I’m 6’3" 200 lbs and looking for a low budget SOT for just playing around and exploring the local river and streams. Nothing over ten foot long, and it must be pretty stable as I’m a first timer

I was thinking of getting either an emotion spitfire 8 for 180 since theyre on sale and add a skeg to make it track better…or a pelican apex 100 for 250.

Once I add a skeg, is the apex100 really going to perform any better than the spitfire? Or does anyone know if one is much more stable than the other? I read a review that said the spitfire was tippy for a taller person.

At your height/weight
the longer you can go on a SOT’s length, the more stable it is going to be. If there is any possible way you can do a 12’ than a 10’, go for it. You will be SO much happier.

I’m a foot shorter than you,

– Last Updated: Jun-29-15 5:08 AM EST –

and 80 lbs lighter, and I would be miserable in a Spitfire 8.

Check out the Wilderness Systems Tarpons. If you absolutely can't go longer than 10ft, the Tarpon 100 would not be a bad option. An older model is sold for less as the Perception Sport Pescador.

The Perception Tribe 11.5 is another option.

agree you need more length
You have to understand that any boat has to displace a volume of water equal to your weight to support you and a shortie just doesn’t have enough surface area (unless it was so wide that it would be a chore to reach the paddle to the water) to support a bigger person without being so low in the water that it would be unstable. Trust the guys who are telling you that you are not going to be well served by a short boat. Selecting a craft based on how easy it might be to throw in or on your car is a backwards method. That’s like buying shoes based on whether they fit in your glove compartment rather than on your feet.

Look at OK Frenzy

– Last Updated: Jun-29-15 12:41 PM EST –

Ocean kayak Frenzy is a pretty decent little boat for what you are suggesting. You won't win any races and won't work well for very shallow streams. Check out the reviews here on Pnet.

Jackson Riviera
Just over 11 feet long. Likely the shortest boat that will work with your weight in rivers.

Very popolar as a rental so you can find one to try before you buy.

Bic or …
Bic makes a couple of short SOT kayaks that might be able to float a guy your size. There’s a listing here at p-net:

I agree that you should go longer. Or you could consider an inflatable.

My Observations Have Been
That Ocean Kayak rules around here. Big guys paddle them and surf with them. At 200 lbs you’re really not that big. Tall yes, but not that heavy. Kayaks that fit in the back of a truck are used by guys your size all the time. The last two times I was out paddling I saw heavy guys paddling short kayaks and having a good time. They were fishing. The waters they were paddling are known for the winds and waves that pick up in the afternoon.

Couldn’t find pics …

– Last Updated: Jun-30-15 12:56 AM EST –

Here's a link to some surf video in a Frenzy on you tube….

I bought one of these for my son, and used it quite a bit when I was heavier 220 lbs surfing big waves in Baja and running rivers. I took my wife's friend out surfing in it and she was about 280 lbs, no problem, but her butt got stuck in the seat. It will handle rough water and heavy paddlers and they are bullet proof, will take a lot of rough usage.

Heritage angler 10
I ended up getting the heritage angler 10

Supposedly its a native redfish mold. It’s very stable and tracks well for 10’

Doesn’t cut through the current as good as I had hoped, though but overall I’m pleased. Except for the seat. I done some searching, and the gci bleacherseat and sitbacker fit right in, and should offer some decent back support.

Thanks for all the input

should have looked at the West Marine Pompano which is a re-badge Wilderness Tarpon. They have been on sale at $399. making them a incredible deal on a very good kayak. But maybe the 12’ length was more than you wanted. Next time you upgrade, check them out.

Thx for the late suggestion. I was considering the pescador 10 which I read is a tarpon mold as well. But for my use the heritage angler seemed a better choice. And it’s available locally, which was what I wanted

Shorter kayaks
I’m late to the discussion, but thought I would add what I found at my local walmart. Great price, too! For a few extra dollars, you can add as many hooks, eye pads and bungee cords as you need.

Heritage Angler 10
What a nice boat! Love the deck lids, handles and rod holders already installed. Plus, the adjustable foot rest. Great choice. Looking forward to reading about your river adventures.

For kids
Looks like that might be OK for small children lol