Sea Kayak advice for tall paddler with large feet

Looking for some advice on purchasing my first sea kayak. I have a Necky Manitou 13 and am quite comfortable paddling and handling it. I defiantly consider myself a beginner but would like to expand my skills through classes, pool work, etc. Being 6’3”, 210 pounds with a 36” inseam and size 14 feet I want to find a kayak I will fit into comfortably while being able to grow and expand my skills. I mainly paddle inland lakes and rivers but would like to increase my skills so I could comfortably consider a trip to Lake Superior, etc. I appreciate any advice and recommendations on boats and ways to expand my boat handling knowledge and skills.

Look at the WS Tempest boats. I am a bit heavier and my legs a bit shorter. A Tempest 180 was almost too roomy.

As string says, a Tempest 170 or 180. Another good option is a Current Designs Sirocco.

The NDK Explorer HV is another kayak designed with more volume for legs and feet:

New or used kayak?

Used Current Designs HV EXTREME / NOMAD same boat they just stopped making them. Fast good in a chop and rough water. Tons of room for gear.

Paid 900

Go sit in the boat before you buy. Look for “HV” … high volume.

P&H Capella 173, plenty of room.

I am looking for a good used kayak, would love a new one but my “fun” budget says otherwise.

Well I have got 5 all at 700 to 900. They all look near new as you can see in the picture. One is a 22’ tandem. One was two year old Solstice GT for 1800. All accessories and hull worth 4200 new with no taxes.

Detroit Michigan area - $900

1 Like

5 or 6 around I see in my 500 mile range.

Just got it 700

Few chips I filled.

1 Like

Deals are out there. If it was closer I’d finally have a skeg kayak.

1 Like

Try looking for a used Impex Assateague. They are high volume enough for your size, can carry a fair amount and can handle all kinds of conditions.

My 6’7" 180lb instructor friend once made a list for me of kayaks that fit him, but I can’t seem to find it. Basically, it said anything longer than 16-17’ he said he could fit. His daily driver kayak was a Scirocco.

A variety of shorter boats he also could fit, such as the Valley Gemini series and the Dagger Stratos 14.5L.

I am 6’ and 230 pounds and paddle a Stratos, so I know it easily will handle the greater weight of you as compared to my tall friend. And it would be an excellent step up boat from your Manitou.

1 Like

Second the suggestion on the Dagor 14.5L Stratos. I enjoy this boat on lakes and the Salish Sea. I am 6’4”…

Also, used is the way to go. Whatever you buy might not be your “forever” boat. Getting a used model that has some level of popularity means that you can switch and experiement as needed, all for a decent “rental” price. If you buy used you can sell for a similar price and move on. Buying new might equal a value depreciation which you will feel in your wallet if you decide to try another boat…

Please, pretty please, can I say something just for the sake of humour? Absolutely not intended to offend. Context, coming from the 6’4" 300 pounder with size 14 EE barefoot, or 15 EEEE with socks,

Laughing, get a bigger boat !! I wear a canoe on long river trips, trips of between one and six weeks. I wear a 20’ canoe with a 42 inch beam. Weight, you begin with the large, 300# paddler and a near 100 # boat. Then add 2 to 3 weeks of water, 20 gallons, 180# then add tent , sleeping gear, kitchen, and food for 2 to 6 weeks. ANNNND I want it to fly shallow and light so it responds easily on the white water. Between 700 and 1,000 pounds total, 4 to 6 inches of draft max.

For whatever you want to do, afternoon paddles, day trips, long trips? Calculate your required weight, hull, person, water, gear, all of it. Then look to your square feet of shadow (water plane area formula waterline length X waterline beam X 0.66), and calculate your desired draft. Adjust length and width to arrive at required draft. That is how large a boat you want.

Laughing, get a bigger boat. Always remember a longer boat is always the faster boat (hull speed) I’d suggest 18 or 18.5 feet X 27 to 28 inch beam. 18’X27" calculates as about your minimum for ease, speed, and comfort. Personal preference, your tastes? Keep the 18 or 18.5 X any beam you feel best about.

Just my opinion.


Fewer burgers?

How many boats are the dimensions you recommend?

Not Many. No different than there are few 18.5 to 20 foot canoes. (18.5 in a canoe is not rare, the maximum rated race length, most of those are unsuited for anything but racing) The basic difference is still I do not wear size 11 shoes. 15 EEEE are hard to find. But it is what fits. I have been stuck in a kayak because leg length, foot size, and the inflexibility that comes with age, required me to get parallel to the shore and simply roll the kayak onto its side, mud and water flooding in, so I could crawl sideways to get out. What gravity could put in, there was no anti-gravity to get out. I try on cars before I buy them. So then I strongly question why nearly all canoes are manufactured for 162 pound men. Or when maximum loads are rated, they do not tell you that a 17 foot canoe , with a manufacturers 1,800 pound load rating also means a 2 inch free board.

Build your own if you have to, or have built what works (I have.). And, my answer was based entirely upon the math, calculate the weights and duration involved, and then design to the 40 to 60% maximum load. No boat entering wilderness, and the sea IS always as it was 20,000 or 2 million years ago a wilderness, should be loaded much beyond that 40 to perhaps 60% of maximum load. Self rescue. I love going where there are no lights, except the sun and stars, where the silence is profound, no roads, houses, sometimes few people.

Buy a tandem and stack your gear under the forward cockpit.