Yak For Big Guy!

Hey, I’m new to this site but not to yakking. I want to involve my son, but he’s 6’4 and 230 lbs., and I’m having a heck of a time finding a good yak for tall guys. I’m 6’2 and barely fit my Perception. Anyone have a suggestion on a good river yak for him? We paddle mostly easy 1’s and 2’s around these parts, and some lakes.

Thanks so much for your help!!

for 2K or under

– Last Updated: Jun-24-08 7:50 PM EST –

You could look at the plastic Valley Aquanaut HV - great boat but maybe too large if doing tighter rivers.

Glass and quicker turning - A used Current Designs Gulfstream (or similar plastic Scirroco) or Impex Assateague would work well and you might find one at that price or close. Delta Kayaks makes some models - e.g. Delta 17, that would work well for about $2500.

Check some local dealers, as most companies have something that will work for you. I agree that you would be happier with a touring sea kayak than a river type boat for your stated purpose.

Heigh might be an issue…
But, I found (at 5’ 11" & 270lbs at the time) the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 165 to be a boat a good fit.

The leg room and shoe size are going to be the biggest obstacles. I’d guess the Tsunami would fit, but your son has 5" on me.

Consider a SOT.


I am about that size and love my Tarpon.

I am 230 lbs and the 14 foot
Tarpon takes on water through the scuppers. The longer version might not, and my 14’ Manta Ray is good.



For all the suggestions! Some we’ve looked at already, some we’ll check out. The search continues! Unfortunately, we have very limited local resources, and the few shops we do have dont have much variety.

Thanks again!

I’m 6’ 3" and weigh about 240
and my Pungo works for me. (Size 11 feet). I paddle a Pungo 140, but have also paddled my wife’s 120. Both are comfortable for me.

170 might be a better option

– Last Updated: Jun-25-08 8:27 AM EST –

" ... I found (at 5' 11" & 270lbs at the time) the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 165 to be a boat a good fit."

I'm surprised you can fit in the 165 with these measures. I am 6'4" at 190 lb and 36" waist, and I can't fit in the Tempest 165 (too narrow seat, plus not enough foot room) but I do fit fine in the 170 with the only issue being the hip braces being just a tiny bit too snug for long term comfort but fine for short (1-2 hours) active paddling.

For rivers with rocks, I'd definitely go with a plastic boat with plenty of rocker - cheaper, takes the hits much more easily than glass.

I paddled the Tempest 170 for over an hour last night and with edging it is very maneuverable (without it as well, but when leaned, it turns even faster) and should be fine for even tight spots and curves on rivers.

Of course, a shorter boat will be even more responsive as long as it is well constructed, but I have not looked much or paddled shorter boats - the 14.5 feet Tsunami 145 I had until recently is definitely a good match for the poster's size, but it is less agile and turns with more difficulty than the longer and sleeker 17 footers such as Impex Assateague (but it is glass + $$$) or Wilderness Systems Tempest. The plastic P&H Capella 166 would also be a very good fit and is just as meneuverable as the Tempest, plus it is made of arguably better plastics (3-layer) and is a little wider for a more relaxed fit; might even be faster than the Tempests too.

don’t know where you are located
but you will love this place.


Most Prijon boats will work well for your son.


thats why you PLUG the scuppers… the T-160 comes with them. i am 250, 6,3" and the Tarpon 160 rocks as a big guy boat.

Tsunami, not Tempest
I was in a Tsunami 165. I didn’t even try to squeeze myself into a Tempest.

Though, I’m going to try and locate a Tempest 180 to try.

Hurricane Tracer
I’m 6 ft. and have about 5 inches left in the rails for the foot pags. Plus another 4-5 inches before the front bulkhead.


Duh! I misread…
The Tsunami 165 is big.

Are you sure?

– Last Updated: Jun-25-08 2:19 PM EST –

I spoke with someone who was selling their Tracer and they had waist 34" and said it was too snug for them. He thought that I with my waist 36" will not fit in it... As a seller he had every insentive to at least get me in the boat to try it, but he told me it won't fit me...

Asking, because I was interested in the Tracer and gave-up on it for this reason alone. Are you saying that it can fit a #230 6'4" person (who should be at about waist 38" in my estimate since I am only 190 at the same height and my waist is 36")? If yes, I'd take a second look at the tracer.

Heh, and so am I!

I’m 6’5" and can’t get in a Tracer.

Tracer for a Big Guy
I just demoed a Tracer yesterday. I am 6’1" and 210 lbs with big thighs, long legs, and size 14 feet. I fit very well within the Tracer except for the thighs which were pressed extremely tightly against the braces which was my big comfort concern. Legs and feet were fine. If the thigh braces were slightly higher, I would probably consider this for purchase. Currently looking at the Eddyline Fathom as my top choice for reference on my sizing preference. Aside from the thigh braces, this seemed good for a big guy pending normal sized thighs.

Swift Saranac 14.6
Was another boat I demoed yesterday. This boat has cavernous space. Most room of any “sea kayak” I have tried. Despite the short 14.6 length, this boat tracked well and turned phenomenally. Skeg helped with tracking which was good but not as good as longer sea kayaks. I hadn’t planned on trying this boat but I had extra time and the rep was pushing it. I am looking for something in the 16’+ range and this boat performed way longer than its actual length. Great option for rivers and lakes for a big guy though I wouldn’t be comfortable on open waters with big waves. Not really talked about much but a solid option for the big guy, especially those with big feet. I fully extended my size 14s straight up and down and could not touch the deck with my toes extended. Just wow. Not the boat for me but wow.