tall guy multi-kayak

I’m new and have been perusing craigslist ads for kayaks. I am 6’5" and have literally not fit in the 3 kayaks i’ve looked at.

I’m at a point where I would like to purchase a kayak that will fit me and provide years of enjoyment.

Can anyone around my height (6’5", 215 lbs) recommend a solid kayak?

I expect to be doing both rivers/lakes and occasionally getting up to them mtns for some white-water fun.


I’m your height and weight, but before
suggesting anything, I note that you expect to do mountain whitewater only occasionally. If most of your paddling is either on lakes, or on flattish rivers, then you don’t want to do that in a whitewater kayak, and perhaps not in a crossover like the LL Remix XP10, either. You might want to get a kayak that tracks and cruises better, and then get a whitewater kayak when you find one that fits.

I’m just able to get into a Dagger Axion 9.5, a whitewater kayak. I’m sure I could get into a Remix XP10.

What three kayaks did you try that were unsuitable?

dagger animas
is the kayak im looking at tomorrow, i have high hopes from the internet research ive done…they want 350 for the kayak, new paddle and skirt.

i honestly dont remember the names of the 3 kayaks i couldnt fit in…the first was old, couldnt get my knees in…the 2nd was a perception i think, couldnt get my knees in…the 3rd was a dagger i think, and could barely get my knees in and my legs wouldnt fit. i dont think i have a ridiculous inseam or anything…alot of my height is in my torso

A Tempest 180 has enough leg room
for you but it is not made for WW. If you want to consider a sit-on-top, the Tarpons will work with the foot braces removed.

Tall guys
A couple of the guys I kayak with from time to time are 6’3" and 6’6" they both have Explorers, really long legs and are in their fifties so they don’t bend well. When they enter their kayaks they sit just behind the cockpit put their legs in straight first, and when just slid their butts down into the seat. The reverse to get out. Some cockpits are tight and some kayaks are like putting on a pair of pants. (Like those with a ocean cockpits). hope this helps.

Might work
If your legs are not extremely long and you don’t have an enormous shoe size the Animas might work.

It was a popular kayak in the late 1990s among bigger guys and has reasonable speed.

Animas and lakes
We have a friend who took the Animas that my husband got when he was swapping thru used WW boats. It felt too big for my husband, but our friend is a big guy and has found it to be a great fit for him for WW. I think he is about your size - certainly is your height.

Re the Explorer, there is a size of paddler where the paddler is oversized for that hull and the stability for them is less than designed. The HV version doesn’t solve the issue because it’s the same hull - they just raised the deck so that a bigger person can physically fit in there. The hull is still not designed for them in terms of its stability profile, so they have to be a better paddler. Our friend with the Animas, along with a few coaches who have spent time with him, have concluded that he is a size that challenges the Explorer hull. He picked up a Kayak Sport Millenium that seems to have the hull capacity, and an Argonaut may be the trick as well.

You will note that I am talking about long fiberglass boats that don’t remotely belong in WW… because the boat that will make you happy in WW will be slow and very not satisfactory on long days on flatwater lakes, and the boat that will do flatwater for you is not going to behave properly in WW. Yes, you will find some folks who take long boats into moving water here. They are not beginning paddlers. And because of the lack of deck rigging to aid in re-entry, the Animas is not a boat to be trying to re-enter from the middle of a big lake. It was designed for WW where you can swim to a nearby shore after a capsize.

The Animas, if it fits you OK, is a fine boat to get the feel of things and start learning. But it is not a boat that’ll do everything you want. You are really looking at taking a pass on WW for now and looking for a longer boat, or staying closer to shore on the lakes with the Animas.

thank you
excellent information, i appreciate it

you will soon
Be diagnosed with multi boat syndrome. It’s a disease that’s infects 100% of people who start paddling and enjoy it.

Ryan L.

tall guy multi-kayak

6-5 230lbs here. I love my Sterling Kayaks ‘Illusion’. I can comfortably surf, paddle whitewater, tidal rapids, high wind conditions, and paddle flat water trips. Comfortably = being able to do bottom turns on surf waves, feel solid in very rough water and rapids, yet keep my speed up with slightly longer boats on flat water trips. The pics of the this boat are deceiving. You’ll see a lot of rocker. But vee in the keel allows it to track and not weathercock without a skeg (had mine removed).

For big guy outfitting, i use a RedFish foam seat which Sterling can provide, and i paddle without footpegs which for me allows more freedom in the foot area.

Sterling’s boats can be customized for you. His partner in design, legendary whitewater paddler Reg Lake helps with design and regularly takes these boats in up to class 3-4 whitewater. Reg designed the ‘Reflection’ a 15’ boat made from two Illusion sterns. They’re coming out with a rock gardening / surf boat soon in the 12’ range with a planning hull.

Check it out… http://www.sterlingskayak.com/

See my YouTube channel for the Illusion and Reflection in action:


give me a holler if you have any questions on these boats. RC

I have an Animas, and can get in OK,
although I could use a little more room for my kneecaps as they pass the foam wall support under the top deck. Although “old school,” the Animas got consistently good reviews when it was introduced. It will do enders, and with the right approach, you can get the rear deck submerged.

Make sure the one you’re looking at is not too deeply scratched and worn. Look for inside scratches between the seat and the foot pedestal, which if stressed highly, can sometimes develop into cracks.

Check out the Liquid Logic Remix xp 10
I am 6’4" and around 275 lbs…I have two kayaks. I use an Eddyline Nighthawk 17.5 for my ocean and flatwater cruising. I use a Liquid Logic Remix Xp 10 for whitewater, surfing at the beach and narrow/shallow rivers. Both are very good boats which should fit you with no problem. The Remix is a whitewater cross over 10" but with a retractable skeg. Paddles straight on the flats, but not really a boat for long flat water trips. Check them out.

I totally didn’t fit in the Daggar Animas, it was a little disappointing. I decided to suck it up and go to an outfitter in town. I think I looked at that liquid logic mentioned…it was a little tight.

I’ve decided on the Daggar Mamba 8.6…still a little weird how i can’t fully stretch out my legs, but all in all, the most comfortable fitting whitewater kayak i’ve been in (or fit in I should say)