Weight capacity

I recently purchased a new kayak with a weight capacity of 250lbs. I weigh 260lbs. How big of a problem is it being 10lbs over weight capacity?

Remember that It won’t be just 10lbs over, think about the equipment you have to carry, PFD, pump, ropes, water, etc, that’s assuming you just day paddle.

From what I understand…
The weight capacity is usual very conservative. The capacity rating is basically where the boat performs the best. Exceeding that number means you will start seeing a decrease in responsiveness and handling. You want sink at 10 lbs over.

Since you already have the kayak…
why not try it out in shallow water and find out for yourself ?

I am guessing you are not going to be a happy paddler !

Jack L

Hard to Answer
The rule of thumb I have always heard is keep the load at 2/3 of the rated capacity but good luck finding that many kayaks with a max of around 400lbs, especially sit ins.

Some companies are very conservative with their numbers. Some add the weight of the kayak and some don’t. Some give you a paddler weight range. Some of the really cheap big box store brands I think just make up a number.

Being built more like a line backer I have pushed the weight limit in many kayaks – you don’t have a choice. I have never had one sink on me. Some handled great for me past the weight limit and others like crap before I was even close to the limit. My old 10’ rec kayak was always loaded to the max. It was slow but even when I dropped weight it still seemed as slow. Putting 25-50lbs past the limit was fine for mellow ponds or slow moving little streams but I wouldn’t want to take an over loaded kayak into any rough condition, especially not a little fat rec kayak.

Some kayaks are meant for large paddlers and perform poorly for a lighter paddler. Some kayaks are meant for average weighted paddles but are designed to carry a lot of gear when needed.

Best you can do is try it out, research what others say about the kayak or contact the manufacture and ask them what the weight limit actually means.

A boat sitting below its waterline…
is more unstable than if it is sitting at its designed waterline. If you are overweight enough, you could be sinking the boat to that point of greater instability.

Or the manufacturer’s weight rating is off in a way that favors your ability to bring more than a bottle of soda as gear. They aren’t always right. Really depends on the boat.

This is my first kayak and don’t really know what I’m doing so i appreciate the feedback from everyone.

What is the kayak?
What kayak did you buy?

Sun dolphin
I bought a sun dolphin excursion 10. I know someone who would be interested in buying it so I might sell it and get something with a higher weight capacity.

seek more advice here
Post some information about your location, what kind of paddling you anticipate wanting to do in what kind of waters and your budget and you will get good advice here. We can even help you locate good values in appropriate used boats if we know where you are.

There is so much to know about kayaks when you are just starting out that it can be overwhelming – don’t hesitate to ask on here. Even being pretty experienced I have gotten tons of great advice about the sport and equipment on here over the years. It is a well patronized forum and there are some wise folks on here.


– Last Updated: Apr-24-15 2:17 PM EST –

I'm in northeast Massachusetts and since I'm just starting out ill be in more conservative ponds and lakes to get started. Budget is definitely my biggest problem. I just finished up college so I don't have a ton of money so looking in the $350 range. Right now I'm looking at an ascend a10 so if anyone has thoughts on that it would be greatly appreciated.

Definitely looking for a sit in. I'm extremely pale and would like some coverage.

Quiet water guides
Checkout the “Quiet Water” guides from Hayes and Wilson at your local library or bookstore (if the library doesn’t have them they can usually get them through Interlibrary Loan). Great info about various quiet water locales to paddle in MA, NH/VT, ME and NY. They include warnings of where to avoid when it’s windy, where there tends to be submerged rocks/stumps, what natural things you can expect to see, nearby camping, etc. Very helpful and informative and it’s a great way to plan paddling excursions.

Good advice
The problem the op has is that kayaks big enough to carry 260lbs will cost more than $350 new.


– Last Updated: Apr-26-15 11:16 AM EST –

There is a guy in Derry NH who just posted a Sealution 14' sit in kayak for $500 on Craigslist. He lists it as an XS but i did not think they made a small version. Call him and see if it is really an XL because that would be a great big guy boat you could use anywhere.

There is also an Aquaterra Sea Lion listed on the Boston CL in that price range. These are decent boats for a big guy too.

In fact there are quite a few good used kayaks in your area for reasonable prices. You will have a hard time finding anything even used for $350. Forget 10' boats, they are too short for your body mass. To get the displacement ti support your weight a short boat has to be too wide and deep to be any fun to paddle. You need the length for tracking and to float with decent volume.

The Ascend is a clunky barge and too short for your weight.