Kayaks for tall people?

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by Tunowit, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. Tunowit

    Tunowit New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    Hey all, been browsing as a guest for a while, and in the meantime my resources are accumulating to the point that I can stop shopping kayaks with some seriousness.
    Here's my first question concerning a kayak, it will be a budget kayak, under 1500 would work for me. Just means it'll take longer. Anyway, to the question..

    I'm 6'7 and 190lbs. Does anyone have suggestions on what kayaks would work better for me? I'd like a somewhat shorter kayak, I like manuverability, and can generate decent speed using brawn. 14-16' is what I was hoping for. But open to suggestions! Weekend trips won't be happening, so a day-trip/possible overnighter type of kayak would be sufficient!

    Cheers!
    Mark
     
  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Paddler

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Messages:
    661
    Location:
    Southern Alberta
    Re: Kayak's for tall people?

    Mark, as someone who is not as tall as yourself (6'4") but who has had problems fitting into kayaks I recommend you consider your leg length (inseam) rather than your overall height as the limiting factor. Remember, it's the "bum to toe" that needs to fit COMFORTABLY under the deck and onto the rudder pedals or foot braces and that determines whether you can sit down and slide your legs in or that forces you to sit on the back deck and slither in feet-first!

    If you're into woodwork you might consider building yourself a Pygmy model: they have long cockpit openings and you can customize them by moving the seatback and footbraces around. They'll also come in at your price point. Check out the Boat and Accessory Building forum herein for examples.
     
  3. Tunowit

    Tunowit New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    Re: Kayak's for tall people?

    Hey tootsall, thanks for that post, I should have been aware of that, but hey, its morning!

    Inseam is 36", if that helps. Personally, at this point, I'd rather buy a premade plastic yak, then build my own. Maybe build one later when I know what I like!

    Mark
     
  4. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    777
    Re: Kayak's for tall people?

    I'm only 5ft 7ish myself, but I've got a lanky paddling pal (Mike, whom some of you have met). He and his size 13 feet fit fine in my Northwest Kayaks Discover XL http://www.nwkayaks.com/kayaks.htm
     
  5. Whidbey

    Whidbey Paddler

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Messages:
    252
    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Re: Kayak's for tall people?

    I'm 6' 5" and I fit nicely into a Pygmy Borealis XL. If you are willing to take the challenge of building your own boat (it's really quite easy) you will have a nice boat with money left over for extras for $1500.

    As a tall person your center of gravity is a little higher than average so you may want to consider a boat with a wide beam too.

    James
     
  6. Rrdstarr

    Rrdstarr Paddler

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Messages:
    505
    Location:
    Victoria, BC Canada
    Re: Kayak's for tall people?

    Ditto! James and I both built Borealis's last year! You said you were looking for shorter boat, so the Pygmy Penguin will work too! Great thing about a stich and glue is you can move the forward bulkhead to accomodate your legs!!!
     
  7. scott_f

    scott_f Paddler

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    163
    Location:
    Victoria
    Re: Kayak's for tall people?

    I'm 6'5" with size 14 feet. One issue I have found with some boats was that my feet were past the last notch on the foot peg rail. On fiberglass skeg boats this is easy to fix by using the front bulkhead as a foot brace. Plastic boats like the CD Sirroco can have foam bulkheads or welded plastic bulkheads which prevent you from using the bulkhead as a foot brace, so ensure a plastic boat fits well before purchasing.

    As for length, maneuverability also has a lot to to with the hull shape and how comfortable you are on edge. I have found that packing for a weekend trip (3 days) doesn't require much more space than for an overnight trip. Just more water, food and maybe clothes. So don't get something so small that overnighters are impossible. Your gear will also take up more space than the average person; longer sleeping bag, longer sleeping pad, longer shoes/clothes and a larger tent.

    You will also find entry more difficult than most people and will likely need to enter feet first and slide in off the back deck. This combined with your higher center of gravity means you may want to look at a boat with higher primary stability, but this is entirely a comfort level thing.

    Based on your needs I would recommend an NDK Romany Surf. At 16' it's very maneuverable and has humps in the deck to accommodate more leg room. Enough space for a week long trip. I just haven't seen one in your price range.
    Comox Valley Kayaks has many plastic boats in your price range, but other than a Sirroco, I have not tried any.
    http://www.kayakutopia.com/kayak-sales/fleet-sale/plastic-singles.html
     
  8. rider

    rider Paddler

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,761
    Location:
    Coquitlam,BC
    Re: Kayak's for tall people?

    Sounds like a way to go,give it time to figure what you really really want and then spend the time building it,if you do so wish. Frankly building boats is for people that enjoy the process as much as using the final result,because fact is you can buy a boat off-the-shelf nowdays that will fit most people's needs,maybe with minor modifications.
    With your height, life will be a bit easier if your preference is towards skeg boats since the footpegs don't move once set, whereas most rudder equipped boats in your price range have to have the footpegs be able to slide back and forth,limiting maximum inseam that'll fit.
    If factory footpegs don't go far enough forward,but the forward bulkhead is OK for room,you can always fabricate your own footbrace, like whitewater boats use("bulkhead style" footbrace)
    If you want a short boat,have a look at a Delsyk Nifty 430, capable boat with a very long cockpit.
    Sirocco,as suggested, is a good big-guy boat but the cockpit is on the short-and-fat side rather than tall and skinny. I own one, and at 6'1 and 185,sometimes i wish it was a bit longer and a bit narrower.
     
  9. semdoug

    semdoug Paddler

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    Messages:
    197
    Re: Kayak's for tall people?

    Where are you located?

    If you live somewhere in the sea kayak rich areas of BC, Washington, and Oregon go visit every shop in the area and either rent or demo some boats. Once you find what you like, in your $1500 price range, you can probably either buy a new plastic version or a used composite. Try as many as you can, just because it fits your leg length and foot size doesn't mean it will be comfortable for hours of paddling.
     
  10. cyclonic origins

    cyclonic origins New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Abbotsford BC
    Re: Kayak's for tall people?

    Funny the Sirocco is being recommended. I just bought one, and its being stored at Marks place. Locked, right under his nose.
    I love it! :)
    (please guard it with your life)
     
  11. waverider

    waverider Paddler

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    Messages:
    671
    Location:
    langley
    Re: Kayak's for tall people?

    Hmmm, sounds like a post that I should toss my 2 cents worth into, being the "World's Second Tallest Kayaker " (but only by an inch)
    At 6'9'' tall with 13'1/2 inch feet and a 39 '' inseam the only boats that I can (feel like paddling) paddle are the following.....

    Necky Looksha Elite - Superb all round just check out there web site for all the details
    double your budget though.

    Innukshuk by Boreal - nice all round kayak and if your interested I am selling mine for dirt cheap (no seat ) comes with a sprayskirt too.

    And The Necky Elaho HV is another good one.

    Oh and the Explorer HV is a sweet one too.
     
  12. Jurfie

    Jurfie Paddler

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    Messages:
    807
    Location:
    Semiahmoo, South Surrey, BC
    What's with all the tall Marks? :wink:

    I'm not named Mark, but I am 6'-6", 36" inseam, size 12/13 feet.

    Here's the list I've tried (give or take a few):

    Maelstrom Vaag - sat in, have not paddled yet. Can almost put the bum in a bring in the legs after; maybe if the cockpit was 1/2" longer, or after molding the back block. Feet are on the bulkhead, but strangely enough, there is still room to stretch the legs. I'm eager to take this one for a spin as I've heard good things.

    Necky Chatham 17 - (fiberglass version) can just sit in and then bring in legs; my shins get scraped up doing so, so I slide in off the back deck to save my skin (and my drysuit). Can use the footpegs. Could not in the plastic version though. Very maneuverable for a 17' long boat. Paddled it probably 6 or 7 times last season; if I don't like the Vaag after paddling it, the Chatham 17 is at the top of my purchase list. Didn't fit in the Chatham 16.

    NDK (SKUK) Explorer HV - have to sit on the back deck and slide in, but a sweet boat. The knee bumps make it quite comfortable for my legs.

    NDK (SKUK) Romany S/Surf/HV - have to sit on the back deck and slide in. 16' long, very maneuverable, but a bit slow to paddle on flat water. Knee bumps like the Explorer HV, so comfy.

    Impex Assateague - slide in off back deck; feet on bulkhead. Got uncomfortable after an hour or so, and no room to stretch the legs.

    Necky Elaho HV - at limit for legs, low initial stability at my size, but playful.

    Seaward Cosma - made for paddlers shorter than us, but unloaded for short daytrips, it is quite fun. Feet are on the bulkhead; not much room left over.

    Valley Nordkaap - (fiberglass version) I wish I fit in this boat, but my feet are too big. Fun paddle, but my feet were at an awkward angle.

    Of course, YMMV. I'd echo the rent-and-try-before-you-buy route - I've changed my mind multiple times! Don't discount longer boats, as many are very maneuverable and playful, if that's what you are looking for.

    Good luck finding the one for you!
     
  13. mikec

    mikec Paddler

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    601
    Location:
    Sept-Îles, QC
    to Jurfie's most excellent list I would add;

    Tiderace Xplore X (Kayak Academy in Issaquah, WA has them if you are on the West Coast) - skeg touring boat, bomber construction from the best composite facility in the world (Cobra Factory, Thailand).

    Rockpool Menai 18 or Rockpool GT - both skeg touring boats for the larger paddler or person looking to haul more gear.

    Boreal Designs Saguenay - ruddered touring boat for the larger paddler.

    Remember, just about every single manufacturer offers custom bulkhead placement options which can accomodate any paddler. I have a friend back east who is 6'11" string-bean who got a custom bulkhead placement on an NDK Explorer HV and he can rock that thing like nobody's business.
     
  14. RoyN

    RoyN Paddler

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Messages:
    435
    Location:
    Burien, WA
    I believe the Tiderace XploreX that Kayak Academy has was manufactured in Finland.
     
  15. Kayaking Chemist

    Kayaking Chemist Paddler

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    My hubby's a big guy. He loves his Necky Pinta, but I don't think they're made anymore. Tons of storage room (we're terrible over-packers).