’t the same make or model as the RPM Max, but holy cow. I’m no body builder, but I can bench press my own fat weight. (Yeah, I know, that’s lame.) But, I could NOT get any of three skirts on the d4mn3d demo boat. The experienced sea kayaker in the store that demoed all these couldn’t get a couple of them on.

I went in to buy a helmet, skirt and float bags, and left with just a couple inflatable float bags, because I couldn’t find a helmet that fit, or a skirt that I could put on by myself. Is there any kind of middle ground between the cheap nylon skirts that aren’t worth a durn, (like the Seals POS that I currently have for the Santee that does nothing but pool water in one’s lap), and the really hard neoprene, and nylon and kevlar jobbies that are so tight you can’t get them on, and can barely pop them if you and four friends do manage to get them on?

RPM max
agreed that it is an older design, but it will suit what you want to do very well, be fast and stable and if you are comfortable in a boat, you will be able to perform at your best. you’ll love it.

i’ve never heard of a boat with skirts that hard to get on, they shouldn’t be. if you can’t get it on yourself in one solid move, you don’t want it anyways. the nylon skirts have absolutely no application on a river boat, don’t even think about it. you may have to look around or call Dagger to get their advice. better yet, call Snapdragon or Mountain Surf. i can’t imagine the XL cockpit size for a basic Snapdragon won’t fit, they are very stretchy and easy to get on.

good luck and have fun. be patient, ww kayaking has a steep learning curve, but isn’t all that hard once you get into it.