From my time spent on various outdoor forums, I can see that I am not alone in my size class. There are frequent questions about the perfect kayak for us larger paddlers. Even if the question isn’t phrased about weight, most paddlers will want to know the size of the person making the inquiry to give a more informed answer.
I did my homework to see if I could help narrow the search for the right boat for those that are in the 250lbs and above group. My search criteria were that the kayak had to have at least 500lbs of capacity and it had to be a used and recommended boat on multiple outdoor forums. These kayaks are ones either I have used or were recommended by active kayakers multiple times to people making a search about a kayak for larger folks.
The great news is that kayak manufacturers have heard the pleas of larger outdoorsmen, and several of them now produce boats that are capable of carrying us and our gear. These are not just “barges” that are meant to float a heavy load; they are serious fishing machines that will allow for a safe and enjoyable trip on the water.
Ocean Kayak: “Big Game”, 550-600lbs.
Malibu Kayaks: “X -Factor”, 650lbs. “Stealth 14”, 550lbs.
Cobra Kayaks: “Fish ‘n’ Dive”, 600lbs.
Jackson Kayak: “Big Tuna”, 500lbs.
Any one of these would do a good job hauling a larger paddler and their gear on the water. If you have questioned whether or not a kayak is right for you due to your size, my recommendation would be to demo paddle one of these at a local dealer. It may surprise you just how well one of these well-designed boats will do for those of us in the larger-than-average class.