Seakayak buying advice

Hey all , new here and probably an annoying post as it is a “what kayak to get” post …
I am 6’1" and 260lbs ( 38 waist and maybe top heavy a bit with larger shoulders etc ) and did alot of white water kayaking ( intermediate to advanced paddler at that time ) as a young guy however have been out of the sport for 25 years now. At that time I had a little stillwater experience however to tell you the truth it bored me to death.
Fast forward to now I am retired and live on the West coast / Vancouver Island. I have found myself gazing at the ocean nightly wanting to get out there. So have decided I am going to jump back in the sport for many reasons including fitness , camping , exhileration of the ocean etc.
I have been looking and researching kayaks to death and have no idea which one to settle on !! The choices are endless it seems even for larger paddlers ??
Eddyline , Seaward , Delta 15.5GT , Current Designs and Nimbus have peaked my interest to date.
What do you experienced sea guys recommend ?
I would be doing mostly day trips however will 100% be doing many over nighters for sure. My personality is as such that I will be testing the Kayak ( and myself ) as well in non sheltered conditions as my skills progress so want something I can grow into as well.
I think that would be all the background and info needed …
Money ? Well of course I want to save but in the end it does not matter I guess.

I have sat in many of the above and most feel great however few chances to paddle them right now which is annoying other than the Delta and CD which were fine for the most part ( have mods already in my head which I would want ) however just trying to find the “right” one before I spend the gobs of money they want for them right now.

Sorry for the rambling !! TY in advance for any help here as I have researched this to death but have yet to ask actual people whom use them which I think is the best way to go other than lining them up side by side and testing which would be an monumental task if not impossible.

In addition to size (volume) of the kayak, what type of paddling do you see yourself getting into? There are those that are optimized for speed/tracking for points A to B; some with more rocker (and maybe shorter) for play (like your previous white water kayaks); and some that are a bit of compromise between the two.

Different faces of “seakayaking”:



You should be able to rent some kayaks if you live on Vancouver Island. Might need to take a lesson or few to try them—not a bad idea, anyway. You’re starting as the weather and water is getting not-so-forgiving!

Ha … I like that ! Well I would stay semi sheltered for a bit ( I would hope ) to hone skills and such however am very much looking forward to the “reality” part of that video as the adrenaline junkie in me even at my age is what I ultimately want to take on. I was thinking that 15-17’ would be a sweet spot for performance and volume needed ?? But really what do i know these days and why I am asking.

Yes… have demo the Delta and Nimbus so far but other than that I am SOL right now for the time being.
I had to laugh regarding the weather and the water comment as I can agree ~ was practicing self rescue and rolls just last night for only about 45min with my neighbor Kayak until I had to call it quits as the finger dexterity and head freeze began to set in !
Wanted to go out this evening again and practice but a little to much Turkey prevented me from even attempting to squeeze into the Sitka LT which I have been trying to practice in.
Am heading to Seaward again this week and see what I can come up with there.

Do you prefer rudder or skeg? If the latter, your choices open up quite a lot. Big guy with paddling experience in WW and a desire to do overnight trips would seem to point to kayaks of about 16 to 17 ft length with some rocker for maneuverability. That type is well represented by so-called Brit kayaks.

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Best money spent would be to find an experienced sea kayaking instructor in your area and pick his/her brain after taking some (refresher) sea kayak lessons.

For a big guy like you, the best choices IMO are the Current Design Sirocco (rotomold) or Gulfstream (fiberglass), or the NDK Romany Excel. Why you ask and not several of the other makes you mentioned? You are eventually an agressive paddler so you want a kayak built for rough paddling conditions, thus my short list.

PS - I prefer kayaks with a skeg vice rudder (that is a “which came first, the chicken or the egg” discussion of which there are many in archives)


I guess the skeg / rudder would depend on the design of boat and what would work best for that however skeg for myself is preferred for many reasons
Yes… construction would be important as well as I will eventually be tackling some rough water - good point.
TY for the options and I am going to be visiting a few more places amd ask a few more questions !

Hi Tenzen,

Good question, I’m 6’ 2", 240#, 40+ waist, size 12 booties, and have been very happy after several years in a Wilderness Systems Tsunami 175 (ruddered), followed by a Valley Etain 17-7 (skegged), both rotomolded boats.

Just enough room for me to wiggle around to keep up leg circulation, and able to drop into the seat and get my legs folded back inside the cockpit.

Mostly paddling the more flat open water of South San Francisco Bay, but have been out the Golden Gate in more textured water on 2 occasions, once with each boat.

Using the Search function using “big person kayaks”, you can find two past discussions with more specific boat recommendations here:

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you live near Seaward and haven’t demoed sny of there hulls?

CD is having a sale now with the new owners 30% off.

i was built similar and was getting in CD Nomad / Extreme hull with 29.5" x 16" cockpit with wide base seat.

Rudder tends more towards the point A-B type boat. It’s rare but I got cut by a metal rudder, early in my seakayaking, when I came out in rougher water. I like much more rockered boats with skegs since I am more into surf kayakinging and rockplaying.

The suggestion to take some lessons and/or guided trip is spot on. It’s a good way to get a lay of the ocean and get to test out different boats. I don’t how how far this outfitter is from you, but they have some staff that seem to be into surf and rock play - Love their videos:


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Also, as suggested above, a search of past PCom discussions of seakayaks can also give ideas. This one specifically is relevant because of the questioner’s size and the fact that the suggested boats are still very much available new and in the pre-owned market:



Pddledog52, how did you find the CD sale? I can’t find any mention of it on the web site. Nor at the local dealer

Sanborn canoes of Facebook

they took all stock CD had and all the composite moulds.


Thank you

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We loved paddling Victoria harbor, along the shore, hopping down to Flynn’s seafood, down by the community of houseboats, watching the float planes.

I don’t know all those boats but we love the workhorse Current Designs large volume model and it was picked up for 600 dollars (20 years old but perfectly functional) Great stability and tracking for that area is how I see it.

The PNW used to have a good supply of used CD boats and I know we’ve looked at new ones right there in Victoria. It’s a great town btw

Also when I’m buying gear for the first time, I care about resale so there is a sweet spot if you buy a “top shelf” boat (RV etc) and then go back to the year that meets your price point.

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I never owned a Current Design boat but regret to hear that the are no more! Did I hear that they had been bought out and merely changed ownership, or is the line now gone?

Purchased by Sanborn Canoe … looks like they are selling off the remaining Current Designs kayaks. Then what?

@PaddleDog52 posted on the other CD Sold thread that they are still going to make the composite models.