XXL Paddler questions?

I am 6’5" and 330 lbs. Looking to buy my first kayak. I plan on paddling the local lakes and also protected coastal waters. I plan on taking camping gear also. Any sugestions on which boat to purchase.

Since I own one
the QCC-500 comes to mind. Tall, roomy cockpit, lots of room for gear in the hatches, and made to fit “big & tall”.


I would suggest the Assateague
by Impex. I am 275#, and have had 30+ pounds of gear in it with little affect to handling. It is very comfortable for the larger paddler.

Eddyline Nighthawk 17.5
Impex Assateague, Wilderness Systems Tempest 180

Ditto on the Assateague
I have one and it will surely swallow you and your gear… and you will not outgrow it for a long while. It is a large expedition capable boat with plenty of capibility to “play” with the little boys.

Current Designs Titan
give the other kayaks a try, but something tells me you will not percieve them as big enough for you. Tempest 180? not that big at all. i’ve found that many people on this board consider big to mean different things. at 330 pounds, what i consider a big mans boat, may be quite another to you, especially starting out. the Assateague (what a name…) does fit larger guys for sure, but it is a sporting kayak for the really big, but hey, you may want that. the Titan is a really big mans boat, but some would say it is overkill. it has a huge cockpit opening for easy in and out, way bigger than any of the other boats. all of us who are out of the norm have our work cut out for us in finding the right boat, you will too.

I’m 6’3" and about 250lbs with an Assateague. It’s a nice performance boat.

At 6’5", you should have no problems with position of foot pegs. Depending on where you carry your weight, the Assateague stock seat may not fit you properly. I fill up the seat at 250lbs wearing a wet suit without any excess room.

big guys boat
My buddy sat in a new Hurricane Santee Expedition which dealers are getting in right now. NICE boat. He’s 6’3"and about 290 and had plenty of room and if it hadn’t been raining we’d have been test paddling to see if it provided enough waterline for heavier guys. Rated at 400 lbs so we’ll see. Looks kinda like the Kestrel 140 which big guys have seemed to like. Measured a bit over 14 feet and 26 inches wide at the beam. Beautiful. Dealer said around $1200 with a rudder as an option.

bigger than the Nighthawk’s 35"x19"???

Assateague or Serenity
I am 5-11, and weigh 275 Lb. I have the Impex Assateague, and I love it. If you did not want to pack camping gear into it, I would strongly reccommend it for you. But I am not sure how it will perform with your weight “and added gear”. May I suggest you test paddle the Assateague, and see where the water line is with just you in it. If it is low enough to still add gear, go for it. When I paddle my Assateague, I have about 1-1/2" of white hull showing under the seam tape.

If it looks like you might be too much for the Assateague, check out the Impex “Serenity”. It is the same length, but about 1-3/4 inches wider. (22-1/2" vs 24-1/4") The Serenity will carry a lot more weight, and is still a nice boat.

The main differences are the Assateague has less rocker, and is designed for straight line touring, but still has plenty of rocker to be easy to turn.

The Serenity has a lot more rocker, so it turns very easily. But since it has more rocker, and is wider, it is not quite as fast.

Both have skegs to help with straight line tracking, should you need it. Both turn nicely.

I test paddled the Serenity several times, and almost bought one. But the fit was a bit too large for me. The Assateague fits me better, so I bought it instead.

Never any regrets on my choice, as I have owned 4 kayaks, and test paddled MANY, while looking for the right one for me. The Assateague stopped my looking.

(Read my P-Net review on the Assateague if interested)


Impex serenity sport model
if the still make it might be the ticket. the serenity at 330# might be fine too.

Tempest T180
I noticed you have many response for the Impex Asseteauge(sp). It is a great boat, but the Tempest is just a bit bigger and therefore more than likely more comfortable for you.

I was going to suggest you review some of Wes Boyd’s Kayak Place, but it’s been offline for a while. Hopefully it hasn’t bitten the dust for good.

Anyway, don’t let your xxl size slow you down, you will LOVE the sport of paddling.


PS: I own and paddle both a Tempest 180 and a NDK Romany HV. The Tempest is my favorite ride and I’m in it 80% of the time.

What happened to Wes Boyd’s Big Guy
site? All I get is “… page cnnot be displayed” for all addresses of the site.






Asseteague Seat too small 4 me
Finally had a chance to sit in something other than a Pungo. As a result I shall try harder to get smaller.

In the Asseteague My legs were cramped as well. I’m not tall but I’m short waisted with long nice normal not fat legs. My torso and apparently my hips are where the weight is.

Found Wes Boyd’s Big Guy Kayak site!

– Last Updated: Sep-18-06 11:36 AM EST –

Seems there are new addresses. Start here:


Click on "Kayaking for Big Guys (And Gals)" in left column.



If you fit in the Assateague (butt wise), but your legs were to long and they are way past the footpegs or firmly up against the fwd bulkhead, they can move the pegs and bulkhead to accomodate long inseams if your order a new one from them.

This (Assateague) is a big volume boat, I own one, and there aren’t many performance boats that are performance boats and fit long and big boys like us. The Tempest 180, another option, has a bigger cockpit (wider butt), but the bulkead is about the same distance (inseam) as the Assateague.


wes boyd

Wes is going to be discontinuing his site. I am slowly archiving it, with his permission at http://www.kayakwisconsin.net/kayak-place-archives.html The info for 'big guys & gals" is there.

More options…

– Last Updated: Sep-18-06 8:49 PM EST –

You mentioned that this was going to be your first boat, but didn't mention your skill level. So I'm guessing its begineer. Here are my thoughts. I'm a big guy, 6-4 250, that has recently moved up from rec kayaker to begineer touring kayaker. Try a number of boats before you buy. Sit in those you can't try.
Sit on Tops, SOT's, are good recreational boats. Lots of leg and knee room. Wide and stable, and easy to get back on if you fall in. Nothing wrong with starting on them and developing skills before moving on, if you decide you want something faster. Camping from them is possible, but not their forte, as space is very limited. Check out Ocean Kayak and Cobra Kayaks.
Rec sit in kayaks, SINKS, are a dryer ride. Some rec boats have front and rear bulk heads. Which will keep tham afloat if you flip. Try Old Town Adventure XL 160, or Wilderness Systems Pamlico 140. Both these have large cockpits and are wide enough to be stable for begineer. Both should be better for camping from than SOTs. http://www.oldtowncanoe.com/kayaks/recreation_touring/
But if you have paddled some and are ready for a little bit tippier, but faster boat, look at the Seda Viking Max. http://www.sedakayak.com/sea_kayaks/viking/viking.htm
I have paddled this boat, and its cockpit is truely huge. I just could not get over how big it was. I could lift my knees up with out hitting the cockpit. Now there is one problem, which is solvable. The Seda seat will be too narrow for you, as it was just barely wide enough for me. But just take the seat out, and put down a foan pad to sit on. There are foam pads designed just for seats, and a good kayak shop will have them.
The Current Design Kestral mention above looks to be in the same catagory as the SEDA Viking Max.
I would guess that unless you've paddled a lot, that you will find the Impex Assateague a bit tippy and too tight for you. I've not paddled that boat, but the specs just seem a little tight.
Happy hunting. Don

I’ve tried them all
I’ve tried all the skegged boats mentioned here. 6’2", started at 290 lb, 48" waste, now 265 lb, 44" waiste.

You may need a little extra primary stability with your hight and weight. I did and still do. More boat width tends to get you more primary stability, and less speed prarticularly up around 24" wide.

In order of room in the cockpit and primary stability, high to low: Nighthawk (massive, like a long pungo), T180, Asa. T180 is considerably faster and more maneuverable than the NH. I didn’t paddle the Asa long enough to give a good comparison to the T180. Not quite enough room for me in the Asa at the time. Gotta try them for yourself of course. Everyone’s different. I own the T180.

Paul S.

Take a look at some of the sit on tops

– Last Updated: Sep-25-06 12:33 AM EST –

also. You should consider how you will use the kayak. The sit on tops will allow for ease of entry and reentry, and some can carry a good amount of camping. If the waters you paddle are warm, a sit on top may meet your needs. Here's a couple of links, post your question there also, they are kayak fishing oriented links, but many there area as knowlegeable about both sit inside and sit on top kayaks as any who post here, so you should get good information. The more information, the better considering your special needs:



Some makers: